Makerspaces A to Z: Fundamental

Logo: Makerspaces a to Z: Fundamental

Thanks for check out my #MakerspacesAtoZ blog series.  In case you missed it, you can catch my previous posts here: 

A:  Aspirational

B:  Boring

C:  Combinatory

D:  Disobedient 

E:  Enterprising

Thank you to all those who shared their thoughts about those posts using the #MakerspacesAtoZ hashtag.  Thank you also to those who shared their thoughts about Letter F words there, as well.  Letter F words shared included Flow, Fail Forward, Fulfilling, Fun, and more!  Be sure to check out the hashtag to see them all!  So many great Letter F words!

Letter F for me, represents Fundamental.  

I recently came across a blog post written by the amazing Mark Sparvell, in which he used the phrase, "Fundamental, not ornamental."  Anyone who knows my work, knows why this phrase would resonate with me in terms of makerspaces.  My work has never been about the ornamental "stuff," it has always been about the research, the philosophy, the pedagogy related to creating these unique learning environments. (To be honest, this has not always been easy, since some seem more enamored with the ornamental "stuff").  This isn't the only reason I appreciated Mark's post though.  Mark used the phrase, "Fundamental, not ornamental," in referring to social-emotional skills and the potential role technology can play in augmenting, extending and enhancing them.  I follow Mark on social media and his work in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), in addition to this blog post, has inspired me to think deeply about SEL and makerspaces.  It is his work that led my team at Hands-On Coding to launch a #MindfulCoding challenge for this year's Hour of Code. 

SEL and makerspaces is not an entirely new concept, in fact, I recently discovered that it was written about by Jackie Gerstein here, however, it was Mark's blog post that got me thinking about the meaningful, impactful connections between the two.  I think connections between SEL and makerspaces will push some maker educators outside of their comfort zone, but I also think that exploring all it can be, will impact our students in profound ways.  It is an area I will be exploring much further and doing lots of work in, so stay tuned! 

Cross posted at

Laura Fleming has been a classroom teacher and media specialist in grades K-8 and currently is a Library Media Specialist for grades 9-12. She is a well known writer, speaker and consultant on next-generation teaching methods and tools, and the author of the best-selling Worlds of Learning: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School