Increase Future of Work skills using a maker mindset approach
The future of work will require a maker mindset- an approach to learning, thinking and working that equips us for success in a dynamic, complex and technologically evolving world.
Maker-centered learning amplifies and connects the technical and human skills needed to create, collaborate and improve the world around you. No matter what your occupation or job function is, the work of the future will require the skills that shift you from being a “consumer” to being a “producer”.
Our maker mindset approach is developed from interdisciplinary research and best practices including strengths-based leadership, human centered design, appreciative inquiry, growth mindset, project based learning, and more.
Our goal is to help increase access to maker-focused learning. We want this residency to be a learning playground where teachers get access to new techniques, new tools and new relationships that can improve their own experience in the classroom as well as the learning of their students. The teachers who helped us develop this pilot program found a tremendous benefit in the collaboration of a “learning community” incorporating perspectives of other educators, students and workforce partners.
We want to help bridge the needs of the current and future workforce through person-centered initiatives that build learning pipelines to help students and adults learn and work like “makers”. Our maker mindset approach is developed from interdisciplinary research and best practices including strengths-based leadership, human centered design, appreciative inquiry, growth mindset, project based learning, and more.
Starting in March, we will meet twice monthly for a couple hours during the evening for training and planning. Part of these planning sessions will be developing your summer project in collaboration with a workforce partner and student apprentice. The Summer project will include leading a 4-session community workshop or event. This might be a week-long camp, a series of workshops or a collaborative group. The timing of these sessions will be determined by you and your planning team.
During the Fall and Spring semesters we will have quarterly “learning community” sessions and you will plan a one-hour project/workshop each semester. In addition, your exploratory learning should culminate in a classroom capstone where you take the skills, relationships and/or tools that you’ve been developing during the residency and create a project-based learning experience for your students.
No, part of the training and planning process in the Spring will be to develop your summer project in collaboration with a workforce partner and student apprentice. If you have an idea that you have been incubating or are interested in pursuing, that is a great place to start. Part of what makes this residency different than just running a program on your own is the co-development of the ideas that helps make learning applicable for students and relevant to the local workforce. We also want to give you the opportunity through time and resources to pursue an idea that doesn’t fit into the boundaries of a typical classroom.
As a professional educator, we want to provide an opportunity for you to build new skills and apply new tools in a place outside of your normal classroom. The community-based projects will be the workshops that you lead at the Madjax building that will be open for public registration. We have intentionally left a great deal of flexibility in the design of these projects to give you the opportunity to ‘think like a maker’ in the way that they are implemented. The Summer project is designed to be a series which might look like a week-long camp for youth, a series of weekly workshops exploring some skills or equipment not available in a typical classroom, a career exploration camp for young adults, a field trip series to explore fast-growing local careers and connect that to HS and post-secondary education opportunities, or a family learning workshop series exploring STEM skills. The Madjax staff will serve as supports and guides throughout the process to help with planning, registration and promotion of all events.
The Design Lab is a true public “makerspace” featuring high tech equipment such as a Glowforge laser cutter and engraver, Wazer desktop waterjet, 3d printers, vinyl cutters and more. As part of your residency, you will have a complimentary membership to the Madjax Design Lab. You are not required to spend time in the lab, it is a benefit of the residency to give you greater access to tools and equipment that you might not have in your classroom. You are welcome to use this access for your residency-based projects, classroom projects or personal projects. There is a required training for each piece of equipment as well as supply fees for anything not related to your residency projects.
The Educator Maker in Residence program is brand new in 2022! We approach this process with a maker mindset, intentionally learning from each iteration and group experience. The design of the residency program brings together and builds on a few different models and tools in a unique and innovative way.
In the Spring of 2021 we hosted a Strategic DoingTM collaborative action workshop focused on Student-Developed STEM Learning which included 6 high students (from 2 different districts), education, community and workforce partners. We posed the question: “What would it look like to offer programs that help students get excited about technology careers and learn about STEM in ways that are actually helpful and interesting?” As the youth and adults worked together to bring their own strengths and assets to the table, they explored ideas for projects they could develop to address that question. We expanded the team with additional industry experts and educators and ultimately hosted two summer events:
Feedback from the educators involved in this process provided the idea for expanding the existing Maker in Residence program at Madjax to be tailored specifically for educators. This 2022 pilot program brings together the strengths of each existing program to provide educators with a learning playground, a learning community, a maker mindset focus, and a greater connection to local workforce to energize their professional journey and strengthen their classroom instruction.