In 2015, President Barack Obama proclaimed the National Week of Making to help fortify a country of makers inspired to pursue their passions of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This year, Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) supports the National Week of Making by partnering with local schools to install hands-on Makerspaces.
Educational makerspaces, sometimes referred to as tinkering spaces, STEAMlabs, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where students and teachers gather to create, invent, and learn. While some schools choose to outfit their makerspaces with 3D printers, software, and electronics, RAFT’s approach is to bring an abundance of upcycled craft and building materials to stimulate exploration in students and strengthen their collaboration and critical-thinking skills.
Since 1994, the belief that hands-on teaching builds and reinforces a deeper level of learning that assesses students on critical thinking, evaluation, and research, has been central to RAFT’s mission.
“RAFT has begun creating makerspaces in Bay Area schools as well as in our own Resource Center at the Simon Center in San Jose. Seeing these spaces come into existence is exciting because the maker education movement implies a pedagogy of problem solving by students and allows teachers to function as mentors students take the lead in their educational experiences,” says Jason Pittman, Director of Learning at RAFT.
Building on last year’s National Week of Making, this year’s Week will highlight the diversity of Makers big and small, young and old, urban and rural. The Week of Making is an opportunity for individuals in communities throughout the U.S. to participate in Making activities locally, celebrating the innovation, ingenuity, and creativity of Makers.
To get involved in the National Week of Making and test drive RAFT’s new design thinking curriculum, please visit http://raft.education.
About Resource Area for Teaching
RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and creators, is through hands-on learning. A nonprofit organization since 1994, RAFT serves 11,000 educators each year who teach over 800,000 students. Find out more about RAFT and how to get involved at http://www.raft.729solutions.com.