Monday, August 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Learning Labs Convening

Expanding Participation in Make (Lisa Brahms, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; Elyse Eidman-Aadahl,

·         Keys to a successful makerspace:
o   Low floors (low barriers of entry)
o   High ceilings
o   Wide walls (inclusive)
·         KP shared info on e-textiles broadening female participation in STEM
o   Gender gaps in web memberships: Ravelry 73% female; Make 63% male
o   Arduino 86% male; Lilypad Arduino 65% female
o   Lilypad is simpler than ardunio, which requires text coding
§  Can be used for grades 2+
§  Sewn into fabric to make e-textiles
§ has a showcase of kids’ work
§  Book on designs (Textile Messages) out in September
§  Shown to be very successful in increasing understanding of circuits
o   Other ways to engage girls:
§  Code the space for girls: add a sewing machine or girl coded toys
§  Place media-making tools in fashion area; a green screen to encourage photo shoots
o   Start a typically gender-coded workshop with discussion; set every chair in a circle
§  Leads to great conversation and increased participation
o   Advise facilitators to be very aware of the language they use
o   Invite visitors that are non-traditional: a girl gamer

Also, here are some photos and videos from the Children's Museum's MAKESHOP and an innovation lab at Carnegie Mellon:

-Leslie @SR/Admin

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