The CREATE Education Project were honoured to be invited to deliver a 3 day maker education program at the 16th annual World ORT Hatter Technology Seminar, which took place at ORT House in London from June 24-27.

The World ORT are a non-profit international Jewish organization with a network of schools, colleges, training centres and programs in Israel, Europe, Africa, North America, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere that reaches more than 300,000 people each year. Their maxim is ‘Educating for Life’. Our schools, colleges and training centres deliver the knowledge and skills to make people economically self-sufficient with a focus on technology and STEM education.

The World ORT’s annual Hatter technology seminar provides an opportunity for 20 of ORT’s professional educators from all over the world to explore the latest developments in STEM teaching and learning. Each year a specific pedagogical or technological theme is addressed, recent themes have included STEM Curriculum 2020, Nanotechnology, Robotics, and Integrated approaches to STEM. During an intensive week of themed master-classes, lectures, workshops and visits, delegates get to learn from each other as well as from leaders in the field and build professional relationships that continue long after the seminar ends, often stimulating international collaborations. The theme of this year’s seminar was “Bringing the Maker Culture into our schools”.

Day 1

CREATE Education was not involved in the first day of the seminar as this was all about the teachers. During this first day the 17 delegates from schools in Singapore, Isreal, Argentina, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and The Netherlands met for the first time and got to know each other. The day included a getting to know you session where participants discussed motivations and experiences, in depth interviews and participant presentations which allowed each teacher to showcase their work and opportunities for them to learn from each other. The days formal activities was rounded of with a welcome dinner.

Day 2

In day 2 the CREATE Education team, supported by CREATE ambassador Caroline Keep delivered a full day of activities based around developing maker culture and maker education in schools.

Caroline Keep shared her experiences of setting up SPARK at Penketh High School, the first UK State School Makerspace, and the importance of developing a maker culture that the whole school community is invested in. Participants then worked on a collaborative activity to delve into the question “What does maker education look like” sharing ideas with a wall of post-it notes. Over the next two days, this wall was revisited and ideas were categorised and refined.

The remainder of the day was focused on how to develop maker education further, with sessions that included:

  • Getting started with maker education using a commercial product – here delegates did some hands on making using the Makerclub STEAM Class Kit and online platform. They learnt how to connect and program servo motors via the Makerclub board, then were set a challenge to design a “Walkerbot” using 2-4 servos that would walk. Great fun was had by all and a number of bots were created although many of them danced rather than walked. This activity demonstrated how easy it can be to get started with maker education.
  • Combining 3D printing with other maker technology – here delegates were introduced to Tinkercad as a simple 3D modelling tool and had the opportunity to design parts for their Walkerbot that could be 3D printed.
  • Developing maker education – here delegates were introduced to a range of other technology, tools, equipment and resources that they could use to develop maker education in their schools including Microbit, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and many more. Crucially delegates were provided with a series of supporting resources to enable them to get started with each technology.
  • Maker pedagogy and practice and developing maker education in schools – here after completing a fun problem solving activity delegates were introduced to the eCraft2Learn platform and resources to further support them in developing maker education.

Other sessions included planning for maker education and assessing progress in maker education to round off the day’s activities.

Day 3

Day 3 was supported by CREATE Ambassador Graham Ogunleye, here delegates visited Green Lab  an open innovation lab and ecosystem for individuals and organisations to design sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste problems. Green Lab incorporates a Fab Lab which is a state of the art digital makerspace with access to high end digital fabrication services such as laser cutter, 3D FDM printers, 3D Paste extruders, electronics bench, heat press, hand tools and desktop CNC. The Fab Lab provides a place for early stage startups to prototype ideas.

In this visit, participants saw how such changes are catalysing new sustainable food systems by encouraging creativity, collaboration, experimentation and by incubating ideas to make food production more efficient and resilient.

“Visiting Green Lab was a treat for an eco-warrior like me. It helped us all to realize that Makerism can be eco-friendly and that upcycling is the way of the future.”
Jodene Pereira, King David High School, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The day was rounded off with more activity refining the post-it note wall, then teachers used this to develop their own plans for maker education in their school.

Day 4

The final day of the seminar delivered by the CREATE Education team and supported once again by Graham Ogunleye was dedicated to developing delegates 3D modelling skills through a full day Introduction to Fusion 360 training session. During this day the delegates learned a number of tools and techniques to get them started in using the software and had the opportunity to design, slice and 3D print models. They were also introduced to a range of additional support material such as the free resources on CREATE Education website and the Autodesk Design Academy resources.

To summarise

“What happens when you put 18 educators and makers from around the world into one room for four days? Absolute magic, that’s what.”

“We laughed, we learnt, we collaborated, we shared, we failed and kept trying. It was the true essence of what Maker Culture is all about and I am truly fortunate to have been a part of it all.”

Teacher Jodene Pereira from the ORT-affiliated King David High School Linksfield in Johannesburg, South Africa, reflects on her experience of the 2019 World ORT Hatter Technology Seminar in her blog here.

Thanks

The CREATE Education Project would like to thank The World ORT for providing us with this opportunity to share our passion for 3D printing and Maker Education at the Hatter Technology Seminar. We would also like to thank CREATE ambassadors Caroline Keep and Graham Ogunleye for sharing their expertise and their dedication and support in making this a groundbreaking and truly memorable event for all.

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