A Journey Through Technology

Week 7: What are the rules for your makerspace?

on June 30, 2017

My makerspace is shaping up to be a chemistry-themed makerspace, that also has aspects of traditional makerspaces. Because of this, my rules are going to be a bit different than others’ because I have chemicals to worry about! I was also originally intending to use my classroom for makerspace activities, but now I’m thinking that I could use a separate room for the makerspace. We have a couple of empty classrooms in my hallway, so I think one of those could be used as a makerspace. The location definitely has an impact on my rules, because if there is a dedicated making space that doesn’t have to change, the rules will be very different than if we have to constantly go back and forth between a makerspace and my regular classroom.

When thinking about the rules, as a science teacher my first rule is always “Safety First”! In chemistry students where goggles in the lab anytime we are using chemicals, heat, or glassware, which is pretty much every lab that we do (water is a chemical!). Students will need to wear proper safety gear when necessary. Goggles probably won’t be needed in most cases, but if students are doing a chemical lab-based activity in the makerspace, they will definitely need to wear goggles.

According to Michelle “Bianka” Hlubinka (2013), some common safety rules include: the emergency number 9-1-1, report all injuries, use protective gear and dress right, prepare, use tools right, and clean up. Each of these is explained in more detail on the website and there is a printable safety list available on the site if you want more something to post in your classroom. This would be a good starting place for my makerspace until its gotten enough use to know if I need to adapt or add to the safety rules list.

“Materials, tools, and resources are crucial, but the teacher’s job is to keep the spirit and mood of the space conducive to creativity.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 3547) The rules that I come up with for the makerspace need to help students stay creative and productive in the makerspace. The Dallas Makerpace has a Rules and Policies section on their webpage and I love their Code of Conduct #4.

4. Don’t merely respect each other; be excellent to each other.

  • We are all here to make things and learn. Collaboration is important.
  • When you break something, own up to it. If you have any doubt about fixing it, ask for help. Don’t make someone feel bad for breaking things, help them understand what went wrong.
  • Clean, Maintain, Organize, Improve. Always leave the space better than you found it.
  • Tools/resources must stay on the premises so that other members may use them. (https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies)

Honestly, these would be good guidelines for any classroom, not just a makerspace. I also thought #6 was good: “Sleeping is not cool, but naps are ok. We are not a hotel.” https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies) I would have to say that in school, students really shouldn’t be napping either, especially during class, and I would hope that they would be so engaged using the makerspace that they wouldn’t want to sleep.

Looking at the resources for this week, I think I can come up with a tentative first draft of rules. I would expect these rules would change over time as the makerspace becomes more established and I get to see how students work in it.

  1. Safety first! Follow all safety rules while in the makerspace (safety list)
  2. Don’t merely respect each other; be excellent to each other. (https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies)
  3. No giving up! If you get stuck, ask for help. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
  4. Collaborate with each other often.
  5. Clean up after yourself! Leave your space cleaner than it was when you got there.

This is definitely just a start for my rules and I’m sure things will come up as students are making, but I feel like this is a good start for my makerspace rules.


Dallas Makerspace (n.d.) Rules and Policies. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies

Hlubinka, M. (2013). Safety in School Makerspaces. Make: Retrieved June 29, 2017, from http://makezine.com/2013/09/02/safety-in-school-makerspaces/

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, And Engineering In The Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.


3 responses to “Week 7: What are the rules for your makerspace?

  1. Mariah Smith says:

    I like how you have a shorter list of rules. I think I will need to think more about my school’s specific makerspace and shorten the list of rules. I also really enjoyed the rule of respecting each other and being excellent to each other. Thanks for some insight into what your makerspace will look like.


  2. waclawskid says:

    I love the be excellent to each other rule. I think that sets the tone and can help with collaboration also. I would love to see how your chemistry Makerspace will look like when you are done.


  3. matical4263 says:

    Good discussion. I like the rules as well. I would also set a definite clean-up time or percentage of time. It takes more time to clean up than we think.


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