Making to Learn
Building a Maker Community
Why should schools create maker spaces and design programs? What does it take to build beyond just a maker space and establish a "maker community?" How might a school set conditions so that learners develop and practice agency in the world - that disposition and bias to take action and make the world a better place?
While Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS) and the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) have been practicing and leading design thinking work for nearly a decade, we have made significant advances in the past three years in building a more sophisticated maker community. Thanks in large part to a generous grant from The Goizueta Foundation, we have accelerated and deepened our efforts to design a better world.
During the spring and summer of 2018, as part of our commitment to action research around transforming school, Mount Vernon began producing a short documentary film so that we might share various aspects of our journey during the last few years. What's here now is a first-cut trailer of the emerging documentary. When the final cut of the film is ready in early summer 2019, we plan to share the film as a resource for other schools and organizations that are striving to create and nurture maker communities.
Additionally, our leaders in the Maker, Design and Engineering program are creating and sharing videos, podcasts and other resources in growing libraries of episodes and short courses, so that other programs might benefit from and build upon all that we are experiencing and learning. The first batch of these resources are ready now and can be found below.
How the Lessons Are Structured
Navigating This Learning Journey
At the launch of this website resource for building a maker community, we are releasing five lesson pages that we call "Laps." You can find Laps 1-5 linked in the area below.
Each of the Laps consists of four sections.These four organizing components provide you with a video explanation of how we've structured our Maker, Design and Engineering (MDE) program; background context; additional resources to peruse, and an invitation to tinker and try something yourself.
Have fun exploring!