Idea Sharing through MassCUE Makerspace SIG Virtual Meetings
As part of our MassCUE Makerspace Special Interest Group  activities, educator members from a wide range of settings spent some time this January virtually discussing our Makerspace resolutions. The conversation was lively, upbeat and full of creative possibilities. It would seem a shame to me not to share these ideas with the wider community, as we embark on a new year of Makerspace exploration. Please feel free to reap the benefits of our sharing about Makerspace resources and ideas for classroom connections. Also, consider participating in some of our virtual meetings. Contact Laura Gardner  or me  for more information!
Interested in connecting Makerspace resources with classroom activities? We agreed that thinking about the end goal is most important when determining Makerspace projects that best connect. Take your cue from Heidi, who uses Spheros  in teaching math concepts along with Tickle . Ingrid focuses on the creative thinking that comes along with tinkering to influence student writing in ELA. Maria created interactive books using Scratch  and Makey Makey  for a literature connection.
Sharing Out Makerspace Resources
We also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of loaning out maker resources as opposed to keeping them permanently housed in our Makerspaces. Ingrid shared that they are trying out the idea of circulating maker kits to teachers. Questions arose on how to best handle consumable items and the challenge of how to best keep the kits well stocked with materials to loan out. Other resources discussed this month included conductive yarn and the Creative Computing Guide with Scratch. 
One of our member’s schools hosts a “TGOF: Tech Goodies on Friday” event each week before school in which a new Makerspace learning tool such as myCreate  for stop motion photography projects is shared. Another member school created a “Teacher Resources Think Tank” website in which all staff share about Makerspace resources. Student blogs are also featured in the Think Tank as a way of showcasing student work.
My Makerspace SIG Co-leader, Laura Gardner , and I, use a wide range of social media to connect with students and families about Makerspace projects. Laura advertises through one in order to gain followers on another. For example, she provides her Snapchat code on Instagram .
- Cathy -Grant writing- look into different funding opportunities and write a few grants.
- Elizabeth-Make something everyday and to keep it fun in the space.
- Ingrid – To get better working with Raspberry Pi Tablet Screen and to encourage pockets of making. These pockets are already happening in Cambridge where people are getting together to share ideas.
- Heidi -To collaborate more with teachers
- Laura -To align maker projects with the curriculum and to have regular challenges in the library.
- Maria-To make more curriculum connections using Makerspace tools.
What Makerspace resolutions do you have? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author: Cathy Collins is a National Board Certified Library Media Specialist with 15 years experience at the K-12 levels. She has worked for the past five years at Sharon High School, where she also serves as a Virtual High School Site Manager and Chinese Exchange Program Manager. She is a 2012 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and 2014 AASL Intellectual Freedom Award winner. Her interests include technology and arts integration, global education and inquiry-based learning. She has served on the MassCUE Board as PD Chair since 2013 and is current Advocacy Chair for MSLA. She was named an MSLA “Super Librarian” in 2014/2015, and received the Primary Source/HNA “Teacher of the Year” award in 2015 for excellence in teaching about China.