Best Practices for K-12 Library to Makerspace Transformations

Are you looking to improve the academic achievement of your K-12 STEM education programs? Do you want to increase student engagement, boost test scores, and inspire more creative thinking at the same time? The solution you are looking for may be a Makerspace located in your campus library — one that encourages hands-on, activity-based learning.

The Makerspace Transformation Opportunity For School Libraries

Why? Makerspaces help encourage self-discovery, independent experimentation, and hands-on problem solving among students.

And libraries play a special role in the adoption of Makerspaces, particularly in higher education. According to a recent American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) survey, libraries are the most common host location for Makerspaces on college and university campuses.

Why libraries? There are several factors at work. First, the traditional role of libraries is in transition, with many hardcopy reference books and periodicals being removed in favor of online resources, which frees up valuable space for other uses. Second, libraries have longstanding expertise in acquiring and managing assets (including skills in budgeting, grant writing, inventory control, etc.) and sharing them equitably with their community.

Makerspace Learning: What Can Your Students Do In A Makerspace?

Design And Construction Of Useful Objects, Such As Product Prototypes

Makerspace Learning Skills at Work: Problem-solving, sketching, design visualization and conceptualization, sculpting, graphic design, industrial/product design, 3D scanning, 3D CAD design, 3D printing, CNC machining, woodworking, model making, plastic, and metalworking.

Authoring Immersive AR/VR Games And Applications, As Well As Video Productions, Presentations, And Training Materials

Makerspace Learning Skills at Work: Storytelling, storyboarding, scriptwriting, green screen cinematography, video and film editing, presentation communication skills, interactive AR/VR game authoring and programming.

Creating Printed Materials, Fabric And Soft Textile-Based Designs, Including Clothing And Fashion Accessories

Makerspace Learning Skills at Work: Sketching and visualization skills, graphic design, print technology, laser cutting, quilting and sewing skills, fashion clothing and accessories design, textile design and technology, inflatable and pneumatic design, upholstery design.

Developing Interactive Electronic Devices, Including Internet Of Things Applications

Makerspace Learning Skills at Work: Computer programming, problem-solving, electronics integration, circuit design and logic programming (incl. Arduino, Lego Mindstorms, Raspberry Pi), custom electronics prototyping (soldering, breadboards, etc.)

Design Considerations For Successful Makerspace Projects

Great. Let’s start with some of the key foundational principles that will help make your Makerspace project successful.

1. Safety Is A Primary Design Consideration

2. Durability Means Longer Service Life

3. Flexibility Helps Future Proof Your Investment

4. Ergonomics Ensure Health And Wellbeing Of Teachers And Students

5. Partner With A GSA Schedule Suppliers That Can Meet Your Needs

Sample Makerspace Transformation Project Plans

Mobile Carts

Mobile Dry Erase Boards Partitions

Fold-Up Work Tables That Convert Into Gallery Panels

Workstations With Storage

Full-Scale Makespace Project Plan

Here are some ideas to consider:

Dedicated Storage For Equipment, Materials, And Student Projects

Custom Zones For Specific Applications

Overhead Utilities, Fume Control, And Wash-Up Stations

Custom Furniture Solutions To Meet Your Exact Needs

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