Maker Ed Launches New Youth Makerspace Resources
New resources include a Youth Makerspace Playbook and a Spaces and Places category on Maker Ed’s Resource Library
Oakland, CA: September, 2015
Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) is launching a series of new resources to provide context and support for those looking to create and sustain youth makerspaces.
These resources –– which are all available for free on Maker Ed’s website –– include a 75-page guide called the Youth Makerspace Playbook; the accompanying Highlights of Select Literature; and a newly launched “Spaces and Places” category on Maker Ed’s Resource Library.
Created by Maker Ed with input from the wider maker education community, the Youth Makerspace Playbook provides context and support those planning spaces for youth to make. In particular, it offers practical suggestions on finding a space to make, outfitting the space with tools and materials, exploring the possible educational approaches within the space, and sustaining the space in the long-term. It is accompanied by the Highlights of Select Literature, a document that features a selection of the latest thinking emerging from the growth of makerspaces and their developing roles in education and communities. It surveys selected recent seminal academic papers, articles, blog posts, and published books on making and makerspaces.
Maker Ed is also launching a new Spaces and Places category on its online Resource Library – an curated collection of information for those interested in getting started or continuing in maker education. Aiming to inform and inspire anyone looking to jumpstart or organize their own spaces, the Spaces and Places category showcases makerspaces, schools, libraries, and museums across the country through links to video, images, and multimedia content. In addition, the category links to articles and guides with concrete tips for those who are planning or improving a youth makerspace.
Of these new resources, Warren (Trey) Lathe III, Maker Ed’s Executive Director shared, “We know that starting and sustaining youth makerspaces is hard work and can feel overwhelming at times. By offering these resources, we hope to lower the real and perceived barriers for educators and community members to create fun and safe youth-oriented makerspaces, so that young people everywhere have the chance to gain confidence, creativity, and a passion for learning through making.”
In the run-up to the launch of these resources, Maker Ed also managed a month-long Twitter campaign as a way start the conversation about youth makerspaces online. The campaign invited audiences to share photos of their spaces using the hashtag #MakerEdSpace, and focused on a different element of makerspaces (like storage or signage) each week. Maker Ed hopes that the hashtag will continue to provide a way for the community to share images and ideas about youth makerspaces in the future.
With these new resources, Maker Ed aims to empower and support educators and community members looking to start a youth-oriented makerspace.
Maker Ed is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making. Through its support of educators and communities, Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in both broadening access to and deepening the impact of meaningful making and learning experiences for youth. Maker Ed is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity.