Introducing Maker Corps 2017

Applications for our Maker Corps program are open until January 23rd, 2017. This online professional development program provides training and a community of support to youth-serving organizations as they design and implement summer maker education programming. As Maker Corps heads into its 5th year, we’re continuing to make improvements and changes based on feedback from our amazing partner organizations. 

Read on for information about what’s new this year, from Maker Ed’s own Maker Corps Program Manager, Katie. 

Photo courtesy of the Tinkering Lab at Chicago Children’s Museum
Photo courtesy of the Tinkering Lab at Chicago Children’s Museum

It’s an exciting time of year for us here at Maker Ed, as applications for Maker Corps keep rolling in from inspiring organizations across the nation (and world!). As I read through each of them, I feel privileged to get a small window into the wonderful work that is happening to bring maker education opportunities to young people at libraries, museums, science centers, community organizations and so many other places. 

As Maker Corps grows and evolves, we’ve been thinking about ways we can make the experience even better for our partner organizations. Last season, we heard from many of our partners that they are looking for ways to more deeply connect with their peers in maker education. That’s why this year, in addition to our group training sessions, Maker Ed will be facilitating a partnership program, matching interested organizations up one-on-one, and helping facilitate meaningful conversation, idea sharing, and troubleshooting between them. We’re even hoping to have a few sites work on the same design or engineering challenge with their youth, sharing at the end how each of their teams of young people approached the challenge.

Throughout the Maker Corps season, we will also host several institution-specific Hangouts, a concept we piloted last year. This means libraries dedicated to providing making opportunities to their communities will all have a chance to be on the same video call, and share programming, partnerships, and perspectives. The same will be true for groups like museums and science centers, arts-based organizations, and Fab Labs.

During the spring we’re excited to offer a three-part train-the-trainer series to prepare leadership at each of our partner sites to on-board and supervise their Maker Corps Members during the summer. In this spring period we also work one-on-one with partner sites that are looking for extra support in developing out their summer programming.

During the summer we will continue offering weekly video sessions covering a variety of topics ranging from creative reuse to electronic project ideas; from facilitation tips and tricks to multigenerational making, and so much in between.

I feel so lucky to be in the position I am, and work with the leadership at our partner sites, as well as their Maker Corps Members. Seeing what you’ve got in store for the youth in your communities, and supporting you in making your visions reality is such an incredible honor. 

Here’s to another season full of inspiration, creation, and unexpected pivots!


Check out a few highlights from some of our Maker Corps 2016 partners below!






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