All Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide will be hosting Mini-Maker Faires November 6th-8th in partnership with Make Magazine. This event provides a unique opportunity for OSU Extension Educators to learn more about the Maker Movement or even host their own booth at the Faire to share STEM-focused project ideas or provide 4-H program information. Have a drone or 3D printer? Set them up at the Faire and let kids see them in action – then discuss how you use them in your Extension work. Or, bring your Lego League project information and share how they can get involved!
To further put Extension’s involvement in context, I interviewed Paul Hill, eXtension Maker Fellow and 4-H Assistant Professor at Utah State University, to gain some insight into the potential benefits of participating in the Mini Maker Faire:
Why should Extension participate?
It’s all about engaging a new audience that already aligns with the STEM goals of 4-H. Doing so will position 4-H to be more relevant in the 21st century. Makers need the structure of a 4-H club and the essential elements to truly create an environment of positive youth development. Making is considered cool now and it’s the perfect way to help youth gain STEM abilities. 4-H joining the Maker Movement would create a symbiotic relationship for both audiences.
In your opinion, what potential exists if Extension gets involved in the Maker Movement?
By joining forces with B&N to support the Maker Movement in your county, 4-H can reach a new audience of clients and volunteers eager to learn by doing.
OSU Extension Educators are beginning to get involved in the Maker Community. Mark Light, 4-H Educator in Hardin County, received an eXtension innovation grant to create a maker space within the Hardin County OSU Extension office. Dubbed the Spark Lab, this project will instill that inspiration or “spark” youth and adults need to learn, discover, and grow in a creative environment. It will be an overall center of innovation framed through the educational lens of a land grant university system. It will further have the potential to transform the Extension office beyond the traditional use into an innovative space by bringing entrepreneurship, university education opportunities, and a technology and maker space together in a dynamic and still to be explored relationship. The Spark Lab will create a physical space model that can be reproduced by Extension nationwide. It will open in Hardin County in November 2015. If you have questions about the Hardin County Spark Lab, please contact Mark.
Interested Extension program staff are encouraged to contact their local Barnes & Noble store by submitting a information to participate at the B&N Maker Faire website.
Comment below with questions, or contact Jamie.