My wife, Sarah Margalus, and I have been quietly consulting with local libraries, schools, and companies for a while now on the development of makerspaces and the curriculum (alignment with 21st Century Learning Standards, in particular) that goes along with integrating these spaces into a learning environment. The main problem we often find ourselves trying to solve is that many institutions create makerspaces by buying equipment first, and then thinking about community, integration to standards, and so forth second. This is the backwards way of approaching the development of such spaces, and as a result, many makerspaces in these institutions go underused or not used at all.
In order to support those efforts going forward, we’ve formed a consultancy that scaffolds our offerings into a few tiers that help spaces that have already been created, as well as spaces that are in the planning phases. This includes thinking through how to support learning communities through alignment with standards, development of organizational systems, and the purchase of the tools that fit within budget and support institutional aims.
If you’re a member of a school, library (or other public institution), or company and find yourself running into these problems, take a look at what we can do.