Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects

Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects | Colleen and Aaron's new book is a fantastic resource for teacher, students, parents or anyone else interested in learning some new skills through some fun, hands-on maker projects.

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects is definitely the next book you should add to both your school and personal library.  Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves offer up 51 awesome makerspace projects in this book that are fun and doable no matter what level you’re at.

Why The Big Book of Makerspace Projects should be on your shelf

(Disclosure: I’m currently writing a book with Colleen and Aaron and they are both friends of mine. But even if they weren’t, I would still recommend this book because it’s awesome.  I also received a copy of this book for free from the publisher to review.)

As I was getting ready to write this review, I had a copy of The Big Book of Makerspace Projects on my desk at work.  One of my students walked up to my desk with a greedy look in his eye, pointed at the book and asked “Is that ready for checkout yet?”  I think this is a testament to the power that this book can have with students.

Here’s some of my favorite things about this awesome book:

Pepper's Ghost, one of the projects in the book

Pepper’s Ghost, one of the projects in the book

The Projects

This book contains 51 different projects!  They range from Brush Bots to LED origami to DIY musical instruments to 3D printing.  No matter what area of makerspaces you’re interested in, there will be projects for you.

Every project has detailed supply lists for what you'll need

Every project has detailed supply lists for what you’ll need

Supply Lists

Every project has a suggested supplies list.  It gives you what the materials are and where to find them.  I love how flexible many of these lists are and how many of the projects offer ideas for reusing recycled materials.  Most of the supplies are very affordable, and those that aren’t are likely materials that you already have at your school (or that you could write a grant or create a DonorsChoose project for).

Every project includes challenges to spur on creativity and move beyond the basics

Every project includes challenges to spur on creativity and move beyond the basics

Challenges

My favorite aspect of the book is definitely the challenges at the end of each project.  When reading a book of project instructions, it can be easy to fall into the trap of just making each project exactly as described.  Colleen and Aaron counter that by offering suggested challenges.  These help to spur on the design thinking and creativity of your students (or yourself!).  I definitely plan on adapting some of these to use with my students.

There's plenty of images to help explain the steps in each project

There’s plenty of images to help explain the steps in each project

Images

If a technique or skill is new to you, it can be hard to follow along sometimes.  That’s why I like that every project has lots of great projects detailing the steps.  This makes it much easier to follow along.  The pictures are fantastic and help to clearly depict what is going on in the step.

Paper circuit from the book, created at SLJ Summit

Paper circuit from the book, created at SLJ Summit

I’ve only tried out a handful of the projects in this book so far, but I’m already planning on creating design challenges around several of them for my afterschool Maker’s Club in January.

the-big-book-of-makerspace-projectsCheck out The Big Book of Makerspace Projects

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects is an amazing resource for teachers, librarians, parents and anyone interested in building up their maker skills.  It offers up easy to follow instructions with lots of room to grow and add your own dose of creativity.

Have you read The Big Book of Makerspace Projects yet?  Which is your favorite project that you’ve tried so far?

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Diana Rendina, MLIS, is a middle school media specialist/teacher librarian in Tampa, FL. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves (to be published August 2017). She is also the author of the forthcoming ISTE book, Reimagining School Libraries.