What is the National Week of Making and how is the country celebrating it?
Posted June 23, 2016
You may not know it, but we are nearing the end of National Week of Making, designated by the White House as a time to celebrate innovations in science, technology, engineering, art, math and individuals who contributed to the Maker Movement.
According to U.S. News, the term "making" refers to creative elements such as metalworking, woodworking, drawing and digital fabrication. "Making" can play a vital role in ensuring a relevant and engaging learning experience for children as well as challenging them to solve real-world problems.
President Barack Obama kicked off the week, from June 17-23, with the National Maker Faire at the White House this past weekend. The National Maker Faire allows members of the public to showcase the inventions they have created using their STEM skills, according to Laboratory Equipment. "We celebrate the tinkerers and dreamers whose talent and drive have brought new ideas to life, and we recommit to cultivating the next generation of problem solvers," U.S. News reported Obama saying this week.
Those problem solvers are part of the Maker Movement, where "makers" have developed new products and services that can be fostered in any community, according to Maker Faire. The movement is also characterized by technology-based extension of do-it-yourself projects.
"With so many people able to freely share ideas and spread inspiration across the web, makers are forming communities of their own, and more people around the world are becoming influenced to be makers," The Huffington Post reported.
The first Maker Faire took place in 2014 where Obama's intention was to "set our country on a path toward ensuring that more students, entrepreneurs and all Americans have access to these new technologies that are enabling our people to design, build and manufacture just about anything," according to U.S. News.
Laboratory Equipment noted the National Week of Making has encouraged and honored STEM innovations. This year, eight federal agencies have created new education, grants and training to further encourage people interested in STEM projects. Also, it was announced 1,400 K-12 schools countrywide committed to dedicating space to "making" and agreed to host a public showcase for student projects.
In a constant world of new do-it-yourself projects and evolving technology, there are a few ways communities are celebrating the National Week of Making.
According to NBCDFW, last weekend MakerSpace opened a Sci-Tech Discover Center in Frisco, Texas. Every Monday through Saturday Makerspace will offer four programs for children to learn more about planes, trains, automobiles, circuits computer programming and speaker construction.
Additionally, TechShop Inc., a do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio, will be hosting a week-long series of events supporting the Maker Movement throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, according to Power Engineering. The events are free and extend to Friday, including an interactive celebration on how tinkering and technology can transform health care.