Creating a Nation of Makers

maker_faire_976x490Here’s a Message from

Our Commitments to Making

Responding to the President’s call to action to create a Nation of Makers, and as part of a White House event kicking off the National Week of Making, the MakeSchools Higher Education Alliance is announcing renewed support for Making by universities, institutions around the nation!

In a joint letter to President Obama, universities, schools and colleges around the nation have pledged their support for Making.  We are doing this by investing in Makerspaces that are accessible to students across the campus, or serving as “anchor tenants” for commercially-operated Makerspaces; expanding access to university shared facilities and scientific instrumentation to Makers; allowing students that are applying for admission to our institutions to submit their Maker portfolio; supporting research, education, and service-learning that is relevant to Making, such as the development of new tools for desktop manufacturing, or encouraging students to serve as mentors for young Makers; and participating in regional efforts to create a vibrant Maker ecosystem that involve companies, investors, skilled volunteers, state and local officials, libraries, museums, schools, after-school programs, labor unions, and community-based organizations.

See our commitments to Making in the compiled commitment packet and letter to President Obama from the higher education community

State of Making Report

Further responding to the President’s call, the MakeSchools Higher Education Alliance has prepared a “State of Making” report that summarizes outcomes from 40 higher education institutions around the nation who contributed profiles of their engagement with Making. Using this information, this landscape analysis of Making in U.S. higher education explores the institutional perspectives on and support for Maker culture, and in particular the approaches to education, community engagement, and campus resource now being explored on American  campuses.

Recommendations for next steps by the Maker Education Alliance include development of clear definitions, metrics, and assessment standards to better understand and monitor student, program, and institutional success for Making activities and spaces; expand industry, community and K-12 partnerships; consider an institution-wide or even national “grand challenge” focus for Making activities; and share best practices and success stories among diverse institutions and higher education sectors.

Read the State of Making Report now – a community resource

Over the passt twelve months, we’ve worked with amazing universities, art and design schools, and community colleges around the nation who are committed to promoting Maker education and empowering a new generation of Makers — both within their institutions and out to their communities. Thanks to their effort, input and collaboration, reflects the exciting ways in which institutions around the nation are fostering new Makers.

Each participating institution has profiled their engagement through five carefully crafted 10-question surveys. These cover the the institutional perspective and support for Maker culture; projects and exemplars outcomes; leading campus Makers; Makerspaces available on their campuses; and courses which train new Makers. Collectively these profiles assemble a rich picture the range of ways that Making is approached in US campus. They are intended not just to provide visibility and transparency to the ways US schools are engaged in and supporting Making, but also to serve as a community resource to share best practice. This content is assembled as a publicly assessable and free resource online at

Now in the Week of Making, we’d like to recognize their contribution in helping to coordinate to advance our shared agendas in the higher education Makers-community. Through the content, conversation and community developed around MakeSchools, we hope to find incredible new ways to support campus Makers, increase K-12 and industry pipelines for students as well as enhance access and inclusion in higher education experiences and opportunities through Making, in fields ranging from the arts to manufacturing. These goals align well with the President’s goals–helping Makers launch new businesses and create jobs, dramatically expanding the number of students that have the opportunity to become Makers, and challenging Makers to pressing problems.

We invite you to explore

Find us at the National Maker Faire

On June 12th-13th, 2015, Makers from across the United States will convene in Washington, DC—to celebrate Making at the inaugural National Maker Faire. Occurring at the beginning of the “Week of Making” on June 12-13, 2015, the celebration gives curious, inventive people a place to share what they love to make.

MakeSchools will be at the Faire showing student work from CMU, Case Western and Bucknell. Join us on Saturday at 4pm for a talk about the Higher Ed Alliance, the state of Making report, and to hear the winners of our recent student competition “Making Impact”.

Find out more

Find out more about higher education and the Week of Making by visiting our microsite at:

And if you or your institution is organizing or participating in higher ed. related events for the Week of Making, please let us know so we can include them on the site!

STEM and Art & Technology Courses this summer!

Mapping_Sounds_buttonIf you didn’t get a chance to attend the Mapping Found Sounds workshop offered this past April, you can learn more from this Seven Days article. This spring workshop was a great kickoff for credited courses this summer.

For example, the  U of Vermont Fab Lab will be up and running this summer for an awesome three-week course called Innovate, Iterate, Make: The Art + Engineering of Rapid-Prototype Design. The first part will explore how innovators in engineering, contemporary art and architecture solve problems and advance ideas. Part 2 will have students learning how to design using open source hardware and programming, handmade electronics and rapid-prototyping tools! A lot of the class time will be dedicated to “Open Lab,” and students will have access to a plethora of resources and tools- how cool is that?

engineering_design High school juniors and seniors also have the opportunity to spend two weeks in the Fab Lab with our four-week Maker’s Academy (Vermont Fab Lab Workshop), part of UVM’s Summer Academy. Half the month of July will be spent on campus (housing is available) and the other half online; spend the whole month exploring how innovators in engineering, contemporary art, architecture, and the DIY maker movement solve problems and advance ideas. If engineering draft and design is of more interest to your pre-college student, be sure to check out CEMS’s Pre-Engineering Academy this summer, Engineering Design (Solid Works).

High-school students from around the state and US are getting ready to join us on campus for the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Engineering Institute. From July 11-18, students will get their hands dirty with projects that explore basic and advanced engineering concepts with their peers and professional experts. At the same time, teachers will also be on campus, but as students! Learning about how to better integrate the Next Generation Science Standards into their classrooms and enhance STEM and STEAM education, teacher-learners will be participating in one of CEMS’s Vermont Engineering Initiative courses, Engineering Design Principles.





Call For Makers and More!

Call for Makers! Register for this year’s Champlain Maker Faire!

Fill out your application here





PreCollege and Professional Development Courses at UVM this summer! Register by June 15.

Summer Academy for High School Students

“Makers Academy” a precollege credited course is open to high school Juniors and Seniors. Funding available for Vermont Students.
Register by June 15. Learn More.fablab(1of1)

The Vermont Engineering Initiative – Making and Engineering Design for teachers and professionals

Our goal is to empower teachers to successfully implement engineering design in the classroom in accordance with the Next Generation Science Standards. We offer training opportunities, community support and connection to the vibrant faculty, research and facilities of UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. Register by June 15! Learn More

Sustaining Momentum Through Creativity


Sustaining Momentum Through Creativity

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 Lincoln, NH
#clifcommconf – @uvmcems, @_ubam, @VTMakers, @ChamplainMaker


STEAM and Maker Resources for participants

11:15-11:45: Speaker: Jenn Karson, founder Vermont Makers and Doug Webster of Champlain Maker Faire

11:45-12:30: Networking and lunch

12:30-1:30: Concurrent Sessions

MakerSpace: Hands-On Experience – squishy circuits, toy hacking, e-textiles, e-origami

Jenn Karson, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, UVM and Doug Webster, Education Coordinator – Agency of Education, Producer – Champlain Maker Faire

Note: Incoming Year of the Book schools will attend a mandatory introductory session, 12:30-1:30.

1:30-2:30: Concurrent Sessions – you will go to the one you did not attend first.

2:30-3:00: Wrap Up Discussion

Jenn KarsonJenn Karson founded Vermont Makers in 2011, an interdisciplinary collective that brings art, programs and ideas to museums, galleries, colleges, universities, K-12 education and public spaces. Jenn and her partners initiated “Vermont Libraries and Makers Spark A Culture of Innovation” in 2014, producing 28 summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs for 15 Vermont Libraries. She is lecturer and the director of communications for the University of Vermont’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, where she also supervises the FabLab, and a project collaborator for the exhibition “Staring Back: The Creation and Legacy of Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon”.

0aabc24Doug Webster is an engineer, innovative thinker, futurist, and artist, who supports a renewed culture of innovation and enterprise development. He founded the Champlain Maker Faire and host corporation, CMF Inc., a non-profit dedicated to innovation education and advancing scientific research. He is past president of the National Association for Workforce Improvement, producer ofthe RETN TV Series, “A Renewed Culture of Innovation”, and works to strengthen STEAM education with the Vermont Agency of Education.

Inspired by innovation, creativity + interdisciplinary education, we're artists + engineers. Our material is technology. Feeds managed by Jenn Karson.