On June 12th, Matt Fisher (Assistant Director of UNCG’s SELF Design Studio) and Mike Renne (Instructional Technology Consultant of the SELF Design Studio) attended the Capitol Hill Maker Faire and Panel Discussions held at the Rayburn Congressional Office Building in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by the Nation of Makers, a national not-for-profit organization created to help support America’s maker organizations through community building, resource sharing, and advocacy within the maker movement and beyond.
The morning began with opening remarks from U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-CA), leader of the Congressional Maker Caucus. The following speeches and presentations from educators, policy makers, and entrepreneurs focused on how the “maker movement” has influenced their work by providing new technological and creative opportunities for their communities. After the panel discussions, the Capitol Hill Maker Faire featured exhibitors from local schools (K-12 and higher education), community makerspaces, and students showcasing their projects and works in progress.
Attending this event gave Fisher and Renne the opportunity to connect with representatives from several museum programs who offer informal learning experiences, similar to the SELF Design Studio environment in the School of Education. They also learned more about the groundbreaking maker-education work being implemented in Albemarle County Schools in Virginia. Fisher hopes to be able to incorporate some of their activities and projects into the SELF Design Studio’s repertoire of activities for their pre-service teachers this coming fall.
The SELF Design Studio is a teacher education STEM studio located in the School of Education at UNC Greensboro. The space offers opportunities for in-service and pre-service teachers to utilize a variety of emerging technologies and tools including 3D printers, robotics, art supplies, and circuitry kits. Learn more about the SELF Design Studio here.