Making has always been in America’s DNA. From Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, America has always been shaped, driven, and defined by inventors, tinkerers, and makers — people with the vision to dream and the ability to create.
Today, as we celebrate the National Week of Making, we’re thrilled to announce that over 1,400 schools, serving almost a million students in all 50 states, have committed to supporting American students — our next generation of Franklins, Edisons, and Jobs. These schools signed the Maker Promise, a commitment by school and district leaders to dedicate a space for making, designate a champion of making, and display what students make.
We launched the Maker Promise to identify, elevate, and equip schools working to develop maker education, which we define as learning activities that incorporate the creativity of student-centered design and result in novel digital or physical creations. So far, we’ve been overwhelmed and inspired by the response, from schools in all corners of this country.
For example, in South Fayette School District outside Pittsburgh, Pa., computational thinking and maker education are fundamental components of students’ journeys all the way from K-12. In New York, the Enlarged City School District of Middletown is opening 43,000 square feet of makerspaces, including fabrication labs, engineering facilities, and a biomedical lab, and they’re dedicating a daily block of time for more than 2,000 students to work together on maker projects. In East Palo Alto, Calif., Ravenswood City School District is developing new curriculum to integrate making into Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Maker education is also thriving in North Dakota, where the North Valley Career and Technical Center is integrating making in career and technical training to prepare students for jobs in the manufacturing and energy sectors.
And these aren’t isolated examples. Educators in schools across the country — in every single one of the 50 states — are working to develop their own approaches to maker learning. From small hands-on elementary school activities to robust high school fabrication labs, maker education is making a difference.
That’s why we plan to continue supporting Maker Promise schools with a suite of free resources such as maker learning curriculum, professional development resources for educators, makerspace design guides, safety strategies, and storytelling tools. And in a few years, we hope that we’ll see making not just in 1,400 schools, but 14,000 or more.
If you’re as excited about this movement as we are, make your voice heard by signing up at www.makerpromise.org today.