Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Maker Resources for You!

In 2005, Dale Dougherty, through Maker Media, launched Make Magazine.  This has proven to be a catalyst for what is now known as the Maker Movement.  In 2006, to celebrate what was being created from the magazine and in the world at large, Maker Faire was born.  The first faire was held in the San Francisco Bay Area and attracted over 20,000 attendees.  

In 2015, more than 1.2 million people will have attended over 150 events all over the globe.  Locally, we are proud that our own event - the Southwest Michigan Mini Maker Faire contributed over 1,200 attendees!  But what I am most happy to say is that the art of making and creating is alive in classrooms all over our area and spreading.

The folks at Maker Media have been busy again lately, providing several excellent opportunities to help your classroom, school, and community.  One of the first places to start is Maker Ed.  This site provides a powerful resource library and a ‘playbook’ on creating a youth Makerspace.  The non-profit organization is committed to provide students with opportunities to create, make, and learn.  They offer professional development opportunities and a directory for you to connect with programs and events.

If you have students and teachers excited about the opportunities of making in school, a club might be the first place to start.  Maker Media can help here as well.  Due to the success of their summer camp, they have decided to offer Maker Camp during the school year.  The summer program was built all around different themes (such as fantasy, flight, or farmland) with creative projects for kids to make supporting these themes.  All of the online resources are still available for you to use.  


Maker Camp kicks off October 5, and runs ten weeks.  This camp is geared for later elementary to middle school students.  You could check in and see if there is a ‘campsite’ near you, or start your own.  If you are unable to join the camp kick-off you could use the summer camp resources and proceed at your own pace.  Let’s start making!

Once camp ends, if your school is ready to share and celebrate the making and learning happening you can host your own licensed Maker Faire at school.  This is a free program for K-12 schools.  An overview can be found at makerfaire.com/school complete with an opportunity to apply, or find a faire near you.

There you have it.  Resources straight from the folks that started it all.  I hope you found something of use in this post.  Remember that one of the core tenets of the Maker Movement is sharing, so if you find something useful then share it as a comment below!

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