Week 7 :What are the rules for your makerspace?

After giving some thought to my project and the related materials and tools necessary to construct a pinhole camera, I’ve determined that my makerspace will not have that many tools that would be considered life threatening.  But exercising good judgement in using the available tools is vital.  There are other components of a makerspace that need explanation like behavior and attitude and I have listed below.  I want to be concise, usually too concise, so here it is…

I like the “Maker Mantra” phrase idea provided by Hlubinka (2013).  I think mine will be:

“Be Safe, Be Excellent, Create, and Collaborate”.  It’s important to have simple rules.

Be Safe

Here are 5 basic safety rules for hand tools and power tools that I would like to adopt for my makerspace written by Dave, from The Tool Hut. (2007)

  • Keep all tools in good condition with regular maintenance.
  • Use the right tool for the job.
  • Examine each tool for damage before use and do not use damaged tools.
  • Operate tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Provide and properly use the right personal protective equipment.

Be Excellent

Here is a list of conduct rules that I would like to adopt for my makerspace written by the Dallas Makerspace (2016).

  • We are here to make things and learn.
  • When you break something, own up to it.  If you have any doubt about fixing it, ask for help.
  • Clean, Maintain, Organize, Improve. Always leave the space better than you found it.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Answer them kindly; eventually you’ll have to ask for help too.
  • Tools/resources must stay on the premises so that other members may use them.


It’s difficult for me to come up with some “rules” for creativity, but Michaela from LifeHack has come up with some good ones I want to adopt.(2016)

  • Believe in your creativity.
  • Limit your options to focus in.
  • Embrace your bad ideas.


I don’t usually come up with rules for collaborating, but Paul from LifeHacker has come up with some that I would like to adopt. (2015)

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Encourage dissent.
  • Make a final decision and move on.
  • Always give a why.
  • Make it fun.

As you can tell, I usually don’t recreate the wheel, so all of my rules are existing rules that I see as viable and usable in my makerspace that I have found online.  As with any rules, they can change at any time, and the main idea is that I would like to create and maintain a great makerspace.  These are in addition to school wide rules that are in place for the school am am currently teaching in.

Since the pinhole camera project relies mostly on community donation materials, it’s important to specify how to deal with this area.  I think the idea is to make sure donations are inspected and can be used safely.  That applies to both tools and materials.  I will make it my responsibility to determine the safety of tools and materials to be used in the makerspace.



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

Rules and Policies. (2016). Rules and Policies Dallas Makerspace. Retrieved 28 June, 2016, from https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies

Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S.. Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle Locations 3685-3686). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

Dave (2007). 5 Basic Safety Rules for the Use of Hand and Power Tools. TheToolHut. Retrieved from http://www.thetoolhut.com/basic-safety-rules.html

Cristallo, M. (2016). 7 Basic Rules of Creativity You Should Know. LifeHack. Retrieved from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/7-basic-rules-creativity-you-should-know.html

Ruderman, P. (2015). The Seven Golden Rules for Collaborating with Great People. LifeHacker. Retrieved from http://lifehacker.com/the-seven-golden-rules-for-collaborating-with-great-peo-1680691691



2 thoughts on “Week 7 :What are the rules for your makerspace?

  1. Your mantra is wonderful. Simple and meaningful with rules that match each part. I agree with you that simple rules are usually best especially in elementary school but probably in high school as well. With so many resources available to us, I’m with you — why create our own if we can borrow those which fit? I did not know so many maker resources were available. I’ve found lots of helpful websites, guides, books, and there’s even a magazine!
    Just one question – would your makerspace be set up for just the pinhole camera project or would you allow free style as well?
    Thanks for the great ideas, even if some were borrowed!


    • As I stated, I think that the more projects you want to do, the more materials you need. So for now it would be just for the pinhole project. It’s great to have so many online resources. I try to tell my kids that they are lucky to be in school with so many online resources these days! They might not realize it til it’s not there.


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