The MakerSpace: Building Empathy, Equity and Inclusion

 

There’s something about a two week holiday that really allows a person time to reflect, digest, process and plan.  This holiday has allowed me to drift in and out around my thinking on Maker Education and how, when driven with a deliberate conscience, will embed opportunities for empathy in action, inclusion, equality and character development. The #MakerSpace movement has been a trending topic in 2016 and I am proud of our staff effort to embrace this culture of learning.

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It wasn’t until October of this past year that we were ready to launch our space within our large elementary school.  We strategically chose Global Maker Day 2016 as they day that we would ‘open’ – however, the truth was, we were open all along.

knexYou see, the Maker Movement isn’t about a space that is launched, but rather about a school culture that embraces collaboration, creativity, design thinking and innovation. 

With this Global Maker Day launch and public acclamation that we were “Getting this Train Moving“, we raised some awareness in our community that we are a school that values innovation and the 21st Century Competencies.  The school culture is the key element, however, the space does allow us to have a large central location where classes can collaborate, materials can be shared easily and ownership can fall to everyone.  It is a space we can all be proud of, all participate in, and all feel included and equal in. This is the beauty of the physical space.

We still have some work to do in the area of best practice for material storage and for sharing the learning taking place in the space. Ideas are welcome! Here’s hoping that 2017 will give us new opportunities to learn, new community and global partners to learn with, and like-minded schools to connect with and share our passions. What I do know is that 2017 will allow us to continue to highlight this physical space as a place of inclusion, equality and character development while harnessing the collective ideas of our students.

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