Makerspaces and K'NEX
Makerspaces are creative, DIY spaces where students of all ages can gather to create, invent, and learn. They are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
Makerspaces often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies, tools, and more.
The K'NEX construction kit is an ideal addition to any Makerspace, as it provides students with an open-ended construction system that can be used to design and build millions of different working models, large or small.
This section of the website includes:
♦ Using K'NEX in Makerspaces
♦ Some issues to consider
Using K'NEX in Makerspaces
K'NEX is popular with Makerspaces because of its relatively low cost, and its versatility. Children of any age from 5 upwards will find themselves enjoying using K'NEX once they overcome any initial nervousness. There is also a version with bigger components available called Kid K'NEX, for children aged 3 to 7.
If you don't already have K'NEX, our K'NEX shop provides details of the four K'NEX Maker sets that are designed for use in Makerspaces. These are:
K'NEX Maker kit Basic and K'NEX Maker kit Large at More K'NEX Education sets
K'NEX Maker kit Wheels and K'NEX Maker kit Simple Machines at Yet more K'NEX education sets.
We are also pleased to offer the following guides on our Free downloads page, which may be of interest:
♦ "Using K'NEX in Children's clubs and Childcare schemes"
♦ "101 K'NEX Challenges"
♦ "101 K'NEX Maths activities"
Some issues to consider
A few of the issues you may wish to consider when using K'NEX in Makerspaces are:
♦ You might like to introduce K'NEX to your students by asking them to build a few K'NEX models from instructions. Once they have become familiar with K'NEX-building techniques, it is then recommended that you move on to setting them K'NEX challenges, so as to maximise the educational benefits.
♦ You may well find that a significant proportion of the children will already have used K'NEX at school or at home, and will be able to help other children who are new to K'NEX to get started.
♦ We would suggest you put your students into groups of 2 or 3 to use K'NEX. This will help them to develop teamwork skills and communication skills whilst they are completing their K'NEX projects.
♦ It will help greatly if you store your K'NEX carefully arranged in compartmented trays, rather than all mixed up in a big box. This approach means that time is not wasted in searching for the components you need.
♦ If you can afford it, buy enough K'NEX for the whole club to use at once.
♦ If your club offers some form of certification to members (eg learning credits), consider whether K'NEX can play a part in helping Club members complete the work to achieve that certification.
♦ You may find that some of your students become better at using K'NEX than you are yourself, in a similar way that schools often have computer whizz-kids that are ahead of their teachers. Do not worry about this! We suggest you put your star students to work helping out those members who are taking longer to master the K'NEX building skills.
♦ Think about advertising in advance when you are going to do a K'NEX project in your Makerspace. Clubs often find they get more students attending a session if they know they are going to be working with K'NEX.