Maker Corps Empowers The Next Generation of Innovators

June 8, 2012 For Immediate Release
Contact: AnnMarie Thomas [email protected]

Chicago, IL: The Maker Education Initiative launched the new Maker Corps program after gathering with 750 stakeholders at the two-day Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America)meeting, June 7-8, to forge cross-sector collaborations that promote economic recovery and job creation in the United States. Maker Corps is a response to President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign. Meaningful hands-on experiences and encouragement from peers are two key drivers for students who choose to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. Making — tinkering, designing, building, playing in a social context – can provide both those things. When children get the chance to develop projects based on their own interests, they are motivated to participate at a deeper level and the experience stays with them even longer.

Maker Corps will recruit and prepare college students to serve as mentors and peers in a variety of community settings, which will also provide valuable full-time jobs in the summer and part-time jobs during the school year. Maker Corps members will be trained to engage children in creative projects that develop problem-solving skills in ways that make science and technology fun. Through this program they will also gain the experience of serving as a community leader. Dale Dougherty, co-founder of O’Reilly Media, editor and publisher of MAKE magazine and founder of the Maker Education Initiative shares, “There’s a worldwide maker movement, a growing community that combines creative ideas and technical skills to develop and share interdisciplinary projects online and at events such as Maker Faire. Children want to engage in making activities and become makers themselves but they often lack access to tools, materials and expertise to be able to do it.”

Joining President Clinton to announce the Maker Corps Program were AnnMarie Thomas, Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative, Mark Greenlaw, Vice President of Sustainability & Educational Affairs at Cognizant, and Carlos Contreras, U.S Education Manager at Intel Corporation. Cognizant and Intel are among the founding sponsors of the Maker Education Initiative and are committed to deepen and accelerate the Maker Movement across the country. AnnMarie Thomas explains, “Maker Corps is designed to empower young adults, makers themselves, to become role models and to help them inspire others in their communities to involve more children in making.”

The first 100 Maker Corps members will be placed in the summer of 2013, growing to over 1000 deployed members by 2015. Maker Corps will work with science centers, children’s museums, schools, and youth serving organizations to engage children in meaningful maker-oriented activities. Initial partners who plan to collaborate on this project include the New York Hall of Science, the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Exploratorium, the Henry Ford, and Science City at Union Station, Kansas City.

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About the Maker Education Initiative
The mission of the Maker Education Initiative is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts—and learning as a whole. We want young people to join—and eventually lead—the growing Maker Movement. The Maker Education Initiative is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. The founding sponsors of the Maker Education Initiative are Cognizant, Intel, Pixar, and O’Reilly Media.

About Cognizant
Cognizant is a global leader in business and technology services that help clients bring the future of work to life—today—in a business environment that is being transformed by a new generation of highly distributed and virtualized business models; cloud and mobile technologies, and born-digital workers and consumers.

About Intel
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products, and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Founded in 1968 to build semiconductor memory products, Intel introduced the world’s first microprocessor in 1971.

About MAKE:
MAKE is the first magazine and media brand devoted entirely to makers and the maker movement and the powerful combination of open source hardware + personal fabrication tools + connected makers to generate sweeping changes from the classroom to the boardroom. MAKE media properties enable the use of technology to create fun, inspired, and innovative projects, from the wildly popular MAKE website (makezine.com); to Maker Shed, the online store featuring MAKE branded kits (makershed.com); to Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth (makerfaire.com). MAKE is a division of O’Reilly Media and based in Sebastopol, CA. “The maker movement has brought the pre-1970s world of basement workshops and amateur tinkering into the digital age.” — The New York Times

About O’Reilly
O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, research, and conferences.

About CGI America
President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to address economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting in June 2011,CGI America participants have made more than 100 commitments valued at $11.8 billion. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will improve the lives of three million people, create or fill more than 150,000 jobs, and invest and loan $354 million to small and medium enterprises in the United States.

The 2012 CGI America meeting will take place June 7-8 in Chicago. To learn more, visit http://www.cgiamerica.org/.

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI’s Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world.

For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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