The spirit of the Maker Movement is to do it yourself, to share, to collaborate and to create. It originated from the west a few years ago, and has already swept the globe. Right now, implementations of ideas and maker activities can be seen everywhere. To encourage students and teachers to become makers, the Ministry of Education has held the Maker X Edu Week, Create Your Own Generation press conference at 1:30PM, on May 5th, 2016, at the National Taiwan Science Education Center. A Huge Creation King Kong that took a group of makers 6 months to make also made its grand debut at the press conference, and caught a lot of attention. This event was a great way to showcase the creativity and implementation skills of Taiwan’s makers.
The Maker X Edu Week, Create Your Own Generation lasted from May 5th to 8th, and the date May 5th was chosen for the conference press and evening gathering because it symbolizes the use of both hands to implement ideas. On May 6th, institutes of different levels were invited to the National Taiwan Science Education Center to organize workshops and give speeches on the four main topics. On May 7th and 8th, it was a collaboration with the fourth Maker Faire Taipei. Through the integration of public and private organizations like non-governmental maker associations, businesses, schools, social education institutes and community colleges, more creative works, seminars and workshops, in the form of Maker Faire, can be presented to the public, and inspire them to be creative and become interested in the maker trend.
Besides the Huge Creation exhibits, there were many makers from schools as well. Mr. Yongxiang Zeng(曾詠翔) from New Taipei Municipal Qingshui High School and NTPC Young Maker was one of them. As a living technology teacher, Mr. Zeng can use popsicle sticks as his creative elements, through simple mechanics, to make treasure chests with traps like those in Harry Potter and The Mummy. The Eyes of Annabelle that appeared at Maker Faire Tainan 2015 was also there. An entire wall full of eyeballs staring at you wherever you go, is scary and a bit thrilling at the same time. Creator Peiyu Chen(陳珮妤) said that she learned both 3D printing and soldering from scratch, because making things with your own hands is just too much fun to resist. Students of the Department of Technology Application, National Taiwan Normal University had also brought a set of miniature furniture and ping pong ball launchers to the exhibition. They are not only fun, but also educational with their digital technology and science, and thus make it easy for people to step into the world of makers.
The opening ceremony included main activities like Maker Space Joined Forces of the Flame, Make a Wish Dreams Come True Video Premier and Huge Creation Exhibition. Since the press conference on January 9th, 2016, plenty of related activities had already started. Under the collaboration of the 4 colleges across Taiwan: National Taipei University of Technology, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, National Formosa University and National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, the Joined Forces of the Flame was able to bring all the maker spaces from schools and the people together so they could interact with each other, and have even more collaborations in the future. Through the making of the mascot, The Flame, the creativity of makers all over Taiwan can clearly be seen.
Make a Wish Dreams Come True encourages students to think independently and plan their own dreams. They were then given professional guidance and assist by the makers. A special creation this time was a Happy Gateball Machine from Wenjun Lin(林玟均) of Jin-Hua Elementary School and her maker partner, to help her handicapped grandfather exercise. It was very touching. The Science Education Center had also filmed the process of the students’ participation and held a premier of the video on that day. The students who participated were all happy to see their own dreams come true, and started to believe firmly, that they have the ability to create their dreams with their own hands.
Apart from the series of activities in National Taiwan Science Education Center, Taipei, the Maker X Edu Week, Create Your Own Generation had also integrated social education organizations all across Taiwan, which means there were similar activities in National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, and National Science and Technology Museum, Kaohsiung as well. The slogan of National Museum of Natural Science was “Mankind and the Environment, from Co-create to Co-exist,” and they had gathered all the education and maker association resources to set up forums, workshops, exhibitions and DIY booths, as ways to express sustainable ecology and maker spirit. The National Science and Technology Museum had the slogan of “Play as a Maker, Love the Environment: From Co-create to Co-exist,” so they gathered around all the maker associations and schools of Southern Taiwan, and held seminars, workshops and markets. The K-12 Education Administration even organized a truck racing for high schools and vocational schools. (Extended reading: http://) Many schools also held camps and workshops in their respective compounds, making the Maker X Edu Week spirit thrive all across Taiwan, to promote local maker education.
Besides the Huge Creation, seminars and workshops with non-governmental makers, May 7th and 8th were also the annual Maker Faire Taipei by Maker Magazine, the International Chinese Edition. It was more than just a showcase for the maker community to have fun, it was a carnival filled with inventions and information, an annual event for the makers. The exhibitors included the local technology enthusiasts, craftsmen, amateurs, engineers, artists, students and businesses of different age groups and areas of expertise. The purpose of these activities was to provide space for makers and future makers to have fun, share information, make friends, and in turn spark new ideas.
For more information on “Maker X Edu Week, Create Your Own Generation” held by the National Taiwan Science Education Center, please visit: http://www.ntsec.gov.tw/User/Article.aspx?a=3076&theme=1