As makerspaces became popular in educational environments, it was vital to examine the technological absence Native students face in Native communities—this inspired KARMA to redefine the “makerspace” as MakerPlace. 

St. Michaels Indian School campus sign for their MakersPlace

The MakerPlace emphasizes the relationship to place from a Navajo approach that accentuates the kinship between land, community, home, and the universe. The MakerPlace is a collaborative hub that ignites creative individuals to utilize tools such as MakerBot mini, LEGO SPIKE Prime Kits, and VR headsets to develop solutions for local challenges.

The Navajo Nation is a technological desert that lacks access to tech focused tools that could positively impact communities. The MakerPlace was constructed to bridge the connection between culture and technology. As access expands, the vision is to encourage students to apply their innovative thinking to develop applications that could solve challenges faced in their communities. The MakerPlace centralizes coding, robotics, multi-media, and engineering efforts.

Access to these technologies in Navajo Nation is extremely scarce, however, MakerPlaces have been established in two locations. First, Little Singer Community School and St. Michaels Indian School. To learn more about the MakerPlace…