The MakerShare Initiative was created to provide all students with access to technology and innovative learning experiences by addressing the barriers schools have in providing STEAM education. It is an affordable two week curriculum that supplies cutting edge technology to schools paired with professional development, training, and support.
ADDRESSING AN UNMET NEED
The MakerShare Initiative was strategically developed over six months of working with educators, school administrators and youth program directors from that serve underserved to high-income students and families. We want to figure out what sort of barriers were holding schools back from implementing cutting edge technology into their classrooms or programs. Time and time again, the same three barriers were cited when asked why their students did not have access to cutting edge technology.
- Unaffordable Up-Front Costs
- Lack of Educator Training
- Lack of Lesson Plans, Activities, and Curriculum Integration
Therefore, we were tasked with creating a program that specifically addressed and overcame these three barriers. With that in mind, we developed The MakerShare Initiative as a tool to provide students the opportunity to work with technology that they otherwise would not have.
SEIC COMPETITION WINNERS
From January to April of 2015, the Disruption Department’s MakerShare Initiative competed with over 30 other organizations in the St. Louis region in the Youthbridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC). In the 10th annual competition, sponsored by the Skandalaris Center at Washington University in St. Louis, the MakerShare Initiative captured the attention of judges and community members alike, receiving the largest award of the competition, a grant of $30,000.
With this grant, the Disruption Department will be able to invest in technology, infrastructure, and capacity and will be able to increase access to STEAM education and resources for students, teachers, and schools in St. Louis.