Within education there has been an increasing push towards STEM education (Blackley, Sheffield, Maynard, Koul, & Walker 2017), as a means of developing students’ twenty first century learning skills, such as problem solving, collaborative learning and creativity. Blackley et al. (2017) suggests that there is need for the authentically integrated STEM education to engage students in ‘rich tasks’ that helps to foster student’s future learning outside of the classroom (Sheffield, Koul, Blackley & Maynard, 2017). The use of Makerspaces allows students to apply their knowledge to engage in the design process to create real-world solutions and artefacts (Blackley et al., 2017).
Makerspaces are specifically designed spaces that are utilised to support the students as a maker through the design process from planning to creation (Blackley et al., 2017; Wolven, 2017). Makerspaces allow students’ to develop their creativity by using problems cling to create real-world solutions to problems through hands on creative processes (Blackley et al., 2017; Wolven, 2017).
Makerspaces is based on the pedagogical approaches of experiential learning, where students learn by doing and constructivism, as Papert suggested, students’ learning is built as they construct physical artefacts (Blackley et al., 2017). Moreover, Sheffield et al. (2017) suggests that when STEM and Makerspace are integrated, students are positioned to utilise knowledge and skills from a range of areas to create, construct and critique a product that has real world use.
Makerspaces allow students to work independently, or collaboratively using their interests to inform their creativity while learning to utilise new tools (Wolven, 2017) while fostering a growth mindset while experimenting and taking risks.
Blockley et al. (2017) suggests that pre-service teachers need exposure to the benefits of Makerspace. This was especially beneficial to see how specific technologies could be included to help foster students’ creativity. One example was the use of 3D pens, which could be used in primary English classes whereby students are encouraged to create the artefacts from their class text. The students’ would need to work collaboratively to designate roles, as well as use problem solving to construct the structurally sound artefacts (Wolven, 2017).
Here are some examples designed be pre-service teachers:
Blackley, S., Sheffield, R., Maynard, N., Koul, R., & Walker, R. (2017). Makerspace and Reflective Practice: Advancing Pre-Service Teachers in STEM Education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2017v42n3.2
Sheffield, R., Koul, R., Blackley, S. & Maynard, N. (2017). Makerspace in STEM for girls: A physical space to develop twenty first century skills. Educational Media International, 52(2), 148-164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523987.2017.1362812
Wolven, R. (2017). Makerspace: Starting small. FYI: The Journal for the School Information Professional, 21(2), 12-14.