Matt’s Maker Space in Higher Education
Matt’s Maker Space at Point Park University [PPU] is another first for us -- our first university! As a lab in Point Park’s School of Education, they have goals of teaching “STREAM” (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to their students, who are pre-service teachers.
While their newly renovated space has not been in full use yet due to COVID-19, the lab was beautifully designed as a high tech to low tech space. Filled with large collaborative tables, 3D printer, VR goggles, and many kits for robotics and more, the students of PPU are going to be taking what they learn in their courses and bringing it into more schools in the future.
Oftentimes, teachers may feel unprepared or unsure how to best teach and use the equipment in a maker space. The idea came about to have the ability to begin training students on these principles so that once they enter a school, they can know what it means to teach in a maker space. At Point Park University, the students are learning maker space education and how to apply it to multidisciplinary teaching and learning.
Point Park has what they call a “methods” course, where they teach how to teach for different subjects: reading, math, social studies, etc. They want to expose their students to how much you can do, not only with math and science, but also with reading and writing in a maker space. Helping connect the dots and create a well-rounded learning and teaching environment is helping provide their students with knowledge to become prepared teachers.
Dr. Ginny Chambers, Coordinator of the lab and Associate Professor in Education, shared her passion with us and has been a strong advocate for maker education. They have had multiple presentations on their space and provide maker training. They are active in building upon this and introducing more people to the world of making. After having to delay their launch to the Fall of 2021, they are extremely excited for it to formally open and be able to be in their Matt’s Maker Space.