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Coding and MakerSpaces

Before taking EdTech classes, I never really knew what Coding or MakerSpaces were. I had heard of these concepts, but was never really interested or took the time to understand them. After a few years in the classroom and the chance to take classes about technology, I find myself wanting to dive into activities that allow my students to experience different opportunities, show their creativity, and work with tech.


Coding was somewhat of a mystery to me until my students showed me. Gilles, Kirsten, and Meenu showed us so many articles, videos, and examples of coding. CommonSenseMedia defines coding as “the process of writing out steps for a computer to follow to achieve a goal or perform a task”. Essentially, it allows us to decide on actions that our tech will do for us.

My Experience With Coding

I was never the kid who was into programming or understanding how computers worked. When I realized some of my students were into it, I thought it would be a good idea to try it out. I have had SaskCode come into my classroom to teach coding a few times to do the activity “Microbit”. My students programmed a video game and then got to transfer it to a micro bit to play the game they created. Other than that, I haven’t had much experience. After last night’s presentation, I am definitely going to show my students the HourofCode website!


According to WeAreTeachers, a Makerspace is “a room that contains tools and components, allowing people to enter with an idea and leave with a complete project”. A Makerspace can be anything that allows students to be creative, work together, and collaborate. A space could include some inexpensive such as Legos, art supplies, clay, or sewing kits, to objects that are a bit more expensive like circuit boards or even 3D printers.

My Experience With MakerSpaces

Once again, I never heard about Makerspaces until I started taking EdTech classes. My only experience with similar projects would be STEM challenges in my classroom when I have my students work together and learn in a way that’s a bit more open-ended and student-led. I’ve had them try some challenges like making the longest paper chain, the highest tower, and using circuit boards. I really enjoy these activities because it allows me to see who has strengths in which areas. It also gives my students the chance to learn in their own way. I’ve had some teachers in my school do a “cardboard challenge day” where students make arcade games out of cardboard. I would love to have a place in my school where we can bring our students to do projects like this. A room with the supplies and space we need would be ideal and would definitely be used regularly.

Reasons Why Coding And Makerspaces Are Great!

Coding and Makerspaces allow students to express themselves, understand how to fix what is broken, and see problems as opportunities. Students are able to be creative and come up with some pretty cool ideas and solutions. They can share ideas which helps them learn social skills while also learning from each other.

Students can use Coding and Makerspace to understand why Math and Science are useful- kids see the results of what they’re doing and it opens doors to tech-based careers. It’s a creative way to engage young kids in Science.

Coding is pretty accessible and does not cost much. There are plenty of free websites with lessons and tutorials. It can be independent or teacher-led. There are also some programs in the city that have coding.

A lot of the supplies for Makerspaces can be cheap. It would be beneficial to also ask for donations for the space like legos and art supplies. Kids will work with pretty much anything that is engaging and hands-on. They would be happy with a chunk of clay!

Reasons Why Coding And Makerspaces Are Perhaps Not So Great

Coding requires teachers and students to have some experience with tech and programming. Those who do not get it might become frustrated. Coding also requires enough devices and it may be difficult to integrate it into the curriculum.

Makerspaces may not be great for students who need direct instructions to learn. Those who have difficulty with open-ended learning may struggle. Students and teachers who do not do well with mess or noise might not like the idea of Makerspaces. Of course, some supplies and be cheap, but it takes time and money to build a space with a variety of materials.

Final Thoughts

This group presentation has made me want to plan coding activities, stem challenges… and maybe ask my administration about a Makerspace… In the next couple of months, I would like to integrate more coding ( even if it’s just for my fast finishers). I am always hoping to find more fun and engaging activities to do with my students (it’s trying to find a way to tie it to the curriculum that I struggle with!)

How do you incorporate Coding, Makerspaces, and stem challenges into your classroom/lessons that allow you to hit outcomes?

Thanks for reading!


One thought on “Coding and MakerSpaces

  1. The first time I did any meaningful integration of coding into my mathematics class was during a lesson on functions. One of the students asked the classic question “When are we going to ever use this?” I had just finished a SaskPolytech certificate in web design and it included some Java script courses, so I turned on my projector and built a rudimentary website in notepad and started writing some hastily put together code to show her some applications. I thought it wasn’t going to go anywhere, but the same student started coming up to my desk during work time and wanted to see more HTML, CSS, and coding. Later on they went to Campus Regina Public and took computer science. I think this was the first time that I actually had extremely concrete examples of how pure mathematics was directly applicable in a day to day context. Now when we introduce functions I always show a little bit of coding, even if students aren’t interested in it they should have an appreciation of how it underpins many of their favourite sites, apps, and games.


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