A new series of Saturday morning workshops based on the makerspace ideology are being offered at the UCR Extension Center. Eager learners in grades 3-8 will participate in projects such as green screen technology, breaker space, digital storytelling, stop-motion animation, robotics, coding, engineering, and more. STEM Saturdays meet on the first Saturdays of February, March, April, and May from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Parents may choose to drop their children off, or they can stay to join in on the learning fun!
What is “makerspace?” To put it simply, it’s DIY meets education.
Educator, blogger, and best-selling author, Laura Fleming, describes makerspace as “a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests; learn to use tools and materials, both physical and virtual; and develop creative projects. Great makerspaces are unique to your community, vibrant for now, and sustainable into the future. They provide opportunities for kids to take their learning deeper. They create an inclusive learning environment that encourages tinkering, play, and open-ended exploration for all.”
Today’s culture of children has learned to consume technology and do many things with the swipe of an index finger. Makerspace learning is a constructionist movement designed to move beyond consumption and onto creation! The Maker Movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.
Mark Hatch, author of “The Maker Movement Manifesto,” believes that “the world is a better place as a participatory sport. Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make, create, and express ourselves to feel whole. There is something unique about making physical things. These things are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our souls. Be playful with what you are making, and you will be surprised, excited, and proud of what you discover.”
Makerspaces are perfect for kids who learn best by doing, and their accomplishments inspire them to excel in STEM subjects in school. The lessons are designed to transform the way kids think about learning. They complete hands-on projects to solve real-world problems that turn knowledge into action.
For more information or to enroll in STEM Saturday Workshops, visit here.
Learn more about Makerspace learning.