Some days I wish I could convert part of my computer lab into a Makerspace. After all I have re-defined it as a Computer and Technology Lab, so it would be appropriate to have other technologies. Like a metal cutter, or workbench to build things – such as making a speaker out of an Altoid tin, or rudimentary printing such as silk-screening.
I thought of this again after getting into a discussion with a teacher visiting our school from New Zealand this week. She spoke of how curriculum there includes woodwork, needlework and many hands-on activities.
She was not been aware of Makerspaces, but mentioned a parallel well-organized movement called Mens’ Sheds – run by retired people so that anyone could take up a new skill.
Makerspaces here are great places for students with rudimentary engineering products in mind, for say a science fair. They are open to anyone and are often free. Some school libraries are carving out makerspaces for 3-D printing.
I’ve visited one in Mesa, Arizona called HeatSync Labs. Love the name!
I’ve still to visit the TechShop in Chandler where you could learn CAD drawing, or how to build a (guess what?) Bluetooth speaker!