The Maker VISTA Project focuses on urban and rural areas that have been deemed high poverty and have little access to the Maker Movement as a STEM initiative. The project will foster maker programming year round in 10 communities across the nation, using community-school outreach strategies to ensure high poverty youth have access to making opportunities.
As part of this effort, Maker Ed is investing in the development of case studies and online toolkits that will outline the “ingredients” necessary to build a thriving maker community. The models derived from the case studies will provide a practical road map of how communities can get started, identify resources, and nurture effective collaborations with a focus on advocacy and sustainability.
Maker VISTA members develop community-school partnerships by increasing local awareness and understanding about making, coordinating with schools, reaching out to afterschool programs and youth-serving organizations, facilitating the start of new maker programs, fundraising, recruiting volunteers, and documenting their work to share best practices with the greater education field. We hire VISTA members at various times throughout the year.
VISTA Leaders, working from Maker Ed’s headquarters in Oakland, CA, provide guidance to VISTA members in each community, capture progress made towards engaging high poverty youth in maker programming on a national level, and develop and maintain partnerships to support the work. We hire VISTA leaders at various times throughout the year.