CCST Report Outlines Opportunities for Maker Education in California K-12 Classrooms
December 20, 2017 | CONTACT: Ben Landis, firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Makerspaces offer intriguing opportunities for K-12 education in
California, but challenges remain if they are to be adopted across the state, according to a new
report by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).
"The Maker Movement and K-12 Education: Current Status and Opportunities for Engagement
in California" provides an overview of the history and trends in maker education in California K-
12 institutions. The report is available for download
"We set out to give an overview of what makerspaces look like in K-12 environments, and what
maker-centered instruction and assessment of learning looks like at that level," says CCST
Senior Program Associate Brie Lindsey, PhD, a report coauthor. "In particular, we wanted to
identify opportunities to build on existing engagements between K-12 institutions and higher
education institutions, especially with regard to the California Community Colleges Maker
Initiative, which CCST also collaborates on."
The new K-12 report found that while there is significant interest in the maker movement
among K-12 educators in California, actual implementation of maker education varies. As the
equipment and environment used in many makerspaces are not always practical for K-12
schools due to resource constraints and the younger age of students, K-12 educators often only
adopt certain aspects of maker education.
Also, the types of open-ended educational activities inherent to makerspaces cannot be readily
measured by traditional education metrics, posing a challenge for those seeking to integrate
makerspaces into K-12 curricula. However, many are finding potential for educators to
incorporate the "maker mentality" into existing K-12 curricula and individual lesson plans.
The maker movement has become a focus of interest for educational institutions throughout the
U.S. in recent years. While much of this focus has been among colleges and universities, many
K-12 institutions have explored the movement as well.
Makerspaces are creative workspaces where people can gather to tinker, invent, and learn in a
collaborative, unstructured environment. They tend to leverage relatively inexpensive, rapid-
prototyping machinery such as 3-D printers and laser cutters, along with highly interconnected
and supportive communities of software and hardware designers.
In 2015, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office sought to systematically develop
a network of makerspaces statewide, and commissioned CCST to author a report as well as a
regional symposia series to provide community college leaders around California with a
roadmap and community for planning and operating regional maker hubs.
"Exploring opportunities for the maker movement in California's K-12 environment is a natural
extension of the work we undertook for the California Community Colleges," says CCST
Executive Director Susan Hackwood, PhD. "There is a groundswell of interest and investment to
bring maker education to California's K-12 schools. Education organizations and leaders around
the country are already actively growing this movement, and we hope this report adds to that
conversation and serves as a helpful reader for anyone interested in STEM education
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About the California Council on Science and Technology
The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization
established via the California State Legislature in 1988. CCST engages leading experts in science
and technology to advise state policymakers - ensuring that California policy is strengthened
and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation.
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