There are lots of cool things going on in the Maker Movement this week, with STEM education expanding thanks to grants, competitions and...beer! Read on to find out more about the most exciting recent Maker news.
MakerBot has had a rough year financially. However, earlier in the year, they declared they'd be shifting gears and targeting the education market. We're now seeing the first results of that, since the company recently announced a new cloud-enabled browser-based printer monitoring platform called "My MakerBot." My MakerBot is compatible with Chromebooks, which is an extremely popular choice for classroom computers.
InnoCentive is an online platform that crowdsources ideas. People ("seekers") post challenges, and then people post solutions to those challenges for a reward. America Makes recently posted a challenge on InnoCentive called Innovation Spring: Additive Manufacturing Curricula Challenge, and they are hoping that educators who use 3D printing in the classroom will submit their 3D printing curricula. They want to give other teachers access to lessons in 3D printing that are proven to work, and they want to encourage more teachers to use 3D printing without having to take the time to develop a brand new curriculum. Teachers whose curricula are chosen will be given a silver level membership to America Makes (a $15,000 value), which provides things like training discounts, members-only programs, access to new funding via a network of resources, and more. The deadline to submit is July 23, 2017.
General Motors recently announced that it will be partnering with four new organizations in order to help promote STEM education across America. Those organizations include Code.org, Black Girls Code, Institute of Pla and Digital Promise. With the money, GM will help Code.org to train new computer science teachers; Black Girls Code to launch a Detroit chapter; the Institute of Play to develop a professional development fellowship for middle and high school STEM teachers; and Digital Promise to create an online credential curriculum for teachers who work in computational thinking. GM has recently restructured its philanthropy arm to focus on results-driven endeavors in tech education.
NASA@ My Library recently chose 75 U.S. libraries to receive resources, training and support in order to bring more STEM opportunities to library visitors. There were libraries chosen in nearly all 50 states, and the locations were selected mostly in underserved communities. All 75 libraries will receive a $500 programming grant, a fully-loaded tablet, 2 NASA STEM kits, an $800 stipend to cover travel costs for attending a 2-day training workshop, and additional online training and resources. The libraries were chosen via an application process, and more than 500 libraries applied.
Everyone loves a delicious cold beer -- but you might be particularly excited about this recent beer dedicated to STEM education, created by MadTree Brewing in Cincinnati. The beer is called the Entropic Theory IPA, and it was created after more than 20 iterations and testing of the same recipe. The brewery will give a portion of all profits from the beer to iSPACE -- a nonprofit dedicated to raining money to promote STEM education in the Cincinnati area.
To learn more about how you can involved in STEM education, check out Tinkercad. Our simple, online 3D design and printing app is a great way to introduce the Maker Movement into your classroom.