Many of you may not know that I started my "official" teaching career as a shop teacher. Sure it was called Technology Education, sometimes known as Vocational Education, and more commonly known as CTE (Career and Technical Education) or as we are now known Technology, Design and Engineering Education (TDE). (Can you tell we keep trying to reinvent ourselves?) I came out of college ready to teach wood and metal shop, use CNC machines and robotics for instruction and build my own computer. I loved every minute of it. I ended up teaching Printing & Graphics and had 2 AB Dick printing presses. All of this is a long winded back story about how Maker Faire and "The Maker Culture" are so important to me, and I think have a huge place in education. It is quite apropos that my book club read "Shop Class as Soulcraft" this week to get me in the right frame of mind.
So what is Maker Faire NC? It is a place where anyone that ever wanted to build, create, solder, program, and sometimes destroy comes together to play. It is a place where geeks can strut their geekiness, and kids can build something out of trash, where learning by doing is the most important rule in the world. It is an educators paradise. This is the culmination of everything that I believe in as a person and as an educator.
So what did I learn at Maker Faire?
- You could make your own multi-touch surface for less that $1000
- Every classroom should have a chaos-machine to play with (http://chaos.trader.name/)
- You can learn to do pretty much anything at RDU Techshop
- The Scrap Exchange should be on every teacher's field trip list
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Oh and did I mention my quilt group, Triangle Modern Quilters, had a booth? We crowd-sourced a quilt, everyone had an opportunity to sew for either the first or millionth time and help us build a memory of Maker Faire NC :)