K-12 Maker Workshops

Makerspace Tools, Skills, and Operations 

Makerspaces are workshops with an emphasis on creativity, collaboration, and community in which students can experiment with new tools, develop skills, and become empowered innovators and designers. We have designed this series of workshops to meet the needs of K-12 educators setting up a new makerspace or aiming to use an existing space more effectively.  All sessions are one-day hands-on experiences where participants explore resources, develop skills, and experiment with projects appropriate for the classroom.

Workshop Offerings

Fall offerings are finished, winter and spring dates will be announced soon!

Designing and Operating a Makerspace, with Shop Tool training

Participants will:  Explore resources for design, layout, and safe operation of a Makerspace; receive instruction and practice with tools and materials (including a variety of manual and power tools, materials, and fasteners); and review and discuss project samples.


Laser Cutter, Vinyl Cutter and 2-D Modeling, Basic

Participants will:  Learn and practice design for laser etching and cutting, design for vinyl/craft cutters, 2D vector modelling (Inkscape, Gravit, or similar program); explore components, function, materials, and effective use of laser and vinyl cutters; and review and discuss project samples.


3-D Modeling and Printing, Basic

Participants will:  Learn and practice design for 3D printing, solid modeling (Tinkercad or similar introductory program); explore components, function, materials, and effective use of 3D printer; and review and discuss project samples.


Electronics, Basic

Participants will:  Learn and practice principles of electricity, series and parallel circuits, switches, LEDs, buzzers, wiring materials, soldering, component selection, multi-meters, tools, and techniques; and review and discuss project samples.


Electronics, Intermediate

Participants will:  Learn and practice principles and use of transistors, integrated circuit chips, actuators, sensors, etc.; explore breadboard circuits, test equipment, and pc board soldering and integration; and review and discuss project samples.


Arduino Programming, Basic

Participants will:  Learn and practice coding basic;, get introduced to the Arduino microcomputer environment; explore interfacing with basic input devices (such as photocells, light temperature, distance sensors) and output devices (such as servo motors, neopixels, LEDs, speakers); and review and discuss project samples.


Arduino Programming, Intermediate

Participants will:  Learn and practice coding techniques in the Arduino microcomputer environment (including functions, data structures, libraries, etc.); explore interfacing with a variety of input and output accessory boards and their associated code (such as magnetometers, accelerometers, GPS receivers, motor controllers); and review and discuss project samples.


Transportation, Parking, and Schedule Notes

Each class is one day, meeting from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm with a half-hour lunch break.  Coffee/snacks will be available at 8:00 am.

Workshops are held in the historic MIT Edgerton Center Student Project Lab (4-409) in Strobe Alley, a scene of experiential learning activities for decades. This 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. Permits can be purchased for $29.00 by completing PDF icon Edgerton Center Parking Permit 2017.pdf and contacting Nicole Fountain, nicolelf@mit.edu at least five days in advance.


Registration and Payment

Dates for the winter and spring offerings will be announced soon. The cost for each workshop is $275 per person and includes all materials and supplies for projects. Coffee, snacks, and 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.

Attendance for each workshop is limited to 18 participants.  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 dianeb@mit.edu


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 Chris Mayer, Ed Moriarty, 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”. 

Chris Mayer

Chris has worked around and with the Edgerton Center since 2012 and officially joined the staff in 2017.  He works with the MIT students Clubs and Teams and in several Maker education programs. Chris believes in using hands-on engineering projects to teach students and teachers how to think critically and solve problems.

Sarah Leadbeater

Sarah graduated from Syracuse University in 2001 with a degree in industrial design and worked professionally as both an industrial designer and a web designer for a few years prior to becoming a teacher.  

For the last twelve years she has been a member of the technology and engineering faculty at Newburyport High School in Newburyport MA where she teaches a range of subjects including robotics, web design, industrial design, CAD, and computer programming.

Her engineering students participate in a number of extracurricular activities including the Sailbot Robotics Competition which asks students to design and build an autonomous sailing boat, and the Real World Design Challenge, a yearly aeronautical engineering competition that asks students to use CAD and analysis software to solve real world problems.

In addition to her full time career, she is currently working on a master’s degree in Interaction Design at Northeastern University.

In 2013 she was honored by the Massachusetts Technology Education/Engineering Collaborative (Masstec) as their Teacher of the Year. 

Beth Lloyd

Beth is interested in universal design for learning and design thinking as they apply to maker spaces and uses these principles to develop spaces and activities accessible to all.

She graduated from Tufts University 40 years ago with a degree in occupational therapy and spent most of her career working as an OT in schools, aka, a MacGyver of school participation of sorts. In 2014, Beth joined her husband on a sabbatical.  After walking the Camino in Spain for a month, they moved to the south side of Chicago.  It was there that she discovered the Maker Lab at the Harold Washington Library and began to taking workshops in digital fabrication as well as felt ball making.

She volunteered at the Fab Lab at the Museum of Science and Industry and learned the workings of a this particular type of maker space. Currently, she is the Innovation Specialist for Watertown Public Schools.  She has been involved in the evolution of making in her district.  She runs the WHS Wayshak Fab Lab at the high school library and continues to spread the making culture district wide.  Beth sees first hand the power of creation in the eyes and hands of her students and colleagues.Technical experts on the Edgerton Center staff

Edgerton Center staff

Workshops will have the assistance of several Edgerton Center staff members who are skilled in digital fabrication tools, hand tools, electronics, and microcomputers.