A few months ago, I received an email from one of my listservs. It called for project ideas for the development of a new library service. And now I am working with the team of four from the iSchool. It feels wonderful to collaborate with people from my old program.
Last week, I met with the group of phenomenal students from the iSchool at Syracuse University. As part of a semester-long class project, the group of four will create a project plan, marketing plan and assessment plan for the start of a makerspace at Granby’s library to implement in September 2014.
But you might ask, “What is a makerspace?” Jennifer Cooper defines makerspaces from an Edutopia article as a “hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent.” Students can create, collaborate and innovate with electronics, fabrics, robotics, etc.
At first, I was a bit nervous to even submit a project idea. I am a first-year teacher. Do I have the authority or experience to take on an idea like this? Then I thought, “Why not?” I need to start somewhere, so why not start with a bang? I need get uncomfortable and take leaps to achieve the vision of Granby’s library. Stepping outside my comfort zone is a worthy challenge.
Also, with a small budget, my library cannot afford 3D printers, iPads, iPods or robotic stations. I’ll have to rely on grants or donations for these items, and am hoping to find grants for that technology. But then I thought, Granby’s future makerspace doesn’t have to be completely tech-filled. There are other creative, innovative solutions out there. And that’s where the iSchool team comes in.
When meeting with the group, I gave an overview of the culture, vision and goals of the library. I showed them the physical space, and right away, everyone sprouted out ideas. Legos, seed packets (which turned into a convo for a garden club), puppets to enhance literacy skills, video-creation and so much.
I cannot wait to see what this group comes up with for the final project. In late April, their class will present a poster session to showcase all the 613 projects. So until then, I must wait in anticipation to see what ideas they have for a makerspace at Granby.