New This Year!
An Interactive Maker Space and Maker Space Gallery
The Maker Movement is one of the most promising movements to hit education it is taking it by storm. Schools across the nation are looking at ways they can bring elements of this integrative approach to education to their schools. Whether you place it under the umbrella of STEM, STEAM or PBL, it is here to stay and has real power to shake up the way teaching and learning happen at independent schools. Think of the Maker Movement as a way to truly integrate many different disciplines together while having students actually produce tangible items and solutions to real problems. It is creative thinking at its best.
In an effort to help school administrators and teachers better understand this new movement, we will offer a highly interactive Maker Space program at this year’s NAIS Annual Conference. This space will be designed to provide answers and hands-on experiences with various elements of the maker movement. Participants will also be able to learn of different ways they can implement parts of the Maker Movement approach at their schools.
From 3D printing and electronic prototyping to programming microcontrollers and inventing objects to solve real problems, participants will be able to put their hand to making. One of the greatest technologies to hit classrooms since the personal computer is the 3D printer. Yet, there is still considerable mystery around this device. Imagine students at one school developing parts for a joint robotics project between different schools. Rather than building each part and sending them via traditional mail, they can design the parts then simply send the file where the receiving team can then print the physical item. This will be the future of global commerce and is the future of education. It is also a key element of a Maker Space. We will have 3D printers in our demonstration Maker Space where participants can see actual objects being printed. Additionally, participants will also be able to attempt to design some of their own simple objects for 3D printing. Any time there is a 3D printer printing, a crowd of curious people assemble to see this technology at work. While common to Maker Spaces, it is still a novelty item to many people who have only seen these items in news stories.
Throughout the conference, there will be set times for small classes and demonstrations of different aspects of the Maker Space. Participants will have a chance to design simple circuits that connect to microcontrollers and then program the controllers providing their circuits specific behaviors. Another common feature to many Maker Spaces is the world of robotics. Our Maker Space will also include elements of the world of robotics providing participants the opportunity to see different ways they incorporate robotics in a Maker Program with many different disciplines.
Another common characteristic of the Maker Movement is the collaborative nature of the design and building process. This will also be present in our space as participants will be encouraged to work with others in real time during hands-on sessions and across the entirety of the conference as groups address more complex problems and challenges. This should encourage participants to return to the Maker Space throughout the conference.