Google pledges $1 million to support innovative hub model that sustainably integrates making in schools across the country
Oakland, Calif., September 2016 – Buoyed by the enthusiasm for maker education across the country, and with the generous support of Google, Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP) are launching a new program called Making Spaces: Expanding Maker Education Across the Nation to support schools eager to integrate making into their classrooms.
The program aims to maximize the collective impact of its support by employing an innovative model where multiple participating schools are paired with a nearby hub (such as a school district, a library, a museum, or a community organization). These hubs will provide the schools with professional development and support to help jumpstart and sustain maker education in classrooms through community support. In particular, hubs will tackle the crucial topic of fundraising, working closely with schools to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Google will be providing support to these hubs and schools, and in future years, hubs might also work with libraries, community centers and other out-of-school spaces.
In 2016-2017 academic year, the Making Spaces program will have 10 participating hubs (including Maker Ed and CMP) that will each work with five to 10 schools. Currently, several sites have confirmed their participation in the program as hubs: The Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, AR.; KID Museum in Bethesda, MD.; Edventure Children’s Museum in Columbia, SC; Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, VA; Digital Youth Network at DePaul University in Chicago, IL; Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT; San Mateo County Office of Education in Redwood City, CA; and The Bubbler at Madison Public Library in Madison, WI.
Maker Ed and CMP will act as “meta-hubs,” supporting, training, and connecting participating hubs as these hubs support, train, and connect schools. Additionally, both will serve and support their own cohort of schools, with CMP focusing in on the Pittsburgh area and Maker Ed providing virtual support for schools that want to participate but are not geographically located near a participating hub.
CMP piloted a year-long run of the program in 2015-2016 with 10 schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania that collectively raised more than $100,000 to launch maker education in their schools. Based on lessons learned during this pilot phase, CMP is designing a toolkit that will allow hubs to effectively train schools in creating crowdfunding campaigns. “We are thrilled to be able to scale this program to the national level to get more youth the resources needed to start tinkering, creating and making,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “A unique program that began in our region can now benefit youth around the country.”
Maker Ed’s Executive Director Trey Lathe adds, “Schools are increasingly interested in maker education and establishing youth maker programs and spaces, but don’t always have access to the training, resources, and community of support they need. Building upon what we’ve learned in serving educators and institutions through our other national programs, we’re thrilled to be working closely with Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Google to bring customized support to schools in their unique communities. CMP’s pilot program was wonderfully successful, and we’re excited to work together to expand that energy and momentum in a similar model nationwide.”
For more information, please visit the Making Spaces program website at makered.org/making-spaces.
About Maker Ed
Maker Ed is a nonprofit organization that provides educators with the training, resources, and community of support they need to facilitate engaging learning experiences with youth through maker education — a hands-on, youth-driven, and open-ended learning approach. Through this work, Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in both broadening access to and deepening the impact of maker education for youth. Maker Ed is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. For more information, visit the Maker Ed website and follow @MakerEdOrg for updates.
About Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 302,500 visitors annually and provides “real stuff” experiences for play, learning and fun. The Museum’s permanent exhibit MAKESHOP® was built in 2011 to create a space for children and families to make, play and design using the same materials, tools and processes used by professional artists, builders, programmers and creators of all kinds. The Museum’s maker-focused initiatives include serving as a Maker Corps site for the Maker Education Initiative, Mobile MAKESHOP, Youth Maker workshops, MAKEnight (21+) events and presenting Maker Faire Pittsburgh 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org and follow @pghkids.
About Google’s Making & Science
Making & Science is an initiative from Google to inspire future scientists and makers. Learn more about our programs, events, media, and the new Science Journal app at makingscience.withgoogle.com.
Communications Manager, Maker Ed (510) 655-1935 // [email protected]