Coders, Innovators, Makers…Please donate to our Donors Choose Project to build our library makerspace

FireShot Screen Capture #019 - 'Coders, Innovators, Makers_ Creating a Library Makerspace' - www_donorschoose_org_project_coders-innovators-makers-creating-a-l_1253089__rf=link-siteshare-2014-07-teacher_accoun

Update:  This project was fully funded in less than 24 hours.  Thank you to all who contributed and shared!

View our project here!

(Don’t forget to use the code “INSPIRE” at checkout!)

Here are the details of where this project is coming from:

Our library has always been a space where we value creating and sharing just as much as consuming information.  Last year because of a Donors Choose project, our library received a 3D printer and it allowed our students to create things that they had never even thought of.  The makerspace culture is alive and well in our library, but we have  a long way to go to exploring makerspaces and how the culture of a makerspace supports students, teachers, and families.

Over the summer, I had an article published in Teacher Librarian about the culture of creation that we are developing in our library and school.  In that article, I talk about the culture, but at some point you have to get some “stuff” to create with.

“Building a Culture of Creation” in the June 2014 issue of Teacher Librarian

This year, one of our library goals is to give students, teachers, and families opportunities to dream, tinker, create, and share.  A part of this is developing the tools that are available for creating in our library.  Our space which we thought was going to be a studio is now going to be a makerspace within our library.  A portion of our library funding this year will be dedicated to developing our makerspace.  After attending an Invent to Learn workshop and focusing on makerspaces at ISTE this summer, I have chosen some next steps for our makerspace.

Our library budget this year will fund:

A littleBits workshop set:

 

A litteBits Space kit:

 

4 MaKey MaKey kits:

 

A Hummingbird robotics kit:

 

This Donors Choose project will extend our budget and give students even more access to maker materials by adding.

littleBits Cloud:

4 additional MaKey MaKey kits:

Sphero:

 

I hope that you will consider supporting our project.  It will impact numerous students, teachers, and families within our school through projects, alternative recess activities, enrichment clusters, and afterschool workshops. Even if you can’t contribute financially, please consider sharing this project within your own networks. I will be sure to blog about our explorations throughout the year.  Thank you in advance!

3D Printing: A Huge Opportunity from Donors Choose and Makerbot

MakerBot News (MakerBotNews) on TwitterThose of you who know me know that I’ve been wanting a 3D printer in our library for awhile.  It seems that just when I think we’re about to get one, something happens that puts a barrier in our way.  This isn’t just about having cutting edge technology.  This is about allowing kids to experience another level of creating.  It’s about allowing kids to explore a technology that is possibly a piece of technology that we will all eventually have in our homes.  It’s about giving kids the power to dream something up, design it, print it, and  hold it in their hands.  It’s about bringing STEAM education to life for our students.  For these reasons, I haven’t given up hope that we will have a 3D printer in our library.  Recently, we started a conversation with UGA to partner with them and use the 3D printers that they have.  We are very grateful for this opportunity, but we know that if we truly want to have a 3D printer as a part of our daily resources available to students, then we need to have one in our building all the time.

Today, Makerbot announced a partnership with Donors Choose to put a 3D printer in every classroom.  This is a bold claim, but it is a step toward thinking that 3D printers aren’t just for colleges, public libraries, or industry.  Each time I’ve mentioned putting a 3D printer in an elementary library, I’ve been met with the “why” questions.  I’ve also been met by the “I can’t see elementary students doing that…” statements.  My philosophy that I have embraced since reading Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo is to “Expect the Miraculous”.  I have faith that if students have access to a cutting edge tool such as a 3D printer paired with expertise from mentors over Skype & Google Hangouts paired with expertise from our community who already use 3D printers, then miraculous things will happen for students.  I don’t have all of the answers of what this should look like in an elementary school, but someone has to be willing to step up and walk into the unknown and trust that students and multiple experts will learn together, figure things out, and shape how this technology can support what we do and hope to do in schools.

As soon as I saw the Donors Choose opportunity, I submitted a project.  By the end of the day, our project was approved and we already had a matching grant.  This match brought our project down to approximately $1500.  If what Makerbot says is true, as more donors donate to the project, other business and private donor contributions will fulfill this project.  Once again, I’m taking a leap of faith that this project will be filled for our school and we can begin exploring and leading the way for 3D printing in schools.   

Two donors have already contributed to our project along with our matching donation.  I invite you all to take a look at our project, consider donating, or at the very least, consider sharing our project with your circles.  Giving kids the opportunity to create, share, and contribute to the current conversation on 3D printing in education is a great gift to give, especially this time of year.

Makerspace Maniacs