Libraries are one of the fastest-evolving learning spaces. As many resources move online, and teachers require students to collaborate more and demonstrate their learning, librarians are trying to keep up. Some are evenspearheading the changes. Public libraries have led the effort to provide access to 21st century technologies and learning resources, but now university and K-12 libraries are beginning to catch up. Makerspaces are one way a few groundbreaking libraries are trying to provide equal access to exciting technologies and skills.
Source: What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to its Libraries | MindShift | KQED News
Beetle Blocks is a graphical blocks-based programming environment for 3D design and fabrication.Use code to control a beetle that can place 3D shapes and extrude its path as a tube. Then make a 3D print!
Source: Beetle Blocks – Visual code for 3D design
BlocksCAD is a drag-and-drop 3D Computer Aided Design and modeling tool designed for use by elementary-age children. It is simple enough to learn in a few short hours of instruction, but still has the features, flexibility, and power of a professional-level program. It was developed at Einstein’s Workshop, a hands-on learning center and kids makerspace in the Boston area.
Source: BlocksCAD – Educational 3D CAD Software for Kids! – Home
What if tools had QR codes on them that opened short how-to videos on how to use the tool? Curious students could try learning how to solder, or sew on a button, or operate a centrifuge on their own, freeing the teacher to focus on students’ ideas rather than skills. MAQR is a free, searchable archive of QR-coded how-to videos for makerspaces, classrooms, laboratories, etc. Anyone can register and submit. If it catches on we could soon have an extensive collection of QR codes to put around our spaces. A side benefit is that making the videos is a great assignment for students. It’s one way to really learn a skill and an information-organizing challenge to boot. MAQR doesn’t store video – it just organizes and generates QR codes for videos you put up on youtube, vimeo, or dailymotion. You can assign tags to your videos to help others find them. MAQR is a work in progress – I expect I’ll be adding a rating system so the best-liked videos float to the top. If needed I’ll add master categories – science, art, music, etc. Suggestions and especially submissions are welcome. Josh MerrowRiverdale Country Schooljmerrow@riverdale.edu
The Tinkering Studio is an immersive, active, creative place at the Exploratorium where museum visitors can slow down, become deeply engaged in an investigation of scientific phenomena, and make something—a piece of a collaborative chain reaction—that fully represents their ideas and aesthetic.In the Tinkering Studio, visitors are invited to explore a curiosity-driven exhibit, chat with a featured artist, or investigate a range of phenomena with staff artists, scientists, educators, and others by participating in a collaborative activity. A large, eclectic assortment of materials, tools, and technologies are provided for people to use as they explore and create.
Source: about the tinkering studio | The Tinkering Studio
If you’ve ever watched children at play, you know they’re fascinated with building things—and with taking things apart to see how they work. In other words, children are natural-born engineers. When children engineer in a school setting, research suggests several positive results:
read more at Engineering is Elementary: Why Engineering for Children?
Makerspaces — school-based, concept-to-reality, hands-on learning spaces — use a comprehensive approach. They have become popular among today’s educators because of the high demand for future professionals who are not only technically skilled but also experienced in working collaboratively with their peers.
For example, Peddie School (New Jersey) recently unveiled a 4,300-square-foot, state-of-the-art digital fabrication laboratory, complete with design, engineering, and testing studios. This Fab Lab continues the school’s tradition of innovating and using technology to enhance learning, according to Elizabeth Silverman, chair of the board of trustees at Peddie. “We believe it is important to not only integrate technology more fully into our curriculum, but also to foster interdisciplinary learning, provide opportunities for concrete applications of our STEM courses, and further develop the critical thinking skills of our students,” says Silverman.
The College Board reports that according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the growth of jobs in the STEM disciplines was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM disciplines in the last 10 years. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17 percent versus 9.8 percent for non-STEM jobs in the 10-year period leading to 2018. But as a nation, we are not graduating nearly enough STEM majors to meet the demand. As is well documented, the United States has to either export many technical projects or import foreign talent to complete them here.
read more: How You Can Make a Makerspace Work for Your School – Independent Ideas Blog