The Bermuda Department of ICT Policy and Innovation reviews the Youth Maker Showcase, which demonstrated how STEM education enhances learning

On Saturday January 20th innovation was celebrated in many ways as close to 200 youngsters and interested parents got a fantastic view of the scores of programmes that encourage Bermuda’s young people to embrace innovation and harness their imagination and creativity. It all happened during the Youth Maker Showcase which was held at the gymnasium at Cedarbridge Academy in conjunction with the first-ever Parent Expo.

As the Island is increasingly integrating STEM education in its school curriculum at all levels, this was an opportunity to see what Bermuda’s makers had been up to.

Who is a Bermuda Youth Maker?
Makers are people who create, build, design, tinker, modify, hack, invent, or simply make something. Through their work building and inventing, they make things that have the power to change the world. A 2005 quote from Steve Jobs at the Stanford Commencement embodies the spirit of the Maker Movement:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to  become. Everything else is secondary.”

Bermuda’s Youth Maker movement is an overarching, informal group that includes independent inventors, designers and tinkerers and includes anyone on the Island who makes things: technology enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, engineers, science clubs, authors, and artists. Bermuda’s Youth Makers combine self-reliance with opensource learning, contemporary design and personal technology.

The Bermuda Youth Maker Movement therefore pulls makers together, from computer hackers to traditional artisans, whether they work with cardboard or with robotics, so that they can have the time and space to share ideas, learn from each other, and applaud each other’s creative product development.

The 2018 Youth Maker Showcase
The 25 schools and community organizations which turned out to demonstrate their hands-on activities at this gathering of Maker programmes included the Department of Education’s STEAM Academy, the FIRST Global Robotics Team Bermuda, CONNECTECH, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, the Saltus Computer Science Department, and the Bermuda High School’s Do-It-Yourself Club.
Together, they formed an impressive mix of the work of schools, government entities and community organizations whose only aim that day was to provide parents and students with an opportunity to be introduced to the latest in Do-It-Yourself learning opportunities that expose the youth to creative learning while building character.

Said The Hon. Wayne Caines, JP, MP, Minister of National Security: “What one saw in the room was the latest in innovative tools and education coming together to offer alternative methods for learning not only to benefit Bermuda, but to benefit mankind. It is always gratifying to see when we as a country get things right. These activities are something that every person in this country can be proud of.”


Next step: the Youth Maker Faire
The Department of ICT Policy and Innovation within the Ministry of National Security and the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative organized the Youth Maker Showcase. They both wish to continue the momentum created by the event by offering an official Maker Faire later in the year – and to demonstrate the many ways that STEM education
can enhance learning at all levels.
The Maker Faire would showcase the Island’s youth makers and aim to attract parents looking for the latest learning opportunities for their children. It would also encourage the youth to be introduced to and participate in the various Maker activities available to them. Who knows where that may lead…

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