21st Century Learning
The Sonoma County Office of Education’s Design Lab is a physical reminder of SCOE’s commitment to Maker Education and 21st century teaching and learning. Opened in June 2015, this hands-on lab features digital manufacturing tools including laser cutters, a vinyl cutter, 3D printers, and a 3D CNC carving machine. It operates as a fully functioning Makerspace and multimedia lab and serves as a model for how schools can convert an existing area into a 21st century learning environment focused around making, collaborating, innovating, and creating. One of the first of its kind to be found in a county office of education, it is used by educators and students for professional learning workshops in all content areas grades TK-12.
Using the Lab
The Design Lab’s primary purpose is to provide a space for teachers to gain knowledge, skills, and expertise in the various elements of Maker Education. SCOE offers a number of teacher workshops throughout the year and makes the Design Lab available for drop-in use, as well. A secondary purpose of the Design Lab is for teachers to bring small groups of students (up to 20 at a time in the Design Lab or up to 45 if the adjacent Madrone Lab is available) to complete a specific Maker activity.
In an effort to streamline the process for teachers to utilize the SCOE Design Lab, take part in after-school maker education classes offered in the Design Lab and adjoining Madrone Computer Lab, and more easily request and receive support from SCOE’s Coordinator for Maker Education, SCOE will offer the following subscription options for Sonoma County districts and schools for the 2016-17 school year:
Schools and districts who do not take part in the subscription program can still access the Design Lab by requesting customized workshops for groups of teachers by completing the SCOE Custom Service Request form available here. Teachers, administrators, and support staff from schools or districts not participating in the subscription program can also participate in Design Lab classes and workshops by paying the individual course fee.
Before reserving the digital manufacturing equipment, including the laser cutters, vinyl cutter, 3D printers, and 3D CNC carving machine, users must complete a safety and basic usage orientation course which will include examples of projects and an introduction to the design software for each machine. These two to three hour courses will be scheduled several times throughout the year. Alternate classes, for a minimum of three and maximum of six people, can be arranged by emailing email@example.com.
Design Lab orientation courses are free to teachers, administrators, and support staff from schools or districts participating in Options B or C of the Design Lab Subscription Program. The cost of the course for non-subscribers is $40. Class schedules are available on the SCOE website at www.scoe.org/classes.
Maker Movement in the News
SCOE's efforts to support the Maker Movement in schools has garnered a lot of press and positive attention. Below are articles featuring the new facilities and other efforts.
SCOE's Casey Shea on "what makes a great makerspace | October 2016
"The makerspace is more of a mindset than a toolset," says SCOE's Make Coordinator Casey Shea in a recent article in a tech education publication, "THE Journal." He was featured prominently in an article titled "What Makes a Great Makerspace?" "Many of the most successful makerspaces I've ever seen started with very little equipment and a lot of creativity," he goes on to say. Read the full interview by clicking below.
Santa Rosa’s 180 Studios gets Keysight boost to open maker lab | North Bay Business Journal | 2016
What's Next for Maker Education? | EdSurge | 2016
New lab makes teaching tomorrow's makers easier | North Bay Business Journal | 2015
Large 'Makerspace' planned for Santa Rosa | North Bay Business Journal | 2015
Sonoma County proponents of maker movement lauded at White House | Santa Rosa Press Democrat | 2015
For more information on design-related lesson plans, SCOE's Coordinator for Maker Education, or how to get involved, visit our page dedicated to the Maker Education movement.
- Dan Blake, Director, Innovation & Partnerships
- Casey Shea, Coordinator, Maker Education