Let’s Talk Makerspaces in Schools
I wanted to start this introductory post in classic nerdy fashion using that starter code greeting. I’m thrilled to be the Master Maker at Demco, and I can’t wait to share the exciting things that are happening in my makerspace and in classrooms around the world. This partnership is going to be great for librarians and educators looking to bring making and the maker mentality to their libraries and schools.
Some of you might be asking, “Who is this guy and why is he partnering with Demco?” Here are the details:
My name is Nicholas Provenzano, and I have been an educator for more than 15 years in Metro Detroit. I recently took a new position as a Middle School Technology Coordinator and Makerspace Director at University Liggett School after 15 years of teaching high school language arts. I earned my master’s degree in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University, and I have been recognized by Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) and the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) as their Teacher of the Year. I am a Google Certified Innovator, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and a TED Ed Innovative Educator. I’ve been featured in the New York Times and on CNN.com and other media outlets for the innovative work I have done with students using technology. I’m the author of the best-selling book Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces, a featured writer for Edutopia and, most importantly, a maker.
I’m also in the process of building my second makerspace — a creation space for middle and high school students. I’m excited to be partnering with Demco, and I’ll be sharing the ups and downs of building a space from scratch and using Demco’s resources to create the perfect space for my students.
Makerspaces have started to become more prominent in schools the past few years. Educators are seeing the value of allowing students to explore the areas of STEAM that are outside the standard curriculum. While having the space for students to explore is nice, there is more to making than just the space or the tools in it — it’s about a whole different way of thinking and approaching problems in a meaningful way.
This Maker Mentality can have a far-reaching impact on students and educators across the entire curriculum. I look forward to sharing the different ways that makerspaces connect to classroom learning and nurture a growth mindset that will benefit students in college and beyond.
Join the Conversation
Through a series of blog posts over the next few months, I will be sharing the great learning opportunities that are possible in a makerspace, as well as tips to help you overcome potential obstacles. I will share ideas on how to raise the needed funds for different parts of your makerspace, along with how to make it sustainable by creating a culture that supports the Maker Mentality.
There is so much more to makerspaces than just a room full of STEAM things, and it’s great that Demco is giving me the opportunity to discuss the finer points of makerspaces and the Maker Mentality with all of you. And we want to hear from you as well! Maybe you’re just getting started, or maybe you’re already providing maker experiences for your students — either way, we want you to join the conversation through Demco’s monthly Twitter chats that I’ll be moderating. Our first chat is coming up on Feb. 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. EST, using the tag #DemcoMakerChat. We hope you can join us!
You can check out the nerdy things I’m making and the amazing things our students are doing in their space, The Knight’s Forge, on my website, TheNerdyTeacher.com; Twitter, @thenerdyteacher; and Instagram, @thenerdyteacher. Please use any of these to contact me if you have more questions.