One small downside of placing a makerspace in a school is that it might be used only when students are present and the campus is open.
Bryant Patten of The National Center for Open Source and Education has come up with a clever solution to give the whole community access to this valuable community resource. He’s working with a couple of high schools in northern New England to transform shop spaces into makerspaces. And here’s one difference to his plan: he’s helping them find ways to open up that converted space to people in the community … after school hours.
He listed the benefits of his approach–what the school and the community get from following his plan:
- Turn students who are passive consumers of stuff and information into active makers.
- Community makers could pay a monthly fee for after-hours access, providing a much-needed revenue stream for budget-crunched schools.
- The building is ‘free.’ Often, community hackerspaces must pay rent for a space.
- A mentorship program with local experts and craftspeople would break down the barrier between community and schools.
- The students using the makerspace would be a source of interns for summer co-ops or, eventually, potential hires.
- Local manufacturers might see the benefit and sponsor machinery purchases.
Schools hosting hackerspaces, and hackerspaces opening up during daytime hours for schools to use their machines: we think this is a potentially rewarding symbiosis. Have you seen this model in action?