Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with criticism. I was told (not to my face) by a visitor to our school that our library makerspace is not a “real makerspace”. This same person stated that our woodshop is a “real makerspace” because it has power tools. She even suggested that I “do some research” on what makerspaces actually are.
Feeling personally insulted aside, what bothers me most about this statement is the concept that some makerspaces are more valid than others and that a makerspace is solely defined by the tools it contains. I do agree that our woodshop is a makerspace, even though we don’t call it that. Our woodshop is awesome, and I’m so glad that we have a space where students can learn how to use saws, drills and other tools to build awesome projects as part of their curriculum. Yes, that is a makerspace.
But is my space any less of a makerspace simply because it doesn’t have power tools? Because it doesn’t have a 3D printer? Because my students build with LEGOs, K’nex and cardboard?
Via John Evans