Just as AI was the buzzword of the past few years, similarly it is MakerSpace which has captured people’s attention across the globe. This is a place where makers of all ages and dispositions can come together to develop, design, experiment and market their creations. At a MakerSpace, you’re free to tinker, to innovate and discover to your heart’s delight.
These MakerSpaces are being set up in schools across the US, Europe, China, India and other parts of Asia and Africa. The beauty is that anyone can become an inventor.
The Transformation of Education
Educational institutes across the education sphere are inculcating Making in school curriculum to foster critical thinking skills and creativity, and engage students in learning. Take Avishkaar for instance. Avishkaar is working towards generating interest in Making among children and adults alike in India and the Asian subcontinent. We’ve also come up with MakerSpaces where one gets connected with all things related to Making.
Avishkaar also organizes the IRC League which is Asia’s biggest robotics event of the kind. Last year’s edition saw 15000+ students participate from across India. What’s more…it’s also been held in the USA, Maldives, Singapore, China, Dubai and Russia. Along with this we also organise Avishkaar Makeathon wherein top innovations created by students from across India are invited to showcase their prototypes at a two-day event, #CelebrateAvishkaar held in December in New Delhi.
At Avishkaar, we believe everyone is a maker in their own right. The goal of a MakerSpace is to inspire that maker to create something meaningful for the community around them. A physical environment that promotes the ability to dream, has the equipment to tinker, curriculum to structure children’s thinking, events/platform run by student-led societies to showcase their work, and mentors to guide them.
WHY IS MAKING IMPORTANT:
A MakerSpace is a platform that supports the natural traits of a child. Kids are naturally tinkerers and makers – they break & take apart things & make something creative out of it. They are born curious & creative. They make their own games, they redesign their surroundings as they like. This brings out a sense of confidence & feeling of discovery/innovation in them. That’s how they discover the world around them & get involved in a deeper learning.
- PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT:
The most essential part of MakerSpace, the physical environment has four stations/sections to house the tools for Making – Robotics, Design & Modelling, Electronics, Hardware Prototyping, Programming and Mechanical Tools. The various BALA Themes (Building As a Learning Aid) have a combination of inspirational quotations, formulae, infographics that are designed to provide an environment where children show a fearless, yet disciplined, approach to the dreams they have.
- EQUIPMENT TO TINKER:
The equipment ranges from basic structured assembly sets to open flexible tools. The basic structured assembly sets allow participants to experiment without any self-doubts. This ensures that they have understood how to think laterally and give definition to their imagination. The end goal is to come to a stage where they can create anything in the domains of electronics design, form factor, software, creative artwork, packaging and pretty much anything on their own.
- CURRICULUM AND TRAINING:
The curriculum plays a critical role in ensuring that all the different equipment and learning aids in the MakerSpace, are utilised in a structured manner. The curriculum ensures that the various disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (popularly called STEAM), that a child is exposed to in school, is put to practical application. It also encourages them to identify various problems that they see in their surroundings and create solutions for the same.
- SHOWCASE EVENTS/PLATFORM:
From a motivation standpoint, it’s important that all the participants get a chance to showcase their work so they get recognition for what they have done but more importantly get real-time feedback. This will over the years turn our Makers into actual entrepreneurs who do not develop products in silos but have developed solutions shaped by the pressing needs of our common men and women. Avishkaar organizes two such innovation-driven competitions annually – the Avishkaar Makeathon and the IRC League.
We see Mentors as coordinators who shall ensure that the participants get access to all possible resources. We see them as people who are very resourceful – especially when it comes to providing opportunities to our students to go out and explore new thought processes and events. Hence, Avishkaar also has training programs specific to Mentors and Trainers.
Let’s get on par with the rest of the world and provide our children, our future with the right tools and skills necessary to become successful.