Must makerspaces have a 3-D printer? What kind of skills do they help foster in students? This article, School Librarians Push for More ‘Maker Spaces‘ is a good summary of how makerspaces are taking off in the United States and even being used to support the curriculum’s Common Core Standards.  It’s another one to keep on file to show principals and administrators that makerspaces need not be expensive and can support differentiated learning at all levels.

“In the Maker Education Initiative survey, for example, about half the surveyed representatives of maker spaces reported alignment with Next Generation Science Standards, and about 40 percent reported alignment with the common standards. What’s more, about 50 percent reported fostering skills such as problem identification, effective communication of ideas, and evaluation and refinement of creative ideas.People think, ‘Oh, I need a 3-D printer that’s $2,300. I can’t afford that,’ ” said Ms. Fontichiaro of the University of Michigan. “You can afford a junk box. You can afford a ream of paper. You can afford a white board that you can make out of [materials] from the home-improvement store.”For Ms. Rosheim, the bulk of her $8,000 grant was spent on storage needs, high-tech materials ranging from $50 to $400, and organization of those materials. The space’s most expensive item—the 3-D printer—came as a donation from the school’s PTA.”

Source: Education Week

Makerspaces are definitely a movement in both public and school libraries in that they meet the need for people to take the information resources available to them and use them creatively.  If we hope to encourage creativity in our students, hands-on learning is so important and a library makerspace can enhance the learning power in any school.