Already you convinced of the importance of makerspaces and but do not know where to start? To help you, we have selected some elements that educational institutions should consider when creating their own makerspaces.
Machinery and tools
Laser cutting machines, 3D printer, electronics equipment, games, joinery and locksmithing areas, tools for scientific experiments … There is no standard for the kind of equipment that a makerspace should or should not have. The limit, in this case, is imagination and, of course, budget. The most important thing is to guarantee a mix of equipment that works for the users needs and the institution educational strategy.
Safety is one of the most essential aspects when planning a makerspace, since in these places one usually works with high temperatures, cutting tools, flammable materials, residues and noise pollution. Take some time to visit other spaces, understand the use of spaces, people’s dynamics while working and all risks involved in each activity.
Theory and practice
Most importantly, the makerspace is a place for creation. A whole area for experimentation is important, but ideally students also have environments in which they can go back to theory, re-evaluate designs and concepts, and return to practice with new perspectives. In addition, the multiplicity of platforms is another factor that counts for the success of the space: books, computers, tablets, materials for research, etc.
Include in the design of your makerspace spaces to let creativity and ideas flow freely. Blackboards, panels for post-it notes, common areas, game rooms are great allies of innovation.
The possibility of building a diverse community to exchange experiences and ideas that generate innovation is one of the coolest things about makerspaces. For that matter, they need to be recognized as environments in which diversity is welcome: diversity of age, gender, thought, race, education level and interests.