Meet the Maker Movement

The Library will be at Maker Faire Nova on Sunday, March 19!

On Sunday, March 19 from 11am-5pm the 4th Annual Maker Faire NoVa will be held at Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School in Reston. Fairfax Library Foundation and Fairfax County Public Library will both be at the Faire, with fun family activities for you to engage in!

In the past, our former intern Monica reported on maker culture in STEAM education. With the annual Maker Faire coming up, here are 5 things to know about the Maker Movement:

1. It all started with a magazine

In 2005 Dale Dougherty founded Make Magazine, which launched the Maker Movement. Self-proclaimed as a “tech-influenced Do It Yourself community,” the Maker movement is about hands on learning and creating things, whether it be through engineering, woodwork, traditional arts and crafts, or any other form of hands on creation.

2. The definition of a “Maker” has evolved

The term “Maker” was first coined by the magazine that introduced the movement and did not really have a definition. Though originally coined by Maker Media, Maker is now a universal term for any individual experimenting with building and crafting. Enjoy getting your hands dirty? Making might be just for you!

3. Maker influence on education has evolved, too

Perhaps because children have wild imaginations and live to learn by doing, the Maker Movement has become popular in modern education. Kids in K-12 education are no longer learning concepts, they are learning how to apply concepts. In Fairfax County Public Schools, schools such as Thomas Jefferson High School have 3D printers used for creation, while other schools such as Sidney Lanier Middle School have label makers and other useful technology to assist in building a culture of design in young lives and in youth education.

4. The Maker Movement is big – and growing

132 million Americans are Makers. According to The Hustle, The 2015 Maker Faires had over 1.1 million visitors, akin to Taylor Swift’s “1989” world tour. The Maker Movement has so much support and traction that President Barack Obama christened June 12-18 the National Week of Making in 2015. And, as more and more tinkerers realize that there is a movement for their interests, the Maker Movement continues to grow!

5. The library is a great place for you to make

Libraries throughout Virginia are beginning to build “makerspace” to house innovative technology. Counties such as Fairfax, Loudoun, Virginia Beach, Lynchburg and more are embracing STEAM education and implementing maker equipment. In addition, open access to 3-D printers and sound recording technology at libraries can be utilized by hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and musicians who lack this essential equipment. The library is no longer a place to simply learn, it is now a place to create.

See you at the Maker Faire!

When you visit Maker Faire Nova on March 19, please stop by our booth, say hello, spin the Prize Wheel(!), and tell us what you’ve been Making!

Blog by Karenna. Graphics from Maker Faire Nova.

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