Maker Ed Launches Campaign To Create and Expand Nationwide Network of Youth-Oriented Makerspaces

PRESS RELEASE

Maker Ed Launches Campaign To Create and Expand Nationwide Network of Youth-Oriented Makerspaces

Partners with Autodesk, Cognizant, FIRST, Intel, Maker Media, and US2020 to Support Access to Nearby Makerspaces for Every Child in America

Oakland, CA, June 18, 2014: Announced at this week’s White House Maker Faire, the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) launches a new campaign to accelerate the creation and expansion of independent, youth-oriented makerspaces to ensure every child in America has access to a nearby makerspace.

This includes the expansion of Maker Ed’s Americorps VISTA cohort to five new cities — Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Antonio — reaching 22,000 youth in high poverty communities. With over 130,000 K-12 schools, 17,500 public libraries, 35,000 museums, and countless other youth-serving community organizations, there is great potential to connect organizers and leaders of youth-oriented programs and expand the number of makerspaces accessible to all youth.

In this letter to the President, Dale Dougherty––Founder of Maker Ed, Maker Faire, and CEO of Maker Media–– and Lisa Regalla – Interim Executive Director of Maker Ed – emphasize the critical need for this important initiative.

Maker Ed will foster this Makerspace Network by:

  • Offering program models, professional development, and technical assistance for the management, programming, and sustainability of makerspaces to ensure they effectively engage young makers;
  • Sharing best practices of pioneering leaders and practitioners;
  • Supporting and expanding networks of mentors and community volunteers;
  • Developing a directory and map of youth-oriented makerspaces; and
  • Promoting independent but coordinated action by partnering with youth-serving organizations, networks, and companies throughout America.

Maker Ed is committed to working with partners in the effort to build this nationwide network of youth-oriented makerspaces. Key partners in the campaign include:

  • Autodesk, which will align Autodesk software with maker specific projects, training, and curricula;
  • Cognizant, which will increase its commitment to professional; development and a community of practice among educators through the Maker Corps program;
  • FIRST, which will provide K-12 programming and resources for use in makerspaces;
  • Intel, which will support 100+ Computer Clubhouse sites as spaces for making that are inclusive to underserved youth;
  • Maker Media, which will help lead a call to action to find the volunteers to serve in youth-based makerspaces; and
  • US2020, which will expand its efforts to recruit STEM mentors and connect them to critical volunteer opportunities that help support the work of developing makerspaces.

Maker Ed is pleased to announce the Makerspace Network in conjunction with the Presidential Proclamation of a National Day of Making and the first White House Maker Faire, where a team of 8th– and 9th-graders from the Young Makers Program will present their work as “honorary makers” thanks to the generous support of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, a founding sponsor of Maker Ed.

Maker Ed encourages and invites new partners, including parents, educators, community leaders, and funders, to join them in the goal of building a national Makerspace Network. Join the movement and commit your support at MakerEd.org.

Maker Ed

Maker Ed is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. Maker Ed’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts, and learning as a whole through making. Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in developing a maker network of educators, youth serving organizations, statewide afterschool networks, corporations, foundations, and makers seeking to accelerate and deepen the maker movement.

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