On Monday June 14 the Generator space in Burlington Vermont will be buzzing with educators who are gearing up for a week long summer camp (Create Make Learn Summer Institute) to learn more about the possibilities that the opportunities that the Maker Movement can bring to education in Vermont.
The week will start with an amazing keynote speaker - Sierrra, a 10 year old student from Monkton, Vermont who is currently working on a new 3D printed design for a prosthetic hand for an 8 year old girl 2000 miles away. Sierra will be joined by her teacher, her mom, and mentors from the eNable community, a community of volunteers matching kids and adults missing fingers or hands with 3D printer enthusiast. Sierra discovered the community while conducting research for a science fair project about the potential of 3D printers to help humans and animals and now she is fully engaged with this group of online volunteers.
Sierra’s story will set the scene for a week long summer camp where teachers will learn skills like using 3D printing, creating e-textiles projects, or programming circuits using ardiunios from community makers and artist, local lead educators, and nationally known educators, Kevin Jarrett and Dr. Wes Fryer. Also included in the week’s events will be a series of workshops on making movies, music, and games on mobile devices such as smart phones and iPads.
Create Make Learn Summer Institute Coordinator, Lucie deLaBruere, states that her goal when she designed the institute was to provide teachers with a chance to ‘take off their teacher cap’ and experience learning from the perspective of a student who learns by creating and making. I can’t see what will happen when 50 educators are creating and making side by side and having conversations about what this might mean for their classroom.”
Although beefing up their skills with new technologies will be an important goal for teachers this week, equally important will be the opportunity to make connections with community makers, artist, and creators. As Vermont schools strive to create a more personalized learning experience for students, there will be an increased need for school-community connections that provide students with mentors as they pursue personal learning goals.
“We can't address challenges around engagement, relevance and student responsibility for learning without taking on this issue of personalization.” says Rebecca Holcombe, Secretary of Education, in reference to the recent Flexible Pathways Initiative (Act 77).
For many student, experiences where they can create and make will provide hands on ways of learning and of demonstrating what they know that matches their learning styles and abilities. The Create Make Learn Summer Institute was designed to help teachers gain the skills, the resources, and the community connections to better integrate learning by creating and making. You can can follow the learning of these 50 brave educators at the Create Make Learn Summer Institute, sponsored by Vita-learn, Marlboro College, and Champlain Valley Educational Development Center at www.CreateMakeLearn.org
----- See also Sierra’s story posted on the Create, Make Learn blog quoted below