It's now 2017, and the Maker Movement is bigger than ever. Schools are continuing to expand STEAM programs and kids are getting the chance to experience more hands-on learning projects than ever before. Here are some of the most exciting things happening in education and maker technology right now.
Maker spaces are not just facilities in educational institutions or science labs anymore. In April, a development called Walsh will open in western Fort Worth, and it will be the first master-planned community in the country to have its own dedicated maker space. The space will include things like 3D printers, a robotics lab, laser cutters and more.
Crayola's Newest Toys Take Customization and Creativity to the Next Level and Fuel Digital Engagement
Crayola has always been big on creativity in kids. Now, they're stepping it up by planning to release a line of products intended to inspire digital innovation and an interest in the maker movement during the 2017 holiday season. The products will include things like the Crayola Mess-Free Color Wonder Light Brush, which allows toddlers to paint without the risk of a mess; the Crayola Magic Scene Creator, which teaches kids about animation; and Crayola Fashion Superstar, which allows children to design clothing and create their own virtual closet.
Do you have a makerspace at your school? Or, do you want to have one? This helpful article from eSchool News outlines how to create and maintain an effective makerspace in an educational institution. It has some helpful tips both about the logistics of running a space, and effective ways to get children involved.
This op-ed piece in the Miami Herald is a good thing to read for anyone who's ever wondered why the maker movement matters. The piece talks about makers in Miami who have gotten involved in the movement, and what they are doing with their innovations. Read about makers who are helping in education, urban planning, art and more. The author of the piece also does a great job explaining why everyone can benefit from the work that makers do.
Another company making products to help young kids get involved in the maker movement is Lego. They are launching a product called Lego Boost, which is a series of toy robots intended to help younger kids learn how to code. With Boost, kids physically build the robot with lego elements, then use the Boost platform (which runs on an iPad or tablet) to code the movement and sounds of the robot. Lego Boost is intended for kids ages seven and older.
This fun article in Education Week explores what Mrs. Frizzle (of The Magic School Bus fame) will say about the state of modern day education, when she returns in the upcoming Netflix reboot of the beloved series. The article talks about some important developments in STEM education, like the Every Student Succeeds Act (with a STEM teacher training grant program) and the rise in project-based learning. A good read for anyone who loves The Magic School Bus.
Want to get learn more about how to get started with the Maker Movement? Check out this video about Tinkercad. It will help you see why Tinkercad is an excellent resource for makers, teachers, students, and more.