Making Makers

The “Maker” subculture is gaining momentum.  Makers are people of all ages who create and build beautiful projects such as robots, electronics, and arts and crafts.  The idea behind the maker movement is for people to learn by doing.  It is a hands-on approach to learning which fosters creativity and self-expression.  Each year a convention is held in New York, Detroit, and San Francisco’s Bay area called “The Maker Faire“.  The faire showcases projects from makers young and old from all around the country.

A boy looks at Super Mario Lamps during the Maker Faire in San Francisco.                                              (Picture courtesy of spotlight.macfound.org)

The Maker Faire was a huge success but that is not the only reason to be excited.  The faire’s founder, Dale Dougherty, has announced a new maker education initiative.  The program will expand hands-on learning and building experiences for children in schools and other learning environments.

“We believe making provides rich, authentic learning experiences,” Dougherty said. “Such experiences promote creativity and develop problem solving skills while helping to establish a lifelong interest in science and technology. Becoming a maker can be life-changing for a child.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlrB6npbwVQ[/youtube]

As a future K-12 educator I am pleased to see that there is a growing movement to incorporate hands-on building, creating, and learning in our schools.  Students must be able to express themselves not only with words but with physical pursuits.  I myself am a hands-on learner, so I appreciated the importance of getting dirt on your hands and creating something from scratch.  As Mr. Dougherty says, “We are makers”.  Humans are natural creators and it is time we get back to our roots and foster our natural abilities.

7 thoughts on “Making Makers

  1. I’m also a hands on learner. I almost always have a stronger connection to any given subject when using my hands to make it happen. This turns out to be true even for abstract things like math problems. Isn’t that interesting? I mean writing is about as abstract as we’ve gotten as a species (just look at a foreign language you don’t understand to realize that), and math formulas or computer code, it’s not just reading about them that helps me get it, but working through these “problems” and finding “solutions”.

    If you do go on to fuse making into your curriculum, I can only say that I’d be slightly envious of those kids, because I would of loved to have had that.

  2. As a future teacher I am also happy to see the growing movement on hands-on learning and creative learning into the curriculum. This will be exciting. Good post….

  3. Awesome post Mike, I believe that by having students getting their hands-on experience it will be a better alternative to the education curriculum and take it to whole other level.

  4. I enjoyed the video you posted. Not sure which bike i liked better. The huge one or the mini one powered by a drill

  5. very nice post EZMIKE. as i watched the video i invisioned you in an electric muffin. very informational post.

  6. Great video and quote, it can really be life changing . The maker movement really brings out the natural talents in everyone.

  7. The statement- “All of us are makers” gives us a feeling that we are “inventors.”
    The video was so inspirational to watch. ” The world around us is made by us, it didn’t just exist” For example- lets look at the iphones,ipods, or the ipads we have today.
    I did not just fall off the sky- Steve Jobs was able to use his imagination and ideas to bring to us this magnificent piece of invention.
    Allowing one to use their ideas and hands get help advance our world a little more.
    Great post!!

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