66 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
• Increasing access to tools
• The emergence of open-source software
• The blurring of the lines between professional and amateur makers
• Social platforms for collaboration and problem-solving
• The increasing importance of ecological sustainability, and a quest for
authenticity (IFTF, 2008).
Inside schools, learning through Making is based on a model of learning that
asserts that an individual constructs knowledge. Knowledge is not something
that can transfer from a teacher to student. Instead, learning happens
when a learner takes part in a personally meaningful activity or experience.
Additionally, long-term use of manipulatives (hands-on learning) has been
shown to have a positive effect on student achievement. It allows students
to use concrete objects to observe, model and internalize abstract concepts
(Ruzic & O’Connell, 2001). The goal of Maker Saturday is to empower our
students and families by engaging them in learning through Making.
The Maker Saturday prototype started with our Parent R&D Team. This group
was the first group we worked with to start the Maker Culture Prototype at
ASB. This group read about and discussed trends that are driving the Global
Maker Movement and participated in hands-on Making activities. Next,
they engaged in thinking about the implications of the Maker Movement
for PreK- 12 education in general, and ASB in particular. This is the group
that worked with the R&D team for the first Maker Saturday. The Parent
R&D team facilitated activities, helped spread the word throughout the
community, and brought their children to the first Maker Saturdays.
We started Maker Saturday as an event for K- 12 students, but it quickly
became evident that Maker Saturdays were most popular with our
elementary students and their parents. We adjusted our planning and
structured our activities to meet the needs of elementary school students.
Soon, several families were attending Maker Saturdays on a regular basis.
Some parents reported that they had begun rescheduling their vacations