The Maker Tour

img_0908‘Pinch me, I must be dreaming!’

That’s what I kept thinking during my maker tour. My trip started off at the NY Hall of Science. David invited me to the STEM night where groups of HS students presented their makerspace projects. A few days later I returned for the NYC Makerfaire, where I volunteered at the soldering station. Then it was off to Philadelphia, where Sam from the Franklin Institute showed me around the upcoming Tech Studio. A lengthy bus trip later and I was at the Durham Museum of Life and Science where Mitch and I talked about how to ‘tinkerfy’ the museum. Last, but not least Dan from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago allowed me to attend the 3D and laser cutting workshops at their FabLab. Thanks to all of you for the invites and discussions, which turned into such a surrealistically incredible trip!

img_20161001_210543In fact weeks have gone by and I’m still processing all the trip experiences. One thing is clear; I want to work in a museum makerspace! What convinced me was the shear enthusiasm of visitors at the makerfaire and every museum I attended blew me away. For example at the makerfaire people ran to the soldering workshop in the morning! Additionally, the discussions with every maker were all truly energizing and thought provoking. Having lunch with one team was like a ping pong game with learning, pedagogy and similar ideas being bounced around. These experiences once again proved that learning can and should be fun! Museum educators truly give children a chance to have such memorable learning experiences.

What are effective ways of presenting
knowledge/instruction in the 21st Century?

During my tour I observed that most children walked up to an exhibit, jumped right in and tried to figure it out. If they couldn’t figure it out even they usually switched to another exhibit, even if text was present. They did usually read text in videos or video games. This shift in literacy is something I’ve seen with my English students as well. As educators I feel we should consider how to move along with this evolution in literacy. For example, how does it relate to how we socialize and communicate?3d-print-laser-cut

This trip has also encouraged me to act! Now I’m brainstorming tech and maker workshops to offer in Barcelona. Two maker groups have even offered their space! Also my trip helped me realize all of you have different interests.

Just 2 minutes of your feedback (here)
will support in making bequrious better!

Of course the trip brought up plenty of other questions! Lets discuss them further on Twitter and LinkedIN. Here are just a few of those questions:

  • What are ways museums can attract a diverse audience?
  • In what age range are people most receptive to becoming mindful of others?
  • What are key pedagogy points to consider in a makerspace?

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