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Makerspaces! What's Going on in RILINK Schools?: Considerations

"Our hope is that the agents of change will be the students themselves." -- Makerspace Playbook School Edition, Spring 2013

Thinking Caps Required: What Would Work in Your Library?

How much does it cost to set up a school library makerspace?

That depends....The price tag can be anywhere from "free" to hundreds or thousands of dollars...

  • Library, collaborating department, school, or district budget
  • Donations or found objects
  • Local or national business / technology sponsorship
  • PTA / PTO
  • Crowdfunding (see the Resources page)
  • This Edutopia article (also linked on the Resources page) can help get you started!

What kind of technology is needed?

That depends on your definition of technology. All makerspace projects use some kind of technology, but it doesn't have to be high tech. Here's a sample list:

  • Sewing machines
  • Knitting needles
  • Desktop publishing
  • Podcasting / video production
  • 3D printers
  • Laser cutters
  • Bindery equipment 
  • Robotics
  • See the Resources page for more ideas

How big does a makerspace need to be?

That's up to you. Keep it simple, or go big. 

  • Start small
  • Your makerspace can evolve over time
  • Reserve room for storage of materials and tools and time for planning, set up, and clean up
  • Already have computers? Dedicate space to podcasting or digital storytelling
  • Keep one eye on upcoming library renovation or reconfiguration plans
  • The greater the variety of available tools and materials, the wider the interest will be 


Who is going to run this thing?? 

Consider a rotating crew of guest mentors. Tap your community, especially your students.

  • Mentors can be library staff, students, teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, school staff, parents, community members - anyone who is willing to show someone how to make something they are excited about making
  • Conceptualize projects with interdisciplinary intent to align with Common Core State Standards, AASL 21st-Century Learning Standards, ISTE Standards, school and library mission statements, district initiatives, professional growth goals, and student learning and outcome objectives
  • Team up with the Science Department for STEM-related projects, with Art for an art project, with Science and Art and Math for a STEAM project, with Tech Ed for a coding or gaming project, with ELA for digital storytelling, with Music for podcasting, with the Drama Club for streaming video, with World Languages for online tutorials...(you get the idea)

Below are just a few ideas. Some are more high-tech than others. See the Resources page for more possibiities. Don't forget to promote your library's makerspace projects on your RICAT site, LibGuides page, blog, website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, or Instagram account.

Photobooth: Customize a space or backdrop; design, print, and create props, costumes, or masks; base characters on library- or classroom-related content 

Soda Bottle Bird Feeder: Partner with a biology or ecology class or unit; donate feeders to a local park or nursing home 

Talking Sock Puppets: Combine with a unit on recycling, holidays, or electronics 

Pendulum Painting: A great project to complement math, science, and art

Remote-Controlled Venus Flytrap: (You read that right!) Requires some advanced technical skills and equipment

Make Your Own Stop-Motion Movie: Blend digital storytelling with "old-fashioned" charm



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