Creating a Nation of Makers

maker_faire_976x490Here’s a Message from MakeSchools.org:

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

MakeSchools.org – 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, MakeSchools.org 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 MakeSchools.org

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 MakeSchools.org

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: http://makeschools.org/weekofmaking

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!

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