Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTELive 20
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Successful and Sustainable Makerspaces in Low-Income and Rural Schools

Location: W175ab

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Panel

Tuesday, June 26, 11:45 am–12:45 pm
Location: W175ab

Stephanie Chang   Rafranz Davis   Colleen Graves   Kristina Holzweiss   Robert Pronovost  
A panel comprised of educators at various positions within their school districts will confront common challenges in creating successful and sustainable makerspaces in low-income and rural schools.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Maker activities and programs
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Provide learner-centered environments equipped with technology and learning resources to meet the individual, diverse needs of all learners.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Consider key elements that need to be explicitly addressed when bringing “making” into low income and rural schools.

Explore methods of moving from a surface level implementation of maker education to a system-wide cultural shift.

Understand actions that can be taken by individuals in various positions within the educational system to support systemic change.


Our panel, including a librarian, teacher, director of a makerspace, and a district director of learning, will discuss and share their observations and experiences in creating successful and sustainable makerspaces in low income and rural schools. Educators in low income and rural communities face challenges in implementing hands-on learning, including financial, cultural, and systemic barriers, which need to be addressed in order to authentically provide maker education for all students. Our panel will spend time addressing each of these topics, with Q&A from the audience.

Supporting research

The Makerspace Movement:
Sites of Possibilities for Equitable Opportunities to Engage
Underrepresented Youth in STEM

Designing Equity-Oriented Makerspaces

More [+]


Stephanie Chang, Maker Ed
Rafranz Davis, Lufkin ISD
Colleen Graves, JoyLabz

Colleen Graves is a teacher librarian and education consultant obsessed with making stuff. She writes about what goes on in her library makerspace on her blog at and is also co-author of The Big Book of Makerspace Projects, Challenge Based Learning in the Library Makerspace, and 20 Makey Makey Projects for the Evil Genius. She can be found on Twitter @gravescolleen and Instagram @makerteacherlibrarian.

Kristina Holzweiss, Syosset High School

Kristina A. Holzweiss is a middle school library media specialist on Long Island, New York. Kristina was named the School Library Journal Librarian of the Year in 2015, a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, and a NSBA "20 to Watch" emerging education technology leader. Kristina is the president of the nonprofit organization Long Island LEADS (, a community effort to learn, educate, advocate, develop, and support the maker movement and STEAM education. She also founded SLIME - Students of Long Island Maker Expo ( Kristina is the co-author of 8 Scholastic makerspace books and "Hacking School Libraries."

Robert Pronovost, San Mateo County Office Of Education

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