Inquiry-based learning is not a new idea, but has gained resurgence in education trends accompanied by the makerspace movement. Inquiry-based learning approaches across all content areas often pair well with the makerspace movement. It is said that “An inquiry-based curriculum can increase student achievement and narrow the gap between high- and low-achieving students” (Towns & Sweetland, 2008). Furthermore, maker-centered projects naturally differentiate and are accessible to all students (Mitchell, n.d.). Incorporating maker activities into your inquiry-based lessons is an easy addition that will enhance student curiosity. Read on for new ways to incorporate makerspace products into inquiry-based lessons.
Maker Education in the Content Areas
Students can use makerspace products to tell a story.
Create video games by creating characters and adding content.
- Check out these students using Bloxels to create a game including content about Presidents they have researched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgaXy_3m1Ac.
Use coding to create patterns of movement, sound, and lights.
- Students can make storytelling come alive with a makerspace version of reader’s theater.
Making common materials into a keyboard where students can present information in a fun way.
- Add makerspace to your living museum presentations by creating keyboard buttons for information.
Create and Design
LEGO® Bricks / Keva Planks / K’nex
Building materials give students the opportunity to design and create.
- Students can use building materials to build replicates of national monuments.
Chibitronics Circuit Stickers
- Students study the properties of electricity.
- Illuminate your work by using circuits to light up paper creations.
Cardboard / Art Materials
Create prototypes of ideas for students to learn and explore.
- Using available materials, students can create a vehicle and measure the distance it can travel.
- Use Makedo Cardboard Construction Toolkit to help easily construct designs with cardboard.
Collaboration & Communication
Twenty One Toys
Students communicate and work together to create a similar product. Use Twenty One Toys to introduce working together and communication skills.
- Engaging way students can explore communication skills.
Towns, R., & Sweetland, J., Dr. (2008). INSPIRED ISSUE BRIEF: INQUIRY-BASEDTEACHING. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from http://inspiredteaching.org/wp-content/uploads/impact-research-briefs-inquiry-based-teaching.pdf
Mitchell, Paula. WHAT’S MISSING FROM THE MAKER MOVEMENT IN EDU. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from