A highlight of the makerspace this school year was the visit from Ron Grosinger – an expert maker who came into school to run a bicycle repair workshop for our students. Our library was completely packed out with students and their bikes for the event. The kids themselves were engaged and inspired, and were quite clearly actively and eagerly participating in the event.
The success of this event emphasized for me the importance of having recognized experts visit makerspaces to inspire innovation, passion and personal motivation, and also to show that makers can make a living from their making. As a result of Ron’s visit, a new initiative of mine was born: ‘Hangout With a Maker’. A hallmark of the maker movement is the inclusion of real experts who are able to demonstrate their skills for students and show them first-hand that the skills they gain in the space have real-world applications. I am calling upon community members as well as on local experts who can come into our makerspace and demonstrate their skills and expertise.
In addition, I am eager to compile a database of such experts who are eager to lend their skills to continuing to push this maker movement forward. The database will include individuals who have skills in a range of activities including robotics, cooking, textiles, engineering, electronics, 3-d design, mechanical repair, and much more – in short, making nearly anything! It is my hope that our expert makers will empower our students not just to seek out jobs in STEM or creative fields, but to make their own jobs and industries, depending on their interests.
Are you someone, or do you know someone, who shares in the commitment to open exploration, fostering creativity and making? I am growing a list of makers who want to visit with schools and are looking to ‘Hangout With a Maker’.
Contact me if you are interested in participating!