Maker Education. A buzz phrase we hear frequently in meetings and conversations within our education circles. But what is maker education? Why is this topic growing in the education world? What does it look like, and exactly who are these ‘master-makers’?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the professionals: the teachers. These professionals use authentic, hands-on learning to explore hard topics and illuminate textbook concepts through student-led designs and project-based learning daily. These teachers, these makers, have discovered the impactful approach of having students collaborate to solve problems based on not only their knowledge but also their interest, skills, and creativity. And we at Ohio Energy Project (OEP) unwaveringly believe in these makers.
With OEP’s confidence in Ohio’s educators paired with our love of hands-on energy curriculum, we set out to create a unique STEM Design Challenge for classrooms that we lovingly call the MacGyver Wind Lift Challenge. MacGyver is a dynamic study of wind energy that encourages students in grades 3-6 to design their very own wind turbine. Using the engineering design process, students work in small groups to design a turbine that can lift a cup of pennies, all the while learning about this renewable energy source.
To deliver this program to thousands of young learners across Ohio in the 2021-22 school year, OEP partnered with Infosys Foundation, USA. With a mission to expand access to computer science and maker education in K-12 public schools across the U.S., Infosys Foundation was a goal-aligned partner for this work. A generous investment of $10,000 helped to impact numerous teachers and students across the Buckeye State in STEM Design education. With this gift, Ohio’s makers received the following at no cost:
- Comprehensive curriculum on the engineering design process and renewable wind energy
- Classroom lab materials for all students to build their wind turbine designs
- Interactive digital materials for teachers to reference all school year long
- Ongoing support from OEP Staff
Thousands of young students were empowered in renewable energy learning and the engineering design process thanks to Infosys Foundation, USA. We don’t know about you, but we couldn’t think of a better way to say thank you than to highlight this work during the “National Week of Making.” Thank you Infosys Foundation, USA for your support and investment in education. And thank you teachers and students, our master-makers, for all of your creativity, critical thinking, and innovation this school year. YOU ROCK!
To learn more about Infosys Foundation, USA, please visit: https://www.infosys.org/infosys-foundation-usa.html.
To learn more about OEP and our work with partners across the state, please visit: https://ohioenergy.org/.