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Diana Fiddler

Makerspace
1. Narrative
I would like to incorporate a makerspace type environment into a middle school
library setting. The middle school students, grades 6th-8th, would be an excellent group
of candidates for the incorporation of the innovative ideology of makerspace. These
students are creative in their thoughts and ideas. They enjoy challenges which can
include group or even individual projects. A makerspace is a place where people can
create, tinker, hack, remix, and remake both as individuals and in collaboration with one
another (Range and Schmidt 2014, 8). The middle school student does not need as
much guidance or structure in their learning process as an elementary student. They do
need stimulating experiences which build upon their knowledge.
An environment which is conducive to makerspace type projects will enhance
and generate these types of experiences. Makerspace activities focus upon S.T.E.M.
(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or S.T.E.A.M. (plus Arts)
curriculum. Projects of this type can be incorporated across the curriculum. This is why
the library is the perfect fit for a makerspace. Innovation in libraries encourages using
critical and inquiry based thinking. Makerspaces, hackerspaces, fab, and idea labs in
libraries can aid in stimulating student curiosity (Moorefield-Lang 2015, 108). Those
involved in makerspace type projects are able to be innovative and creative in their
thinking. These students will be able to think outside of the box. Making is an inquirydriven social activity that allows students to develop the very same skills, dispositions,
responsibilities, and strategies touted in the AASL's 21st Century Standards. It opens

the library to students who want to acquire, use, and share information in ways other
than book-discussion groups or research writing (Canino-Fluit 2014, 21). Making
benefits the middle school students by focusing upon creativity and the flexibility of
problem solving; there is not one correct answer for a project. The librarian is there to
foster the innovative creations of the students. As guidance is needed, the librarian is
available to facilitate this growth, but the students have the independence to learn
through varying types of outlets in the S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. curriculum.
By creating a makerspace, in a public middle school library, the librarian can
work closely with the classroom teachers. The topic of focus for my first attempt at
making would include projects which will be appropriate for both individual and/or group
involvement which align with the S.T.E.M. aspects. The makerspace objectives would
include:

Students developing basic knowledge of coding.

Students gaining skills in the changing of forms of energy.

Students using technology to develop programming skills.

Activities to be included into the middle school makerspace project would include using
a computer to generate coding skills through websites such as Scratch and Tynker.
The students will have the opportunity to work with Snap Circuits and the ability to
create Jitter Bots. These activities allow for creative thinking in changing chemical
energy, to electrical energy, and finally to mechanical energy. Students will also have
the option to develop their programming skills when working with a Sphero, a robotic
device.

The program will be evaluated by the attendance and from the librarian
developing a survey to be taken before and after the makerspace activities have been
implemented. Program attendance will provide documentation on the number of
returning participants. A survey of this type will allow the librarian to determine the
skills, attitude, knowledge, and impact the program may have had on the students. A
making program of this type would benefit the middle school students by offering an
innovative approach to learning and building upon previous knowledge in other
curriculum areas. Students will develop team working skills, as well as the ability to
voice their thoughts and opinions during their independent creative processes.
The anticipated outcomes from a makerspace program of this type would
include the middle school students being able to develop basic coding skills through two
different programs, Scratch and Tynker. The programs have beginner to more
advanced levels of coding. This type of leveling will be beneficial for students of all
areas of experience. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their
programming skills by working with an electronic device such as Sphero. This type of
programming and coding will allow students to use innovative problem solving skills to
navigate their device through obstacle courses of their design. Finally, students will
create working circuits with Snap Circuit kits as well as create jitter bots from various
materials. These jitter bots will use different forms of energy to actually move across a
surface area. The ability to include a makerspace into the library setting brings an open
opportunity to develop, enhance, and showcase the students independent
S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. skills. A strength of the maker community is its focus on the ideas

of makers, not the goals of their instructors. The students ultimately decide what they
design and create (Range and Schmidt 2014, 8).

Bibliography
Canino-Fluit, Ana. 2014. "School Library Makerspaces." Teacher Librarian 41(5):
21-7. Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed March 27, 2016).
Moorefield-Lang, Heather. 2015. "Change in the Making: Makerspaces and the
Ever-Changing Landscape of Libraries." Techtrends: Linking Research And
Practice To Improve Learning 59 (3): 107-12. ERIC, EBSCOhost (accessed
March 27, 2016).
Range, Ellen and Jessica Schmidt. 2014. "Explore, Plan, Create: Developing a
Makerspace for Your School Community." School Library Monthly 30 (7): 8-10.
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed
March 27, 2016).

2. Project Resources
Personnel:
Key project staff members required in the implementation of a quality
makerspace project would include the librarian as well as 2-3 students from the high
schools Teen Leadership class. As the need arises, the librarian would ask
professionals from the community to speak or offer guidance in future career
possibilities to the students in attendance.
Librarian
The librarians role in the makerspace project would include the following:

Acquiring the materials needed.

Involving community professionals as needed.

Offer guidance to the students only as needed.

Preparing the space needed to conduct the activity.

Developing the makerspace program (i.e. projects, timeline, challenges).

Finding 2-3 student volunteer from the high schools Teen Leadership class.

Facilitating in resolving problem areas (behavior, material, and technical areas).

Student Volunteers
The student volunteers roles would include the following:

Assist in replenishing supplies as needed.

Offer guidance only as needed in areas of technical difficulties.

Assist the librarian in cleaning the makerspace area after each event.

Community Professionals
The community professionals would contribute the following aspects to the program:

Speak to the students about their profession which involves S.T.E.M. or


S.T.E.A.M. related skills.

Discuss opportunities which may be available to students with an interest in a


S.T.E.(A.)M. field.

Offer challenges to the students with regards to the projects being developed by
the students.

Time:
The makerspace project would be implemented with students during the third
week of a school systems semester cycle. The makerspace program would be
conducted on Wednesdays after school for a period of hour each day. This enables
students in other extracurricular activities the opportunity to participate (rarely do sports
events take place on a Wednesday). By limiting the time period to one hour, the
librarian would not need to worry about providing after school snacks. This one hour
time frame will keep the students actively engaged and limit the amount of down time.
For those students who may be involved in church related activities, the one hour time
frame will not interfere with these established commitments.
The students will complete a four round rotation system in a sixteen week
period. During this system of rotation, the students will work with four different project
ideas: the Sphero robotic ball, jitter bots, Snap Circuits, and coding via Scratch and
Tynker coding resources. The students will have a total of three hours to focus on each

area. During week 13-15, the students can hone their interests by developing
challenges which focus on their main area of interest. Finally, the last week will wrap up
the semester of events by introducing the students to a community member who has a
S.T.E.(A.).M. related profession.
Timeline

Week 1

Pre-evaluation completed by the students.


Students begin rotation #1 for their project area.

Week 2

Students continue working with their project from rotation #1.

Week 3

Students finish working with their project from rotation #1.

Week 4

Students begin rotation #2 for their project area.

Week 5

Students continue working with their project from rotation #2.

Week 6

Students finish working with their project from rotation #2.

Week 7

Students begin rotation #3 for their project area.

Week 8

Students continue working with their project from rotation #3.

Week 9

Students finish working with their project from rotation #3.

Week
10

Students begin rotation #4 for their project area.

Week 11 Students continue working with their project from rotation #4.
Week
12

Students finish working with their project from rotation #4.

Week
13

Students begin developing challenges from projects #1-4.

Week
14

Students finalize their challenges.

Week
15

Students showcase their challenges.

Week
16

Community professional speaks to the students.


Post-evaluation completed by the students.

Budget:
The budget for the makerspace project will consist of four maker stations:
Sphero, Jitter Bots, Snap Circuits, and the Scratch & Tynker coding. Some of the items
(plastic lids and containers) needed for the Jitter Bot station can be gathered over a
period of time. These items are used household items which can be repurposed into
student created Jitter Bots. The coding station can utilize the computers which are
already housed in the library. Each of the four stations could be utilized as either
individual or group stations. The range of students during this makerspace project
could include a maximum of 32 makers. The project could be fully implemented with a
cost of $2,142.00.
Sphero Station
Item

Quantity

Cost

Total

Sphero Robotic Ball

$141.00

$564.00

Apple iPad Mini 2

$242.00

$968.00

Plastic Mini- Traffic Cones Set of 12

$16.00

$16.00

Sphero Terrain Park

$20.00

$20.00

TOTAL COST:

$1568.00

Jitter Bots Station

Item

Quantity

Cost

Total

C Size Battery
(12 Count)

$12.00

$36.00

18 Gauge Primary Electrical Wire

$4.00

$16.00

Wire Stripper & Cutter Tool

$12.00

$24.00

Digital Timer

$8.00

$32.00

Plastic Pop Bottle Lids

128

FREE

$0.00

Plastic Containers

128

FREE

$0.00

$10.00

$20.00

32

$6.00

$192.00

TOTAL COST:

$320.00

Masking Tape
3-Pack
12 V Small Motors

Snap Circuit Station


Item

Quantity

Cost

Total

Snap Circuit Kit


PRO SC-500

$60.00

$240.00

AA Batteries
(24 Count)

$14.00

$14.00

TOTAL COST:

$254.00

Scratch & Tynker Coding Station


Item

Quantit

Cost

Total

y
Computer

Coding
Programs

FREE
Use the computers located in the
library.

$0.00

FREE

$0.00

TOTAL COST:

$0.00

The overall cost of the total makerspace program is $2,142.00.

3. Digital Project for Promotion


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