What makes Maker Spaces special? Youth’s ability to focus on what they’re interested in learning in.
Stephanie Chang, Director of Impact, Maker Ed, notes that Maker Spaces are a relatively new concept that allow youth the chance to delve into their true interests.
“It’s basically a way of teaching and learning that incorporates hands-on activities, open-ended learning and learner-driven work,” said Chang. “This could be activities that relate to media, such as podcast creation, soundtracks and animation, or areas like robotics and coding, or even basic arts and crafts. It could even include things like the creation of poetry and storytelling.”
Positive outcomes certainly abound when we allow youth to see where their interests take them.
“Youth are more likely to develop agency, walk away with critical thinking skills and possibly a sparked interest in something they didn’t even know they would enjoy,” said Chang, noting that research in this area is continuous and ongoing. “Parents and educators often say they’ll notice a child who used to be bored all the time or was causing trouble suddenly be interested in contributing and collaborating in this environment.”
While in a traditional classroom the focus is usually on content knowledge mindsets, Maker Spaces shift that focus to a skills mindset, which Chang says is equally as important and ultimately prepares youth for the road ahead.
“If they’re able to foster those skills now, no matter what they pursue, they’ll be in a good place,” she said. “Maker Spaces really allow for curiosity to emerge and thrive in a more organic way.”
Learn more about how AlphaBEST provides all students experiences that build on the Maker philosophy, and how our extended day programs offer youth a chance to explore their interests.