Week 7 Robotics

Week 7 Robotics: What Are Your Rules for Your MakerSpace?

Before I made rules, I would make sure that students knew how to handle the tools and equipment that they are going to be using. We would first read and learn about each piece of equipment and tool we would be using. We would learn what it does and any dangerous effects that it might have. After students learn about the equipment, they would take a quiz on it. They would have to pass before they are allowed to use any equipment. I would also send home a safety contract that the students and parents would have to sign. I want them to both know that any violation of the rules would automatically result in dismissal from the class. Safety is priority one in the MakerSpace classroom.

Students must know the importance of safety. Depending on what type of equipment you have, some of these tools can hurt someone if not used correctly. You can accomplish this by modeling safe behavior in your own actions and in how you set up the space, setting up a strict training regimen, and posting signs and checklists (Hluinka, 2013).  Students must be trained before they even touch a tool they have never used before. Hluinka (2013) gives a great example of a teacher’s workshop in California. This teacher has a multi-step process for being certified on a machine before students are to use it independently. I think this is a wonderful idea. He also posts signs at each machine to explain its application and some key safety guidelines. I think this is good as well. It will be hard for students to remember all of the tools and what they do, and how to be safe with them, even if they passed a test on it. I think this would be good just to remind students again before they get started on a tool.

I like the rules from the MakerSpace Playbook page 16. There’s no reason to invent new rules when good guidelines like the following exist:

The emergency phone number is 9-1-1 Report all injuries.

•Do not attempt to remove foreign objects from the eye or body.

•If chemicals get in the eye(s), wash eye(s) for 15 minutes in an open flow of water before proceeding for medical treatment.

Use protective gear. Dress right.

•Wear eye protection: safety glasses with side shields, goggles, or face   shields at all times, whether working or not!!

•Do not wear loose-fitting clothing around moving or rotating machinery.

•Remove ties, jewelry, gloves, etc. especially around moving or  rotating machinery.

•Tie back or cover long hair to keep it away from moving machinery.

•Wear only shoes that cover the entire foot, no open-toe shoes or sandals.

•Wear suitable gloves when handling hot objects, glass, or sharp-edged items.

•Wear appropriate clothing for the job (i.e., do not wear short sleeve shirts or short pants when welding).


•Safety is your top priority when using the shop. If you are not sure what you are doing, ask.

•Know all the locations of all first aid, fire, and safety equipment.

•Never use a tool unless you’ve been trained to use it safely.

•Never work alone when using power tools. Two persons must be present and be able to see one another.

•Sign in before using any equipment.

•Do not work in the shop if tired, or in a hurry.

•Do not fool around, startle, or distract anyone (not even with a conversation) while either one of you is using a tool.

•Think through the entire job before starting. Prepare prints or drawings with all dimensions and specifications prior to using machines.

Use tools right.

•Use tools only as they were designed to be used. (A wrench is not a hammer.)

•Never use a broken tool.

•Report any broken tools or machines immediately.

•Do not remove tools from the room.

•Never walk away from a tool that is still on.

•A hard hammer should not be used to strike a hardened tool or any machine part. Use a soft-faced hammer.

•Operate machines only with all required guards and shields in place.

Clean up.

•Clean up every time whenever you leave an area, including sweeping the floor.

•Clean and return all tools to where you got them.

•Use compressed air sparingly; never aim it at another person or use it to clean hair or clothes.

•Shut off and unplug machines when cleaning, repairing, or oiling.

•Never use a rag near moving machinery.

•Use a brush, hook, or a special tool to remove chips, shavings, etc. from the work area. Never use the hands.

•Keep fingers clear of the point of operation of machines by using special tools or devices, such as, push sticks, hooks, pliers, etc.

•Keep the floor around machines clean, dry, and free from trip hazards. Do not allow chips to accumulate.

•Mop up spills immediately and put a chair or cone over them if they are wet enough to cause someone to slip.

The Dallas article made a good point about how collaboration is important. Students need to feel comfortable with each other and be able to ask each other questions.  It also cautions that if you are unsure of doing something safely then don’t do it. I think this would apply, too, if there are any tools that students can get hurt by. Don’t take chances before you become familiar with tools and equipment.

I think the rules for my MakerSpace would depend on what type of tools I had. I would go with the rules from above for now. I would also talk to coworkers and others before the rules were set in place. I would want to hear other peoples’ opinions before I set the rules. I would just make sure that students know that this is not a place where you horse around or run around. I would say that we need to maintain a safe and clean environment at all times. I would make sure signs are posted and visible warning signs on all equipment. I would also make sure that there is a well-stocked first-aid kit and all students knew where it was located. Safety plans make the students and me more confident and aware of any risks involved to ensure everyone’s safety. I would want students to have a good time in the MakerSpace—to relax so they can be creative—but, first, to be safe.


Hluinka, M. (2013). Safety in School Makerspaces | Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://makezine.com/2013/09/02/safety-in-school-makerspaces/

Makerspace Playbook School Edition. (2013). Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://makered.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Makerspace-Playbook-Feb-2013.pdf

Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, Calif.: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Rules and Policies. (2015). Retrieved June 23, 2015, from https://dallasmakerspace.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies

SLO MakerSpace Rules and General Safety. (2013). Retrieved June 23, 2015, from http://www.slomakerspace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SLOMakerSpaceRulesandGeneralSafety.pdf

6 thoughts on “Week 7 Robotics

  1. I like the idea of students taking a safety test on certain tools. Maybe it could be a test where you watch them as they demonstrate how they use the tool safely and you check them off. I was going to use a safety contract as well for parents and students to sign agreeing that they understand the importance of safety and will abide by the rules. I like the idea of having your peers review your rules before teaching them to your students. I was going to have students help make safety posters to put up around our Makerspace and have poster that remind students how to use specific tools. I agree that students should feel safe and at ease while using tools to create. Safety should become second nature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think this is the part I am nervous about is kids using tools. I know I want to make sure if I have tools they know how to use it before and I still wold want an adult near by. That is a good idea to have the kids make the posters.


      1. I am also very nervous about kids using tools. I know that there are ways to make sure they know how to use them safely, but it is a huge liability in my opinion. It only takes a moment for it to all go wrong. With that being said, I like the idea of either having an adult supervising or having my younger students supervise an adult using the power tools. It is definitely something I will have to consider as my makerspace expands and grows.


  2. You and I were definitely thinking along the same lines on this question. I like your suggestion about having kids take a quiz on each tool and making them sign a contract. They are good things to keep on file for every kid. Both are excellent protections against injury and add a layer of accountability. As the club grows and new equipment is purchased, students can go through the process of getting approved. My goal is for kids to leave the makerspace each day with the same number of fingers and toes they came in with. Jessica’s idea of making the kids demonstrate proper use will help the kids remember more of the details. Having a sign at each tool with basic info and safety reminders also makes sense. I saw that idea when I was reading this week. This may be something kids could help create.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is my goals well especially if they are using tools that are dangerous. That is a good ideas of kids demonstrating proper use and also them creating the signs. If they create it they will more likely to remember it.


  3. I too like the idea of having students go through training of each tool and then assess their tool mastery at the end >tool training. I am also nervous about students using tools, mostly because I have very little experience using tools, besides a hammer and screwdrivers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s