Discover the new Maker Mobile, Outreach’s next step in bringing more STEM workshops to the community
On May 19, the Faculty of Engineering’s Outreach team unveiled a slick, new set of wheels to bolster its Maker Mobile initiative. Despite being in its infancy, the Maker Mobile program delivered workshops to over 16,000 participants in its first year alone. It has also delivered programs to groups such as Syrian refugees, First Nation youths and low-income communities. The success of this new program has demonstrated the need for technology resources that can be integrated into classroom curriculums. Through the Maker Mobile program, the goal is to encourage creativity, problem-solving skills and interest in technology among everyone in the community.
As demand for the Faculty’s Outreach programs increases year to year, it is clear that the Ottawa-Gatineau community recognizes the impact and importance of these initiatives. In the last few years alone, participation in summer programs has increased from 1,987 participants in 2013 to more than 3,960 in 2016; workshops have also increased from 615 in 2013 to more than 1,400 in 2016. On average, 75% of participants indicate that they would “absolutely want to return and attend our programs again.”
With the recent NSERC PromoScience grant for $240,000, the Outreach team will be able to purchase equipment that will be installed at schools to kick-start new Makerspaces, and to deliver on-site workshops and afterschool programs to elementary and high-school students.
The PromoScience funding will primarily be used to build upon the existing programs and to increase off-campus programs. Building off of the delivery models of the Maker Mobile, Makerspace and Adventures in Engineering camps, the Faculty will be partnering with the four main school boards in Ottawa to kick-start Makerspaces in schools throughout the region in an effort to facilitate STEM program delivery to a larger pool of students. With the acquisition of a second Maker Mobile, Outreach is looking to increase current workshop delivery, and to pilot new after-school programs for high-school students. These recurring STEM programs will keep students engaged all year round and establish long-lasting partnerships between local schools and the Faculty.
To learn more about Engineering Outreach, click here.