Make-a-thon

Where are you from?
What do you do?

You can run, but these questions will follow you no matter where you go. In fact these questions are so common for most the response is automatic. Surprisingly these questions have often challenged me. Here are just a few examples of responses I’ve given:

2009 – Worcester, USI’m Swiss and I study electrical engineering
2012 – Zurich, SwitzerlandI’m Swiss!?!?
2013 – Barcelona, SpainI’m Swiss and I was raised in NY. I moved here to find inspiration
2017 – Barcelona, SpainI’m a citizen of the world. I teach robotics and I’m pursuing a career as a maker educator.

What We Live For

However, does our nationality or profession truly define who we are? Although I’ve always known my personal beliefs and values it’s taken me over five years to uncover my life path. It occurred to me that this question is more useful for self-reflection. If we can say this with confidence and can intrigue the listener that’s when we’ve found our calling.

I’ve met just a few people who talked about their profession with excitement. Many people seem to view their job as a burden. Yet we only get the gift of one life. I choose to pursue a fulfilling life and enjoy every second I live. For me what feels fulfilling is supporting others in finding their own life path. I believe our current education is lacking and gives us an oversimplified map of life. We must get a chance to explore life and the sea of jobs in order to find the right life path.

For me that moment is when I learned about the field of maker based learning. It quickly occurred to me that maker based learning is a great way to connect what we learn in school to the real world. This revelation motivated me to find a way to research and verify my hypothesis. So that is how the Make-a-thon was born.

 

The Make-a-thon Vision

The Make-a-thon is a new type of event that aims to transform how we prepare youth for the future. The inspiration came to me from the recent hackathons I’ve attended, which offered a good structure for bringing together people from different profiles and working together to come up with unique solutions. At first my idea was to just use the hackathon structure to test my hypothesis. However, my co-organizer, Iva, pushed me to expand the vision of Make-a-thon. When we first discussed Make-a-thon we both shared the belief that it’s important youth learn real-life skills that empower them to become independent adults, find their dream career and tackle the problems of the future.

We hope that Make-a-thon will inspire more people to join the movement to rethink education. Depending on the success of Make-a-thon we’d like to host this event in more cities around the world. The 21st Century problems are global. Let’s work together to provide youth learning experiences that enable them to build a bright future!

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