Makerspaces Provide Skills Beyond Engineering

Born from the minds of ingenious scientists and creative hobbyists, makerspace areas (and tools) in education have became one of the most popular (and arguably, important) ways to introduce students to STEM subjects.

students in a makerspace

Photo credit: Fabrice Florin

Despite the fact that more educators are now implementing makerspaces in schools across the country, many people still see makerspaces as places for nerdy, introverted boys to become the next generation of software engineers and programmers. As such, this discourages most students from giving makerspace areas a try. Which in turn discourages them from opening themselves up to opportunities.

Regardless as to whether or not your students plan on becoming the next generation of engineers, ANYONE can benefit from the world of makerspaces. Besides learning how to become an engineer, learning how to use makerspace tools teaches…

  • How to think creatively and solve problems
  • How to better understand a computer
  • How to boldly and bravely test theories
  • How to think creatively and solve problems

All of which can be applied to every single subject that a student learns!

In order to better understand how and why, let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons.

Teaching Students How to Think Creatively and Solve Problems

In today’s world, we have Google in order to help us find the answers that we’re looking for. But when it comes to working on projects like writing a story or designing a level in Minecraft, sometimes, Googling an answer to a problem doesn’t cut it. This is especially true when creativity is involved.

According to Midsouth Makers member, Renee Timbs, when it comes to creating something, “Eventually, you will want to make something that you can't find online.”

After all, problems don’t just exist in math and science. Regardless as to whether or not you’re a “technical person,” everyone needs to learn how to solve problems and think creatively. That is why teaching students how to use makerspace tools can be such a vital asset.

Teaching Students How to Better Understand Computers

Whether it’s figuring out how to research a certain topic on Google in the most efficient way possible or make a website for a business, makerspace tools can help students understand how technology works in general. This is turn can also help them understand how a computer works.

According to David Dodge from CodaKid, “Computing powers nearly every industry from education to farming, from law to business, and from construction to medicine.”

Even if a student plans on going into a career where he or she may not need to learn how to code, as long as technology is present, he or she will need to understand how technology works at least.

Teach Students to Boldly and Bravely Test Theories

Let’s face it, when it comes to solving problems, even teachers can be wrong sometimes. That is why, when it comes to creating projects, students need to be brave enough to test theories.

According to Trisha Roffey, Catherine Sverko and Janelle Therien in The Making of a Makerspace, “In design thinking, repeating a process to test, improve and design is crucial.” Makerspace areas aren’t the only areas where design thinking is present.

Whether it be the arts or sciences, everything requires design thinking. Even athletes need to be brave enough to test theories to see if a certain diet would help them stay in shape (within reason).

Obviously, these aren’t the only things students can take away from using makerspaces in (and outside) of the classroom. Hopefully, this provides you enough inspiration to give them a try.

In the meantime, share your reasons why students should learn to use makerspaces in the comments below.

Maryland born writer, Athena Zhang Baker has been writing all kinds of articles since she was in seventh grade. As of now, she is continuing to write Computer Science articles such as “Ada Lovelace: The Making of an Ideal Liberal Arts Student” and “How Teaching Young Girls How to Code is Beneficial to Their Future” while running a Manga and Manhwa Club in Memphis, TN. 

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