What is “maker education?”

People define maker education differently, but broadly speaking, maker education encompasses any learning activity that focuses on the creative process of student-centered design, resulting in either physical or digital creations.

What is the Maker Promise?

The Maker Promise is a collaborative campaign to equip more schools with the resources and support they need to provide quality maker experiences to their students. As part of this effort, a coalition of organizations are challenging school leaders around the country to sign the Maker Promise, a concrete commitment to dedicate a space for making, designate a champion of making, and display what your students make. Participating schools will then have access to a suite of resources that will include things like curriculum, professional development, crowdfunding, makerspace design, and storytelling resources.

Who is behind the Maker Promise?

The Maker Promise is currently led by Digital Promise and Maker Ed, in response to President Obama’s Nation of Makers Initiative.

Who can sign the Maker Promise?

As evidenced by established school makerspaces, leadership buy-in is an important step for a school and/or district to develop its maker education approach. That’s why only principals, superintendents, and school district administrators can sign the Maker Promise.

What do you mean by “dedicate a space for making?”

In the next calendar year, as part of the Maker Promise, your school(s) should provide one or more dedicated spaces — permanent, mobile, or distributed — where students have the opportunity to be makers. These spaces could be as diverse as a corner of your classroom, a mobile cart, or a community space to which all your students have access. For more ideas and inspiration on what these spaces could look like, check out Makerspaces: Highlights of Select Literature.

What do you mean by “designate a champion of making?”

In the next calendar year, as part of the Maker Promise, your school(s) should designate one individual who will lead the development of your school’s makerspace and approach to maker education. This individual will be in charge of developing your schools’ approach to delivering on the Maker Promise, by designating a space and hosting or participating in a student showcase event. Additionally, that individual will be the point person for future Maker Promise communications. This individual can be a teacher, school leader, or trained volunteer.

What do you mean by “display what your students make?”

In the next calendar year, as part of the Maker Promise, your school(s) should host or participate in one showcase event, where students can share what they made. This could be anything from a full-blown Maker Faire to a maker open house or a booth at your local county fair. We trust you to develop the best approach based on your school, students, and community.

Are there any cost/fees associated with the Maker Promise?

Nope! The Maker Promise is free to sign, and we appreciate you joining the movement!

What resources can help our school or community develop its approach to maker education?

There are many resources that can help your school(s) develop its (their) maker education approach! Maker Ed’s Resource Library is a great place to start. You can find it here. In particular, you may wish to check out Maker Ed’s Youth Makerspace Playbook. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education is inviting schools to enter the CTE Makeover Challenge, by submitting a design for a high school makerspace that strengthens career and technical skills. Up to 10 honorees will each receive $20,000 in cash and other prizes to turn their makerspace vision into a reality. All Maker Promise schools will have access to the CTE Makeover Bootcamp, a 6-week program that provides resources and expertise in makerspace design and planning starting April 11, 2016.

What happens next?

Participating schools and districts will receive updates in the coming months. Specifically, we are thrilled to offer schools a suite of resources that will include things like maker curriculum, professional development, crowdsourcing, makerspace design, and storytelling resources.

Who can I contact with more questions?

You can send any questions to maker@digitalpromise.org or promise@makered.org.