Maker Education Initiative Announces Summer Campaign At the White House

By Paloma Garcia-Lopez, Executive Director

Today at the White House Science Fair, I had the great pleasure of meeting President Obama whose enthusiasm and support for inspiring the next generation of innovators was truly contagious.  While the President spoke with young scientists about their projects, including “Super Awesome Sylvia” who designed a drawing robot that paints with watercolors, I met industry leaders committed to improving STEM Education.  I was able to thank Gordon Coburn, President of Cognizant, for their commitment to Maker Corps and the founding of Maker Education Initiative.  Carlos Contreras, Maker Ed board member and U.S. Education Manager for Intel Corporation also participated.  Intel is a founding sponsor of Maker Ed and has funded key Maker Corps placements as well as Education Day at Bay Area Maker Faire next month.

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 In front of the White House, and inside with Super Awesome Sylvia

The White House Office of the Press Secretary released new details today about several key commitments in the president’s “Education to Innovate” Campaign.  Among them was our flagship program Maker Corps, envisioned by our Founder Dale Dougherty when our organization was launched.  In this excerpt from today’s White House Science Fair press release,  our summer campaign commitment to give many more students the ability to be “makers” states:

“This summer, the Maker Education Initiative will launch the first-ever MakerCorps.  These volunteers will give more young people the opportunity to design and build something that is personally meaningfully to them.  In its first year, over 100 MakerCorps members – in 19 states and Washington D.C. —will work work with 34 different partner organizations such as schools, libraries, and science centers.”

We are especially proud of this commitment because it almost doubles our original partnership goal, and we have a waiting list of over 45 agencies eager to sign up for Summer 2014!

For the full text of today’s White House Science Fair press release, click here.

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Aligning with our work, the White House also announced “AmeriCorps VISTA will partner with leading non-profits in the Maker Movement to create Maker Spaces in high schools around the country.”   Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, shared her enthusiasm at the event.  This burgeoning partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service represents an opportunity to build the capacity of youth serving organizations around the country by developing a cadre of talented VISTA members as well as cultivating stronger maker community networks at the local level. We want to seed thriving schools, libraries, museums, afterschool programs, mini-maker faires, and maker spaces working together to develop the next generation of creative thinkers, innovators, makers!

Paloma Garcia-Lopez was appointed Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative as of April 1, 2013.  She teamed up with Dale Dougherty and the board of directors to establish the nonprofit, educational arm of Maker Media one year ago.  Today, Maker Ed is a national organization that offers training, educational frameworks, and resources drawn from a national network of institutions to engage more youth in making activities.






3 responses to “Maker Education Initiative Announces Summer Campaign At the White House”

  1. Jim St. Leger Avatar

    I grew up in the days of “shop class” in school. As those days have gone by and school budgets have been slashed nothing “hands-on making” has replaced it. I’m super excited about the Maker Educational Initiative and the upcoming Maker Corps. It will have a huge impacting on building a capable next-generation of inventors and innovators. Oh, and I LOVE Super Awesome Sylvia! I had a chance to meet her and spend some time with her last year at Maker Faire Bay Area. She’s even better in person (if that’s possible!)
    Keep driving forward. Our future needs it.

  2. Sharon Gibson Avatar
    Sharon Gibson

    I would like to become a Host Site for Maker Corps in Baltimore City. Please advise me of the procedures. I am a facilitator of RECEMSE at Morgan State University.

    Thank you!

  3. steve Avatar

    Hello Sharon, we are excited about your interest. You can register on our Maker Corps page. If you are interested in becoming a Host Site for 2014, please fill out this brief form:

    We’lll begin selecting 2014 Maker Corps Host Saite later this year. Thanks again fo rexpressing your interest!

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