Education at Maker Faire Milwaukee

“Every child, a maker.”

While not as well known as “Four score and seven years ago…” (yet!), President Obama’s 2014 remarks inaugurating a National Day of Making and the first White House Maker Faire called on “every company, every college, every community, every citizen to lift up makers and builders and doers across the country,” and went on to address how the Maker Movement could help formal education, particularly in the critical STEAM subjects: science, technology, engineering, art & design and math.

Now in its third year, Maker Faire Milwaukee is expanding its role as an education resource and information hub for everyone in the community, and we will introduce new events for both teachers and students in 2016.

Educators Program

Building on the educational resources and services that the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum has in place, Maker Faire Milwaukee planners are working with area schools, community organizations, makerspaces and other groups to provide a day-long professional development program for teachers and others in the field at Maker Faire on Saturday, September 24. Registration for the program will open on Monday, August 1, 2016. Plans include:

  • Panel discussions and talks;
  • Hands-on demonstrations and instruction workshops for teachers that focus on a small number of accessible, inexpensive and popular tools and technology applications that can support a broad range of maker projects; and
  • Opportunities for participants to meet in small groups with select Maker Faire exhibitors and peers.

The Educators Program at Maker Faire will serve as a kick-off event for BBCM’s Community of Practice (COP) for Making in Education, which will provide guidance, resources and professional development opportunities year-round through meetings and events, as well as online communications. The Museum’s Be A Maker space and programs are national models for informal learning and its staff are active members in complementary Communities of Practice administered by Exploratorium (San Francisco) and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Field Trip Friday

The Museum and Milwaukee Makerspace share a hands-on learning mission and a strong commitment to community outreach, and we will be pleased to host Field Trip Friday, a special program for 300 disadvantaged K-12 students on Friday, September 23, before the Faire opens to the public on Saturday. Students will meet with makers and exhibitors selected to represent a broad range of fields, and work with them on collaborative projects during their time at the State Fair grounds. All students will receive a complimentary parking pass to encourage them to return to the Faire with their families over the weekend.

Summer STEAM Outreach

Engaging children and their families in fun learning opportunities that they can pursue together is a hallmark of Maker Faires around the world. To reach more children — and parents — in some of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods, members of the Maker Faire planning group are also working with business and community organizations to bring STEAM activities to free lunch sites in the city this summer, and share information about Maker Faire and other resources and programs focused on quality education for all students.

To learn more about these programs and sponsorship opportunities please contact us at sponsors@makerfairemilwaukee.com