A Nation of Makers: Empowering America’s Students and Entrepreneurs to Invent the Future
Today, President Obama will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and will meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and lead a grassroots renaissance in American manufacturing.
As part of his year of action and this week’s focus on efforts that will expand opportunity by spurring manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, the President will also announce new steps the Administration and its partners are taking to increase the ability of more Americans, young and old, to have access to these tools and techniques and to bring their ideas to life.
Among the efforts being launched by the President at the White House Maker Faire:
Helping Makers launch new businesses and create jobs, with more than 13 federal agencies and companies including Etsy, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Local Motors offering Makers a suite of support services including expanded access to start-up grants, strong relationships with American manufacturers and major retailers, and business mentoring and training.
Dramatically expanding the number of students that have the opportunity to become Makers, with the Department of Education and five other agencies; over 150 colleges and universities; more than 130 libraries; and major companies ranging including Intel, Autodesk, Disney, Lego, 3D Systems, and MAKE committing to create more Makerspaces, enlist more educators in teaching Making, and launch other programs that allow students access to the tools and mentors that will bring their ideas to life.
Challenging Makers to tackle our most pressing problems, from Maker Nurses prototyping new tools that will aid in patient care, to Makers expanding our frontiers in space, to Makers here and abroad developing low-cost technologies that can improve the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people.
America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. In recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools, with even more being created by the day. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything.
The rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States. Nationwide, new tools for democratized production are boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing, in the same way that the Internet and cloud computing have lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups, creating the foundation for new products and processes that can help to revitalize American manufacturing.
These tools, increasing access to nearby makerspaces, and events like Maker Faires across the country are inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, empowering Makers to launch manufacturing startups in the same way that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs developed and marketed the first Apple Computer while participating in the Homebrew Computer Club. Mentors and educators are “passing it on” and inspiring boys and girls to invent, tinker, and learn vital skills in STEM education.
The first-ever White House Maker Faire comes just one day after the President visited TechShop Pittsburgh, a makerspace and fabrication studio where individuals can build and test their own products. During his visit, the President highlighted new efforts by his Administration and by more than 90 mayors to spur manufacturing innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more about their efforts here and here.
Details on the First-Ever White House Maker Faire
The first-ever White House Maker Faire will feature over 100 Makers from more than 25 states, and include more than 30 exhibits. The President will view a subset of these exhibits,representing the incredible range of creativity and ingenuity unlocked by the Maker movement. Following his tour of the White House Maker Faire, the President will deliver remarks to an audience of entrepreneurs, students, business leaders, mayors, and heads of non-profit organizations. A more detailed backgrounder on the notable attendees, exhibitors and other honored Makers at the event is available here.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BEING MADE TODAY
New steps to support Maker-led startups that will create new industries and jobs.
New technologies for rapid prototyping – from laser cutters to CNC routers to 3D printers – have dramatically lowered the cost of developing a prototype and starting a business in manufacturing. The ability to rapidly and affordably test, tinker, monitor and customize places a premium on locating production close to American markets and opens new doors to entrepreneurship and innovation in manufacturing. The power of these emerging technologies creates the opportunity for Makers to launch new businesses, create jobs and build the industries of the future.
To leverage these opportunities, the Administration announced today that:
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership is helping startups scale from DIY to Made in the USA. The NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership serves more than 30,000 U.S. manufacturers each year with a national network of manufacturing assistance centers across all 50 states. The partnership is helping entrepreneurs that got their start as DIY projects and sellers on Etsy, Tindie, Kickstarter, Dragon Innovation, and Indiegogo, locate U.S. based manufacturers with the right expertise and capabilities to partner with the entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses through MEP’s American Supplier network. For example, Etsy and Fuze Hub, which was launched with a NIST MEP grant, will conduct a pilot to help small designers and makers scale their production by using and accessing local manufacturers, while also educating them on the development and creation of a manufacturing company.
The Small Business Administration is targeting additional support to startup accelerators that help Maker-entrepreneurs. The Small Business Administration, through its $2.5MAccelerator competition, will encourage communities to include startup accelerators and Maker spaces for entrepreneurs in their regional entrepreneurship strategies. This effort builds on SBA’s commitment to help fund non-traditional startup accelerators, including accelerators that may focus on hardware and manufacturing startups. In addition, SBA and USPTO will work together in raising awareness around the maker and inventor nexus through newly established efforts via the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador program. This endeavor cultivates a new and diverse generation of inventors and increase global understanding of the role of invention in improving our quality of life, creating new products, building new businesses, and fostering innovation. Finally, to support the growth and development of Makers, the SBA will hold one American Supplier Initiative event aimed at providing education and training on the three core challenges small business suppliers face: access to markets, access to capital and access to capabilities.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will provide novel support for Maker startups and small businesses. In addition to opening outreach spaces that will host programming for Makers in the USPTO’s four new regional offices in Detroit, Denver, Silicon Valley, and Dallas, the USPTO is developing a customized advice hotline for Makers. The USPTO will also release a “how to” guide on patenting and IP issues for Maker entrepreneurs and host a series of roadshows across the country to help entrepreneurs navigate the IP system. The USPTO is also working to educate the youngest entrepreneurs through a summer institute on making and intellectual property for middle and high school teachers; new digital badging for boys and girls in collaboration with the 4-H and Girl Scouts; a collaboration with the YMCA to create Maker spaces for students; and the launch of a “USPTO Kids” web site that will showcase young inventors and Making activities.
11 agencies that collectively grant over $2.5 billion annually to small businesses across the country via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are committing to leverage the programs to support Maker innovations. DOD, HHS, DOE, NASA, NSF, USDA, DOC, DOT, DHS, EPA, and ED will work on identifying new and existing topics that are related to Making and its connection to advanced manufacturing, such as next-generation technologies that increase the variety and value of what an individual or small team can design, prototype and manufacture. A few examples of the research being conducted includes:
The Department of Defense (DoD) has opened up 30 Maker-technology topics for proposals, like the Affordable Manufacturing of Refractory Metal Components.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is searching for innovations that permit manufacturing through a layering process, including 3D printing.
NASA is sponsoring topics like Recycling/Reclamation of 3-D Printer Plastic for Re-use.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will launch two new competitions to galvanize colleges and schools around agricultural technologies and Making. The competitions will launch later this year for community college and middle school students to compete to create commercialization plans and prototypes for existing Agriculture Research Service technologies. The competitions will help promote agricultural technological development and entrepreneurship that can help promote food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues.
The private sector and others responding to the President’s call to action by announcing:
Local Motors will launch 100 new Microfactories over the next ten years to accelerate innovations in manufacturing. Local Motors, founded by U.S. Marine and Iraq veteran Jay Rogers, is a leader in open-source hardware innovation. Local Motors Microfactories feature Lab spaces that are open to innovators who are willing to share their projects. Each Lab is also a nexus where the community can pursue STEM education and empower a global community of producers of things, not just consumers of things. Partnerships with local schools and universities, government labs and industries provide the community of makers with unprecedented access to both making capabilities and a platform that extends beyond ideation and prototyping to low-volume production and marketing. Within five years, the Microfactories will train over 1,000 students annually and will have offered over $1 million in prizes for new designs. In addition, Local Motors is helping established companies innovate. With GE, for example, Local Motors is helping to bring products to market faster through the FirstBuild Microfactory and Platform (firstbuild.com).
Indiegogo is launching a mentorship competition for startups with the support of Amazon, Intel, and Autodesk. Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, is partnering with Autodesk to launch its first-ever Maker Challenge. This is a great opportunity for the Indiegogo community’s makers to share their work with the world and raise project awareness. Five selected campaigns will receive 123D Mentorship from Autodesk, while all qualifying maker-oriented projects will get access to Autodesk Fusion 360, an easy-to-use 3D CAD/CAM tool for those makers bringing new products to market.
TechShop is announcing an expansion to St. Louis and Los Angeles, with its latest ribbon cutting just this week at a new facility in Arlington, VA supported by DARPA and GE. TechShop, a national network of Maker spaces that offer access to the latest Maker tools and training for the price of a gym membership, is partnering with universities, academic institutions, companies, corporations, local government and individuals to bring TechShop St. Louis and TechShop Los Angeles to those cities next year. TechShop is also in discussions with over a dozen other cities who want to bring TechShop's open access model to their communities.
Grommet will bolster innovation in Main Street retail by creating an effective bridge between new products by Makers and store shelves. The Grommet, a product launch platform for new innovative products will today debut a wholesale e-commerce site. The Grommet Wholesale platform will provide a critical missing resource to build sustainable Maker businesses, by creating a more convenient, organized, and curated platform from which retailers can source the newest and most imaginative products for their stores. With the wholesale extension of their business model, the Grommet will leverage the rich content and data-driven consumer validation created by their existing business to de-risk the purchase of otherwise unproven products for small retailers on its wholesale platform. Grommet’s end goal is to assure that within five years, 10% of all products flowing through US retail are originating from independent small-scale Makers, who create vibrant jobs and innovative products in every corner of the country.
Intel will adopt six Maker Cities across the US to encourage education as well as small-scale product design, development and manufacturing efforts in those cities. Intel will engage with local city leaders in Santa Clara, CA and the surrounding Silicon Valley region; Folsom, CA; the Portland, OR Metro area; Chandler, AZ; Austin, TX; and the Albuquerque, NM Metro area to spearhead the coordination of local partnerships, events, and demonstration projects. These efforts will highlight the opportunities for economic growth, workforce development and job creation that arise from a vibrant local maker scene.
Kickstarter is launching a new funding category specifically for Makerspaces: Today Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects is announcing that the creation of a new funding category for Maker Spaces, as part of a broader Civic initiative. The launch of a new category for Makerspaces -- places where people can come together to make new things -- is a rallying cry for builders, hackers and developers everywhere. To date, more than $1.1 billion dollars have been pledged to Kickstarter projects, and over 62,000 projects have been successfully funded by more than 6 million people. Much of that support has gone to projects by Makers over the past five years, but calling attention to the physical spaces where many of these Maker projects began will make it easier than ever for new and existing Makers to find support and funding.
Etsy is empowering unemployed adults to become entrepreneurs using their artistic skills by expanding its Craft Entrepreneurship program to ten cities and by making the curriculum publicly available in 2015. Craft Entrepreneurship teaches unemployed and underemployed adults how to monetize their artistic skills online, using Etsy's e-commerce platform as a learning lab. Participants learn skills like pricing, product photography, and search engine optimization and apply them to their online shop. In 2013, Etsy worked with the cities of Rockford, IL and New York City, NY to pilot the Craft Entrepreneurship program in the Rockford public housing authority and the NYC workforce development centers. Bill, an early participant in the Rockford program, is successfully selling his handmade frames on Etsy and at craft fairs, and no longer has to ask his son for help to pay his monthly bills. By incorporating micro-entrepreneurship training and support into workforce development programs, cities can ensure that the opportunities of the maker economy are accessible to all.
Trimble Navigation commits to expanding its free software services to Makers by adding cloud based software and 3D printing tools. Trimble's SketchUp business has been involved in the Maker movement from its inception. Trimble is committing to expand its free software services to Makers by delivering a professionally managed cloud platform for design through its 3D Warehouse, and through active sponsorship and support of open source development initiatives in the area of 3D Printing and Digital Fabrication (such as Wikihouse and OpenDesk), which connects robotic machine tools with SketchUp’s simple-to-use design environment. Trimble will also continue to offer the SketchUp 3D design software product "SketchUp Make" free to the Maker community and its over 30 million users. Trimble hosts a website repository of 3D designs and images that is freely accessible to makers looking for inspiration or seeking to share their models and designs. The SketchUp "3D Warehouse," contains over 2.5 million models, including thousands of Maker designs.
Leading tech companies from Google to Microsoft to Esri are helping connect Makers with each other, open up new makerspaces, and make existing makerspaces easier to find: Esri is developing a live National Day of Making map, with information on the range of universities, libraries, and cities across the country that are taking part in the Day of Making. Additionally, ESRI’s map will include a live snapshot of National Day of Making by pulling tweets from around the globe and continually updating them on a map, which will allow more people to discover Making in their communities as well as existing resources. Microsoft is announcing a series of Maker Garage Student Open Houses, giving underserved students access to the Maker Garage and the tools, technology and techniques they need to realize their full potential. Google is launching a public interactive nationwide Maker Map to help makers explore local spaces where they can come together to build new projects. From July 7th to August 15th, Google and MAKE will also host their third annual Maker Camp - a free summer camp for building, tinkering and exploring available virtually on Google+ and in local neighborhoods. Google will be providing 500 maker “affiliate sites” around the country with a starter kit of technology and materials for the projects, so that campers can make projects together as well as online.
New Steps to Help Inspire and Prepare Many More Students Become Makers.
The Maker Movement can fuel the imagination of American students, and equip them with the skills they need to invent the future. Hands-on learning and Making not only promotes values such as creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-expression, but can also serve as a path to get more girls and boys excited about STEM and about careers making things in manufacturing.
To give more students access to the tools, mentors and spaces they need, the Administration announced today that:
The Department of Education and its partners are launching a "make over" challenge to create more makerspaces in schools. The Department of Education is launching a "make over" challenge to accelerate the pace at which career and technical education (CTE) classrooms are redesigned to meet the needs of manufacturing in the 21st century. To help lead this transformation, the Department of Education plans to partner with private industry to launch a "Career and Technical Education Make Over Challenge" for community colleges and high schools around the country. States and local educational agencies will compete to receive technical assistance, and professional development, equipment, and or technology to modernize and upgrade CTE facilities. The challenge is planned for the 2014-2015 school year.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and its partners are announcing new programing and upcoming investments in support of Making: IMLS, the lead federal agency that supports the vitality of America’s libraries and museums, is committing to providing at least $1 million in strategic awards this year for libraries and museums to create makerspaces and engage in other maker-related programming. In addition, IMLS will create a Maker@ Your Museum and Library toolkit built off of the expertise developed by over 50 pioneering libraries and museums. Examples of museums supporting efforts to expand making in their communities include:
Kid Museum in Montgomery County, Maryland is launching a 7,500 square foot makerspace that is expected to introduce over 20,000 students in the Washington D.C. region in the next year to the power of Making within the next year.
The New York Hall of Science will inspire a half million annual visitors to design, make and play through programs like Make Academy, Little Makers, SciPlay and the all-new exhibitions Design Lab and Connected Worlds; and in partnership with Maker Media will welcome more than 80,000 visitors and 600 makers to the fifth annual World Maker Faire in September.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is highlighting Making-related research opportunities to advance STEM education and innovation. Making has the potential to support many of NSF’s goals, such as increasing retention and broadening participation in STEM education; empowering citizen scientists and citizen explorers; adding new possibilities for informal STEM learning; and supporting research in design; prototyping and advanced manufacturing. NSF’s activities build on the significant investments it has already made. For example, NSF strategic investments in additive manufacturing enabled many of the innovations underlying 3-D printing, computer-aided design, geometric modeling and embedded systems. Education programs include out-of-school activities and challenges that engage students and teachers in the manufacturing process and catalyze research on the impacts. NSF has a history of supporting educational programs that are integrated with science and engineering research, including NSF’s investments in engineering research centers and in science and technology centers. In the next year, NSF will hold a Makers Summit to convening researchers and practitioners, including representatives from community makerspaces, engineering schools, communities that do research on learning, libraries, museums, and manufacturers.
DARPA is announcing the first round of Maker-related awards under its $12.5M MENTOR2 program. The program will support the development of teaching materials aimed at students who are either headed towards or currently working in the uniformed services, with a focus on understanding, diagnosing, repairing, and adapting high-tech equipment in low-tech environments. MENTOR 2's project-based curricula – which will incorporate novel tools related to design, prototyping, and product evaluation – will give students a deeper understanding of modern electromechanical systems and an enhanced ability to maintain and adapt these systems to changing needs. The MENTOR2 awards that DARPA is announcing today are going to Georgia Tech and SRI; DARPA expects to make additional awards later this year, and anticipates that MENTOR2 teaching tools will find wider applicability in other secondary and post-secondary environments. DARPA is also planning to launch a pilot project later this year to engage Makers and entrepreneurs with new ideas for robotics.
The Smithsonian is launching a multi-year Making Initiative using its vast collections of historical objects. Smithsonian will launch a five-year Making Initiative, with the mission of using the Smithsonian’s vast collections and deep expertise, along with facilitators, mentors, and digital resources, to help makers of all ages learn about the past, understand the challenges of today, and imagine the future. Over the next five years, the Initiative will include: continuing to develop hands-on and creative learning spaces in our museums on the National Mall; creating a cohesive digital space for Makers of Smithsonian content; providing a library of curricula, simple how-to guides, and other tools to use Smithsonian’s growing 3D archive; hosting design challenges, with the opportunity to display some of the winning designs be put on display at the Smithsonian; and continuing the digitization of Smithsonian collections into 3D models, into formats suitable for remixing in CAD applications and 3D printing, with the goal to achieve orders of magnitude more scans for makers in the coming years. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 137 million objects, artworks, and specimens, and equally expansive archival holdings.
The Department of Education will focus on Making through the 21st Century Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, the Administration’s largest investment in afterschool and summer programming activities: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is developing new ways to encourage Making as part of its commitment to expand access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects for all students. Making has the exciting potential to catalyze students’ interest in STEM subjects, and encourage learning outside of the classroom. The Department of Education is announcing plans in this fiscal year to make technical assistance and professional development available under the 21st Century Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program so that 21st CCLC sites can offer Making opportunities afterschool and during the summer. ED is also exploring coordination with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to leverage the Institute’s investment in Maker spaces that are close to 21st CCLC sites, to encourage broader access to Making for students in low-performing schools and low-income neighborhoods.
A partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 4-H clubs nationwide is inspiring more than 27,000 students in rural areas to invent and Make. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Division of Youth and 4-H, in partnership with the National 4-H Council and state 4-H programs, will introduce Making to youth across the country, ensuring that students in rural areas also have access to Making. At 4-H’s first ever Maker Youth Summit in November 2014, 120 4-H mentors will participate in hands-on training in Making. Even more will benefit from new online resources being launched in the coming year, empowering 4-H mentors and leaders to take what they have learned back to their communities and to inspire more students to invent, engineer, and make. By launching mobile Maker spaces, expanding afterschool programs, and holding competitions at state fairs, 4-H clubs in states like California, Virginia, Nebraska, Utah, and West Virginia are gearing up to reach more than 27,000 students and youth.
The private sector and others are responding to the President’s call to action by announcing:
More than 150 colleges and universities reaching over 3 million students, from Columbia to Caltech, are taking steps to expand Making on campuses and in their communities. A diverse group of higher education institutions, including universities, community colleges, schools of art and design, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, signed a letter to the President committing to take concrete steps to empower students to learn through Making, expand access to Maker spaces, incorporate Making into senior design projects and admissions portfolios, and support student entrepreneurship. For example:
Case Western Reserve University is announcing plans to break ground on the renovation of a new 50,000 square-foot makerspace, called Think[box], which includes seven floors designed to help students, faculty, and members of the community design, collaborate, prototype, fabricate, incubate, and start companies that can manufacture products and create jobs here in the U.S.
Carnegie Mellon University will launch a multi-faceted Maker campaign including a more than $5 million investment in a number of maker spaces on the main campus and at satellite locations as well as eight new interdisciplinary minors focused on learning through Making. Carnegie Mellon will also partner with the Intel Corporation to advance best practices in Maker education for K-16 and lifelong learning, and to develop Maker tool kits and guides that will be available to schools across the country.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will release a detailed whitepaper about fostering Making on its campus. The document outlines how MIT shapes admissions processes to value and encourage Making, grows Maker-driven curriculum and research, manages maker spaces on campus, and organizes and inspires a student-led culture of making.
Additional details on the steps being taken by the more than 150 universities and colleges is available here.
More than 125 libraries and library systems across the country are committing to support Making. Libraries ranging from small rural public libraries, schools and academic libraries to some of the largest public library systems in the United States are committing to support Making, from creating or adapting current spaces, to investing in tools and technology, to participating in regional efforts that build a tight-knit and vibrant Maker ecosystem. A few examples of such efforts include:
Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana has forged a multi-year partnership with TekVenture, a local non-profit maker space to bring maker technologies and activities to library patrons. TekVenture is repurposing a 10,000 sq. ft. building near the Library to provide patrons and the public 24-hour access to a broad range of prototyping and digital fabrication technologies.
Chicago Public Library Maker Lab has already served over 44,000 visitors since its opening in July 2013 and will focus on increasing participation and inclusion, particularly of women and minorities.
Broward County Library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida runs the Creation Station, which hosts STEM-oriented activities for students. The Library will designate September as Maker Month and will feature a series of DIY events and activities throughout the month.
East Baton Rouge Parish Library in Louisiana will be hosting a Mini-Maker Faire in September 2014.
You can view the full list of 125 libraries and read more about their efforts here.
Intel is expanding its nationwide footprint of maker spaces to reach an additional 25,000 young and aspiring makers through its network of Intel Computer Clubhouses, as well as expanding its efforts in higher education. In partnership with the MIT Media Lab, Intel will use its network of 54 Computer Clubhouses across the United States to increase education in Making. Through new curriculum, professional development, and financial support Intel will teach students to bring their ideas to life while inspiring an interest in the foundations of engineering. In total, Intel will expand to reach 25,000 students and youth through its Making!@ Clubhouses initiative. In addition, Intel will donate Intel® Galileo boards to more than 180 US universities in 2014 and will focus those maker tool donation efforts in the adopted Maker Cities. In collaboration with SparkFun Electronics, Intel will offer hands-on professional development workshops to train more than 100 career- K12 and technical-education teachers in its adopted Maker Cities over the next 12 months.
3D Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, and will.i.am are providing more than 1,500 3D printers and kits as part of a drive to ensure that all 3,000 FIRST Robotics Teams have access to 3D printing equipment. The drive aims to equip at least 3,000 FIRST teams in middle schools and high schools across the country with an EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printer using post-consumer recycled plastic for its printer cartridges. 3D Systems and The Coca-Cola Company have committed to donate over half of the 3,000 printer kits to FIRST (valued at over $3 million), with the potential to support over 75,000 FIRST students across the United States. In addition, 3D Systems and Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) are installing “starter kits” of the latest 3D scanning, design, and prototyping/ manufacturing tools in SME’s more than 200 affiliated high schools, and building a new nation-wide online network for prospective employers to connect directly with teachers on skills requirements and lesson plans. This effort will allow CTE directors in every state in the nation to keep their programs on the cutting edge, and transform U.S. industrial arts and vocational education.
Disney invests more than $20 million in experiences, resources and tools that foster creativity in young people. As a company that sparks the imaginations of kids and families all over the world through storytelling, Disney plays a powerful role in nurturing the creative-thinking skills of the next generation of innovators and makers. Building on that rich history, Disney is investing more than $20 million this year in experiences, resources and tools that foster creativity and innovation. Continuing its longstanding support of the Maker Movement, Disney will be the title sponsor of the World Maker Faire in New York this September, bringing the best of DIY ingenuity to 75,000 kids and families. Disney supports dreamers and doers through a wide variety of programs across the Company’s businesses and brands, which include Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC and ESPN, among others. Initiatives range from Walt Disney Imagineering’s “Imaginations,” a design competition to seek out and nurture the next generation of Disney Imagineers, to Disney Friends for Change, a global program that inspires kids and families to make a positive difference in their communities through creative solutions and service.
Chevron is announcing a $10 million commitment to the Fab Foundation with plans to support the creation of 10 new community fabrication labs (Fab Labs). The investment will allow more than 20,000 students and adults to access hands-on project based resources over next three to five years. Starting with FabLabs in Richmond, CA and Bakersfield, CA, the effort will grow to additional locations over the next two years in regions with Chevron facilities. Chevron will also work with other leading companies to replicate FabLabs beyond its direct investment. A Fab Lab is a makerspace that consists of a suite of digital fabrication and rapid prototyping machines, including a 3-D desktop mill and scanner, an electronics work bench, a 3-D printer and the accompanying computers and software for design, programming and machine communications. These applied STEM learning environments enable students to follow their natural curiosity about how things work on a journey through science, technology, engineering and math. Chevron-supported Fab Labs will support K-12 students, but will also be open to workers who seek training or need re-training in new technical and engineering skill sets, to entrepreneurs who aim to prototype business ideas and products, and to community members who want access to high tech tools for prototyping personal projects or for supporting lifelong learning goals.
Cognizant is tripling its investment in maker mentorship through its Making the Future program and will reach 200 communities over the next three years. Building on its leadership as provider of information technology, consulting and business process services, Cognizant is announcing that it will triple the size of its Making the Future program to expand and enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Cognizant will provide 1.5 million hours of education programs and serve 25,000 children in 200 communities by 2017. Cognizant’s Making the Future program fosters STEM engagement and learning through after-school and summer programs that are widely accessible, stimulating, enriching and fun. Later this year, Cognizant will release guidelines and supporting materials to mentor organizations on how to effectively participate in and implement Making programs and events. To maximize this opportunity, Cognizant will also work to develop a coalition of like-minded organizations committed to expanding Making opportunities to more youth in communities across the United States.
Autodesk to launch a program for young makers to empower the next generation manufacturing workforce. The Autodesk "Make the Future" program will offer millions of youth a freely available unique and comprehensive combination of tools and content, including professional-grade, cutting-edge 3D design software; new curricula focused on “Making” and 3D printing nationwide competitions that enable students to showcase their talent; and maker badges to enable students to mark their progress. The "Make the Future" program builds on Autodesk’s “Design the Future” program, which provides over 16 million students from 27,000 middle and high schools nationwide with free access to professional 3D design tools from Autodesk, curricula aligned to national standards, and training and certification for educators. Autodesk will also explore developing a Maker Certification program with a third-party partner.
LEGO Systems announces a Junior Maker Program, starting with Making Toolkits that will be delivered to over 750 libraries nationwide: LEGO Systems, a worldwide leader in play materials that spark so many children's imaginations, today announced a Junior Maker program to create more opportunities for young children to play, make and share. In partnership with the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), beginning in July 2014, any children's librarian will be able to download a free, digital toolkit with information and inspiration to host Junior Maker Sessions via the ALSC resources website. More than 750 libraries nationwide will receive a physical toolkit to host ongoing Junior Maker sessions in children's reading areas. Each toolkit will include over 10,000 LEGO(r) bricks, an activity guide and academic insights from The LEGO Foundation's Cultures of Creativity report. Additionally, the company will co-host Junior Maker sessions, as recently held at the Washington DC, Mini Maker Faire, in 20 libraries. Beginning in July, parents can find free downloadable activities and play tips at LEGO.com/Juniors. Additional insights and inspiration for informal learning through play will be made available to millions of families in an issue of the LEGO Club Jr. magazine.
The Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) is launching a new campaign to create and expand youth-oriented makerspaces across the country: Building on the goals of the President's Education to Innovate campaign, Maker Ed will support making projects and programs with more than 100,000 children and families in 2014. This includes the expansion of Maker Ed's AmeriCorps VISTA project to five new cities -- Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Antonio -- reaching 22,000 youth in high poverty communities. Maker Ed is now launching a new campaign to accelerate the creation and expansion of independent, youth-oriented makerspaces to ensure every child in America has access to a nearby makerspace. Maker Ed will foster a Makerspace Network, including key steps to: offer program models for makerspaces, share best practices, provide professional development, create networks for volunteers, develop a directory and map of active spaces, and collaborate with major youth-serving organizations. Partners currently committed to help launch this effort include: Autodesk, Cognizant, Corporation for National and Community Service, FIRST, Intel, MakerMedia, and US2020. To pledge to join this effort, learn more at MakerEd.org.
The 100Kin10 network is building on its momentum to support excellent teachers and cultivate a generation of children to be makers: Responding to the President’s call to action to prepare 100,000 excellent STEM teachers over the next ten years, 200 organizations have come together in a coalition called 100Kin10. These organizations have made over 250 measurable commitments, which 100Kin10 estimates will help directly recruit and prepare over 40,000 STEM teachers and support tens of thousands more over the first five years of the initiative. The network has now raised over $59 million from a broad range of foundations and philanthropists under a unique “funding marketplace” model through which funders can choose from a registry of high-quality proposals. As a next step, 100Kin10 is announcing two new funding pledges. The Tortora Sillcox Family Foundation has pledged $1 million to fund initiatives that increase the number of low-income New York City public school students engaged in rigorous STEM courses through the recruitment and support of effective STEM teachers. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation has made a renewed pledge of $1.5 million to fund programs to recruit, prepare, retain, develop, and motivate excellent STEM teachers in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. These investments will support excellent educators who share their passion for science, math, engineering, and technology and who can create deeply immersive project-based Making experiences that will inspire students to create, Make and share.
MacArthur and partners are expanding Cities of Learning, and supporting Making badges. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, along the Digital Youth Network and Badge Alliance, is announcing the expansion of the Cities of Learning effort to encourage interest-driven learning in Maker spaces and other community places, as well as online. Through Cities of Learning, youth can earn digital open badges to document their Making skills and other out-of-the-classroom learning. The badges are stored online and can be easily shared with schools, colleges, and employers to showcase achievements. The Cities of Learning movement which started in Chicago last year is growing fast, with three new Cities kicking off this month, two others launching this fall, and more lining up for 2015. This year's programs in Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., will include opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students to earn Making badges, along with other badges for competencies in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathand the Arts. With national support from MacArthur, each city is a grassroots effort, often spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office and supported by local public-private partnerships. For example, the Chicago City of Learning effort includes 3D jewelry printing, e-textile fashion design, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s visit to a teen Maker showcase. Digital technology is transforming how today’s youth learn and what skills they need to thrive in the new economy and Cities of Learning are embracing the challenge, by ensuring youth from all backgrounds and circumstances have opportunities to tinker, collaborate, Make and create, becoming the digital pioneers, creative thinkers, and innovators of tomorrow.
Mozilla is announcing new partners for its Maker Party campaign to celebrate making and learning. Last year, Mozilla, in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and National Writing Project, helped catalyze over 1,700 “pop-up” making events across 330 cities where thousands of people of all ages created or remixed websites, made stop-motion animation films, built robots, designed games and more. Today, Mozilla is announcing plans for the 2014 campaign, which will kick off on July 15. Mozilla is teaming up with a variety of partners, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will promote at all the public libraries and museums within their network; the National 4-H Council, which will promote to its 500,000 4-H program leaders, volunteers, parents and youth across the country, and the Association of Science and Technology Centers, which will promotes the effort to more than 390 affiliated science and tech centers. In addition, the C.S. Mott Foundation will partner with Mozilla to support Maker Parties in more than 10 states through the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks.
Brit + Co is kicking off a new effort to reach Makers of all ages: Brit + Co., an online media and e-commerce platform that provides tools to teach, inspire, and enable creativity, is launching an effort to help more women and girls pursue their passions and become Makers. This will include campus maker events with potential to reach 20,000 makers per year, a large-scale yearly ‘Makeathon’ conference to get more women engaged in industrial design, sponsoring a number of sponsored “makers in residence” at Brit + Co’s headquarters, and a series of free e-classes designed to give teachers the physical and virtual tools to engage K-12 students in hands-on maker curriculum.
Teach for America and partners launching a new Maker Teacher campaign: Teach for America and its partners STEMConnector, Project Lead the Way and the Digital Harbor Foundation are launching a new campaign to recruit and connect its community of educators to Making. Organized under a new online pledge form available at MakerTeacher.org, the effort will focus on exposing more teachers to the Maker Movement, connecting those already interested to available resources and creating opportunities for educators to collaborate.
Master teachers are developing Making curriculum to support the new science standards with hands-on, project-based learning. The Albert Einstein Teaching Fellows, incubated in the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy, are partnering with 3D Systems to design new curriculum and tools for teachers to bring 3-D printing into K-9 education. Access to 3D printing can turn a classrooms into a mini-Maker laboratory while aligning with latest from the Next Generation Science Standards. BetterLesson is developing blended learning curriculum around the new Next Generation Science Standards and identifying the first-ever Maker Master Teachers. Master Maker Teachers highlight teachers who truly bring to life the Maker Movement in their classrooms, and capture their best practices for effectively teaching a hands-on approach to STEM education. BetterLesson’s Blended Master Teacher Project, created in partnership with the Learning Accelerator, will detail the effective techniques of teachers working in a blended environment. In addition, littleBits will be supporting schools and educators with over $20,000 in littleBits products, with the goal to help educators integrate hands-on STEAM learning in their classrooms, makerspaces and after school programs.
The Digital Harbor Foundation is launching a new Center of Excellence to support Making in schools. The Center of Excellence for Innovation in Technology Education is a technical assistance and training effort to support the ability of schools and non-profits to integrate Making into their programs. To start, the Center is supporting Baltimore-based Green Street Academy and Barclay Elementary and Middle School, both of whom will be launching maker programs in topics that include 3D printing, electronics, web design, and engineering.
New steps to harness the creativity and skills of Makers to tackle pressing challenges. Our most pressing challenges require the passion, ingenuity and skills of Americans young and old. These citizen solvers can approach problems with fresh eyes, create new networks of partners and use these tools to design new solutions. This confluence of engaged citizens and tools is why a number of Federal agencies and private-sector partners believe that Makers can be a powerful complement in their strategies to tackle big problems.
Key steps being announced today include:
USAID, the World Bank, Lemelson Foundation, Intel, and others will support Makers around the world to improve livelihoods and wellbeing. USAID, the World Bank, and Intel have teamed up with the Fab Foundation to launch a Global Fab Award, which will encourage the invention of open-source, maker-ready sensor technologies to improve the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people by providing better access to information on critical issues such as healthcare diagnostics, agricultural production, and the availability of clean drinking water. At the international Fab10 Conference, the partnership will crowdsource a catalog of Maker solutions that can drive economic development and address social challenges in countries around the world. A roundtable was also held on incorporating the Maker Movement more broadly into the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). As part of its commitment to Making in Africa, Intel Corporation and YALI are partnering on the 5th Maker Faire Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 3-6, 2014. Finally, the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID, along with the Lemelson Foundation, will be supporting the development of Gearbox, an East African design and prototyping space that empowers local innovators and catalyzes scalable businesses to invent solutions for development needs.
NASA and its partners are inspiring the new generation of space enthusiasts and Makers to help expand our capabilities in space: A growing community of space-enthusiasts has the ability to contribute to NASA’s space exploration goals through their passion, technical expertise, and ability to use new additive technologies. To leverage this opportunity, NASA is announcing:
New "Future Engineers" printing challenges for the first 3D printer aboard the International Space Station, in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation. Middle and high school students will design items for 3D printing on ISS, and the winning student will watch from NASA’s Payload Operations Center with the mission control team as the item is printed in space. NASA and the ASME Foundation will also promote these projects and others in Maker Community Challenge Showcases, in which student participants would have the opportunity to have their 3D designs printed at local Maker community locations and student participants would showcase their 3D designs in on online open hardware design repository.
A new announcement of opportunity for CubeSat developers later this year, with the goal of broadening its reach to all 50 states by targeting the 21 "rookie states" that have had no previous CubeSat presence in space, and will leverage the existing NASA Space Grant network of colleges and universities. CubeSats provide the opportunity for Makers to build small satellites to demonstrate new innovative technologies and conduct scientific research in a space environment. To date, NASA has selected CubeSats from 29 states, 17 of which have already been launched, and two more are slated to go to space later this year.
An additive manufacturing competition with America Makes that will challenge participants to find new ways to create safe shelters using locally available materials and constructed at the point of use.
Agencies are deploying rapid prototyping to the frontlines to pursue critical missions. Agencies are increasingly empowering federal workers across the country and deployed overseas to innovate on the frontlines to improve government services and to deliver on critical missions and objectives. For example, the Department of Defense is beginning to use these innovative approaches to equip and empower more “military MacGyvers” to solve problems with the resources at hand. The Army’s Expeditionary Labs allowed soldiers to improve the armored fighting vehicles that protect them against land mines. The Navy’s “Project Athena” enables sailors with great ideas on the USS Benfold to lead a small team and make it happen. The Department of Defense will develop a strategy to scale up these and other initiatives to harness the creativity and ingenuity of the men and women of the Armed Forces.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is creating a Government Maker Corps program to recruit more than 100 tinkerers, innovators, and doers to apply their talents to public service. Today, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is launching a Government Maker Corps program to recruit creative and energetic Makers to contribute to projects with rapid prototyping opportunities. The interagency Ideation Community of Practice (ICOP), a network of over 200 federal innovators from 25 agencies, will partner with stakeholders to develop a Government Maker Initiative Playbook – a “how-to” guide for policymakers and agencies to leverage innovations from the Maker community.
NIH is launching the NIH 3D Print Exchange (3Dprint.nih.gov), the first-ever government-sponsored database of 3D-printable bioscientific and biomedical files. The NIH is making high-quality, scientifically accurate 3D printable files for bioscientific and biomedical applications available through an online, open access portal. For example, the portal will host 3D printable files of custom and innovative lab equipment, anatomical features and the molecular structures of proteins, all derived directly from real scientific data. The NIH 3D Print Exchange allows users to discover, share, and create bioscientific and biomedical 3D models that are ready to download and print in 3D. Physicians and patients can use the Exchange to visualize disease processes and treatments through 3D prints of medical imaging data. Students, teachers, and parents will find accompanying worksheets and lesson plans for use in STEM education. In the coming months, the Exchange will announce a nationwide challenge, calling on students to create their own 3D bioscientific models, to encourage use of 3D prints and 3D modeling techniques in the classroom.
New communities and tools will empower nurses to make and innovate to improve patient care. MakerNurse, an initiative of the Little Devices Lab at MIT, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is announcing the launch of a new online community for Maker Nurses. The new platform will provide tools and resources to empower nurses to make and innovate at the bedside, improving patient care and health. The mission is to bring health and wellness technologies out of the black box so that every patient, every nurse and every caregiver can be a health maker. In addition, MIT’s International Design Centre and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science are announcing the first ever DIY Medical Technologies Conference in the fall of 2014 to galvanize the design, fabrication, science and policies around democratized medical technologies. The event will include medical makers who are patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and DIY medical technology practitioners, all sharing and exploring what this new field can bring to our healthcare system.
Global Minimum commits to supporting more than 300 Youth Makers in Africa. Non-profit organization Global Minimum’s InChallenges program identifies young inventors and entrepreneurs, and supports them in transforming their ideas into first-stage prototypes, and subsequently into scalable social innovations. The InChallenges program runs in Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa, where students are given the tools, resources, and network to develop real solutions to local problems affecting their communities. The InChallenges program will be hosted in all three countries in 2014, encouraging youth throughout the continent to use making to solve local challenges they understand deeply.