Students need more than just content knowledge to succeed in the real world as adults. They also need real-life skills to get along with coworkers, make difficult decisions, and live in ways that make them happy. Designing classroom makerspace kits and incorporating them into daily lessons will get kids engaged in their learning and developing some of these four real-life skills they’ll need as they become more independent and contributing members of society.
Access Higher-Order Thinking
Simply being able to recall and restate large amounts of information does not mean that a student truly understands. They must be able to apply and adapt that knowledge in other areas to show full comprehension. Working with makerspace tools has them create, design, and evaluate the different methods, models, and ways of understanding the world. They engage with higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and develop a deeper understanding of the content.
A STEM makerspace should be equal and accessible to all. Regardless of age, background, skill level, gender, or ability, all students should feel welcome in a makerspace. In fact, having a more diverse group gathered around a makerspace workbench allows for better ideas and new ways of doing things. Equity in the education process encourages everyone to bring themselves into the project.
Develop Character Strengths
Knowing what you like to do and are good at doing is a key to a happy and successful adulthood and career. Creating with makerspace items highlights and builds on student’s intrinsic character strengths. They get to figure out what they’re the best at and engage that in their makerspace projects. Whether it’s critical thinking, problem solving, inquiry, determination, zest, resourcefulness, collaboration, or any other skill, learning it at a young age helps them better prepare for their future.
Learn Lifelong Skills
Remembering information to pass a test will not last very long in a student’s memory. However, spending time in a makerspace allows students to take abstract concepts from textbooks and work with them in the physical world. By creating a model of what they’re learning, students can dive deeper into the content and show what they know. This helps them develop more concrete knowledge of the topic that will last much longer in their memory. Even the process of making helps them build resourcefulness, perseverance, resilience, and collaboration skills.
Design Your Own Makerspace Starter Kit
These four essential life skills, when built into everyday lessons, will change the way we look at education. Giving children the power to learn by making gives more meaning to the content and better prepares them for successful futures. Start bringing the new wave of maker education to your classroom by stocking your cabinets with versatile makerspace tools and supplies. Students will enjoy a new way of learning that feels like play and you’ll enjoy seeing them be excited about learning again.