Take a peek our current draft of the Makerspace Playbook, intended to offer some guidance to those who are hoping to start a Makerspace at their school or in their community. We welcome your feedback on the kinds of things we should add to this Playbook, what you think we got right and wrong, and any changes you’d make in general. We already know we’d like to add things like sample letters to garner support from administration and potential funders, more spotlights of teachers doing this kind of making with their students, and more detail about what the new roles for teachers, mentors, and shop hosts might entail. What do you need to know to get your Makerspace up and running?

Besides this draft of the Makerspace Playbook, we’ve also made some progress on the companion document High School Makerspace Tools & Materials, so we have a new draft of that to share with you , too.

Eventually, we’d like both of these documents to exist online in a form via which we can all freely contribute to the information and refine what we have learned about running Makerspaces. For now, you can send your feedback to us using the form below.

Share →

16 Responses to Makerspace Playbook

  1. [...] More about the Makerspace program Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. May 7, 2012 by Jay Collier | Leave a comment [...]

  2. mauimaker says:

    This Playbook and the Tools & Materials are a excellent documents and I am very happy to see such early (preliminary) releases from your project. I have shared links to this blog post to a number of places (eg. G+, FB, SpaceFactory and discuss@hackerspaces.)

    One part that sticks out to me personally is that while you talk about community there is also an unintended tone of exclusion of spaces that are not following the playbook. We all know there are hundreds of spaces around the world that call themselves Makerspaces. Only a very very small number are officially connected with the DARPA/O’Reilly/Otherlab project. There needs to be some recognition of this larger community explicitly addressed early in the document. Perhaps something in the ‘Welcome and overview’ section?

    Of particular note on page 9 “A Different Approach” section uses the term Makerspace (capitalized). This, combined with the prose contrasting it with hackerspace (not capitalized) and FabLab, re-enforces the playbook branding of Makerspace. Perhaps a sentence in the middle paragraph reiterating that many non-playbook makerspaces have existed for years. They often chose the name to differentiate themselves from hackers – or more likely the public/media perception that ‘hacker’ means bad computer geeks.

    The ‘Connecting with other Makerspaces’ section on pg 27 has not yet been written. It would be a good place to talk about finding and hooking up the other Makerspaces, Hackerspaces FabLabs, Dorkbot meetups, etc. Ch 7 Startup (pg 34) ‘Get Listed’ section should include joining other social networks (eg book), adding a listing on the hackerspaces.org wiki, etc.

    Aside from the listings pages, the hackerspaces.org site has a the quite useful wiki (especially http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Documentation ) which would be a good Resource for the documents readers. (add to resource listings)

    Many of the other makerspaces (and those that call themselves hackerspaces) are open to youth. There are many others that are not kid friendly. It is not clear if DARPA/O’Reilly MAKErspace.com is open to the community of older, hobbyist, entrepreneurial makers. (Note: it may not be possible for a school based makerspace to host such externals (non-students) as easily as non-affiliated spaces. I understand this has been an issue for some university/college based FabLabs and hackerspaces. The host entities have their rules and liabilities.)

    I am a VERY STRONG believer in an open inclusive Maker community. I believe O’Reilly is. My personal interactions with Dale Dougherty convince me that he is also a strong believer in this open community (evangelical even). Dale stated, in a previous (private) email exchange on this (branding) topic…

    “To be explicit, I have no intention to restrict use of the term makerspace.  I want to do quite the opposite – promote its use.  It is not limited to or restricted to the DARPA program.   

    I’m specifically using it in an educational context and believe it is a better name for use in that context than hackerspace.   What I want to see and support is the growth of makerspaces and the development of education programs inside of them. ” (Dale Dougherty, Feb 8 2012, email exchange w/Jerry Isdale)

    The Playbook should reflect this sentiment.

    I understand it is aimed at the Middle/High School MAKErspace per the DARPA program (perhaps one of the deliverables specified in the SoW), however there should be a way to phrase things that are more inclusive of the wider community.

    One big step would be to address the concern raised in the wider community about the term ‘makerspace’ itself. The way it is used in this document makes it sound as if it is a very particular thing – one that ‘require’ a Makerspace to have/do specific things (eg pgs 42 & 46). This sounds very much like a Trademark argument is being prepared for the term ‘Makerspace’. An email exchange between myself and Michelle Hlubinka indicates these sections were taken from the Young Makers playbook. Id be happy

    While the above referenced private email from Dale addressed this, nothing was stated publicly. Others are questioning this branding of the term (http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/2012-May/005986.html) ….

    A public statement by the makerspace.com project that restate’s Dale’s intention not to restrict or brand the term ‘makerspace’ should be included in The Playbook.

    Thank you…. and keep up the good work!

  3. [...] Our kids can be learning more efficiently—and as individuals. We imagine that schools can become places where students learn to identify their own challenges, solve new problems, motivate themselves to complete a project, engage in difficult tasks. work together, inspire others, and give advice and guidance to their peers. (Makerspace Playbook) [...]

  4. [...] draft of the Makerspace Playbook and a High School Makerspace Tools and Materials guide (two separate files are available [...]

  5. [...] illustrated projects ranging from food to electronics. The MENTOR Makerspace program has produced a guide for creating a makerspace in high schools. Makerbot has curriculum for using 3D printing in a variety of subject areas. Adafruit has [...]

  6. [...] utbildningen och MAKE utformar praktiska och pedagogiska riktlinjer för att skolor ska kunna etablera Makerspaces till en kostnad som understiger $2000 – en svindlande billig investering för att slipa unga innovatörshjärnor till framtida [...]

  7. [...] are working on a Makerspace Playbook that aims to have similarly detailed tips and techniques for furniture and material storage [...]

  8. [...] utbildningen och MAKE utformar praktiska och pedagogiska riktlinjer för att skolor ska kunna etablera Makerspaces till en kostnad som understiger $2000 – en svindlande billig investering för att slipa unga innovatörshjärnor till framtida [...]

  9. [...] The 'Connecting with other Makerspaces' section on pg 27 has not yet been written. It would be a good place to talk about finding and hooking up the other Makerspaces, Hackerspaces FabLabs, Dorkbot meetups, etc.  [...]

  10. [...] projects ranging from food to electronics. The MENTOR Makerspace program has produced a guide for creating a makerspace in high schools. Makerbot has curriculum for using 3D printing in a variety of subject areas. Adafruit [...]

  11. [...] –entire post copied from the Makerspace Playbook PDF [...]

  12. [...] The MENTOR Makerspace program’s  guide  for creating a makerspace in high schools [...]

  13. [...] later scaling up the space by adding more expensive equipment. The organization, Makerspace, has a handy playbook to keep spending in [...]