We are very excited to announce our fourth cohort of Making Spaces Hubs! These 10 hubs—including two community makerspaces, three K–12 school systems, three higher education institutions, and three museums—are joining this 30-month professional learning and capacity-building program designed to develop local leadership around maker-centered learning and build a foundation to embed change in three core areas (pedagogy, community, and culture) while emphasizing sustainability and growth.
We are grateful to Cognizant’s Making the Future initiative for sponsoring eight of our Cohort 4 Hubs, and Google for their continued investment in our programming at Maker Ed. Read on for introductions from each of our new partner organizations:
University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area
The spectrUM Discovery Area is a hands-on science museum through the University of Montana which inspires a culture of learning and discovery across Montana by engaging people’s curiosity about science and the world around them. spectrUM hosts a variety of science programs both in our Missoula based museum as well as collaborative projects outside our museum on the Flathead Reservation and in the Bitterroot Valley that bring science and making programs to rural and tribal audiences. In addition, spectrUM runs a Science on Wheels program that brings science exhibits across the state of Montana to schools and other organizations, and hosts pop-up exhibits in local public spaces such as libraries, museums and schools.
Moonlighter FabLab, Inc.
Moonlighter FabLab empowers makers of all ages with the communities, technologies, and skill building opportunities to build a better future. Our Fabrication Lab supports community members and resident innovators, our STEAM learning center trains students and educators with 21st century skills, and our outreach projects pair local needs with local talent for maximum impact!
Wayne RESA is a regional educational service agency that provides a broad spectrum of services and support to Wayne County’s 33 school districts and 108 Public School Academies (PSAs) serving approximately 290,000 students in public schools county-wide. As an intermediate school district, our support is aimed at improving student achievement and maximizing economies of scale in staff development, purchasing, and administrative services. Our mission is leading and learning for ALL.
Northcentral Technical College
NTC is a customer-focused, accessible provider of innovative lifelong learning that builds a globally competitive workforce. NTC’s vision is to build futures one learner, one employer, and one community at a time, and our mission is to provide high-quality, learner and employer focused, educational pathways committed to enriching lives and strengthening the economy.
New Castle Area School District and Matt’s Maker Space Foundation
New Castle, PA
New Castle Area School District (NCASD) is a public school district located in Southwestern Pennsylvania that services a diverse student population of approximately 3,150 students from Pre-K through 12th grade. NCASD has emerged as a leader of innovative practices centered around transforming teaching and learning to better prepare students for the future of work. Our partner, Matt’s Maker Space, is a 501(c)3 organization founded in May of 2018 and has since funded 23 Maker Spaces in the greater area of Pittsburgh, PA. It has emerged in the last two years as a go-to organization for connecting partners, helping schools find resources to establish spaces and as a leader in the design, building and staffing of maker spaces and training of teachers in the pre-K to 8th grade space. By joining forces, both the NCASD and Matt’s Maker Space will continue to lead efforts in building and sustaining an ecosystem of STEAM education and Maker Learning.
Knock Knock Children’s Museum
Baton Rouge, LA
Knock Knock Children’s Museum is a community spark for engaging, playful learning experiences that inspire and support lifelong learning. Our beautiful 26,000 square foot facility is filled with 18 interactive “Learning Zones” that are anchored in research and evidence-based practices addressing all areas of development and learning. Our target audience is children birth through age 8 and their families within a nine-parish Capital Area Region. In 2018, Knock Knock welcomed over 188,000 visitors and enlisted the help of over 2,341 volunteers. We highly value our Knock Knock for All Access Program, which features reduced admission for families in need, free days, free field trips for Head Start children, and Play-4-All events for children with special needs.
Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum of Albuquerque
Explora is a Science Center & Children’s Museum located in Albuquerque with educational outreach across New Mexico. Our mission is to create opportunities for inspirational discovery and the joy of lifelong through interactive experiences in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). Explora fulfills this mission with hands-on exhibit activities, materials-rich classroom programs, and professional development, annually engaging over 350,000 people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. With core values of Community, Learning, Generosity, and Sustainability, Explora creates access to STEAM-rich out-of-school learning through no-cost memberships to over 22,000 low-income families each year.
Decatur Makers, a family-friendly non-profit makerspace in downtown Decatur, GA, is a diverse, inclusive community that has gathered to learn and make things since 2012 and has offered paid memberships since Jan 1, 2015. Our mission is to empower people to create and learn through hands-on experiences to positively impact their lives and communities. Through our expertise, tools & equipment, classes, youth and teacher outreach, and community partnerships we encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to build things with their hands and minds, share their knowledge and creative energy, and explore new ideas and opportunities to be innovative.
Folsom Lake College Innovation Center
The Innovation Center at Folsom Lake College is a discipline agnostic, comprehensive general education makerspace. We are located at Folsom Lake College, one of four community colleges in the Los Rios Community College, which serves students in greater Sacramento region of California. The Innovation Center is recognized as a leader within a regional and statewide ecosystem of community college makerspaces, with a particular focus on Making Across the Curriculum. The Innovation Center is committed to an ecosystem approach to making, and works with a variety of partners, including K-12 schools, transfer institutions, business and industry partners, and community organizations to advance maker-centered learning in the region.
Agency by Design Oakland
Agency by Design Oakland works at the nexus of teacher leadership, inquiry-based professional development, and maker-centered learning, in service of student agency. Our leadership team is a collaborative network of teachers from multiple school structures and teaching backgrounds, and our yearly hands-on fellowship serves teachers from Oakland public schools, reaching 3,000+ youth each year. Agency by Design Oakland grew out of the Agency by Design research project based at Project Zero (PZ), at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 2011 – 2017 cohorts of Oakland educators collaborated with PZ researchers to explore “the promises, practices, and pedagogies” of maker-centered learning.
Overview of Making Spaces Partners and Sponsors
Making Spaces is led by Maker Ed with evaluation support from by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP). The National Making Spaces program began in 2016 with funding from Google as a partnership between Maker Ed and CMP, based on a 2015 pilot run by CMP and Kickstarter called Kickstarting Making in Schools. We are excited by the continued programmatic support from Google and that eight of our Cohort 4 Hubs are generously sponsored by Cognizant’s Making the Future initiative.
The Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed), a Project of Tides Center, aims to harness the potential of making to transform teaching and learning. By offering blended in-person and online professional development for educators and other champions, and by building a national community of practitioners dedicated to the work, we believe we will soon see educational environments of all types become more boisterous and equitable, teeming with visible proof of growth in every young learner. 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.
Cognizant’s Making the Future investment in Making Spaces will grow and strengthen the ecosystems necessary to geographically scale and advance maker-centered learning to serve as a catalyst for life-long learning, a future-ready workforce and an equitable and inclusive society.
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.
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 306,000 visitors annually and provides “real stuff” experiences for joy, creativity and curiosity. 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 the host site for Maker Educator Boot Camp, Youth maker workshops, and an arts and making festival, STEAM Carnival in 2019. This year, Museum Lab opened adjacent to the Children’s Museum as a New Museum of Older Kids. In the historic 1890 Carnegie Library, Museum Lab serves as a platform for innovations in learning at the crossroads of school and museum. It contains art, making and digital media laboratories for use by visitors and multiple partners including a school for 120 middle school students. For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org and follow @pghkids.