The magic of makerspaces: Connecting your makerspace to your curriculum
Elementary School/Middle School/High School
A makerspace is a magical way to help your students become active learners and get those neural circuits firing. The magic of a makerspace is that it’s both a science and an art. It’s mechanical and human alike.
With a makerspace it’s fun and easy to teach and learn ELA, math, art, and other subjects. With a bit of imagination, you can link the activities to curriculum and to your state standards.
Here are some activity ideas to spark your creativity:
- Have the students design a spelling bee based on items in the makerspace
- Give the students a prompt. Here are some examples:
- Write about everything in the space that’s made of wood
- Pick five objects in the makerspace and write a story about them
- Make something and describe how you made it
- Create a board game
- Build a miniature house
Power House – Sustainable Living in the 21st Century Science Kit
Build a house powered by alternative energy.
- Sort, classify, measure, and weigh objects
- Design a playroom with furniture to scale hands-on or virtually
- Make dioramas related to a history or geography lesson
- Have the students write and produce a podcast on a local issue
- Design a product with makerspace materials and do a Shark Tank presentation to persuade venture capitalists to fund and market it (awesome for economics)
Science and Engineering:
- Make windmills, catapults, or race tracks
Ward's® Essentials Catapult Kit
Explore force, acceleration, Hooke's law, and parabolic trajectories by building and testing a fully-functional catapult.
- Grow plants
Ward's® Live Plant Kingdom Review Set
Contains representatives from all major plant groups.
- Experiment with solar energy designs, weather stations, engineering, and robotics projects (tons of resources are available online)
A complete robotics engineering system that teaches you how to build and program your own robots.
- Turn these science projects into math and ELA by having students measure properties of objects and write about their experiments
Use balls, sticks, rope, etc. to design a sport, complete with rules. Practice the sport, get feedback, and make improvements.
- Painting, color, pigments, and light
- Compare media
- Jewelry design and wearable art
- Make musical instruments
- Compare tones and notes
- Craft a music video project
- Design an ideal music studio
- Label makerspace elements with names in different languages
- Have the students write short sentences in the language using the makerspace elements
- Give tours of the makerspace in the language (ESL as well as other languages)
- Have them take apart old computers to explore the insides
- Help them learn coding, circuitry, or robotics
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
Build a wand that responds to your movements.
This list only scratches the surface of ideas, because making is everywhere. There are tons of resources here.
Ready to get started? Download our STEM/Makerspace Recommended Materials List here to start building your makerspace, or check out parts one and two of our makerspace series to learn more about makerspaces and how to build yours on a budget.
If you need some help with your makerspace, just ask the Ward’s Science Plus Us team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our in-house scientists and technicians are ready to answer even the toughest questions.