Makerspace Toolkit

No matter what country you’re in, you will always find people creating, making, and wanting to take an idea from their head and make it REAL. Whether that be a top game, a superb app or a prototype that could change the world, the passion to make is in all of us. Many of us start out young, only to find that as we get older, that passion becomes dimmed as we are unable to express ourselves or make our creative ambitions a reality.

We wanted to change this. After all, our core reason for being is to enable those furthest away from the digital world get more empowered with it.

While we work hard to offer vocational learning and creative opportunities to the people of Stoke-on-Trent and beyond, we know that there are many other makers out there who don’t have the chance, equipment or resources to make their ideas come to life. It’s something that we’ve been thinking about ever since we started.

How do we reach more makers?

How do we allow people, who are incredibly talented, to get the chance to show off their ability?

How do we help others learn from our learning, our mistakes and successes?

What would we have wanted at our disposal at the very beginning of Wavemaker?

It turns out that we weren’t the only ones who were thinking this way. Thanks to funding from Erasmus+, we managed to join forces with a wonderful organisation and lead partner, called EST, based in Wadowice, Poland, to create the Make App Club. We came together for one purpose: to provide collaborative digital activities for young people, whilst creating a resource that allows other makers and groups from around the world to learn how to begin their own makerspaces, with tips, advice and tried and tested methods to thrive.

It was a big task. Months were spent working together to try and work out what it was that made a makerspace work and how best to engage with young people to give them the tools and confidence to grow into future groundbreaking makers. While we already had a makerspace set-up and running, EST was just beginning their journey, offering an exciting and new outlook on how makerspaces have grown since we began, and reminding us of all the challenges that we faced when we first launched.

Following lots of meetings, as well as international travel, we finally came up with a product that we could be proud of: our Digital Makerspace Toolkit. This toolkit covers everything from the initial stages of setting up a makerspace, to getting support and initial workshops to try. It is a solid guide for anyone looking to create their own makerspace and, what’s more, is completely free.

We set out to create a community of makers, creating equal opportunities and access to people all across the world. While we know we still have a long way to go, and that there are many budding makers out there who still require our support, with this toolkit, we feel as though we’re just that little bit closer to that collaborative dream.

The Digital Makerspace toolkit is free to use and circulate, under the creative commons licence and will be an ever-evolving resource for the maker community and beyond.

To download your own copy of the Digital Makerspace Toolkit, visit https://makeapp.club/toolkit/

Use it and share your stories with us.

Alex Rowley