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Bringing Innovation to Classrooms

Dr. Anne Jones is a PLTW senior vice president and chief program officer, and Dr. Joseph Wilson, managing director of Teach For America’s math and science initiative

Our kids are amazing consumers of technology. With a few taps and swipes on their mobile devices, they have nearly instant access to much of the world’s information via downloadable apps and websites. But with a projected 8.65 million U.S. workers needed by 2018 in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (collectively referred to as STEM), they need to be more than just consumers – they need to be makers.

On Wednesday, the White House hosted its first-ever Maker Faire, bringing together tinkerers and entrepreneurs of all ages to share their creations and find areas of collaboration. The “big idea” of the Maker Movement is simple: to encourage people to seek solutions to everyday problems, identify new areas of opportunity and offer contributions that advance society – in ways both silly and significant. 

To help connect more teachers and students with the opportunities and resources to create, Teach For AmericaDigital Harbor FoundationProject Lead The Way and STEMConnector are encouraging educators to pledge to be Maker Teachers. This campaign will help create a broader community of Maker Teachers to share ideas, resources, and opportunities.

Tools such as the Innovation Portal, a free online platform, allow students to create and share design portfolios to help invent new solutions to problems ranging from annoying to life-threatening.Teachers are the backbone of our country’s innovation, guiding students to create new methods and ideas, and forge solutions for burgeoning challenges.

Pledge to become a Maker Teacher to be connected with other trailblazing educators and Maker opportunities for your classrooms and schools. Together, we can develop today’s consumers into tomorrow’s makers. 

Read the full article at U.S. News & World Report.