As part of Maker Ed and Digital Promise’s ongoing work to support maker learning, we need your help to fully understand the growth of making in schools and informal learning institutions, and the people who are leading that work. Today we are sharing, and asking for your help in responding to, the second annual Maker Champion Survey. Based on the results of this survey we are better able to direct our resources to the types of support you need most. In addition, the results of this survey of the field will be published in the spring to aid the entire community of makers and educators in understanding and supporting Maker Champions around the country (and increasingly, around the world).

Please complete this year’s survey here.

You can see the results of last year’s survey here.

And keep helping to identify and support the maker champions around you! See the story below of how one school helped all their teachers see that they were already maker champions too.

Spotlight on Friends’ Central Lower School: Maker Bios
Brie Daley is the Director of the Ulmer Family Light Lab at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA. The Light Lab is a unique makerspace designed for children from nursery to grade five and is made up of four-themed Maker Studios: Natural Sciences, Media/Computing, Fabrication, and Design. The Light Lab is also the venue for Edcamp: Maker Promise, a participant driven professional development opportunity around making. Reserve your spot here to join us.

Every teacher is a maker.  Yet when this sentiment is shared with teachers at large, any Makerspace Director will tell you it is met with the same responses:

  • I’m not very creative.
  • I don’t consider myself a “techie.”
  • I love to cook *substitute sew, quilt, draw, etc.* but that doesn’t count.

Inside my school community, I could see an incredibly diverse bunch of makers – expert quilters, cartoonists, puppeteers, and airplane engineers – who quickly diminished their own skills in comparison to 3D printing, computer programming, or laser cutting.

With an opening date for our new makerspaces approaching fast, I searched for a way to honor each teacher’s inner maker, to showcase the breadth of knowledge available in our community, and to clearly demonstrate that one form of making is no more valuable than another.  The need for Maker Bios was clear.Through interviews, observations, and surveys I asked our faculty and staff to share what they love to make and what they are passionate about teaching kids to make. I quickly came to understand each teacher’s “inner maker.”

The resulting Maker Bios hung throughout our four Maker Studios as community members took their very first tours after the ribbon-cutting.  While the shiny new equipment certainly garnered excitement, it was the Maker Bios that really captivated the attention of all. Children connected with teachers who shared interests in making similar things.  Parents read in awe of the talented range of educators.  Faculty and staff began to recognize their role as Maker Mentors with a new sense of belonging in our community makerspaces.

While I did the interviewing and writing of our Friends’ Central Maker Bios, older students could use this opportunity to learn the art of interviewing and practice writing skills by penning their own teachers’ bios.

Check out a few of the Maker Bios from Friends’ Central School here and share your own on social media using the hashtag #makered.