Everyone is a Maker, but not everyone has access
We were all born with the internal desire to create and make with our hands and minds. In a world where making, manufacturing and building are done by skilled laborers, we no longer make things; we buy things that are already made. There is a new International movement that aims to take making and put it back into the hands of everyone. In 2015 over 1 million people attended a Maker Faire; we had 1,000 people show up to the San Antonio Maker Faire and are doubling the size of the upcoming event.
I work in education and help schools, museums and libraries embrace the maker movement for students. I have seen students build a green house, make their own video games and design a solar powered car. We are all makers, if given the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, not all schools understand this powerful way of learning or don’t have the means to afford the technology. This is where Open Source tools and technologies come in. Thanks to hackers and engineers from all over the globe within the Maker Movement, there are people dedicated to democratizing maker tools and helping to make them affordable for all.
Mark Barnett is STEM and Maker Education consultant with 10 plus years of experience working in San Antonio and is passionate about equal opportunity technology education. Mark has served time in the classroom teaching science and technology, worked for State Education Agencies, local nonprofits and startups helping to advance STEM and Maker Education. In his time working with schools and other youth serving organizations he has been committed to showing that hands-on learning and project-based learning improves education outcomes and excites students.
One of Mark’s greatest accomplishments was through serving almost 30,000 San Antonio students with the high-tech makerspace on wheels called the Geekbus. Mark has also helped many other local organizations improve their STEM education programs including: The DoSeum, The Boys & Girls Club, Judson ISD, Harlandale ISD and many others. As a volunteer, Mark in on the Planning Committee for the San Antonio Maker Faire, the Director of Education at the Circle School and is a FIRST Robotics mentor. Mark also speaks Nationally about STEM and Maker Education and has presented at the Stanford FabLearn Conference, SXSWedu, National Science Teachers Association and at the Bay Area Maker Faire.