Making has become a hot topic, not just in 4-H but in all of education. More 4-H programs are planning to host Maker Camps this summer than ever before. I am so thrilled to see youth across the country involved in the Maker Movement, however, my fear is that some of us are missing the point.
Some of us are jumping on the bandwagon because we were told to, or it’s what everyone else is doing. When this happens, in many cases I see youth following instructions, recipes and patterns—building what the manual says to build—this is not bad, it’s a good start but it is not making.
Anyone can follow instructions and make something, but that doesn’t mean they are learning. So, what makes ‘making’ meaningful?
Here are 2 promises I will make you if you join the Maker Movement:
Finally, as you lead 4-H maker activities this summer, remember to document learning moments as the process of making happens. Take pictures of the failures, make a slideshow of all the mistakes and celebrate the how they learned, not just what they learned. Remember, FAIL stands for: First Attempt In Learning.
So often we stress perfection, making sure that the project is “blue ribbon quality” that we miss the opportunity to highlight the amazing learning that happens during the process itself. As we facilitate and encourage making, we are nurturing the next generation of passionate, innovative, and caring problem solvers.
This blog post was originally published on the 4-H Today Blog on May 24, 2016.
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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