As a part of the Minimakerspace project a unique cart will be developed, which will function as both a storage space and as a mobile work station. The intention with the wide array of technology, that has been selected, is to make it easy for the pedagogues to use and organise the products. In a kindergarten context there are special requirements to take into consideration when creating a makerspace, in regards to safety, power outlets, maintenance, as well as ensuring that the height of the work space is appropriate for both small children and adults.
If educational technologies are to be integrated into the daily life at a kindergarten, the technologies cannot be so impractical that they end up gathering dust in a closet. It should be easy to use the products, so that the children get to play with them as often as possible, but it should also be easy to tidy everything up afterwards. With a dedicated piece of furniture, specially designed for the selected technologies and the desired pedagogical practice, technologies can be used smarter, for instance by having the storage space double as a charging station for robots. Instead of utilizing every socket in the kindergarten, a pedagogue can just plug in the one cable for the cart and use the built-in sockets and USB power outlets for the electronic products.
The design of the piece of furniture needs to fit the interior of an average kindergarten. The cart should be small enough that it can be moved around by one person, and it needs to fit through a door or inside an elevator. As the cart needs to work not only as storage, but also as a workstation, it needs to be multifunctional. One way of doing this is by having the cart unfold in different ways. As illustrated in the concept drawings, the middle shelf of the cart hides a draw-out table, and one of the cupboard doors can be folded up as a table for the adult user. The doors of the top shelves even have practical storage space for scissors, drawing supplies, and glue sticks.
Some of the intended activities with robots and bitware use lights, and therefore one side of the cart can be folded together and turned into half a box. That way a darker space is created, making it more fun to work with LED lights. During the development of the cart, more concept art will be published on the website. Currently Hippomini is designing the cart concept, before handing it over to a furniture manufacturer. The first version of the cart will function as a prototype, that will be tested in the field, and the feedback from this initial testing will inform the next version of the cart.