Making strides with the maker movement

Paul Croft

Paul is a Director of UltimakerGB ltd the UK & Ire operations for Ultimaker. Having studied International Management at the University of Hull, Paul proceeded to a career in management with Enterprise Rent a Car. The excitement of 3d printing and it's potential applications proved too much to resist and along with Alex Mayor UltimakerGB was born. Ultimaker has just launched the CREATE Education project and are excited about sharing 3D printing with everyone!

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Advances in the science industry tend to bleed into the education sector. Paul Croft, director at Ultimaker, briefly explains how the maker movement is important for STEM subjects, and the opportunities offered by this development.

If you believe the hype, the next industrial revolution has begun! Whether the impact of this unquestionable ground-swell reaches revolutionary status is yet to be determined, but people are definitely 'making' and creating again and taking control of their own environment.

There are many factors contributing to this movement. Economic and social pressures are coupled with advances in technology such as the affordable Raspberry Pi units and 3D printing. Allied with open-source, knowledge-sharing principles, this accessibility has seeded pockets of innovation throughout the planet. Given the connectivity that we now have, thanks to the internet and social media, people all over the world are learning from one another and ideas are starting to get real traction.

Concepts such as Fab labs, which originated at MIT, now have a worldwide network where people can gain access to equipment and like minded people to fabricate their designs. This provides the opportunity for school-based inventors and entrepreneurs to get started like never before!

The popularity of the maker movement has seen the rise of Maker Faires and now Makerspaces are being set up sharing the ethos of the Fab labs.

The final element influencing this trend is education. STEM or STEAM are buzzwords that focus on the building blocks of making. Affordability of resources and changes in curriculum to include coding, 3D printing and biomimicry change the mindset of the next generation. If we can successfully integrate the wider maker movement into the education of our children the possibilities for innovation in the future are endless.


Has your school begun to embrace the maker movement? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

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