As the President proclaims June 17-23 a National Week of Making, higher education institutions around the US have responded to this call to action from President Obama to have “every company, every college, every community, every citizen joins us as we lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.” Seventy-eight colleges and universities in 32 states representing more than 1.1 million students are committing to take new actions in support of the maker movement on their campuses and in their communities.
Dear President Obama:
The Maker Movement has gained incredible traction across the Nation, transitioning from a grassroots activity where anyone can ‘tinker’ or ‘hack’ new innovations, to one that has real impact on industry, research and education. Making comes with the opportunity to catalyze the emergence of new economies, identify new manufacturing processes, foster small businesses and job growth, accelerate design and prototyping, as well as to maintain our competitive advantage by incorporating agility into manufacturing. Recognizing this, in the summer of 2014, you hosted the first ever White House Maker Faire to celebrate Making’s successes and highlight the opportunities for impact, innovation and creativity.
As part of this national effort to emphasize Making, dozens of Higher Education Institutions committed to ‘Fostering a Generation of Makers’ and committed to supporting Making on their campuses in a diversity of ways. Now, two years since the original commitment from Higher Ed institutions, we want to take this opportunity to again renew and reaffirm that each of our institutions is committed to take one or more of the following steps to promote Making, including:
Colleges and universities are already playing an enormous leadership role in the Maker Movement. We are doing this by investing in Makerspaces that are accessible to students across the campus, or serving as “anchor tenants” for commercially-operated Makerspaces; expanding access to university shared facilities and scientific instrumentation to Makers; allowing students that are applying for admission to our institutions to submit their Maker portfolio; supporting research, education, and service-learning that is relevant to Making, such as the development of new tools for desktop manufacturing, or encouraging students to serve as mentors for young Makers; and participating in regional efforts to create a vibrant Maker ecosystem that involve companies, investors, skilled volunteers, state and local officials, libraries, museums, schools, after-school programs, labor unions, and community-based organizations.
Highlighting this 78 institutions around the nation have joined a shared letter to the President, commiting their support to Making.
Many have also contribute a personalized responses and individual statements outlining the milestone achievements in the past 12 months and specific commitments to Making their institutions are taking to support Making in the next twelve months.
This year more than 1,400 K-12 schools, representing almost 1 million students from all 50 states, are committing to dedicating a space for making, designating a champion for making, and having a public showcase of student projects.
In addition to supporting making on our campuses, twenty-eight of our institutions have added their commitments to support their local maker ecosystem. They will:
On June 21st in Washington D.C., Higher Ed Makers will join industry leaders, agency representatives and K-12 educators in a provocative discussion on creating inclusiveness and access to making in higher ed and fostering the pipelines from K-12.
This workshop will bring together institution to cultivate cross-sector cooperation to advance the maker movement. Discussion will focus on: presenting experiences, case studies and best practices of deploying maker-based education or makerspaces on US campuses; addressing common problems through actionable, implementable resources that address challenges faced by multiple institutions; identifying creative solutions to overcoming barriers to access and inclusion in higher education making; and developing new pipelines for making across K-16 learning
The Alliance has grown significantly over the past 2 years and we’re looking for a group of community members to join the Alliance Leadership, advance the network and speak to regional interests.
Eight members of the community have joined the leadership of the Alliance as a new set of Regional Leaders. They are:
Building on our commitments, momentum and participation, we are calling on each institution to contribute a shared solution for the community-at-large. If each institution, identifies a problem (or opportunity) facing Making in higher education and addresses it in a way that benefits the community as a whole, we can greatly and rapidly empower our community. This work has already begun in the run up to the Week of Making, but we invite everyone to take part in this shared action.
Help solve challenges faced by our community of Makers by sharing best practice from your campus. Contribute simple, solvable resources, tools, and content that helps the community as a whole to empower making in education. This could be anything from a series of curated talks, a well authored guide, best practice or guidance documents, a well documented curriculum, an online tool, an iphone app, etc.
Share solutions, lessons learned and best practice generated by your instition in our new solutions section.