Educator Roundtable D

Part 1 Theme: Community Makerspaces

Part 2 Theme: Using Technology & Arduinos

When: Sunday, October 16, 1:00 – 2:40pm

Where: Room 527 – CERAS Building, Stanford


Part 1 (45 min)

  • Enabling Interdisciplinary and Multidimensional Learning in Maker Spaces
    Hafiz Muhammad Umar Shehzad, Make-i-stan (Pakistan)
    Quswar Mehmood Abid, Make-i-stan (Pakistan)

Make-i-stan is the first and currently the only makerspace in Pakistan that keeps its doors open to public, through its free events; free access to space, tools and resources on designated days of the week. It is a co-working space for makers that also conduct workshops on prototyping technologies; design thinking and engineering tools. In this session we describe our experience of creating a collaborative and multidimensional learning environment to challenge the homogenous and conservative structure of our traditional education system in Pakistan. In an educational ecosystem devoid of multidimensional learning or interdisciplinary collaboration, our approach has been proven effective and we have observed encouraging results in a short amount of time.
Innovation lies at the cross section of different professional disciplinary courses. Through our approach of gradual shift in teaching methodology, on one hand we have been able to get people from arts, architecture and business background to learn and use technology, while on the other hand many engineers and computer scientists are learning design thinking and user centered design for the first time in Pakistan. Make-i-stan is providing a unique learning environment for people across different professional and academic backgrounds, and our learnings can be particularly helpful for other makerspaces that face similar challenges from the community it serves.

  • Appropriate Technology Design and Design Education in Colombia: The case of an Innovation Center
    Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, MIT D-Lab

C-Innova, the Innovation Center for Appropriate Technologies and Education is a private, informal education, non for-profit organization based and operating in Colombia. The Center offers an ongoing program on appropriate technology design and design education primarily focused on adult, underserved populations. We target audiences ranging from university students and farmers to displaced communities and waste picker associations. Our students ages range from 25 to 60 years old and are located in both urban and rural areas of the country.
We use an innovative threefold approach to design practice and education that considers a design for users utilizing Human Centered Design and Participatory Research principles, a design with users through the co-creation methodology and a design by in which communities are provided with the skills and frameworks for them to be the designers of their own solutions.

Part 2 (45 min)

  • Learning to Make Microcontroller Programming Awesome with the Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program
    Susan Klimczak, South End Technology Center @ Tent City / Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program
    Ed Baafi, Modkit
    Amon Millner, Olin College of Engineering
    Sharon de La Cruz, Digital Citizens Lab

Boston’s Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program (L2TT2L) was developed alongside the first community-based Fab Lab.  A major component of the program is computer programming and physical/embedded system programming.  We have a rich history of piloting and developing new educational technologies to enable our youth to include computer and physical programming in their mixed media projects, including Gogo Boards, Scratch, Scratch/PICO Boards, Makey Makey, Modkit Micro, and Modkit MotoProto shield for Arduino.  In response to youth interest to move beyond educational tools to open source microcontroller boards and programming languages used widely by experts and hobbyists, we have developed new approaches to learning and teaching these often discouraging software and hardware tools.  In addition to scaffolding learning with existing tools, we have developed a new programming language called to bring the power of multi-threaded and event-driven programming to the popular open source hardware platforms.  Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn’s 36 youth teachers, staff and the 700 children they annually teach are about 90% Boston youth of color, with the majority from families living on low incomes. In 14 years, our program has consistently maintained 50% young women as youth teachers and 50% younger girls in our STEAM (STEM + Art) camps.