However, there are still barriers that we must overcome if we hope to realize the full potential of makerspaces. In too many of our schools, we see that administrators perceive makerspaces as environments for play rather than opportunities for enriching assessment that can indicate students’ readiness for the workforce. We hear claims that makerspaces are too difficult to manage and maintain, often falling on the shoulders of one committed educator or program leader. Additionally, there is the assumption that makerspaces are simply too expensive, requiring an assortment of costly tools and materials.
Many economically disadvantaged schools and communities across the country do not have access to makerspaces, fueling the assumption that these are luxuries rather than invaluable learning spaces. While this is a reality that many schools and communities face, it also presents an opportunity to engage with community-based organizations and businesses, who can serve as both resource and knowledge partners—and provide the materials, expertise and physical space to empower students to become makers.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.