It’s Science Week and as part of this festival of learning and experimentation the Intel Australia team were fortunate to partner in the delivery of Sydney’s inaugural Maker Faire. Two days of innovation, invention and inspiration at Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) where science has truly outgrown the textbook and got physical.
For those of you that are not aware, you might be surprised to hear there is a shortage of graduates and workers with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills demanded in the workplace of now and even more so in the workplace of the future. Making, innovating and inventing with technology is believed to be one of the most persuasive ways to boost interest, motivation and enthusiasm for embracing these core skills. So how does Maker Faire fit in?
Taking a walk through the Faire, your imagination could not help but wander as you cogitate what you could make with a 3D printer, Arduino microcontroller computers, solar technology, robots, electronics and so much more, science, STEM with application in the real world, STEM with added excitement, STEM with the ‘X’ factor!
Some of the Wonder in store at the Maker Faire
(A physical topographic map…move the sand, change the height, change the colour. Science in action!)
Whilst the floor provided the inspiration, the workshops run in the Museum’s ThinkSpace provided the mechanism to turn ideas in to a reality. In workshops run by the Intel Education Australia team along with educators from the Museum, budding inventors young and old were equipped with the skills to embrace the world of physical computing.
Yes…..a light box, created by Ethan age 6
In less than half an hour, participants learnt the basics of the Arduino programming language and had their Intel® Galileo board dancing with LEDs, buzzers, buttons and more. Their road to innovation is now only limited by their imagination.
Throughout the two mega days of Maker Faire, the team ran sessions for budding makers as young as 6 and older than 60, as well as specific workshops just for educators and female makers. Intel has identified the power of making in inspiring women in to STEM in their MakeHers report (Link at the bottom) and is a believer in the power of educators to transform a generation. These sessions provided a comfortable and welcoming environment for both groups to explore the potential of out of the box computing technology.
A shot of girls getting their geek on with Out of the Box Computing!
Completing the workshops, they were inspired to explore the Intel Maker stand where a plethora of sensors and components drew some wow and aha moments. A UV sensor woven in to clothing powered by an Intel® Edison could remind you when to put on sunscreen, a gas sensor connected to an Intel Galileo could provide a gas warning system in a classroom….what will you create?
Above are some of the numerous sensors and components that can bring science to life with physical computing
So…hands up, who would prefer to invent and create one of the projects above or read chapter 5 of their Science or Mathematics textbook? I know which one I would prefer and I salute the Maker Faire on behalf of the generation of makers and STEM graduates you inspired over one weekend in August!
For further information and to make STEM ‘jump’ at your school or in your home, take a look at the following resources in addition to conducting a search for more ideas and inspiration with the #intelmaker:
Intel’s Innovation Toolbox: Videos, Links, Events and Activities to get innovating with technology http://innovationtoolbox.intel.com.au/
Educator’s Guide to the Intel Galileo: Introduce physical computing to your class, school or child with these innovative curriculum linked activities http://bit.ly/GalileoEducatorsGuide
MakeHers Report: Learn how Making can inspire more women to be technology innovators http://bit.ly/MakeHers
How to set up a Maker Space in your Classroom: A Guide by Gary Stager to inspire an innovation culture in your school http://bit.ly/MakerSpaceGuide
MAAS Education Programs: Take a look at some of these awesome after school, educator and holiday programs http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/education/
Little Bird Electronics: For all your physical computing needs this is a one stop shop http://littlebirdelectronics.com.au/
Education Outreach Programs Manager, Intel Australia