Colorado Maker Hub: Impact Report

2016 Design Challenge Winner

Executive Summary

Colorado Maker Hub was a Design Challenge winner in February 2016 and was awarded $10,000 to implement a project designed to bring a mobile maker
station into educational settings to address the dissatisfaction with learningfocused on ‘teaching to the test’ and shift toward more hands-on,curiosity-driven learning that utilizes 21st century tools. The project was led byElise Van Dyne, who has spent several years organizing events in the maker
industry and recognized a need among teachers and students alike to bring thistype of learning to the classroom.

After completing site visits of existing makerspaces, surveying Imaginarium educators, and testing an initial prototype, Colorado Maker Hub developed a minimum viable product (MVP) of the mobile maker station, IdeaLabGo.

This version mirrored the maker-experience found in permanent makerspaces while addressing the key learning from the prototype testing: 1) offering a full set of ‘maker’ resources, and 2) allowing teachers to bring the activities into their own space to integrate with the full (un-siloed) learning environment. The test site used grant funds to purchase the MVP IdeaLabGo and is currently bringing the mobile maker-experience to different schools and other educational events.Although Colorado Maker Hub was able to verify the need for the mobile maker station as a solution and develop a working prototype, they also learned that theideal solution required  more than simply placing a mobile maker station in a school setting. The finding was that the solution was most effective when the IdeaLabGo was paired with hands-on training from Colorado Maker Hub and curated project materials to serve as guidelines for implementation. The team determined that they were unable to balance the time and resources required to scale the project any further. At the time of this report, Colorado Maker Hub was in the process of developing a DIY Maker Space resource to be shared, free of cost, with any school district interested in developing a mobile makerspace.

The team was also exploring opportunities to secure funding that would provide mobile maker stations for up to10 DPS schools utilizing the DIY approach.