Introducing Our New Database: Lerner Maker Lab

By Kris Tomes, Senior Digital Product Manager  

This January, we launched a brand new database of hands-on projects, experiments, crafts, and recipes for makers of varying skill levels! Lerner Maker Lab is our new offering for grades 2-5, with over 500 projects and growing. Each easy-to-follow project guides readers with step-by-step instructions and images. Lerner Maker Lab is perfect for makerspaces, libraries without makerspaces, at-home use, and anywhere kids want to roll their sleeves up and get creative!

Sign up for a free trial or keep reading for a full, in-depth tour of the database.

Lerner Maker Lab Quick Links:

Without further ado, let’s take a deeper dive into the Lerner Maker Lab!

Kid-Friendly Interface & Tools

The Lerner Maker Lab was designed specifically for grades 2-5, with an easy-to-use, age-appropriate interface. Accessible via computers and tablets, the home page displays featured projects to encourage browsing and discovery.

Maker Lab homepage

Students can navigate to their preferred category by clicking on one of the category icons: Craft, Build, Experiment, Eat, Celebrate! Breadcrumbs appear once students leave the home page, and are hyperlinked so students can easily find their way back to where they started.

Experiment category

Students can also type project names into the search bar, which has fuzzy logic to catch misspellings. The search bar can also be used to search for a specific material, with search results listing projects that use that material.

Search in Lerner Maker Lab

Projects begin with a short intro called “What You’re Making” to introduce the project. Some projects include sidebars that provide dietary notes, STEM takeaways, or related projects.

“What You’re Making”

Next, the projects include a supplies list called “What You’ll Need.” These are all the materials, tools, and ingredients readers will need to make the project.

“What You’ll Need”

Recipes also include an additional section that lists servings, preparation time, and baking time, so you can plan accordingly.

Recipes in Maker Lab

The “How to Make It” section includes stages and steps that are clearly defined by headers and alternating background colors. Steps are paired with images to help users follow along.

Step-by-step instructions

Steps that require adult assistance are marked with a friendly explanation point and an “Ask an adult for help” note.

Ask an adult for help

Projects conclude with a carousel of recommended projects that have something in common with the current project. This encourages discovery and interconnectivity.

Handy Admin Tools

Lerner Maker Lab also comes with helpful Admin tools that allow staff to review the most popular projects, how often projects are read, and the number of logins.


Student Privacy, Accessibility, and Curricular Connections

Lerner Maker Lab does not track individual students. All usage statistics used in the Admin tools are based on the common user credentials. Plus, authenticated URLs means students never have to enter credentials, and can access the database from school or home.

Lerner Maker Lab adheres to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1, and is designed to be accessible to students with disabilities using assistive technologies. The database is also compatible with text-to-speech, enhanced text visibility, and Google Translate programs to ensure all learners can read and succeed.

Ready to Try Lerner Maker Lab?

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