The Teacher Education Program to hold School Maker Faire on April 21

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Maker Faire electronic doll house

The Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School will hold a School Maker Faire on Thursday, April 21 from 4:30 – 7 pm at the Education Building on the UCSB campus in classrooms and the McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic. Like other Maker Faires, this event will celebrate “making,” that is hands-on activities related to robotics, circuits, crafts, building, and other pursuits. This particular Faire will be distinguished by showcasing how the Maker Movement exhibits the new move in Science Education to engage students of all ages in engineering and in the practices of science and engineering practices. It will provide a fun learning experience for local school children and provide inspiration and resources for local teachers. As Dr. Kylie Peppler and Sophia Bender, researchers at Indiana University said in a recent article in Kappan, the magazine published by Phi Beta Kappa, “The maker movement is an innovative way to reimagine education.”

A sample of the activities include: building a birdfeeder, a boat, and art from recycled materials; learning about 3D printing; building with circuits; playing with Legos; painting with magnets; making balloon race cars and rockets.

In particular the Faire will be an opportunity for area teachers to learn about Maker Education and how it relates to science instruction and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and to network with other interested K-6 teachers. To that end, the evening will feature a panel discussion by local elementary and middle school teachers who are integrating Maker Education into their classes, workshops and talks for teachers on integrating computer science and 3D printing into their classes.

The event is run by a leadership team centered in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education headed by Associate Professor Danielle Harlow. In addition to graduate students in the Department of Education working with Harlow, the event will feature numerous candidates in the Teacher Education Program at UCSB as presenters. Visiting presenters and speakers include CAMINO Youth of Goleta Boys & Girls Club, St. George Family Youth Center, Santa Barbara Library, MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Julianne Walsch, Frank Kinnemin, and the UCSB Materials Research Lab.

Note that this year, UCSB is limiting classroom invitations only to the children in classrooms with UCSB student teachers. In the future, the school hopes to grow its capacity to support all students in Santa Barbara and Goleta.

[Danielle Harlow is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805-893-5789.]