Movers & Makers

Bring maker tools to underserved communities so students can become inventors, creating solutions to problems in their everyday lives.

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One type of authentic STEM experience would empower students to take on the role of engineer/inventor within a socially-relevant and personally-meaningful context. Makerspaces allow such an experience by providing tools and support for students to make their own inventions tangible, but geographical location can be prohibitively remote and makerspaces typically appeal to white adult males (females and racial/ethnic minorities are predominantly drawn to STEM experiences with a clear social impact). 

Movers & Makers will be a mobile makerspace that brings tools for making and building to students in underserved communities, enabling them to become user innovators where they are empowered to devise solutions to social problems encountered in their everyday lives.

More info can be found HERE.

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Maker Space

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Photo of Jon Snow
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Photo of beverly
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We worked on your idea today in NYC. We liked the idea of a mobile truck. A basic summary is to make community connections- schools, community centers, churches, use reusable trash, think of "reverse engineering" I.e. deconstructing old tech that isn't recycled. Use volunteers from engineering uni programs and professionals. One member thought an app that could locate the truck and also record points for completed activities, linking with other makers etc. Would also help and encourage youths.

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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Awesome!! Thanks for the great ideas. Can you expand on what you mean by reverse engineering/deconstructing old tech? I'm quite intrigued.

Photo of beverly
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Sure, I found this definition online.Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. The practice, taken from older industries, is now frequently used on computer hardware and software.

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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I was more so wondering if you could clarify what you meant by "old tech that isn't recycled".

Photo of Anastassia Radeva
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I love this idea!!! I was going to post a similar one, since the museum i work at (Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA) is starting up a mobile engineering lab over the course of this year. I would love to connect with you and find ways to collaborate! I just went to visit a mobile maker program at UC-Davis run by Lee Martin, you should connect with him if you haven't already :) 

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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That sounds great, I'd love to collaborate. I'm also working with two teams of students at UC San Diego to flesh out these ideas and can connect everyone. What is the best way to contact you? I'll also reach out to Lee Martin, thanks for the suggestion!

Photo of Margaret Powers
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I love the idea of mobile makerspaces Brandon Reynante ! How might you scale this to affect students across the country? How could you make use of existing mobile spaces, like the ones Lisa mentioned and school-based ones like: https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/news/Pages/Future-Bus-Get-On-Board---April-28.aspx & https://dhmakerbus.com/

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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Thanks! I have two ideas for addressing the issue of scalability. First, minimize the costs associated with creating a mobile makerspace by hosting online competitions to obtain designs for radically low-cost making equipment, tools, and curricula. Second, make those designs open-source for all to use. Hopefully this can lower the barrier to entry for others interested in creating their own mobile makerspaces. I have not considered making use of existing mobile makerspaces, but sharing of design and curriculum ideas is something that immediately comes to mind.

Photo of Lisa Yokana
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Also, betabox is interesting... https://betaboxlabs.com/
Happy to connect you with those guys if you want.
Lisa

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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I'm based in San Diego. I have not heard of betabox or Public Workshop but would love to be connected if possible. 

Photo of Margaret Powers
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Awesome! Do you want to start a Google Doc were we can build out more for this idea? I think it would be great to start putting together a mock-up of what those online competitions would look like and what types of activities could be done in a mobile makerspace! 

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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Yes, I'm actually working with a couple teams of students at UC San Diego to flesh out both of these ideas. I can see if they've already started Google Docs. Shall I ask them to share with you?

Photo of Lisa Yokana
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Brandon
What about starting a google doc and asking some others to join you in evolving this idea a bit more? I'd be interested in helping you if you'd like!
Let me know
Lisa

Photo of Lisa Yokana
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Brandon
Yes, and! I so agree with you and am really interested in how we reach this population. There are a bunch of people doing mobile makerspaces-Betabox, Sparktruck to name two. How might we leverage this to reach underserved communities and what experiences would appeal to them? What are some possible low threshold activities that might draw people in?

Photo of Brandon Reynante
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I think a first step could be to identify such underserved communities and direct efforts there. The research I've read seems to indicate that youth from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM tend to gravitate toward experiences with clear societal benefits, so I think a focus of this effort would be to facilitate making activities where these youth can create solutions to problems they see in their own communities and daily lives. Initial prototypes could be created from low-resolution materials (e.g., crafting supplies) to minimize costs.

Photo of Lisa Yokana
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Yes... Do you know about Public Workshop? http://publicworkshop.us/  They do some pretty cool community based maker/design work. Where are you in the world?