Making Learning Happen
The “maker” movement is simply the DIY creative spirit reignited for the 21st century. It’s a return to self-sufficiency, self-reliance and creativity, providing engaging and hands-on opportunities to inspire, educate, and entertain curious and creative learners of all ages. It celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, food, green design, music, science and technology and brings together communities who embrace the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit. There are lots of ways to “make” education happen in this very active learning experience.
Take Your Students to Gulf Coast MakerCon
Students can enjoy extended visits with Makers, hands on “Make & Take” activities and a full day of interactive fun and learning. The handouts, “MeetAMaker” , and “MakeUpYourMind”, are also available for teachers and students who would like to make a project of some of the educational opportunities Gulf Coast MakerCon provides. You can find these handouts and more resources in our downloadable Educators Guide to Gulf Coast MakerCon (2015 version).
Showcase Student Work
If you are interested in exhibiting your students’ work as Makers (or in sharing your very own Maker-ish classroom projects), please consider being part of our Maker Schools Showcase. Consider holding a Maker Festival at your school to exhibit student work in a variety of disciplines as wide as we welcome at Gulf Coast MakerCon.
Set Up a Makerspace
A makerspace is a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. Visit the Eureka Factory’s Maker Resources library for more information.
Start a Young Makers Club
Check out local library makerspaces (see our Makers Consortium directory) for youth programs or create your own through the many resources available for Young Makers through sites like Maker Kids and Instructables.
The Value of the Maker Experience
We hope to bring the Maker Movement to education in a few specific ways:
- Creating the context that develops the Maker Mindset, a growth mindset that encourages us to have the confidence that we can learn to do anything.
- Building a new body of practice in teaching making—and a corps of practitioners to follow it.
- Designing and developing Makerspaces in a variety of community contexts, in order to serve a diverse group of learners who may not share the access to the same resources.
- Identifying, developing and sharing a broad framework of projects and kits based on a wide range of tools and materials that connect to student interests in and out of school.
- Designing and hosting online social platforms for collaboration among students, teachers, and the community.
- Developing programs especially for young people that allow them to take a leading role in creating more Makers.
- Creating the community context for the exhibition and curation of student work in relationship with all makers, and ensuring that new opportunities are created for more people to participate.
- Allowing individuals and groups to build a record of participation in the Maker community, which can be useful for academic and career advancement as well as advance a student’s sense of personal development.
- Developing educational contexts that link the practice of making to formal concepts and theory, to support discovery and exploration while introducing new tools for advanced design and new ways of thinking about making. (Practically, this means developing guides for teachers, mentors and other leaders.)
- Fostering in each student the full capacity, creativity and confidence to become agents of change in their personal lives and in their community.
- Inspiration : inviting students to participate in the creative economy and to direct their own future
- Innovation : serving as a catalyst for grassroots invention
- Education : building a connection between the community and learners