I ran across a listserv post I made about a year ago, and it’s something I still think is important. This was in response to a post about converting a classroom into a STEM lab. Here’s my thoughts with only minor edits:
I would recommend perhaps trying to make that STEM lab a full
Make it a place where your community (students AND teachers) are welcome
to come learn how to use different tools to create, make, invent, and
experience things. I have done something like this with a very small corner
of my classroom, and while the supplies and topics are limited it does give
me a place (and resources) to teach an interested student how to solder,
test electronics, and build projects.
The Maker movement is not limited to any one technology, nor is it just
STEM. The new acronym STEAM incorporates the arts, and I believe that
creating Makerspaces/Hackerspaces in schools could be a step toward
reuniting the creative disciplines of science, engineering, and the arts.
With a properly equipped makerspace you could then offer, or could find
people to offer, seminars on woodworking, digital circuit design, robotics,
3d design and printing, fabric crafts and working with sewing and
embroidering, incorporating microcontrollers and programming in artistic
and fashion projects, woodworking, analog circuits, clay sculpture,
microcontroller programming, game programming, jewelry, crafting musical
instruments, creating analog and digital effects circuits (pedals) for
electric guitars…obviously I can’t list everything here.
Make it a space that is open, welcoming, and useful to people interested in
science, engineering, math, and arts. Cooperate with the art, music, tech
ed, and other teachers to try and bridge the imaginary gap between the
Resources you might look at: