Makerspaces bring together people who enjoy creating, making, and sharing. These spaces are often set aside for makers to gather, work on projects and share knowledge with each other. Today we’ll take a look at some of the many benefits of having a makerspace if you are thinking about starting or joining one in your classroom or community.
1. Hands-on Learning
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin
The best way to learn anything is by doing and maker spaces provide the perfect environment to explore ideas and learn new skills. Having a place to try things out also can help build problem-solving skills and critical thinking.
If you are an educator, makerspaces are the perfect opportunity for integrative curriculums as many projects can span across several subjects. Science, math, language arts, social studies, and the arts can all intersect in one place.
While the benefits in education are clear, it’s also important to note that makerspaces are not just limited to school campuses! There are many adult maker spaces that also host classes and workshops to teach a wide array of skills and concepts to the community. There is always something new to learn.
2. Creative Expression
Having a makerspace can help unlock your inner creativity and have fun in the process. There are endless opportunities for imaginative thinking and playfulness. While we can certainly learn a lot while we play, there is value to play itself.
All of us need a form of creative expression in order to stay happy and healthy. As author Brené Brown is often quoted: “Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame.”
Students, educators, and even adults can all benefit from having an outlet for creative expression.
3. Collaboration + Inspiration
Makerspaces provide places where makers can gather together, bounce ideas off each other, and teach each other new skills. When multiple people with different expertise work together to create something, it can be amazing what we accomplish.
Collaboration is how we learn, solve problems, and share our stories. The team-building and communication skills we can learn from working with others can serve us very well throughout our lives.
It can also be very inspiring to see what others are working on – this can lead us to learn new processes and techniques or even trying something we would not have discovered ordinarily on our own.
4. Social Skills and Community Involvement
Makerspaces are great for making friends, meeting new people, and working as a team. For many people, this can lead to increased social interactions and more opportunities to make friends.
Community is a large focus of a maker space, and many focus on ways they can give back to the community. Whether it’s through creating solutions for people in need, teaching others about what they’ve learned, or simply working together to build something new and exciting, it’s important that sharing is a large part of these spaces.
5. Entrepreneurship and Career Learning
A makerspace can truly be a launchpad for some incredible career learning opportunities. Many makerspaces host workshops and classes for adults to learn new skills that could turn into actual careers.
In the past few years, maker education has been a part of several business conferences because employers are looking for both creativity and technical skills in employees.
It is common for community-based organizations to offer business incubation resources for helping small businesses get started and providing access to services new businesses need. Several also offer co-working spaces with flex offices for small startups.
6. Promotes Diversity
No two people are exactly alike and makerspaces celebrate this fact. It brings people together from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets to create a unique community.
Makerspaces provide an opportunity for everyone to get involved, regardless of age, disability, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. They are inclusive and known to be adaptive for special needs so that all can safely enjoy the befits on the space.
Within a makerspace, many people are able to pool together their resources to invest in equipment and resources that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Things such as laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers, embroidery machines, and other tools become more accessible to many people and new opportunities exist that may not have otherwise.
Not only can these resources be cost-prohibitive, they may also be space-prohibitive. A makerspace is often a shared space so you are benefiting from the total value of the space without needing to have your own dedicated work area in your home.
8. Personal Growth
Makerspaces give people the opportunity to develop their own talents using different media. This encourages learners to step outside of their comfort zone to try new things they’ve never done before.
Gaining confidence, building relationships, problem-solving, and learning new skills can be empowering and lead to better decision-making in all areas of our lives.
When you look at all of these benefits of a makerspace, it’s easy to see why we are such big fans of them. Are there any other benefits you’ve seen in your own community from a makerspace? What do you enjoy the most about them? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.