The thought of including a makerspace can be intimidating. You know you should have one in your school, but where do you start?
A successful makerspace needs to start and end with essential steps. By following these steps, a school can feel confident that their makerspace has been designed and built to fit their needs exactly.
PHabLab starts with an in-depth conversation about the goals a school has for the space. Some don’t know their goals other than to have a lab. Through this initial counseling, clients learn about the details, inclusions, timeline and finished space that would be ideal for them. This goal setting is an essential first step in the process, and a school needs the experience of a partner who understands, practices and excels at this.
Once that goal is established, the school is presented with a design book that includes the detailed plan and cost. This valuable resource not only consolidates all the information, but it can also be used for grant proposals and board presentations. Palmer Hamilton serves as a resource and a subject matter expert for the school, supporting them in presentations, answering questions and making the process clear to interested parties.
These steps are essential for accurate lab design, creation and usage. PHabLab guides a client through these steps, educating them at each step of the process.
Once the contract is signed, the order is filled – with every element of the PHabLab tailored for that school. From the devices to furniture and even the school-specific art on the walls, everything is being created for that school’s PHabLab.
There are a lot of pieces that are included in a PHabLab and many schools worry that installation will take too long and interfere with their schedule. PHabLab installs the custom labs over two days so they don’t have to miss a beat. School departments that need to function with the new lab have already been working with PHabLab, ensuring connectivity and operation as soon as it’s installed.
PHabLab experts arrive on-site for a thorough two-day orientation on the usage of digital fabrication tools and software, preparing school personnel to be effective makerspace teachers. This support continues for a year after installation where additional professional development is available, as well the ability to bring on student certifications through NC3. Another way to jump-start PHabLab is by utilizing the makerspace curriculum, INVENTORCLOUD. This comprehensive platform helps teachers facilitate all the lessons and projects students need to succeed in this space.
One recent client in California, the San Jacinto Unified School District, went through these steps with PHabLab and their learning lab is now being used by hundreds of students. They say that the counseling, expertise and finished product exceeded their expectations. To hear learn more about this successful partnership, watch the video and listen to the educators in their own words.