SCOE to host national summit on maker education
The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) is hosting its second annual maker education conference August 2-4. The innovative event, underwritten this year by Google’s Making & Science initiative, is expected to draw leaders in the movement from around the county, state, and nation.
The hands-on, interactive conference will be held at 180 Studios, a 15,000 square foot makerspace on Todd Road in Santa Rosa. Around the country, maker education is being embraced as a way to engage students with this important curriculum. SCOE has long been a leader in this movement, helping to start a Maker Educator Certificate program for teachers at Sonoma State University, hiring its own, full-time Curriculum Coordinator for Maker Education, and building a Design Lab where local teachers can learn the basics and become acquainted with tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, and more.
This summit is designed to train more than 200 educators from all grade levels and subject areas in how to bring the maker movement to classrooms. The three-day event features presentations and workshops by leaders in making, including: Autodesk; Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab; Digital Promise Global; Google's Making & Science initiative; NASA's Langley Research Center; Pixar Studios; Solar Schoolhouse; and SparkFun Electronics.
Hands-on sessions will be nothing like the usual abstract conference material. Designed to engage and empower teachers (and their students in turn), they include topics like: Engineering in an Elementary Classroom; Immersive Learning through Virtual Reality Creation and 360 Storytelling; Toy hacking as a low risk entry to robotics; and How to Design a Makerspace. Attendees will also have the chance to tour local school makerspaces.
This year’s event will also feature screenings of the award-winning documentary Landfill Harmonic, which tells the inspiring story of the the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. Accompanying the film screenings will be opportunities for attendees to make their own musical instruments out of recycled materials.
"The reMAKE Education Summit in Sonoma County was an unbelievable three days of making and networking with very passionate educators trying to change education as we know it!" said Dr. Todd Keruskin, assistant superintendent of the Elizabeth Forward School District in Pittsburgh, PA and a participant at the 2016 conference.