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What is a Makerspace?

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When you hear the word “Makerspace”, I wonder what your reaction is.

  • What’s Makerspace?
  • I don’t have the budget for that sort of stuff.
  • We have no room.
  • I don’t have enough time to do my job already.
  • I’m not confident with technology.

The Makerspace movement has been around for a while, and it’s all to do with using materials and tools to create, produce, invent, dream, experiment, explore, learn…

However, as time has passed it seems that when we hear “Makerspace“  we think robots and 3D printers. Somehow the idea of making and creating has become entangled with technology. Of course, technology can be absolutely wonderful but you don’t need it to start a Makerspace.
You can get started with a lot of inexpensive, useful and easily sourced stuff.

  • Cardboard – you can’t go wrong with cardboard and it’s plentiful. Add in some scissors and lots of tape or glue and your construction can begin. If you want to take it to another level you can use the MakeDo tools that are designed specifically for building with cardboard – saws, screwdrivers and screws that are safe to use on both thick and thin card.
  • Plastic straws – an absolute no-no in cafes and restaurants now but a terrific (and reusable) part of a Makerspace tool kit. Straws are still able to be purchased in bulk and if you want to spend some money there are kits available with straws and connectors, to expand your construction horizons.
  • Wooden dowels, rubber bands, screws, toothpicks and all manner of components that can be incorporated into your Makerspace resources. These can be collected from the flotsam and jetsam that we all have at home, or you can buy bulk packs if you’re lucky enough to have a budget.
  • Wool and fabric are great for decorating your masterpieces and adding texture and colour. If you know any knitters or sewers, you can bet they will have all sorts of leftover bits and pieces that they will happily give to a good Makerspace home.
  • Bottles, jars and containers are readily available – rather than fill up the recycling bin you can repurpose them in your Makerspace.
  • Old computers, printers etc – always difficult to dispose of, but an absolute treasure trove of parts for Makerspace inventions.

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