CHICAGO – Laser cutters, robots, 3D printers: when people talk about educational makerspaces, images of expensive, high-tech gadgetry comes to mind. In Colleen Graves’ library, they make use of a much cheaper resource.
“It’s trash,” she said. “But don’t call it that.”
The school librarian from Leander, Texas, was speaking on a panel about how to make makerspaces affordable and accessible in low-income and rural schools. To get her kids interested in building and engineering, Graves uses lots of recycled goods or material found in nature. While she does have access to some gadgets, any invention her students make starts off with a prototype made from cardboard.
“What we really want our kids doing is building things with their hands and learning how things work,” she said.
While the term “makerspace” is broad – any space…