MackinMaker

Needs Assessment Guide

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Introduction

The Maker Movement is propelling school communities into a true 21st Century culture where learners of all ages are encouraged to come together to create, tinker, discover, invent, learn, fail forward, engineer, deconstruct, build, remix, and more.  Students as early as pre-K to those ready to cross the stage for their diplomas are learning to code, use micro-controllers, build circuits, create prototypes, and so much more. Ultimately, learners are taking their ideas all the way to tangible products.  


No two Makerspaces are alike, as these environments are as unique as the learners they serve.  A Makerspace is never done. It is an ongoing, living pursuit that reflects the ever-changing culture and life of the school.


The process of empowering a Maker mindset in your community begins with asking WHY and creating a mission statement for your Makerspace. The more an educator knows about his or her school, students, and community, the more clearly these goals will take shape. MackinMaker is here to partner with you to design, create, implement, and revise your environment to fashion a space where students, teachers, and community can come together for innovation.


Help us assist you by answering the following Needs Assessment questions. Do the best you can.  We understand that this is a process and your answers are likely to change and evolve throughout the journey.


This Needs Assessment was developed by a team of maker educators from a variety of backgrounds.

A makerspace should meet the needs of your school community and curriculum, no two spaces should be alike and that is OK. - Elissa Malespina - Teacher-Librarian, Somerville Middle School


Your school is not getting a makerspace. It is creating an environment that nurtures the culture of making. - Kristina Holzweiss, Librarian at Bay Shore Middle School


A makerspace is both a space and a mindset that empowers students to be in control of their own learning experiences. Tapping into students inherent strengths, interests, and curiosities, making allows students to succeed in ways far more authentic than any high-stakes standardized assessment. - Heather Lister, Director of MackinMaker Education


The maker movement is a learn-by-doing renaissance, a rediscovery of the power of hands-on, participatory learning experiences.  - Zoe P. Mider, Digital Literacy Specialist, Boulder Valley School District.


Our goal is to help students grow to become independent young adults. Developing a maker program allows students to explore their interests and expand their problem solving skills. -Ellen Stolarski, Librarian, St. Mary’s Area Middle School


Makerspaces open up the education community to prototyping, making mistakes, reflecting, refining, designing, collaborating, struggling productively,  a bias to action without fear of repercussion, and so much more. These are the experiences we (students and teachers alike) need to invite innovation.  -Jen McCarty Plucker, Ed.D., Literacy and Leadership Consultant


At their best, makerspaces foster creativity and a sense of wonder.  They are a place where learners experiment, explore, fail forward and teach one another. -Todd Burleson Resource Center Director Winnetka Public Schools


School Information 

First Name
Last Name
Job Title
District/Organization Name
School Name
State
What grade level(s) do you serve?
Other Grade LevelsPlease Describe:
How many students does your school serve?
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Please use this area to describe your community of learners. If you have an existing makerspace, don’t focus just on the learners who currently use the space, but rather, describe the student population as a whole. Consider your school demographics, groups of learners (ELL, Special Needs, etc.), curriculum emphasis, and unique programs or offerings (IP, AP, etc.).
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Mission and Vision

Why are you adding a maker education program to your school? How will this support your school’s mission and vision? Consider the type of experiences you want students to have as a result of the makerspace.
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Where are you currently in your maker journey?
How are you including students as stakeholders in the design and implementation of your makerspace?
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How are you including your administration (building or district level) and other faculty in the design and implementation of your makerspace?
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How are you including parents, community members, school board members, and local businesses in the planning and implementation of your makerspace?
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Describe your timeline and/or phases of implementation for your makerspace?
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Describe the current maker culture in your community. Does the staff have a good understanding of the maker movement and the benefits? Do students?
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How do you plan on educating teachers, students, administrators, and community members about maker education?
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What is the plan to support teachers in integrating making into their curriculum and learning how to use various products to their fullest potential within the context of various content areas? (ex: online support, dedicated Staff Development days, PLC/Team/Department meetings)
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In the nature of a makerspace, it is likely that your implementation plan may need to be adjusted. Describe your plans to evaluate your space. How often will an evaluation be conducted?
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About Your Space

Where will your makerspace located?
Estimate the size of your makerspace
What devices will your learners be using in the makerspace?
Other Devices:Please Describe:

Implementation

How much time will your learners spend in the makerspace in a single setting? (in minutes)
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What type of makerspace projects do you envision PRIMARILY occurring in the space?
Choose the model that most resembles your makerspaceChoose all that apply
Other Model:Please Describe:
What topics/skills do you want to address in your makerspace?Choose all that apply
Would you like MackinMaker to generate a list of recommended products?Choose all that apply
If yes, what is your estimated budget for makerspace products?
Describe where you will store materials and in-progress projects:Choose all that apply
Other Storing Options:Please Describe:

Funding

What is the long term plan for funding and sustaining the makerspace?

Contributor Information 

Todd Burleson

Toddburleson.com | @todd_burleson 

Resource Center Director


Todd Burleson is a Teacher-Maker-Librarian at the Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, IL.  He was chosen as the 2016 School Library Journal School Librarian of the Year. He is an author, international speaker, and a passionate picture book advocate who constantly seeks to find the balance of books and bytes in his library and makerspace.


Ellen Stolarski

https://middleschoollibrarianfromtheblacklagoon.wordpress.com/ | @emstolar

Middle School Librarian, Saint Marys Area Middle School


Ellen Stolarski is a librarian at a rural school library in Pennsylvania. As a librarian, she works to promote collaboration, technology,  a love of reading, and information literacy skills in her school. Ellen was the 2018 recipient of the ISTE Librarians’ Network PLN Award. She has participated in several programs outside of her library including PSLA’s Emerging Leader Program (2014-15) and ILEADUSA (2016). She is also the co-chair of the Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award committee.


Heather Lister

@heathermlister | Director of MackinMaker Education

www.heatherlister.com | www.mackinmaker.com


Heather Lister, M.Ed, is an  international speaker and blogger on the topics of maker education, educational technology, and innovative leadership. Formerly a school librarian, Heather is the Director of Maker Education with Mackin Educational Resources. Heather is a certified library media specialist, instructional technology specialist, and a certified K-12 administrator.  As a connected educator, Heather is a mentor for Year in the Making, an Advisory Board member for the Transform Your School Library (TYSL) initiative, a Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Star educator, a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, and a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator. She is also a certified Makey Makey Trainer and an instructor for the Bureau of Education and Research. She is the President-Elect for the ISTE Librarians Network.

Zoe P. Midler

@zmidler | Digital Literacy Specialist, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD)

Boulder, CO 803030

Not A Rocking Chair Librarian Podcast |Make@BVSD


Zoe is an evangelist for meaningful integration of technology at all levels of education. She is a former K-12 teacher librarian, successfully implementing library programs and initiatives designed to foster technology infused, student-centered learning environments characterized by discovery and collaboration. As BVSD’s Digital Literacy Specialist, Zoe supports 48+ teacher librarians as they navigate seismic shifts taking place in K-12 librarianship and libraries.  


Dr. Jen McCarty Plucker

@jenplucker | Director of Professional Learning for Mackin

Independent Literacy Consultant

www.jenplucker.com | www.mackin.com/pl


Jen received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with research focused on adolescent engagement/motivation and accelerated literacy growth. Her research has been recognized in ASCD’s Ed. Leadership, by ILA, and the SREB’s High Schools That Work. Jen has over 20 years of education experience as a teaching and learning coordinator, ESL coordinator, K-12 intervention specialist, English/speech teacher, reading specialist, speech coach, past president of the Minnesota Reading Association, adjunct instructor for Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and literacy consultant.


Elissa Malespina

@elissamalespina | Teacher-Librarian, Somerville Middle School


Elissa is a Teacher Librarian at Somerville Middle School in Somerville NJ. Elissa is Immediate Past- President of the ISTE Librarians Network. She is a speaker, author, and blogger on the topics of school library advocacy, makerspaces, and innovative technology. She is the recipient of ISTE’s Making it Happen Award, a Bammy Award winner, and a finalist for AASL’s Social Media Superstars.

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