by Heather Butler, Middle School makerspace coordinator/digital and information literacy teacher
When I was offered the position of makerspace coordinator last spring, I suggested that we renovate the digital life classroom into a new and expanded makerspace. I was excited (and a bit nervous) when the response from Ms. Christensen and Ms. Hagen was “Sure, let’s go for it!” That’s when the work began. There were many details to think about: What should we use for tables? What tools do we want? What building materials should we have available? How will we store student projects? As students disappeared for the summer, the Amazon boxes started piling up in the library.
The first task to prepare the room was to completely empty it out. A big part of this was disassembling the large and heavy soundproof booth and then reassembling it in the new production studio (the old makerspace). The instructions for this were not too hard to follow, but the booth was so heavy and awkward that at one point we needed five people to help out!
After the room was emptied out, the carpet squares were removed and the concrete floor was sealed. We were also lucky enough to have Mr. John Mills and Mr. Armando Serrano from facilities paint the room a beautiful bright yellow color and put up shelves for us.
Now came the fun part - unpacking all those Amazon boxes! With the help of my 10-year-old son and a couple of his friends, we organized the tools and materials – everything from new cordless drills and electric cardboard cutters to pipe cleaners and craft sticks – into plastic bins. All the bins were given a color-coded label. The benchtop tables and storage racks were assembled and the 3D printers and sewing machine were moved into the room.
Now, there is just one thing left… to fill the space with young makers!