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 an amazing future is the focus of many education strategies, including STEM, STEAM, 21st century skills, computational thinking and technical literacy, project-based learning, and vr-gaming-625x350makerspace education.

Clearly, there’s a lot going on in education today! While some may see some of this as fads that come and go, we believe things are moving quickly and t5421861fd1ba8hat tremendous and important opportunities are emerging. That’s why we focus on elements of STEM and STEAM education each year, and offer Houston Mini Maker Faire as the best showcase of makerspace education available in Texas. Our goal is to provide educators 20160728_130814with important new information and experiences that you can adapt and adopt into your classrooms to meet your objectives for education enrichment.

Please consider these planned exhibits throughout Houston Mini Maker Faire — these are just a few of the highlights available at this event:

  • Virtual Reality (VR): this is a new fast-developing area and it’s not all hype. Get real hands-on experience in our VR exhibits, especially the demo of Google Expeditions VR for education.
  • Health Tech is very important for the Houston economy and is the focus of extensive innovation, sometimes from surprising sources. This area will continue to be important for decades, and is therefore a great topic for student education, experience and development. At Houston Mini Maker Faire you can learn more about these opportunities from real experts and startups in the field. Some of your most-brilliant students will go into this field — learn how to help them begin innovating now.
  • Power Up Houston Hackathon models an excellent event structure to build student energy and participation in creative problem-solving and solution development, while developing 21st century skills and technical literacy. There’s still time for you and your students to enroll in the Hackathon event at Houston Mini Maker Faire; click here to learn more.
  • Robotics: competitive educational robotics programs are the tried-and-true standard for highly-engaging project-based learning. Houston Mini Maker Faire offers you the opportunity to gain deep insights into the widest variety of robotics programs of any event in Texas. And did you know the largest robotics competition in the world — nearly on the scale of the Super Bowl — will be in Houston in April 2017? Learn how you and your students can get fully involved as preparations begin for this inspirational event!
  • Makerspaces are one of the “hottest” trends for schools and libraries right now. Learn what teachers and students are really doing there, what their successes and challenges have been, and how to get started effectively — including how to spend those precious education funds wisely. Real people who have actually done the work are there to talk to at length.
  • Creativity is core to STEAM education models, and Maker Faire is designed to be a showcase of creativity! For further investigation here we recommend the many Arts & Crafts exhibitors and Creativity Shell, a new sewing makerspace in Houston.
  • Urban Agriculture is literally a hotbed of innovation right now — and fertile ground for new investigations and projects with students.
  • The IDEAS Pitch Competition (with HCC) is a model of how to get students thinking about real-world opportunities and problems and make solutions happen. There will be follow-up opportunities with HCC.
  • Drones: yes, they’re great for STEM education too!
  • Design Thinking will be everywhere as it’s demonstrated by applied projects across too many categories to list here. Prominent displays will be in the exhibits of the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, and the huge area presenting the capabilities and projects of Houston Community College.

Additional specific exhibits with education components include:

  • Barnes & Noble Pop-Up Shop featuring product demonstrations and check out the latest Make: Magazine, products, and books. [Items for sale.]
  • Bechtel “Engineers Without Borders” explores how engineering is applied in practical ways to make the world a better place.
  • ChickTech (at the Proto Makerspace booth): tech project and robotics teams for girls.
  • Children’s Museum of Houston:  The Chevron-Houston Texans Maker Annex is a place for children to invent, construct and showcase their work, with access to a wide range of tools and education experiences. Several maker learning activities will be available at Maker Faire.
  • Creativity Shell: Interactive Sewing Station and projects for girls.
  • Electrical Circuits Hands-On Learning (by David Sproles, retired engineer)
  • eNABLE Chapter at the University of Houston seeks to acquaint more people with the noble cause that eNABLE is devoted to. They plan to demonstrate assembling a prosthetic hand and possibly engaging attendees in the process, along with displaying a fully assembled prosthetic hand or two.
  • FilaCube will proudly produce 3D print filaments in Houston, TX. We will provide 3D pens for kids to test our filaments for free.
  • FIRST in Texas: FIRST is a hands-on, mentor-based program by design that allows for a safe environment to explore engineering, design, fabrication, programming (technical), as well as the business side of developing a start-up (business models/plans, marketing plans, presentations, communication, outreach) – the soft skills. Learn about the FIRST Robotics Championship (April 2017, in Houston) and how to get involved.
  • Fort Bend County Libraries will soon offer the ability for patrons to 3D print in many of their locations.
  • Harmony Public Schools “DIY Education by STEM SOS Model” is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, standards-focused, and engaging STEM teaching approach that is teacher-facilitated, student-centered and directed through sets of project- and inquiry-based maker projects. STEM SOS Model embraces Maker Movement and incorporates Maker Culture into its educational approach. We will be sharing our experiences starting maker spaces in schools and demonstrate example DIY projects hoping to inspire like-minded educators, parents and community members.
  • Harris County Public Libraries (incl. Freeman Branch): they started the “makerspace-in-a-library” strategy in Houston, and are a leader in helping you get started as makers!
  • Houston Community College (HCC) will show the largest exhibit we’ve ever had in Houston, with abundant information, insight and inspiration! Check out the IDEAS Pitch Competition, the many showcases of HCC capability, and the wide variety of fascinating student projects.
  • Houston Public Library: We will display one of our DIY activities (makey makey, paper circuits or Little Bits).
  • IdeaLab Kids
  • IDEAS Pitch Competition (at the HCC area) has many proposed projects in the education space.
  • Makeblock (at the Techno Chaos booth): come play with these low-cost rugged programmable robots! Makeblock products represent a new peak in value of price-performance. A good exhibit for teachers, parents and children wanting to learn more about educational robotics.
  • MakeCrate: Come build a circuit with MakeCrate. Learn how to power LEDs and buzzers using Arduino and our step-by-step, teacher designed instructions.
  • MakerHealth is dedicated to providing tools and democratized access to medical fabrication across the globe. At the MakerHealth exhibit, you’ll build custom telehealth systems powered by Raspberry Pi boards and create a smart inhaler using MakerHealth Kits! Learn about diagnostics, prosthetics, hospital maker spaces, MakerNurses and Arduinos in the clinic!
  • MakerHealth at UTMB Health: this is the first makerspace in a hospital in the US! A brilliant combination of capability and opportunity capture for primary-care givers, it represents real innovation in health tech and part of the MakerHealth family of programs.
  • Maker Maven will have a makerspace inside of the booth featuring hands on activities and information on makerspace kits, activities, and more!
  • PCs for Me is run by 13 year old entrepreneur and maker, Ethan Saadia. He designs and sells kits and accessories for the Raspberry Pi, a powerful computer the size of a credit card. We encourage both kids and adults to become makers and learn computer science as well as provide those already maker-savvy with additional tools to build exciting projects. [Items for sale.]
  • PolyPrinter 3D Printers is a demonstration of 3D printers manufactured in Texas that are very popular with schools and libraries.
  • Protein Bracelets by Science ACES: Come learn the basics of how proteins are made while making a fun bracelet you can use to teach others about all that proteins do!
  • Robotics Education & Competition Foundation will show both static and interactive VEX and VEX IQ robots.
  • Robot Mastery LLC: Elementary School, Middle School, High School. It’s never too early to take an interest in robotics! Come see how one high school student has gathered many like minded peers and parents to create wonderful opportunities for robotics education.
  • Sabine Pass ISD: In our booth, we will show off our 3D printing, drones, Raspberry Pi, Arduinos, Makey Makeys, and other things we have used in our class. We will have things that people can look at as well as some hands on demonstrations.
  • San Jacinto College – South Campus: the Engineering Design Graphics Department will demonstrate how their education programs can help you develop core skills for innovation and design.
  • SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Education Development) is Schlumberger’s education outreach program. Join us for hands on activities building brush bots and paper circuits!
  • Sustainable Water: learn about the daily challenges of gaining access to clean water in many parts of the world, and how the ingenuity and “can do” of Houston can bring relief.
  • Techno Chaos: if you want to design a makerspace or a maker education program for a school, library or community organization, Techno Chaos has the maker education experience to help you succeed!
  • University of Houston Industrial Design Labs will exhibit several projects that show the power of design that has enabled them to be a global leader in this area.
  • Usbourne Books & More sells children’s Books by Usborne Books and Kane/Miller. Many styles of books (board books, picture books, educational, etc.) for all age ranges – from newborn thru teen years
  • Wee Warhols art classes will help children develop fine motor skills, expand creativity, introduce many different mediums, and promote self esteem.