Having maker minded people in a maker space makes for a more interesting learning experience for students. You may invite experts to help on occasion or have students who have more making experience facilitate classes.
Another way to promote a creative atmosphere in a learning space is with browsing materials. Students make connections through the visual browsing of books and magazines. Of course, Make Magazine is the first resource that comes to mind. These magazines focus on projects, makers and ideas. Keeping back issues on tables would be a great idea.
Two new books that have recently come into the Doucette Library also make for wonderful maker browsers. First, Things Come Apart, by Todd McLellan, a book containing 175 colour illustrations and 21,959 components and 5 relevant articles. The author has dismantled a variety of items like a stapler, a sewing machine, and a two-seater light aircraft. He has arranged the component parts in an organized photo display and also photographed the pieces as they dropped through the air, sometimes layering several images to complete the picture. Articles like, “The Repair Revolution” authored by Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit extolling the valuable learning gained by “tear-downs,” the disassembling of electronics are also featured. Let’s face it, though, the real charm in this resource are the amazing photographs. Set it beside your Take Apart Station for greatest impact.
DK has published the “Smithsonian Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects” a resource aimed at the elementary and middle school maker space where definite recipes for project outcomes help students to experience hands-on making and gain essential foundation skills that they can later apply to more creative making. Photographs show step-by-step instructions and the sidebar always shows “How It Works” to reinforce the science behind each maker project.
Choose carefully but surround your makers with various resources that they can browse in their own time. Ideas can come from the exposure to what other makers are doing, creating or photographing.
Visit the Doucette Library to take these and other books out to showcase making in your space.