August 6th, 2015


Makerspaces in Education

makerspaces in education

Creativity, design and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations because of 3D printers, robotics and 3D modelling web-based applications.

Makerspaces are community-oriented workshops where tech enthusiasts meet regularly to share and explore electronic hardware, manufacturing tools, and programming techniques and tricks etc. Makerspaces share the common goal of being a collaborative workspace where learners from every discipline can feel comfortable learning skills inside and outside of the curriculum and engage in meaningful learning.

Makerspaces are predicted to have a huge impact on education in the next 1-3 years. Proponents of makerspaces for education highlight the benefit of engaging learners in creative, high-order problem solving through hands on design, construction and iteration.

The question of how to renovate or repurpose classrooms to address the needs of the future is being answered through the concept of makerspaces or workshops that offer tools and the learning experiences needed to help people carry out their ideas. Makerspaces are intended to appeal to people of all ages, and are founded on openness to experiment, iterate and create.

This year, the White House hosted its first ever Maker Fair, leading President Obama to publicly highlight the power of DIY to revolutionize American manufacturing and stoke innovation and job growth. This links with the main areas of focus for the LEP in terms of skills and employment etc. Florida Polytechnic University, a STEM focused college and new school of the State University System of Florida, recently partnered with MakerBot 3D Printing. Its inaugural class is already benefitting from the Innovation, Science, and Technology building, a state-of-the art facility that is home to the Rapid Application Development (RAD) makerspace, which is equipped with 55 MakerBot 3D Printers and Scanners.

The Plymouth College of Art administration has entered a partnership with Europe’s leading fab labs as part of the Made@EU project in order to design a programme of workshops and residencies that will facilitate exchange of ideas across borders. In the Fab Lab Plymouth, students and members of the community can freely access 3D printers and scanners, CNC milling machines, a CNC router, a laser cutter, and a vinyl cutter.

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