Are we all makers?

Back from the bank holiday weekend, first of all I have to say that St Patrick’s in Ireland is really something special, what a great party it is. And this year even the Dublin parade showed me, once more, how science is a crucial point for Ireland.

And on today’s blog I will focus on an area of science education, that to be honest, until coming to Ireland and starting my research here I was not that familiar with: the relevance of designing and making artifacts in science education and in education that fosters creativity. To defend my honor I must say that in Portugal my professional area of teaching was Biology and Geology, where unfortunately we focus more on working scientifically and less on design and make. Design and make is usually more developed in the area of science education focused more in physics and computer sciences. Nevertheless, these divisions are artificial and a science education that aims to engage and give the best learning environment possible for students must try and develop both groups of skills throughout the different areas of the curriculum.
The video that you can find here, explains why design and make is so relevant in science education and throughout our lives. The speaker of the video is Dale Dougherty, a technology and publishing enthusiast that founded MAKE magazine and creator of the world’s largest DIY festival, Maker Faire. On the video he argues that all of us are makers, that we have this ability to make things, that creating is part of our DNA. And if you think about human history is hard not to agree with him, human civilizations are full of makers that allowed us to reach today’s world. The video show us as well amateur makers in the maker fair. You will find amazing inventions from electric muffins to very weird bicycles. This maker fairs are ones that celebrate creativity and human ingenuity. What I take from this video is that we need to believe that making things is part of us and it should not be something that only a very few of us do.
And the idea that we are all makers has of course to start in education and consequently in science education. And projects like the Dublin mini maker faire, which will take place in July 14th,are core in putting this idea forward. They want Irish makers to show their projects and they are keen on having student projects. And what better way of rewarding student’s creative work than having it showcased in the Science gallery in front of a large audience!



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