Maker spaces: classrooms of the future?

by Heather Jane10 Jun 2015

Last week’s EduTech conference brought together thousands of educators, but none engaged them quite like 13 year old, Super Awesome Sylvia, one of the world’s youngest entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the phenomenon of Science Technology Engineering Mathematics, Art and design (STEAM) as a way for students to realise their creative potential, Super Awesome Sylvia shared her aim of inspiring a “maker spirit” in people around the world.
   
“I want to inspire people to be more hands-on and try and make things. I want to get people to have more of a maker spirit,” Super Awesome Sylvia said.

“The genre of making is absolutely huge – from kitchen experiments to rockets to electronics to paper crafts and everything in between. Just use your hands and the materials around you to put something together that wasn’t there before.

“You end up getting three things: a physical thing, a better understanding into what went into making it and usually a feeling of pride and accomplishment that keeps you going,” she said.

The young entrepreneur encouraged beginners to approach their initial project with a proactive attitude, adding her humble beginnings should serve as an example that inspirational creations can come from simple projects.

“I’ve been told by kids everywhere I go that I have inspired them in some way. Of course, I’m just a regular kid with a few videos about making simple projects, but sometimes that’s all it takes.”

Super Awesome Sylvia’s advice to those curious about getting involved in STEAM?
 
1. Introduce small simple projects. Go online and look at tutorials.

2. Cheap is good. Don’t stress over expensive tools or software. Toilet paper and hot glue can be enough to make a bridge.

3. Remember failure is always an option. You will learn from your mistakes. Every time you mess up or fail, you’ll learn something. A positive attitude after a misstep will always help when it’s time to start again.

4. Don’t forget to be the student too. Work with the kids in making the same project at the same time. It will show that you are a partner, not just the grader of tests and the judge of final output. 

5. Don’t fuss over small details before starting – just get out there and make something!
 
 
 
 

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