Makerspaces are incredibly popular events for students and your local community!
Originating in Germany in the 90’s, Makerspaces (Hackerspaces) have gained a strong foothold throughout Europe, America and China. In Australia, Men’s Sheds are an extremely successful variant.
A makerspace is exactly what it sounds like - a space to make, where tools, machines and expertise are on hand to allow participants the opportunity to create whatever they want or need.
Collaboration and freedom are key ingredients and makerspaces are often used as innovation incubators for designers and entrepreneurs.
Some planning will be required before you open up your school Makerspace -
*Gather lots of materials, everything from cardboard to scraps of industrial materials from factories. Reverse Art Truck and similar organisations are a great source of modelling materials.
* School workshops are obviously great Makerspace venues, but libraries, canteens and schools halls could attract even more participants and generate lots of interest.
* Make available only the tools, machines or equipment that you are happy to be used.
* Keep it simple - scissors, tape, glue guns and coping saws will get a lot of use.
* Arrange lots of supervision – it will get busy! Senior students can be very useful here.
* Consult your school Health and Safety team - you may have to develop disclaimers for Makerspace participants, especially for non-students.
* You should have available power tool and machine safety licenses for users
* Advertise throughout the school using posters and newsletter articles. Invite students, parents and your local community to come along and take part.
* Open up your Makespace during lunchtimes, after school or even at the weekend.
*Explain key safety rules to all who enter the makerspace environment.
* Allow participants to develop their own ideas and facilitate their requests as much as possible.