Maker Projects – Making Engineering Fun

I’m still digesting the things I learned at the Transforming EDU conference when I was in Las Vegas this month.

One of the panels that I was attending was on Maker Projects. I was prepared for them to talk about tinkering, problem-solving, and inter-disciplinary learning.  But this discussion looked at an entirely different side of the value of Maker Projects for young people.

In my post last week I talked about the fact that companies are looking for the brightest kids, not at the top universities, but at the top extracurriculars where they demonstrate their curiosity and motivation. Similarly, the message here was that Maker projects give students an opportunity to communicate, and to demonstrate the fact that they are hungry to learn.

It’s not just the fact that kids get creative and learn-by-doing – your maker project gives you something to talk about.  Again and again I heard educators and universities talk about communication skills.  They said “top schools are looking not only for students with tech smarts but also good communications and a story to tell.”   Another comment was that one of the biggest frustrations for corporates is having smart employees who can’t communicate well.

For students to excel in engineering and coding, they have to find it fun.  They have to be passionate, and they have to show that spark of innovation.  AND they have to be able to communicate that to people who are scouting for talent.

We love giving young people the opportunity to make, to experiment, to break things, to learn, and to live to tell the tale.  Their excitement is infectious and we’re so excited about what they’ll do next!