The pilot high schools participating in the first year of MENTOR Makerspace program, funded by DARPA, were recognized at a launch event held at the College of San Mateo on Monday, September 10th. The event, organized by O’Reilly Media and EdSurge, was designed to raise awareness for the value of making and makerspaces in educational contexts. A dozen or so local makers exhibited some of their projects and technologies such as Arduino and 3D printers.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and the White House attended the event. Martha Kanter, Undersecretary in the Department of Education, spoke on “Why the DOE supports Makers” and discussed the importance of developing interest in STEM fields. Dale Dougherty gave some background on makers and the maker movement. He said it was a personal challenge to “extend the maker movement into schools” so that more young people could become makers. The MENTOR Makerspace program will help develop models for physical workspaces in schools that use advanced hardware and software for design and development of physical objects.