Makerspaces are becoming very popular with the increase in the focus on STEM related careers. Science, technology, engineering, and math have been a focus of instruction in schools to help children prepare for the 21st century jobs, some that we don’t even know that will exist by the time our children enter the workforce! The idea of Makerspaces is to incorporate learning activities that require children to think critically, work in teams, and find solutions to a problem that don’t just have one correct answer but might have multiple solutions that are equally effective. Basically, they are generating ideas and pondering solutions to a problem.
A great way to incorporate the makerspace movement at home is to create a summertime topic-related makerspace… hence Summertime Makerspaces! First, you will want to setup a space where you child will be able to explore and solve challenges that might be a bit messy. Clearing up a space in the basement or the garage work area would be a good start. Build a toolkit of supplies including staples like glue, scissors, craft sticks, rubber bands as well as recycled materials like paper towel rolls and water bottles. For older children, or when they are ready, you might even want to consider giving them wire, wire cutters, a hammer, clippers, or other tools.
Once their space is setup, some children will come up with their own problems to solve or creations to make, while other children will need more guidance. Pinterest is a great resource for STEM-related challenges that can be done in a home makerspace. Making bridges, balloon car, and making ice cream in a bag, are just three examples of makerspace fun that you can have this summer.
Photo by: U.S. Army RDECOM