[MAKER FAIRE NYC 2018] Make Education Forum – Highlights


If you are at home eager to have an overview of everything that happened at the Make Education Forum, this post is for you. The Forum aimed at spreading the word that one  important outcome for maker education is helping more students find meaningful, productive work. At this year’s Education Forum at World Maker Faire NY, a great lineup of speakers  look at how maker educators can help students navigate the future of work–a future that focuses on curiosity and innovation.Speakers and panelists provided insight into how hands-on learning experiences  develop future-forward skills and mindset.

Innovating the School Experience

Sarah Boisvert with Fab Lab Hub operates 2 Fab Labs in Santa Fe, NM and has developed Digital Badges for operators and service techs. Her work mapping what skills are needed for today’s operators and technicians point to the  realisation that 95% of the manufacturers said they are looking for people with problem-solving skills. All the work All work is documented online and accessible to those willing to master important skills for the jobs of the future.

The New Collar Workforce

At the heart of making is the belief that we have the chance to tackle the problems we are passionate about. Carlos Moreno, Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning, is unapologetically passionate about promoting equality. He supports schools and educational leaders who are creating high-quality, non-traditional schools.

Fostering Maker Empowerment and a Sensitivity to Design

Senior Research Manager Andrea Sachdeva from the Agency by Design (AbD) research initiative at Project Zero (Harvard Graduate School of Education) took us beyond thinking of making as a skill to be applied. She shared some relevant frameworks to help educators think of  making as an educational approach to design and instruct maker activities across the curriculum. She brought along examples far from the technical skills and offered a fresh look to making. The Project’s site is undergoing massive changes soon.

What School Makerspaces Can Learn From Co-Working Spaces

Azadeh Jamalian, the former head of Education Strategy at littleBits, is the founder of the world’s first incubator + invention hub for kids.  She got Inspired by new working environments and a their flat hierarchy to think of ways schools can promote new social + invention hub for kids to do what they dream.

Makerspaces in the Workspace

Aaron Cunningham, the global makerspace lead at Google, Leads a team of over 250 volunteers. They focus  on Google engagement and growth at over 50 makerspaces in Google offices around the world. Google encourages making as a means of driving innovation across Google. In the beginning, people would come to a google makerspace to code. Then, 3d printers were introduced to prototype products.  3d printers started to collect dust and the office understood that what makes the place are the people in them. Aaron shared his personal story – he does not have a college degree but by volunteering and working together with other makers at  a makerspaces developed in him the skills that landed him a job at Google. Aaron urged educators and people to encounter the maker movement. “…We should not worry about certificates. We need dispositions to make things happen at google.”

Connecting Students and Seniors for Real-World Problem Solving

Niti Parikh shared the process and findings from a pilot workshop offered in Spring 2018 where 6 senior community members were paired up with 6 Cornell Tech graduate students. The methodology used is fascinating and the results were interesting.

Inspiring Makers, Dreamers and Entrepreneurs

Michael Holmstrom introduced us to STEM Punks and inspires a new generation of creative and innovative thinkers. Their  eLearning programs have been developed to enable online learning of our Innovation Programs.

Solving Hard Problems in Challenging Situations

Brad Halsey of Building Momentum in Arlington, VA has applied his diverse maker skills in maker training for the Marines as well as deployments in disaster relief. Brad is a motivated scientist who thrives at leading others to develop and use technology to rapidly solve critical problems, especially in challenging, austere, and combat environments. He advocates for Problem solving being used as a tool and says that all one need to find solutions is confidence and permission. He challenged educators to throw a real challenge at the school community and he would help youth build the confidence and competence needed  to make changes.

See more blogposts about our trip to the Maker Faire NY 2018 here.

Check our photo album too.