A makerspace is a physical location that functions as a center for peer learning, creative thinking, knowledge sharing, design development, entrepreneurship, and production.
Though makerspaces are often associated with engineering and design disciplines, schools for children have been quick to recognize the educational value of invention, innovation, and a do-it-yourself philosophy.
Makerspace activities promote inquiry-based, self directed education that allow students to take control of their own learning as they identify projects of self-interest, design prototypes, and create solutions.
The EARJ MakerSpace is a student centered area where individual inventors and creative teams gather for collaborative exploration in order to achieve a common goal. Collaborative work areas, supplies, tools, and machinery are available for student, faculty, and community member use.
The educational value of the MakerSpace at EARJ is in the emphasis on inquiry-based, self-directed learning where students learn by doing. Students acquire hands-on skills and apply the use of recent technologies to tackle design challenges, invent new products, and find realistic solutions to relevant problems.
Student projects in the MakerSpace may be related to, but are not limited to robotics, media production and the prototyping of ideas. These project driven activities promote student engagement through individual interests, exploration, and experimentation.
A variety of standard materials such as cardboard, plastic, metal, and paper is available in the MakerSpace. Select machinery, including laser cutters, microcontrollers (Arduinos), 3D printers and more are also accessible to students, faculty, and community members.
All activities in the EARJ MakerSpace, whether informal exploration or structured classes, are supervised and facilitated by qualified educators.