Learning through Making – The Education Angle at this Year’s Brighton Maker Faire

Last year’s Brighton Mini Maker Faire saw over 5,000 people coming though the doors of the Brighton Dome, and it’s clear that most of those visitors learned a lot from the event.  That set us thinking. With this concentration of amazing craft and technology creativity, a Maker Faire like this is clearly a brilliant educational resource, so this year we’re working really hard to let all our visitors, young and old, get the most from the learning oportunities on offer.

Workshops

You may have already seen that the Science Museum is running workshops at the event, giving hands on science experiences to ‘kids of all ages’ as the saying goes.  But we are also working on hands-on software development workshops, with support from some of the most innovative teachers from schools in the Sussex area, and you’ll soon be able to sign up to learn how to begin to develop software.

We’ll be opening up more of the workshops for advance booking over the next two weeks.

Hands-on Software

Around the show floor there are hands-on demonstrations of computer programming, web development and robotics from the great people at Code Club, Brighton Raspberry Pi, and Mozilla Web Makers.  As a fun way to engage with the art and science of computer programming, we hope the Maker Faire will spark the creative passion of a fair few young coders for the first time (and maybe rekindle a few older code monkeys’ passions).

These sessions will be open to all comers on a first come first served basis.

Hands-on Hardware

No Maker Faire is complete without the opportunity to try your hand at soldering for the first time.  This year Build Brighton will once again be warming up the soldering irons, and flexing the flux for a marathon session of teaching visitors the wonders of soldering.  This safe and fascinating experience will open up the work of electronics tweaking and mending and making to anyone who can make it along to this perennially popular activity.

Dads and kids join in the soldering workshop at the Orlando Maker Faire

Dads and kids join in the soldering workshop at the Orlando Maker Faire

Educational Interpreters

For the first time at a Maker Faire, we are putting out a call for ‘Interpreters’- educators and science communicators who can support the Makers at the show and help the visitors really get to grips with the potentially complex and in depth principles that make Makes work.  We have noted that some Makers have a fantastic ability to engage with anyone that comes to take a look at their work, but that this is a skill that can take years to develop, and that some people find easier than others.  To help ‘boot strap’ the engagement for all our visitors the Faire will have a liberal sprinkling of educators, teachers and like who will be briefed on the Makes and will be focussed on making sure everyone really get their heads around the technologies, science and crafts at the Faire.

If you’d like to be one of our Interpreters, go to our ‘Volunteers’ page to sign up for this fascinating role (or indeed to volunteer as a general helper) – and like all our volunteer helpers you’ll get free access to the fabulous Maker Faire after party.

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