Makerspace, Hackerspace, FabLab; call it what you will, learners discover by doing in these exploratory hands-on spaces.
Great Makerspaces have facilities to create from the technical and advanced, such as 3D Printers and laser cutters through to the rudimentary and basic: glue guns and sewing machines.
They’re spaces for practical tasks, encouraging learners to become inquisitive and take control of their learning.
For the entrepreneurial they become incubators. For the simply curious they’re workshops and laboratories.
There are no templates for what a Makerspace should look like; no lists of what to put in them. It’s more about the mindset employed.
All you really need is great storage and somewhere students are empowered to ‘have a go’ – neuroscience tells us that it the spaces are too perfect, learners feel inhibited: afraid of messing something up or spoiling the pristine worksurface.
Great prototyping – kinaesthetic learning – happens when you’re immersed in the task; when you’re in the zone. And the zone is Explore.