These are hands-on spaces where you’re encouraged to find out for yourself by doing.
They may be Makerspaces or Stem/Steam studios or somewhere in between. They’re probably ICT-rich because exploration also involves understanding what others have discovered before as well as discovering something new for yourself. They’re spaces where the amount of free space is as important as the amount of furnished space: spaces where the floor too is a valuable tool.
These spaces – some people call them FabLabs – shouldn’t be too perfect. Neuroscience tells us that when they are, students are inhibited from taking risks. They’re afraid of damaging something, so mightn’t have a go when in fact that’s exactly what we do want them to do. We don’t want them to hold back on trying something out – we want them to do so and discover whether it works or is right.
Explore zones need great storage: places for bits of this and that – nuts, bolts, glue-guns and craft knives; Raspberry Pis and BBC Microbits. But whilst they need great storage, they shouldn’t be confused with the DT stores – materials should be prepared first and made available here to ensure that “aha” moment isn’t interrupted.
We think the following products are great in Explore zones: