Makerspaces come in all shapes and sizes. They all serve as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise. A collection of tools does not define a Makerspace. Rather, we define it by what it enables: making.
A Makerspace is a learning environment rich with possibilities. As new hardware and software tools for making, digital design, and fabrication are emerging, we’re working together — with teachers and community leaders — to place those tools into the hands of a wider audience. We’re building the infrastructure for more kids and adults to connect to a future in which they can personally change, modify or “hack” the physical world, creating things that were nearly impossible to do on their own just a few years ago. Making is about getting hands-on, using these new technologies and basic tools, to do real and personally meaningful work.
From the website...makerspace.com
Makerspaces have evolved from hackerspaces and Maker Faires. Defining a makerspace can be somewhat difficult due to the differences among spaces and activities, but the emphasis is on creating with technology.
STEM education (science, technologly, engineering, math); has been quick to embrace these spaces and technologies, but it is important to stress that makerspaces are not for STEM activities only.
Jeff Sturges of Detroit’s Mt. Elliott Makerspace said in ALA TechSource’s December 3 makerspace webinar, “Beyond engineering and STEM, this is about creating creative people.” He’s absolutely right. The maker movement in libraries is about teaching our patrons to think for themselves, to think creatively, and to look for do-it-yourself solutions before running off to the store. In short, a makerspace is a place where people come together to create with technology.
Submitted by Caitlin A. Bagley on December 20, 2012