What is a Makerspace?
“a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build.”
Makers include, but are not limited to, artists, crafters, knitters, seamstresses, builders, programmers, engineers, hackers, painters, woodworkers, tinkerers, inventors, bakers, graphic designers and more.
These spaces will spawn entrepreneurial endeavors amongst the youth. Around the nation, when given the opportunity, young people create thriving “small” businesses – cellphone repair shops, designing and 3D printing custom products, selling food products from things they grow, creating radio stations, the possibilities are endless.
Bringing Makerspaces OTP
We are looking to create a collaborative learning space in the South Gwinnett or DeKalb County area by 2019. Our dream for this studio includes space for tinkering and experiments, reading and quiet, visual arts and textiles, audio/visual recording, garden, outdoor play, and kitchen. It makes sense to dream big, but we are prepared to condense these separate spaces into portable stations and hubs. We want this space to be open to parents and students, being a place where parents can bring their children to play, work, and learn with others while having access to the resources of the space to play, work, and learn themselves. Parents might simply hang out to chat while using the laminating machine or take an few hours to get some sewing projects done in peace.
Why These Learning Spaces are Important
How Our Space Will Work
Most makerspaces charge a monthly fee for basic membership that gives them access to use the space, tools and equipment and discounts on various classes.
Members are free to come and go as their schedule permits, and we hold a weekly forum where all opinions are valued in making decisions surrounding the studio such as rules, activities, etc.
Members are free to do learning inquiries of their choosing. We respect that everyone has their own process, so every learner is given the space to learn on their own terms. Our aim is to foster a culture of mindfulness and intention, so that students grow to be self-disciplined.
We support student inquiry by creating an atmosphere that sparks curiosity, and sustains engagement without arbitrarily timed classes and subject changes that interrupt the learning process. We also orchestrate field trips and excursions that support whatever students are working on.
Creating is also encouraged through a culture of sharing. Students are encouraged to exhibit their work and share their findings in the spirit of open-source and creative commons.
Membership in our space gives open access to the space and equipment and also gives discounts to specialized classes and workshops for students and parents, assistance with planning and resource development, online educational software subscriptions, and a network of professionals that can guide a deeper dive into any given topic. Anyone can lead or organize a workshop, and students are encouraged to do organize learning opportunities.