As 2017 comes to a close, we want to take time to highlight the many achievements of our program participants, partner organizations, and staff members this year. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the dedication, passion, and inspiration that our partners bring to their schools and organizations each day, and we’re grateful to know and support each and every one of them. If you’d like to support our efforts, your donations will help us continue our work with our amazing partners.
Maker Corps is an online professional development program that provides training and a community of support to youth-serving organizations as they design and implement summer maker education programming. Let’s visit Waco, Texas where the Design Den at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum was abuzz all summer with maker programming for local youth.
This summer, four Baylor University students took on the role of Maker Corps Members for the Design Den, spending their time both working directly with young visitors and helping to design educational experiences behind the scenes. Although the Design Den has graduate assistants from the Museum Studies masters program throughout the school year, this summer they were able to bring in Maker Corps Members from a variety of degree programs, and help cultivate their maker mindset. Throughout the summer, an accounting major, an engineering major, a photography major, and a chemistry major all worked together to create and deliver diverse maker programming, from embroidery to marble roller coasters, and so much in between.
Throughout every step of this journey, the Design Den’s Maker Corps Members engaged with the national Maker Corps network to refine their approaches and troubleshoot their processes. They frequently shared what they were up to with the greater Maker Corps community, and received congratulations and support from Maker Corps Members and supervisors across the country. Thanks to participation in the program, Design Den was not only infused with new energy, but also incorporated a variety of new experiences and approaches that took its youth programming to new levels.
The university students working at the Design Den clearly grew professionally as a result of their summer work. Site supervisor Emily Clark reflected that each one one of the Maker Corps Members “cited their work in Maker Corps and Design Den as some of the most valuable experience that they have had, and they all agreed that they felt that they were much stronger communicators after a summer of becoming making and tinkering facilitators.”
This summer marked our fifth season of Maker Corps, and the network of participating sites was both varied and expansive. Libraries shared ideas with theater programs, children’s museums connected with Fab Labs, and sites from Nigeria to New Mexico and Georgia to New York all came together to share ideas, brainstorm solutions to challenges, and celebrate successes.
These stories are just a small snapshot of the valuable work being done through our Maker Corps program. None of this would be possible without you: the amazing parents, teachers, administrators, librarians, and other educators who’ve helped us build a community of enthusiastic makers.
If you want to help us reach even more educators, youth, and families in 2018, please consider making a donation!
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Thank you for your ongoing support — we’re looking forward to accomplishing even more next year.