Why ‘Making’ needs to be part of the School Curriculum.

manifestoAfter spending the last couple of years researching the Maker Movement and providing space within our Junior School library for a Makerspace I have seen the benefits to our students.

This revolution of the Maker Movement is changing societal thinking and working. The days of inventors and ‘ideas’ people having to invest huge amounts of money into their creations and ideas, often suffering financial failure, is going! The availability of Hackerspaces, Fab Labs and even our own Brisbane Hackerspace provides space and tools for makers to design, create and build prototypes which can then be crowdfunded.

So….. doesn’t it make sense to start early by having space and time for our young people to be creative and design prototypes. Throughout this blog I have mentioned the many tools, technology and equipment available which the students can enjoy, but of course it is often time restrictions which prevent ideas being finished!

After reading Mark Hatch’s book ‘The Maker Movement Manifesto’, I am even more convinced of the need of ‘Makerspaces’ within schools…..putting purpose, fun, passion and ownership back into our students’ learning.

As Mark Hatch says “Is this a great time to be alive, or what? I firmly believe we are entering the greatest age of innovation and creativity in all of human history”. As pointed out in the book many amazing projects have come from individuals in Makerspaces, for example: a folding kayak, a 3D printer, bamboo jewellery, drip irrigation system……and many, many more.

As more tools and equipment become available so does affordability and access to create!

“As the Internet gets hooked up to more devices, sensors, robots, switches and controls and creates the Internet of Things, the opportunity for creating labour-saving devices, sensors that can reduce injury, tell us of impending failure, or even fix themselves, our lives will change and improve”

When a student designs and prototypes a sensor driven pop up pedestrian barriers……who is to say it’s not a possible future piece of infrastructure?

Time needs to be allocated for students within the school curriculum to enjoy all the fun in learning by ‘Making’ !

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!