By Dale Dougherty and the Maker Ed team
December 5, 2013
As you may know, I am a founding board member and chair of the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed), CEO of Maker Media, founder of MAKE Magazine and creator of Maker Faire. Along with the support of Cognizant, Intel and Pixar, we founded Maker Ed to support our vision of “Every Child a Maker.”
Making is “learning by doing,” something we once understood to be a valuable way to learn but now seems to be missing in our schools and therefore absent in many of the lives of our children. Our goal is to help spread making in our communities so that more children encounter it in and out of school. We seek to build the capacity of youth-serving organizations to engage children as makers and prepare them for an active role in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology.
This past summer we launched and ran Maker Corps by enlisting 108 makers as mentors and community leaders. These “Maker Corps Members” worked at 34 Host Sites in 19 states in organizations such as libraries, museums, schools, and makerspaces. Jeff Sturges, Founder of Mt. Elliot Makerspace, shared, “With mere words, I can not tell you how much Maker Corps improved our programming this summer, and how much it was an amazing learning experience for all of us.” We’re proud to have served over 90,000 youth and family members through Maker Corps, and are excited to expand its size and scope in 2014.
We have also expanded a successful Young Makers program, which organizes local clubs for youth to work together in developing projects and sharing them. Last year, 300 youth across throughout the California Bay Area participated as Young Makers. We plan to expand into five new regions next year.
Maker Ed serves as an advocate for nurturing and developing effective, inclusive practices of making in formal and informal educational settings. We both support and learn from practitioners who facilitate making with children. Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in organizing a network of institutions, youth-serving organizations, and makers seeking to accelerate and deepen the Maker Movement.
With your help, Maker Ed will continue to expand programs like Maker Corps and Young Makers, and help foster the growth of our newest partnership with AmeriCorps VISTA to reduce poverty by inspiring low-income students through maker programs. Your contribution will ensure more educators and organizations have the resources and support to facilitate and advocate for making, especially in underserved communities.
CEO, Maker Media
Chairman, Maker Education Initiative
and the Maker Ed Team: Paloma, Lisa, Stephanie, Steve, Jeremy, and Rachel