Giving Compass' Take:

• Promoting a 'maker education' means encouraging students to make, build and create in order to enhance opportunities and strengthen creativity. Below are five suggestions for how to cultivate an inclusive 'maker education.'

• How can philanthropy help this movement? Do you believe that receiving a 'maker education' will influence children's' interest in STEM?

• Read about a school in Napa that encompasses inclusion and creativity through project-based learning

3-D printers, CNC routers, and expensive tools are common when people refer to a makerspace. Making is not only limited to a makerspace, but is boundless and impartial to the imagination of all learners. According to The Maker Education Initiative, a nonprofit launched in 2012, maker education is a way to create more opportunities for young people to make, and by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts.

When students have an environment that is inclusive, they are more confident and creative – they create a love of learning and unexpected ideas happen – and we need new ideas.But, to unlock every student’s potential, every student must have access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, math, and art initiatives. Rather than giving in to the temptation to focus on buying one 3-D printer for a makerspace, though, I’d suggest thinking through how these 5 Tips for Building a Maker Culture of Equity and Inclusion might work in your environment.

  • Involve All Stakeholders. Making is intergenerational. It has been around forever and everyone is a maker, so why not tap into all stakeholders in the community.
  • Choose Tools Based on Pedagogical Goals.  Let students lead the process of learning through curiosity and discovery.
  • Make Learning Culturally and Age Relevant. As educators, we often complicate things by thinking about what children want instead of asking them and listening.
  • Empower All Learners–Including Adults. Learning is most meaningful when people are active participants in the learning process; however, learning cannot be forced upon someone.
  • Not Evaluate, Appreciate. When implementing a maker culture, remember, questions are more powerful than the answers.

Read the full article about maker culture by Justin Aglio at Getting Smart.