In the schoolyear 2015/2016 I started working as a quartermaster Maker Education. We, a group of people of the fablabs, the libraries and the schools established a “lean and mean” organization that is called Platform Maker Education. With the credo “Every child a maker” and some funding of the Dutch government we are trying to get more schools, teachers and especially children to start with making and learning.
We scale up Maker Education by speaking at all kinds of teacher conferences, organizing gatherings of teachers and other educators who already started doing Maker Education, presenting new and translated educational material, doing some research and launching a voucher system for schools who want to start with Maker Education.
The voucher system was launched this Thursday (February 11, 2016) at De Balie in Amsterdam. Lots of Fablabs and Makerspaces in The Netherlands offer an introduction course of €250 or €500. When a school likes the offer they can ask for a voucher on the website of the Platform and when the application is approved The Platform will pay for he event. We try to spread the activities geographically. We hope we will get funds to have this system working for as long as it is necessary. Below the video of the entire evening (in Dutch).
A group of about fifty Danish teachers, school leaders, fablab leaders and civil servants of the municipalities of Vejle, Århus and Silkeborg visited our school, De Populier in The Hague on October 2, 2015. It was the last day of a week long trip along Makerspaces in Germany and The Netherlands. They were in Amsterdam at The Waag Society, in Utrecht at Protospace. Last year when we (my colleagues, Per-Ivar Kloen, Marten Hazelaar and me) attended the conference Fablearn in Stanford, we met the delegation leader. A few months ago I got an email of the new delegation leader of this trip. I helped him find places where they could get inspiration and they really wanted to see a school where Maker Education takes place. So I invited them to my school too.
My school leader welcomed our guests and then I gave a presentation about Maker Education in general but primarily about how we are implementing #makered in our lessons. After the presentation and the critical questions we went to our Maker Space. My colleagues and six of our students joined us there (very proud of them, with no hesitation at all, they mingled and chatted with our guests in good English).
A visit to our Maker Space would be superficial if our guest wouldn’t have done anything. So we did a “Scandinavian Style Workshop. Most important ingredient: The Milkfrother of The IKEA. We see it more as a battery pack, a switch and a motor. Assignment: Make something you really want to make. And so they did? In a minute all of the Danish were working hard on their inventions, creations, pieces of art. 45 minutes later we did a “Show and Tell” and I must say, I think it is amongst the top three of our workshops if you look at the results! Dancers, painters, musical instruments, cars, even remote controlled, a bee catcher! Check out the movie below!
If you are interested, you can find the Dutch version of this blogpost here.
In many countries educators are starting with Maker Education. In schools, libraries, fablabs, more and more children are designing and making all kinds of products. Some call it tinkering, others call it making. This blog is meant for all educators who are interested in Maker Education and willing to share their experiences.
You are invited to join us! Pleas leave a comment or e-mail me for all kinds of collaborations or questions. I will try to gather here all Maker Educators of Europe and hope that we wille be able to enforce each other in our collective goal:
Every child a Maker