Are you looking for a template to follow when designing high-quality maker space experiences? In their book Invent to Learn, authors Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager describe these eight characteristics of a good maker space project:
- Purpose and relevance. Is the project personally meaningful to students, so they feel invested in it?
- Time. Have you given students enough time to plan, carry out, test, and revise their work?
- Complexity. Does the problem require knowledge from multiple subject areas to solve?
- Intensity. Does the project provide an outlet for students to deeply engage with the material?
- Connection. Are students collaborating with each other or connecting with powerful ideas and/or experts from around the world to solve a problem?
- Access. Do students have sufficient access to materials and information to complete their project?
- Shareability. Does the project provide an opportunity for students to share their work with an authentic audience outside of school?
- Novelty. Does the project represent a fresh idea? (If you’re assigning the same tasks to students every year, they can simply draw upon prior students’ experiences rather than reaching their own discoveries.)