Making for All: How to Build an Inclusive Makerspace

By Sylvia Martinez, May 10, 2015 in Edsurge

[Here’s an article that shares a variety or resources and projects that take the Maker Space into more diverse places and populations.]

Sewing Circuits

The Maker Movement has crept into the consciousness of schools in the past few years. For some, it’s a wake up call that over-tested, over-scheduled young people are not going to become the creative, enthusiastic learners we all hope to nurture. For others, it’s a personal reconnection to our collective, deeply-felt human impulses to create, invent, and shape the world. Makerspaces, genius hour, design thinking, and other frameworks can help make these ideas come to life in classrooms, libraries, museums, and community centers. But are these innovations accessible to everyone, to every child?

Leah Buechley is a former MIT associate professor and inventor of a wide range of “maker” technologies that merge high-tech and craft traditions. She has called for a move beyond robots and competitions to include a wider range of tools, traditions, and people. The Maker Movement should not just be about rich white males and the toys they can build and buy. In schools, this move to inclusion seems obvious. Who would not agree that all children should benefit? However, there is a feeling that you need expensive equipment and massive remodeling projects to truly join the maker revolution. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

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