Workshop for K-12 Maker Educators

Creating, Maintaining, and Enjoying Successful Makerspaces

Thanks to all the makers who attended our February workshop.  

Makerspaces are workshops with an emphasis on creativity, collaboration, and community in which students can learn, experiment with new tools, develop skills, and become innovators and designers. 

K-12 schools that integrate maker tools, activities, and mindset can find significant benefits in terms of student engagement, empowerment, and content learning as well as 21st century skills.

In this workshop, makerspace leaders will learn key factors in creating, maintaining, and enjoying successful makerspaces, while practicing maker skills in a collaborative setting. Participants will leave with confidence, skills, resources, and ideas to start or enhance makerspaces in their own communities. The program highlights both the benefits of makerspaces and potential pitfalls. No experience is required, just be ready to work in a hands-on environment.

Both the design of a makerspace and how it is implemented are critical to success. While exciting digital tools may draw students in, it is the empowered learning that keeps students engaged. Activities, training systems, and academic integration are at least as important as the tools and materials.  We are structuring this workshop such that makerspace leaders will have time to reflect, discuss, and plan as well as learn tool skills.

We are holding the workshop in the historic MIT Edgerton Center Student Project Lab (4-409) in Strobe Alley, a scene of experiential learning activities for decades. The Lab has been recently renovated with new digital fabrication tools and an enhanced layout and to better serve as a makerspace for a variety of communities.  

Attendance is limited to 18 participants.


Wednesday - Friday, Feb. 22-24
8:00 am to 3:00 pm with a 1-hour lunch break

  • Optional Wednesday evening session: Advanced tools demonstration
  • Optional Thursday evening session:  evening edition of the “Saturday Thing” weekly maker event for high school students and families

Transportation, and Parking

The workshop is held in 4-409 which is the 4th floor of building 4, nearly under the Great Dome. Visit the MIT Edgerton Center transportation and parking page for information on getting to MIT.  

Visitor parking in the MIT-Kresge parking lot is limited. Public tranportation is convenient and recommended. Parking permits can be purchased for $26.00 per day by completing and submitting this form at least five days in advance.  

Who Should Attend

Leaders setting up, planning, or in the early stages of running a school or youth community makerspace. 

What You Will Learn

During the 3-day workshop, participants will be engaged in learning about the technical side of makerspaces and logistic concepts that ensure a makerspace’s success:

Technical Training

Participants will be involved in hands-on projects and receive introductory training in

  • A variety of hand-held and benchtop (both manual and powered) tools for cutting and forming;
  • A variety of materials (plastics, wood, cardboard, foam, cloth) and fastening methods;
  • 2-D modelling software such as Gravit and Inkscape as appropriate for laser cutters and vinyl cutters;
  • 3-D modelling software such as Tinkercad, and Fusion as appropriate for 3- printers;
  • Digital fabrication tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, sewing machines;
  • Electronics components, tools, and basic circuit applications;
  • Alternative to electronics: Computer programming platforms for hardware-based applications such as Arduino, and Scratch with MaKey-MaKey

Logistics concepts including:

Leadership, management and integration training: participants will be involved in discussions and exercises to develop skills in:

  • Designing maker projects that increase student engagement;
  • Using Design Thinking and the Engineering Design Process in the classroom with maker projects;
  • Operations issues including designing, running, and staffing a safe and welcoming makerspace;
  • Activities planning, such as student and teacher training, makerfaires, engagement events and;
  • Using portfolios to enhance student learning, document work and celebrate accomplishments.

Registration and Payment

Registration is now WAITLIST.  Click here to register

The cost for the workshop is $1,000 per person and includes all materials and supplies for projects. Coffee, snacks, and light lunch are included. Participants should bring their own laptops and will have access to WiFi. Computer mice are recommended for some of the software packages.

Registration for the 2017 Makerspace Workshop for K-12 Maker Educators is currently full. However, add yourself to the waitlist in case a space opens up. 

Registration is processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and is guaranteed once final payment is received. Payment can be made in the form of a purchase order, check or a money order made out to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Our mailing address is:
MIT Edgerton Center, Attn. Sandra Lipnoski,
77 Massachusetts Ave.,
Room 4-408,
Cambridge, MA  02139

Questions? Email Diane Brancazio at

Payment must be received in full by February 13, 2017 otherwise the spot will be forfeited to another participant or school on the waitlist. 

About the MIT Edgerton Center

Established in 1992, the MIT Edgerton Center continues the hands-on legacy of Harold “Doc” Edgerton by giving students opportunities to learn by doing. Programs include courses in engineering and high-speed photography for MIT students and professionals, the international-development program D-Lab, student-run clubs and teams, student machine shops, and a year-round K-12 science and engineering outreach program, including professional-development teacher workshops and curriculum materials. Read more about our K-12 programs here.

Workshop Staff

The workshop is developed and led by Diane Brancazio, with invaluable assistance from Ed Moriarty and Susan Fisher and a team of experts at the MIT Edgerton Center.

Diane Brancazio: Lead Maker Educator

Diane is passionate about the potential of Makerspaces to improve education.  She works intensively to support teachers integrating maker into their regular curriculum and in using makerspaces to engage and empower students.

Her formal technical training includes a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.  Working as a product design consultant at several engineering companies, she developed skills in creative problem solving, project management, and fabrication. Diane went into education as a career after serving as an instructor for summer programs at the Edgerton Center. She has now returned with 15 years of experience in teaching technology and engineering design, computer science, and general science in public middle and high-school classrooms.

Along with Ed Moriarty, Diane also teaches a popular freshman advising seminar entitled “Engineering, Art, and Science."

Ed Moriarty: Instructor

Ed has been a designer and leader of engaging, hands-on science and engineering programs in sites ranging from the MIT Student Project Lab, through a selective Boston high school and a small village in the Alaskan bush, to a large regional event in Beijing, China.  Common to all these experiences is Ed’s ability to connect with people and inspire them to question, learn, and do. Ed has been a driver in the maker movement since long before it was coined "maker."

For the past five years he has been running the month-long Engineering Design Workshop at the MIT Edgerton Center.  Ed has also developed an informal non-program called “The Saturday Thing” in which students have a rich opportunity for unstructured play in a constructive community environment.

Ed holds a BS in Mechanical engineering and over 30 years of experience at MIT.  For the past 17 years he has been an instructor with the MIT Edgerton Center, teaching seminars and labs and mentoring many of the MIT student clubs and teams that take part in local, national, and international engineering design endeavors.  

 Along with Diane Brancazio, Ed also teaches a popular freshman advising seminar entitled, “Engineering, Art, and Science”. 

Susan Fisher, EurekaLab Coach, Meadowbrook School in Weston

Sue’s teaching philosophy is to build relationships with students and teachers and get to know their interests. She helps students cultivate compassion and select projects that create improvements for others in the real world.

Sue has a BA in Computer Science from Boston University, a MEd in Educational Technology from Boston Unviersity, and an MEd as a Library Teacher from Cambridge College. She was the technology integrationist last year at Meadowbrook, and, previously, a school librarian at another independent school for seven years. The coaching position in the Meadowbrook EurekaLab is a new role for Sue this year, and is in preparation for a new Learning Commons which will open in September of 2017. The new building will incorporate the woodshop, innovation center, library, and science classrooms into one central building on campus allowing for more collaboration and team teaching. She teaches robotics, computer programming and engineering during electives, through classroom integration, and afterschool.

Technical experts on the Edgerton Center staff

The workshop will have the assistance of several Edgerton Center staff members that are skilled in digital fabrication tools, hand tools, and electronics.