1. Existing curriculum-based projects (that really, parents often make) become the foundation of the makerspace activities. (No computer is required for this first objective, and this alone would be a major and worthwhile accomplishment!)
"What is the curriculum for our makerspace?" "What's the difference between a makerspace and a summer camp craft area?"
Some of the biggest challenges to those starting makerspaces include how are the actual curriculum objectives supported by the activities there, and what should the curriculum be for a makerspace? Districts are spending millions of dollars on equipping makerspaces with materials and tools, but how do they appear in the eyes of visiting school administrators and school board members? How do parents perceive the value of the activities? What will keep makerspace from being just another fad in education and disappearing in 5 years?
The maker movement is changing the very nature of student projects everywhere. Here are the key tenets of this vision of a roadmap to makerspace activities and objectives, the first two of which don't even require a computer.
Roadmap for Makerspaces
The answer is to take the existing curriculum-based projects that, if we're being honest, are generally made by parents and grandparents for their children, and make those projects the foundation of the makerspace student activities. This instantly provides guidance for activities with the immense existing resources of educators and their supporting offices of education. It also means that students will have to actually make and learn about their own project.
On this foundation can then be built the skills of fabrication, i.e., how to fold, bend, cut, attach, glue, etc. How to program (code), inquire, plan, design, and test. How to paint, draw, and form. And, how to write, speak, and use digital tools of video and media to explain the project and tell an important story.