I heard a loud POP followed by delighted giggles and laughed when I saw a marshmallow fall from the sky and hit a man in the head. As I walked around the MakerFaire in Boulder with my 6 month old son and husband, I couldn’t stop smiling. We marveled at the projects that came from a simple formula: Ideate, Test, Problem Solve, Repeat. When most people think of the Maker Movement, they think about building drones, 3D printers, and creating things with circuits. All of these shiny things were present at the MakerFaire, but what excited me more was the reminder that passion, authentic learning, and inspiration can come from things that are far simpler.
An 8 year old whizzes by in a giant cupcake shaped go-kart. We enter a room where elementary students are creating a village from discarded cardboard boxes. They are like ants, building an intricate and ever- changing labyrinth. Their town is complete with windows, sitting rooms, chairs. An old man walks by us, spinning some kind of top and braiding strands of fiber- he’s making yarn! An girl who looks to be in about 5th grade wields a power drill, and focused on building her own catapult.
Makerspace at Sage
One thing about the Maker mentality is that educators and students alike are ok with chaos and failure. Collaboration is a priority, and the culture is one of adaptation. Creativity, innovation, and outside-the-box thinking are the terms I associate with the “Maker Movement.” It’s designed to revolutionize the way we learn: learn by doing and learn by failing. At Sage Tutoring, we share these values and are looking forward to the launch of our very own MakerSpace this summer at our tutoring center in Breckenridge, CO. We hope to attract students and parents from Summit County, CO and Eagle County, CO. We will have STEAM projects (circuits, robots, rockets, food science, design competitions, etc), but more importantly, we will be encouraging students to create, to think outside the box, and to ask themselves with a smile: what can I make today?