Get the school year off to a great start with these ideas for incorporating maker activities into back-to-school events (and get even more ideas for keeping the momentum going throughout the year).
Two years ago, educators at Mineral Point Middle and High Schools found it difficult to plan maker activities and find the supplies and tools required. After they got the TeacherGeek Maker Cart, their problems were solved and hands-on, project-based learning reached new heights throughout the school.
Looking for fun ways to boost literacy learning? Look no further than your makerspace! Dr. Jacie Maslyk shares strategies for integrating maker learning with literacy and helping students demonstrate their understanding in language arts through something they design, make, or engineer.
Children’s literature provides the perfect springboard into maker projects, which can help extend learning and boost student engagement. Dr. Jacie Maslyk gives you starter ideas to help you connect making activities with literature.
Great educators are always looking for new things to try and ways to enhance their lessons — but who has the time to do all the research? Diana Rendina suggests resources you can take advantage of over the summer — or anytime you have free time — to upgrade, reimagine, or enrich your makerspace.
The enrollment of English language learners is rapidly growing, and it’s important to explore strategies that will support the development of both their language and social skills. Maker learning is one pathway you should consider to achieve this, says Dr. Jacie Maslyk.
Formal school assessments drive everything from funding to curriculum decisions, but should they have a place in your makerspace? Learn why maker educator Heather Lister thinks evaluating maker projects can provide valuable information to both educators and students and gain resources for creating your own rubrics.
Looking for easy ways to spark collaboration and creativity in your learning space? Look no further than whiteboard surfaces, says maker educator Diana Rendina. From dry-erase tables to removable sticky tiles, there are myriad ways you can inspire kids to learn and create.
Do you have good a good reason behind why you want to start a makerspace? Taking the time to craft a vision for your space will ensure that it’s successful. The question is, how do you find your “why”? Seasoned maker Heather Lister gives you four strategies to help you define your vision and makerspace goals, as well as ways to measure your success.
Free Download: Furniture and Space Planning Guide Deciding you want to create a makerspace is easy. Figuring out what it’s going to look like can be the tricky part. No matter how much space you have to work with, this makerspace guide will help you identify the needs of your users and get ideas for the…
Free Download: How to Start a Makerspace Guide Stop thinking about creating a makerspace and start implementing one! Download Demco’s How to Start a Makerspace Guide to jump-start your makerspace journey. You’ll find tips and advice from experts on the following topics: Planning your space Securing funding Getting buy-in from students and staff Low-tech makerspace ideas High-tech…
Free Download: Guide to Low-Tech Making Your makerspace doesn’t need to have the latest high-tech tools to be effective. Download this guide for low-tech making tips and easy and effective activities that can help you launch a maker program that boosts critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. You’ll find activities for the following: Cardboard and recyclables…
As a critical component of STEM learning, engineering is an important skill to teach kids starting at a young age. Discover eight engaging tools to use in your makerspace or classroom that will get kids designing, building, and using their imaginations, from building blocks to curriculum-based activity kits.
When Cabot School District in Arkansas decided to focus on STEM learning in their makerspaces, they wanted a solution that would not only provide engaging, student-driven learning opportunities, but that would also make it easy for educators to get started. Discover how the Demco Maker Collection is getting kids and educators alike excited about STEM learning.
See the results when Natrona County Public Library teamed up with Demco’s interior solutions consultants to develop a free and open-access makerspace where their community could gather to create, share resources, and take part in STEAM programming.
When it comes to furnishing your makerspace, it can be tricky finding the right pieces to meet all of your needs. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what you need until you get your space up and running. That’s why we’ve done some of the homework for you. Check out three innovative makerspace furniture products available only from Demco that provide creative work surfaces and mobile seating and storage while helping you keep your space organized.
Having all the goodies is great, says educator Diana Rendina, but to build a thriving makerspace, you also need to spend time on nurturing the maker culture in your school. Read on for practical ideas you can implement right away.
You’ve got all the maker stuff, but where are you going to store it? Whether your supplies are on the move or stay in one place, the right makerspace cart can make all the difference. Find out how to choose a cart that work best for your space and discover six educator favorites.
Find out about the learning that took place when one administrator introduced her elementary schools to the Demco Maker Collection with Challenge Guide.
Computer programming is now considered a skill that is necessary for success in the 21st century workplace, and many schools and libraries are taking the lead in giving everyone an opportunity to learn this critical skill. Meet five creative, inclusive products that make it easy to introduce coding to kids and adults alike.
Making is not only for students who excel in math and science or who are exceptionally artistic. Makerspaces benefit students with academic and behavioral barriers to learning, as well as students who are nonverbal or those whose first language isn’t English. Discover the many benefits of maker education and how it offers every child an opportunity for hands-on learning.
Looking for ways to ramp up the STEM learning in your library or classroom? Take a closer look at K’NEX. K’NEX are a popular and versatile building tool for all age groups, and they allow students to quickly design, prototype and iterate. Get students’ gears turning with three quick K’NEX challenges from Diana Rendina.
Administrators play a key role in leading the charge for creativity and innovation in their schools. Find out how you can best support a makerspace initiative in your school or library from an administrator who has spearheaded new makerspaces in two different districts.
The real-world design challenge Diana Rendina gave her students resulted in a maker cart that is now manufactured by Custom Educational Furnishings (CEF) and offered through Demco. Read on to learn how you can offer your students authentic design challenges in your makerspace.
If you’re looking for validation that makerspaces belong in libraries, seasoned maker and librarian Diana Rendina has got you covered. Explore these 5 important reasons and share them with stakeholders to help them understand how a makerspace can benefit your school community.
Cardboard is the perfect medium to get your kids started with making – it’s free, it’s abundant, and what kid doesn’t see potential in a cardboard box? Learn how makerspace veteran Angela Rosheim helps her students take their cardboard creations to the next level with Makedo™ tools and connectors.
Learn how you can promote creativity, teamwork and experimentation by creating a STEM club for middle-schoolers. Amanda Bressler helps you face down your fear of not being the expert, walks you through program setup and gives you a simple challenge to get kids started.
Holding a Maker Fest in your school or library is a great way to showcase all the wonderful learning taking place in your makerspace. Diana Rendina walks you through the details, gives you ideas for stations, and helps you make sure your own Maker Fest will be successful.
Ready to get kids excited about coding? Library Journal Maker Hero Alisha Wilson shares how she draws a crowd with her Coding for a Cookie event with three key steps. You’ll gain a host of coding resources, learn about setting up stations, and get tips on advertising your event.
Makerspaces can get messy! Do you have a strategy to stay organized? Angela Rosheim offers ideas to keep your school or library makerspace materials in order and easy to find. You’ll also get storage tips, ideas for handling works in progress and advice on how to get students to help keep your makerspace in order.
After using their geometry skills to create string art, Winnetka fourth-graders supersized their projects using the hands-on makerspace tool Rigamajig. Learn how they created a giant-sized protractor and took their string art experience outdoors to apply engineering, math and art concepts.
There are so many great makerspace tools and supplies you could use in your unique space. But how do you choose which ones to buy on a limited budget? Expert Nick Provenzano gives you tips on what to keep in mind when figuring out the right tools for your space and shares some of his favorites.
Deciding you want to create a makerspace is easy. Figuring out what it’s going to look like can be the tricky part. Read on for tips from Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, about how to develop your creation space. Get advice on gaining more space in your library, considering instructional needs and choosing furniture for your space.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects one in 68 children. You can use your makerspace not only to bring awareness to ASD, but also to engage children of all abilities. To celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April, Gina Seymour provides you with five maker activities and tips on how to offer programming that’s both inclusive and fun year-round.
Did you miss the Feb. 22 #DemcoMakerChat about meaningful making? No worries! You can still learn from your peers about how to promote meaningful making in your makerspace. Here are some of the great responses shared during the chat. For the full archive, search #DemcoMakerChat on Twitter.
What happens when you create an Innovation Lab at your library where people can explore, learn new technology and share their knowledge? Everybody wants in! Learn how Chad Mairn from the Seminole Community Library designed a Maker Boot Camp just for kids to connect them to coding, robotics, circuitry and more.
Demco Master Maker Nicholas Provenzano, aka @thenerdyteacher, talks meaningful making and how to create an inclusive learning environment that supports the Maker Mindset. Learn the different ways you can implement and diversify your makerspace to meet the needs of all students and staff.
See how Demco’s design team executed an award-winning learning commons design that meets the needs of today’s learners and educators.
In this first installment of the Demco Master Maker blog series, expert Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, shares his background, talks about the importance of makerspaces in schools, gives a preview of the topics he’ll be addressing in future posts, and invites you to join the conversation during the monthly #DemcoMakerChat on Thursday nights.
Makerspace skills aren’t often recognized on report cards, so how can you celebrate student achievement in those areas? Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, is using badges to acknowledge the hard work, ingenuity, critical thinking and computer skills students develop through working in their makerspace. Learn how you can develop your own badging system for your space.
Libraries are safe spaces, known for finding ways to welcome everyone, and makerspaces within libraries should be no different. Award-winning library media specialist Gina Seymour provides tips and resources for how to welcome and accommodate all users in your makerspace.
Need to add a little art to your STEAM makerspace? Looking for a way to motivate summer reading program participants? Love collaborative art pieces? Read what librarians shared about how they are using StickTogether mosaic posters for all this and more and steal some ideas for your own library!
According to teacher-librarian Angela Rosheim, “Just having students make will not automatically create deep learning — you need to have sound pedagogy to go along with it.” In this blog Angela shares how she integrates making into her curriculum, along with a fun lesson plan that combines research with design thinking.
Adding a STEAM component to a literacy assignment can encourage students to think more deeply about what they are reading and writing. Library Journal’s Maker Hero School Librarian of the Year Alisha Wilson shares three ways you can collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate robotics, circuitry and coding into English class.
Diana Rendina details 3 engaging makerspace projects that fit right in with the 2017 Teen Read Week (Oct. 8–14) theme: “Unleash Your Story.” Students will be eager to tell their stories with these creative activities that combine literacy and making.
You’re ready to start creating your makerspace, but what kind of furniture and seating will you need? Use this handy checklist to help you decide how you will you use your space and what you need to think about when choosing furnishings.
In this webinar, award-winning educator Mark Schreiber walks you through a step-by-step process for integrating making and maker projects throughout your library and classroom.
After writing grants, garnering the support of the college foundation and finding community partners, St. Petersburg College’s Innovation Lab was born.
A cardboard building project turned into a successful library makerspace and countless opportunities for students to learn through making.
Too Small to Fail’s campaign “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” provides you with early literacy resources to help you further your goals of empowering parents and enriching the lives of young children.
Looking for the next new tech tool to add to your makerspace? See how School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson is using drones to engage students and teach coding in his classroom.
The Demco Makerspace Survey revealed the pain points many librarians have with starting and running a makerspace, but it also revealed some great advice for meeting those challenges head on. See what your peers had to say about their makerspaces and get tips and pointers.
Prepare to be fascinated by the 2016 Paralibrarian of the Year. Winner Brown Biggers shares how his IT role makes important connections with students and faculty at UNCG’s academic library.
Learn how you can harness new education strategies and transform your children’s library into an interactive STEAM learning environment.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Sharona Ginsberg highlights the benefits of makerspaces in academic libraries and gives tips to start you on your way to success.
Looking for ways to take STEM programming to the next level? Check out MeeperBOTS! These mobile-app-controlled motorized BOTS bring LEGOs® to life. Plus get a tried-and-true program that’s sure to capture kids’ interest.
Accomplished maker and educator Heather Lister provides you with sample projects and resources to incorporate the maker movement within your school, library or classroom (or all three!), with little to no technology requirements.
Struggling to find the best tools for your library makerspace? Join expert Laura Fleming as she discusses how best to support your space.
Want to get more buy-in from staff and added exposure for your maker programs? Children’s Librarian and maker extraordinaire Holly Storck-Post fills you in on the benefits of holding a maker program for the entire library staff.
Looking for ways to use the littleBits Synth Kit? Director Mary Glendening shows you how to emulate one of the most popular littleBits programs held at CreateSpace@MFL, located in the Middletown Free Library. Learn the step-by-step directions for running the program at your own library and encouraging kids and teens to invent music with littleBits.
Mover and shaker Emily Ellis offers ideas for getting the whole family involved in STEAM activities through Tinker Day at the library, plus find out how your library can can leverage the popularity of Pokémon GO!
Quicksand, black holes and tsunamis — oh my! Combine attention-grabbing topics with engaging STEM activities and books, and draw in even the most reluctant readers.
The Maker Movement has hit the library! Watch this webinar and learn how to ensure patrons can pursue open-ended maker projects and enjoy playing to learn.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Colleen Graves discusses design thinking and making and provides project ideas to get started tinkering with littleBits™ in your library and creating a community of makers!
Library makerspaces come in many forms and offer places to tinker, develop work skills or invent. What are your makerspace goals? Check out 4 essential considerations and the latest products.
The teens involved in every step of the planning process for The Mix helped make this teen zone the place to be. Explore the results as Manager Cathy Cormier takes us on a virtual tour of the multiple areas of SFPL’s teen zone, their uses and the tools they feature.
Even the most reluctant readers are drawn in by the excitement of extreme sports! Discover STEM project ideas that will kick-start kids’ enthusiasm and test their engineering skills.
As centers of learning, college libraries are reinventing their spaces to facilitate just about anything students may dream up. Hear from 2 academic librarians about higher education makerspaces and design labs.
What library makerspace tools and activities will be the most effective and the most engaging for your users? Get the crowd-sourced answers!
Studio 300 is Fountaindale Public Library’s answer to what their community needs in a space that allows creation and collaboration. While there is never a typical day at Studio 300, there is a common theme. Patrons use lab resources to curate, create and share their own stories.
Madison Public Library in Wisconsin has developed a flexible model that suits the needs of their community well and can also be deployed in their branch libraries. Tana Elias shares insights surrounding the development of their program and what they are learning from their program.