Get ready to roll-up your sleeves – Maker Day is coming to BC elementary and high schools.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA), in partnership with UBC, is piloting ‘Maker Days’ as a way of introducing trades and technology and experiential learning opportunities from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Maker Day is an approach pioneered by the Innovative Learning Centre at UBC’s Faculty of Education Okanagan Campus. It has its origins in the Maker Movement which encourages, visualizing, learning through doing, tinkering, and collaborating. Participants work in small groups and are given materials and tools, and asked to build solutions that solve design challenges.
Between February and April 2014, ITA and the Innovative Learning Centre are piloting five Professional Development Maker Days and one event with students and parents. Maple Ridge School District is hosting a Maker Day on Friday February 28th with 80 teachers from 27 schools in the district. The teachers participating in this event are being asked to take “making” back their schools and share it with their colleagues and their classrooms.
“The idea of tinkering and making things has unfortunately become somewhat of a lost art,” says Dr. Susan Crichton, director of the Innovative Learning Centre at UBC Okanagan. “We believe exposing young people to hands-on activities and problem solving, especially on a regular basis, will instill awareness and potentially awaken interest in careers that involve these skills.”
“Maker Day brings trades and technology to educators and students with hands-on learning that also embraces technology,” says Erin Johnston, director, Training Delivery, ITA. “This is an exciting program, which we hope will awaken children and youth to the possibilities of using both technology and tools to solve problems and create solutions with their hands. Our hope is to eventually inspire more of our youth, and especially young women to pursue careers involving hands-on trades and technology.”
Dr. Crichton is also in Vancouver to participate in the ITA Power Up Women in Trades Training Conference, February 27, 2014. She will be delivering the keynote address on re-thinking and re-imagining the tools and opportunities educators, policy makers, and parents provide youth especially girls, to see themselves in meaningful, and possibly non-traditional, destinations.
“Ultimately, our hope is that through initiatives like Maker Days, we will be able to encourage a shift in learning, and help to create and sustain future generations of skilled British Columbians,” says Johnston.
Dr. Crichton will be offering a Design and Technology course in the Faculty of Education’s Summer Institute in Education from August 5-8th, 2014. Registration opens on March 26th.
For more information about Maker Days, visit www.itabc.ca/youth-trades/maker-day.
For more information on ITA and WITT, visit www.itabc.ca.
For more information on the ITA, please contact: