I was asked by the Indiana Economic Development Association to present to their group on May 17 at their Workforce Pipeline and Talent Recruitment Workshop. The Keynote speaker will be Blair Milo, Indiana's Secretary of Career Connections and Talent.
As usual, the organizer asked me to summarize what I would talk about.
Sometimes these summaries cause me to think hard (again) about what we are doing and why it's important. It's a good exercise I should undertake more frequently :)
Here is what I wrote:
Today’s students rarely make anything tangible. As a result, tens of thousands of high wage manufacturing jobs go unfilled and our economy suffers. The state’s K12 curriculum emphasizes standards that many kids find irrelevant – and so do employers. Employers are looking for kids with creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and problem solving skills; schools are graduating test takers. A makerspace is for every kid, every age, every ability, every ambition and every background. The most important outcome of a makerspace is not what kids make – it’s the self esteem and pride kids feel when they discover what they can make with their own two hands.