How can we front-load STEAM skills and a Maker mindset?
Provide makerspace tours to orient learners to new technologies and materials.
Offer maker challenge activities - rotating centers in the library or makerspace. Use QR codes linked to videos, or simple 1-2 page instructions to help learners try new skills independently. Remember that pictures of steps in a skill may help learners more than words.
If your learners require more guidance, establish a guided maker time. For example, in a rotating schedule, the school librarian and other educators work together with small groups of learners on a specific skill, material, or technology. The activities can be customized to a specific grade content area, or be based on a theme or concept.
For older learners, offer a short course (4 - 9 weeks) that teaches some of the more advanced skills such as 3D design and printing, video and audio production, game design, etc. Students who participate in this course can then serve as mentors to other students. This could be taught during a dedicated exploratory time, after school, during lunch or after school.