A new year brings with it a chance for a fresh start. For many maker educators that means thinking about changing or upgrading the tools available in their makerspace. It’s a chance to ask:

  • What tools did students use the most last year?

  • What will help them continue to grow this year?

  • What is the best way to invest resources (budgets, donations, etc.) in the makerspace?

Digital Promise has created a set of materials to help educators answer these questions as you upgrade and add tools to your makerspace. (Tip: these materials can be particularly useful to use with advocates and administrators who support your maker learning program, but don’t necessarily understand the details of the tools your program needs.)

What are the most important questions to ask when evaluating new tools?

Use this worksheet to guide you through the process of vetting tools for your makerspace. These questions guide you through the process of talking with students, vendors, and other collaborators. To jump start the process, you can use a partially-completed worksheet for commonly used tools such as sewing machines3D printers, and vinyl cutters.

How can you help students stay safe with all of the tools they use?
Check out this poster on makerspace safety, post it somewhere visible, and use it to start conversations with students about being safe with tools.

For more resources, use Maker Ed’s curated list which includes the self-paced professional development module: Creating a Culture of Safety in Makerspaces.

Be recognized for making your school makerspace safe. Earn the Makerspace Safety micro-credential from Maker Ed and you will receive a coupon for $100 of student safety gear from Google!

Resources and Opportunities