It was difficult to come up with rules for my makerspace on my own. As an educator for many years, it has been a blessing to have the resources of the Internet. I tell my own children many times that they are lucky to live in a time where you can virtually look up anything. And that applies to rules. I was shocked to find someone’s rules about creativity!
There needs to be a welcoming and innovation mindset in a makerspace. That seems difficult to produce with rules. Rules are meant to limit and set restrictive behaviors. I like the phrase “code of conduct” better than “rules”, but that is a personal opinion. I understand the rationale for setting rules, but in a true makerspace, there should be no rules, just innovate. How many inventors out there live with rules? Isn’t the stereotypical inventor a person living in a space with materials, tools, and tables everywhere? There isn’t a neat and tidy makerspace for them. (I don’t think) They need to be able to see all their materials so they can mentally sort things out, tinker, and create. Didn’t Gever Tulley say to parents that if you send your kids to Tinkering School that they come back with bruises, scrapes, and bloody? That is a makerspace!
If these sorts of outcomes would come from a public school makerspace, it would be difficult to justify having one. That’s why we have rules, I suppose. I have to admit, it took me quite a while to buckle up in a car when the law first came out. I learned to drive without buckling. In fact, it felt weird to buckle. Unnatural. In time, I came to accept buckling, and it now seems weird to not buckle. Go figure.
My makerspace rules are set forth to promote creativity and limit unsafe behaviors. I hope they can do this. They are going to be malleable and forgiving, because the last thing I want in my makespace is to have students go home with bruises, scrapes, and bloody…
Tulley, G. (2007). 5 Dangerous things you should let your kids do. TedTalk. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids/transcript?language=en