Category Archives: Teachers

Building The Future Of STEM Education

20150523_101006We can all imagine a world in the future full of technical marvels and improvements to quality of life. But who will design and build that future? Preparing our youth to be the creators of that amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including STEM, STEAM, computational thinking / technical literacy, and makerspace education. Clearly there’s a lot going on in education today! That’s why we focus on important elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas. Read the full blog on this topic here to gain deeper insight into our plans for Maker Faire.

dsc_2907Think of Maker Faire as a smorgasbord or buffet, full of interesting options and choices. The information and experiences at Houston Mini Maker Faire can give you better insight into what to invest your valuable time and money into, to achieve your objectives for education. This is useful both for parents who are confronted with so many options for kits, after-school classes, camps and so on — and for teachers, librarians and administrators trying to make informed decisions about how to best set up a makerspace or similar at their facility, and what programs and experiences to use to increase the impact of STEM education.

dsc_2779And what’s really impressive about Houston Mini Maker Faire is the scale and variety of exhibits (read the full blog to get insights into the many new topic areas planned for this year’s event!) In many cases you can try the examples out, right at Maker Faire! Another thing that’s very unique about Maker Faire is that it’s more about showing and sharing than selling. You don’t have to worry about being pursued by vendors; instead, in most cases, you can talk directly with the expert — the person who actually did the work — right there at the event! And of course, Houston Mini Maker Faire is about much more than STEM education — you could easily find great highly-useful ideas built by an artist or innovator who wasn’t even thinking about education impact at the time! So put your “explorer hat” on and come out and see how all these bright minds have put together examples of creativity, education and inspiration!

The Joy Of Learning at Maker Faire

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hcc-sharesThe words “joy” and “learning” are not placed together very often these days, but at Maker Faire we practice and show joyful learning — with passion! Any new parent can tell you “joy” and “learning” definitely belong together as they proudly describe how their young child is learning so many new things — for indeed, humans start as avid learners — and how that learning results in important actions — first steps, first words, first drawings, and so on. Some experience the joy of learning through “Eureka moments” — those jolts of great satisfaction when you figure out something important after investigating, thinking and focusing intensely on a problem or challenge.

But somehow it seems too many of us lose this natural joy in learning as we go through the experiences of life. For many, learning in the structured systems common today is at best described as work and perhaps even drudgery. When was your last Eureka moment?…

dsc_2779That loss of the joy in learning is a problem. In a world so full of change, those who learn the best and most quickly are the ones most prepared to turn challenges into opportunities. And it’s clear that technology has become one the greatest and most rapid forces for change, such that it is now being described as “exponential technology” to more completely describe its power and pace. Coping with this speed of change has become one of the biggest challenges to communities and businesses: how can they most effectively capture the opportunities presented by the rapid pace of change and technology to improve the future of their constituencies?

dsc_2958Makers have a powerful answer to this challenge: re-ignite your natural love for learning and practice it often. Discover things you are passionate about and dive into learning about them. Accelerate and strengthen your learning through experimentation and testing, to discover your boundaries and learn faster from failures. Share your learning to help the community. Indeed, the “Maker Movement” is now recognized worldwide as a compelling model for effective learning that is put into action. And it’s really good at harnessing the rapid progress in technology to create value for communities and businesses (and has an abundance of examples to prove this, many of which we will exhibit at our event). Our “secret formula” is: learning + creativity + action = success, and we put it on display, in abundance, for all to learn from at our local annual event — the Houston Mini Maker Faire! Come join us at the GRB Convention Center on 11/12-13 to experience some new Eureka moments of your own!

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Planting Seeds For The Future — The “Teachers Get In Free” Program

A growing consensus is emerging nationally around the importance of what’s now described as “21st Century Skills” — creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Houston Mini Maker Faire, our own local festival of creativity and invention, is an excellent exhibition of these very things both applied and in action. We have a lot of inspirational things to show and share with our neighbors in Houston! Therefore, to help all the hard-working teachers further inform and inspire the next generation, we invite them to attend our event for free. But they must register in advance by “purchasing” a ticket on the ticketing website, select the “Teachers Get In Free” ticket type (cost = $0), bring their printed ticket receipt to the event and show their teacher’s ID at the check-in. Then go ahead and “enjoy the show” — and take a few notes along the way….

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