The concept of “making” can be applied to many areas of life. From art to design to science to technology, we’ve been able to make a wide range of products over the past couple of decades. With the rise of computers and design software, barriers to making have been reduced, and the ability to share, collaborate, iterate and improve quickly has increased. But the question is: how do we get more people involved in making? The answer may surprise you.
Formal K-12 education systems are structured around the idea of acquiring knowledge and skills and then expressing them in a measurable way. In contrast, maker projects are open-ended and playful, allowing students to use newfound skills and express them in a meaningful way. Students can also create functional inventions. In the process, they are also encouraged to ask questions, which leads to rich learning experiences that are hard to quantify in a test. In addition, making projects provide students with valuable practice for real-world experiences.