Say Goodbye to Quiet Libraries

Posted in STEAM Education on

Libraries have always served a great purpose as a quiet space for students to study, and have access to a variety of resources. Today, this space is being re-imagined to include an engaging, collaborative space, more popularly known as a makerspace. These areas leverage unique materials to foster design thinking, discussion, and generate new ideas to help reinforce core standards and key learning objectives aligned with curriculum.

Makerspaces, or maker learning, is an approach that promotes hands-on, engaging ways for students to drive new ideas, experiment, explore, and problem solve through interactive design with a variety of materials. Maker learning is a great method to support STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), and give students a dedicated space to explore STEM concepts through art.

Makerspace Materials Table

A study from TeachThought showed the top two trends in education for 2018 are Growth Mindset and Maker Learning. A Growth Mindset design is broadly defined as the belief that a student’s intelligence is not fixed and can be improved and developed with effort.

Both trends have strong upward momentum as their adoption into school’s nationwide continues to increase. According to a School Library Journal maker survey with over 7,000 librarians across the United States, 55% of them already offer a makerspace program, and 57% reported that their maker attendance is on the rise each year.

I measure success if I see the students creating ANYTHING and I see their own gears turning. I don’t have a quiet library and I’ve learned that that’s okay. If they are sharing their creations, asking each other questions, and exploring it is a successful maker space. School Library Journal Survey Respondent

The demand is real to design these environments for students, but what kind of materials do you need to get started? See the top 10 makerspace activities being offered below, and find more details about this survey by viewing the School Library Journal report.

Top 10 Makerspace Activities School Libraries Offer

  1. Arts and craft materials
  2. Coding and programming
  3. Circuitry
  4. Robotics
  5. Video making / editing
  6. 3-D Printing
  7. LEGOs / K’nex / Building Tools
  8. Knitting / Fiber Arts
  9. Animation
  10. Video game design

Arts and crafts materials rank number one on this list, and for good reason. These materials prompt students' imaginations, and encourage creative problem solving.

One School Library Journal survey respondent shared how they use makerspaces in their school: "The library focuses on arts and crafts and ways for students to express their creativity. I offer activities for the students to do during their recess for fun. We also, however, have an art teacher who does a lot of different kinds of maker activities with her art club students...stop motion video, claymation, sewing, etc. and a STEM teacher who focuses on the robotics, circuit building, etc., with her clubs."

We are so excited to help schools champion maker initiatives with our STEAM-influenced products. Learn It By Art® Makerspace Kits are a way to quickly and easily stock your room with a wide variety of the highest quality art and paper supplies. Our Crafted for STEAM products also offer a wide range of unique materials to use with your students. To support animation and video making activities, we offer a Video and Animation Makerspace Kit, that provides educators with four Fadeless® Paper rolls to use as a green screen with apps such as Do Ink. Turn any space into a studio by hanging the roll up, draping it over a chair, or taping it to the wall. See it action in the videos below that show how it can enhance a student presentation, and create the perfect background for a claymation project.

Arts Integration within schools has shown to result in a much deeper understanding of educational and emotional concepts. The core skills developed within STEM/STEAM education (such as communication, critical thinking, and reasoning) will further boost talent within advancing industries, and deliver valuable success and confidence to students.

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