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eduFAB believes that all kids can benefit from hands-on engaged learning using digital fabrication in makerspaces. We offer resources for educators, administrators, informal educational organizations, and others to help create and integrate student-centered makerspaces in K-12 schools worldwide.
Blog posts feature community contributors who are experts in their fields sharing innovations, best practices, and resources for other educators in the network. If you are interested in sharing your expertise, please join us as a community contributor.
Watch playbacks of our recent Fab Educators Summit.
Fab Educators Summit Jan 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment should I buy for my school-based makerspace?
This is often the biggest question that schools ask when they begin makerspace planning; however, it shouldn't be the starting point. First, clarify the mission of your makerspace and how you want it to integrate into the school and then take a look at your assets that are already in place (technology and otherwise). An asset map and a stakeholder assessment are a good place to start. Once you have an understanding of what is already working in your classrooms, what your teachers and students want to do, and the goals of your space, then it is finally time to make that shopping list. Be sure to take into consideration your IT infrastructure, what software your teachers are already using, and the software workflow that will integrate most easily into your school. eduFAB can help with all of these steps, starting with goal setting, asset mapping, stakeholder assessment, integration planning, and finally inventory curation. We love working with schools BEFORE they go shopping to be sure that all of the equipment in the makerspace will be put to use in support of student learning.
Where can I find a curriculum for my Fab Lab or Makerspace?
3D printers, laser cutters, and other computer controlled machinery are merely tools for student learning. The curriculum, therefore, should come from the learning outcomes that teachers are pursuing according to state or common core standards, school-based learning initiatives, or other learning objectives like Social-Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills, or STEM Essential Competencies. In planning the development of your makerspace, clarifying the learning that your students will experience through the makerspace will help you find or develop relevant curriculum. While eduFAb can assist with curriculum development (through lesson plan technology integration or syllabus building), the real learning in your digital makerspace should support your mission. That being said, there are plenty of resources available to teachers who are looking to integrate making technology into their core subject areas: SCOPES-DF.org, TinkerCAD, and EducationalManufacturing.org are all websites with lesson plans and models ready to use directly with students. If you are looking to learn HOW to use the tools themselves, there is a great resource from MakeHaven, who has a collection of videos in their Foundations of Fabrication class on YouTube.
Should I hire a full time teacher to just run the makerspace?
Short answer here is YES. Successfully integrated makerspaces in formal education that include digital fabrication technology all have a full time staff-member in the space. This person, which eduFAB refers to as the "Makerspace Integration Specialist" can have many different responsibilities and can take the form of different roles, depending on the goals and mission of your makerspace; however, this position is an integral part of the success of student learning across the curriculum using the tools. In the strategic planning of your educational makerspace, this role should be budgeted for sustainability of the program. For resources and sample job descriptions, contact eduFAB.
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