As an institution, how would you define 'maker culture'?

The School of Education at Sonoma State University promotes a community of makers who make things that matter. Our maker culture’s core values include:

  • Equity: Everyone is a maker and Everyone is a learner
  • Social Connection
  • Full Participation
  • Openly Networked
  • Shared Purpose
  • Stewardship and Sustainability 

How does your institution foster maker culture?

The School of Education at Sonoma State University fosters maker culture through The Maker Certificate Program. The Maker Certificate Program is a unique professional development and mentorship opportunity for educators to introduce Making in Pre­K­16 learning environments. The program helps participants to:

  • Understand the core values and principles of Making
  • Learn pedagogical practices for empowering learners to explore Making and a Maker mindset in school-based settings
  • Design an action plan for implementing Maker activities in a learning environment
  • Begin to consider ways to integrate Making in a variety of learning environments
  • Begin to align Maker projects with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Become part of a Maker educator network
  • Receive mentorship from local Maker educators, including SSU faculty and K-12 maker educators

Learn more at

How are you approaching maker education with your current or future curricula?

The Maker Certificate Program offers a series of mini courses designed for people seeking to lead Maker activities in schools, clubs, community centers, libraries and other settings. Designed by maker educators for educators, the Maker curriculum enables participants to learn the principles and practices of the Maker movement, including an interdisciplinary focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM), and design an action plan for implementation. The core values and key learning and design principles are adapted from the Connected Learning movement and research:

What are the key programs, initiatives or classes that support the development of maker skills?

The Maker Certificate Program course list includes:

1. Making for Educators combines hands­on Making activities with tools and resources for building a culture of making in a local learning environment. Participants will engage in sustainable Maker activities as they build a personal learning network (PLN) of Makers and analyze how to support and fund a fully equitable and connected Maker space and/or activity.

Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer;
7 meetings: 4 Saturday sessions and 3 online class sessions; 25 hours; 2.5 CEUs

2. Introduction to Making, an online course, introduces participants to the philosophy and world of making through interactive activities and Making experiences. Participants will examine their own learning environments, be it a classroom environment, library hang out space, community center, or after school fab lab, to determine how to best create a space that promotes and holds a culture of Making and sharing.

Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer online; 15 hours; 1.5 CEUs

3. Hack Your Notebook: Illuminate Your Thinking with 21st Century Notebooking, a maker­based STEAM learning activity NEXMAP and CV2 that combines electronics with journals and sketchbooks, turning the traditional notebook into a tool for prototyping. This introductory course explores techniques and affordances of paper circuitry and the connections across content areas such as science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM), and bridges core ideas and concepts from the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) standards, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and art­based studio habits of mind.

Offered in Spring; 15 hours; 1.5 CEUs

4. The Maker Professional Development hybrid course supports educators with networking with local makers in their community and finalizing their Maker Design Project. Students are required for 10 or more hours to attend and/or volunteer at local or online Maker events and activities while they work with an advisor to complete their Maker Design Project.

Offered in Fall & Spring; 10 hours; 1 CEU

Learn more about the Maker Certificate’s course offerings at

Maker Certificate Program Requirements

  • Total seat hours = 50 hours; 5 CEUs 
  • Assessments: Maker Portfolio & Maker Design Project
  • “Mix and Match” Pathway to Certification: Students can choose from a list of courses from accredited institutions and organizations to meet 25 hours of the 50 ­hour requirement for a Maker Certificate.

How are your students involved in making? Are there maker groups or organizations on campus organized by students?

Sonoma State’s Maker Educators are involved in local K-12 educational settings as teachers, administrators, and librarians. They are makers themselves and they design maker activities and projects for their own students. 

Give a snapshot overview of the primary facilities, technologies and tools that campus makers have or will have access to?


(We hold the Maker Certificate courses off campus at local K-12 school sites.)

How does your school engage with the maker community at large?

The School of Education at Sonoma State University supports with local maker educators and organizations, including a North Bay Maker Educator meet-up.

What partnerships (informal or formal) do you have with makers and/or community organizations outside of campus?

The School of Education at Sonoma State University is partners with the Sonoma County Office of Education and Maker Media in order to promote maker education in the region. 

What has been the impact of maker culture on your campus?

Faculty and students are excited about the prospect of starting a makerspace on campus and hosting young makers.

What are the success stories relating to your maker culture?

The School of Education at Sonoma State University is partnering with local business leaders, the local community college, and local markers to start the first North Bay makerspace in the region in summer 2015.

The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has reached out to the Maker Certificate Program and our regional partners to learn more about our program and local initiatives related to maker education.