Let's discuss the role of makerspace!

Let's discuss the role of makerspace!
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Hi all

Here is an open stage to discuss what do you think about the role of makerspace is for school children?

  • Is it to impart practical hands-on skills and build a cadre of 21st century skilled STEM workforce?
  • Is it to help one learn STEM subjects by building a conceptual understanding of scientific phenomena?
  • Is it to help one develop an artistic appreciation of nature?
  • Is it to support the building of personally meaningful projects?
  • Is it to support one to work on solving local problems and be an active participant?
  • Do you think there are other potential roles of a makerspace for children?

Looking forward to having an enriching conversation!

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It is to create a personally meaningful space for learning.

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Neither will there be one role, nor will it be decided by one entity – From being a place for learning, for having fun, for interacting with friends and fellow makers, for getting a certificate, for adding a line to one’s resume, to justifying a budget line item to a bureaucrat, to achieving a vision of learning, and so on, the role of a makerspace will always be in the eye of the beholder.

Don’t treat it like a traditional thing, boxed and neatly accounted for. A makerspace will be messy, both inside and outside the bounds, welcoming, inclusive, informal, counter-cultural, questioning, inquisitive, curious. More than anything, it will be fun.

Update: Am I saying the above just to be different? No. For one, I really mean everything I say above. But there is a strategic reason as well. If you create a conventional box around a makerspace, it will be judged by the rules of that box. If you treat it as a profit-making venture, you will live or die by the profit you make. If you position it as a place that can give an impressive resumé-boasting right or a certificate to the maker, they will judge you as to the results your certificate can deliver. On the other hand, treating it as something unique in its own right, as it is and should be, you stand outside the conventional judgmental frameworks.

5 Likes

Well said. That must be the spirit.

To give a loose analogy, a maker space can be thought of as a buffet. Just like as in the buffet, not everyone eats everything that is served. It is entirely up to you to choose the food that you want to eat. Nor do people eat in the same quantities and neither does the order in which they eat different items. Similarly in a maker space, the same materials might allow different experiences to different people.

One thing can be said for certain that maker space allows access to tool and resources which most people would not have otherwise. For example, power tools.

2 Likes