PRESENTATION: Introduction to the Maker Lab for Youth Economic Opportunities, Sep 2016
Young people face a number of critical challenges to access the skills, core competencies and critical thinking needed to reach their full social and economic potential. In parallel, recent years have seen an explosion of new tools, technologies and approaches designed to engage youth. Among these is the Maker Space movement that emphasizes “making” over rote learning, and that draws on new technological materials to expand opportunities for young people to learn through firsthand experience.
The DAI Maker Lab initiative engages this movement to democratize access and offer exciting new opportunities for youth entrepreneurs in developing countries to sidestep some of the traditional constraints to working with digital fabrication, basic engineering and electronics in an accessible, fun and creative space.
Youth for Technology Foundation’s 3D Africa education platform creates economic opportunities for under-educated, under and unemployed engineers and women by equipping them with 3D printing and online marketplace skills through training and membership to “engineering prototype hubs”.
Through an interactive DAI Maker Lab exhibit, a short story-telling presentation highlighting impact on youth and women served through 3D Africa and a deep-dive breakout session with leaders from the Maker Space movement, Summit participants are invited to “roll up their sleeves” and learn how Maker Spaces can offer young people work readiness and skills development through problem solving, group work, trial and error, and creativity.
Rob Ryan-Silva, Director, DAI Maker Lab, DAI (USA)
Njideka Harry, President and CEO, Youth for Technology Foundation (USA)