The Maker Movement is based on the notion that “making” is the most powerful way for students to learn. Through tinkering and exploration, students are connected to engineering and technology with concepts, like programming, design and information literacy.
If you’re curious to know more about the Maker Movement and how to incorporate it into after school, we’ve got you covered. The Maker Movement is based on the notion that “making” is the most powerful way for students to learn. Through tinkering and exploration, students are connected to engineering and technology with concepts, like programming, design and information literacy.
The concept of making isn’t new to the after school field. Programs offer innovative hands-on activities that engage students in STEM fields and introduce them to STEM careers. The Maker Movement, however, fosters a vibrant community of problem-solvers that shares tools and ideas online and creates free or affordable versions of the latest tools and technology. By participating in the movement, students are empowered to reimagine school science and math as their path to becoming today’s inventors, scientists and engineers.
Check out the following ways to join the Maker Movement in after school:
- Create a Makerspace. A makerspace is a physical space for students to meet, equipped with tools and supplies, so they can work on various projects. Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE, suggests allowing young makers to build their own makerspace. If that’s not an option, Edutopia.org shared six strategies for funding a makerspace.
- Contact MakerState to start a makerspace in your program. They provide an award-winning curriculum, maker materials and a trained instructor. MakerState also hosts one-time or ongoing Pop Up Makerspaces for students to meet and build STEM projects.
- Utilize tech tools that encourage students to “make.” With a MaKey MaKey board, students can manipulate existing websites and programs (ie. an online Pacman game or Facebook) using everyday items, like food, Play-Doh and coins. Alternatively, students can practice building their own programs and websites using Scratch, a free programming language. Find more tech tools on elementaryedtech.com.
- Invite local engineering and design professionals to help guide students in the design process. They can bring in examples of their work and share how they completed the project, from start to finish. During their time at your program, volunteers can team up with students to tackle a problem, brainstorm a solution, sketch a plan and build the final product. PBS Kids’ Design Squad Nation has great engineering and design projects for students to complete.