Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Greg Hill, the technology integration expert for a public school system in St. Louis, Missouri and the Project Lead at the Disruption Department, a group dedicated to providing “the platform and the resources for students to learn, to build, and to share innovative things.” It believes “all children in the St. Louis region have the opportunity to earn a thriving living in high-tech or creative fields. We want a region where all people thrive, not just survive.” All images are ©2013 The Disruption Department. (Read also Laura’s post about this on makezine.com.)
On Saturday, February 9th the Disruption Department hosted a “Popup Makerspace” for teachers at EdcampSTL (St. Louis), a completely free unconference organized by educators. See pictures of the event on Flickr.
Over 70 teachers came to the temporary space, each of them having the chance to solder a Make LED badge, to program an Arduino or a Lego NXT Robot, and to try their hand at the Ruby programming language. The goal was to provide low-risk, low-barrier learning experiences for beginners, with the hope that they would dive more deeply into the things they had the most fun doing in the future (hopefully one of which is to convince their school leaders to experiment with makerspaces back at their own schools).
The space was energetic, fun, and challenging, being that most had zero experience with the making tools available in the space. Many left looking to connect about offering similar opportunities to their teachers at their schools. In fact, some even blogged about the change they underwent in the space. Most educators have conversations about the future of education, we’d like to think that the teachers who came to our space lived the future of education with us.
Mad props to Andrew Goodin (@desertdiver), Allie DeSmet (@profadesmet) and Brad Cameron (@pbcameron) for their work making it happen.