Educating Makers: The First Step to Revolutionary Change

MediaBistro invited us to come out to their Inside 3D Printing conference in NYC last week. This particular conference had a large contingent from the investor side of 3D printing as well as a good showing from local artists and designers. As I reflected over what message we could deliver from the educational side of 3D printing, we realized that we have a very important message for business leaders: partner with local schools to create makerspaces because Maker education creates better thinkers for your businesses. If you missed the talk in NYC, we have recreated it in the following video.

We were excited that at least one news outlet ran a story on our presentation. You can read the article here.

We also have a page dedicated to the conference presentation that can be viewed here.

Special Note:  A big thank you to Ben Roberts of ModFab for helping us get the audio/video captured.

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About The Mad Scientist

Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that out... I can get to work. For as long as I can remember, I have been making things. This habit used to be called "Inventing" but has lately been repurposed by the Maker community with the term "Maker". While there are some subtle differences between Inventing and Making, I have discovered my passion for both by inspiring a new generation of Makers. In this quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, I draw on my background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, I have seen research and development from many angles and am now bringing that experience to middle school and high school students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Along with my wife Debby, an accomplished constructivist educator, I am on a quest to transform education and am looking for like-minded collaborators to bring hands-on learning to future generations.

2 thoughts on “Educating Makers: The First Step to Revolutionary Change

  • Lindy

    Great work, Steve. You talked about the terms inventor and maker. I once met Trevor Bayliss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Baylis) and he spoke about the eccentricity of inventors bought about by the secrecy involved in keeping an invention under wraps until it was patented. Stuff like talking to themselves, being secretive, covering their windows and locking their doors, and avoiding discussing their work in case they let something vital slip. Perhaps what differs the most to me between “makers” and “inventors” is that the maker community seems to be more about an “open” approach to invention and making. It is a social as well as a technical movement. Makers share, collaborate, ask, distribute expertise, iterate publicly and so many more of the community of practice qualities that are different from the isolated “inventor” or, dare i say it, “Mad Scientist” (no offense intended). I think many makers spend time alone in their personal maker space and inside their heads thinking, planning and designing but they come out of that space and share and interact in person and online. Maybe maker is the path to a career inventor when you want to turn a lifelong love of making into a career as an inventor and pay the bills with it.

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