A blog post by earlier this week by Leah Shaffer at MindShift begins by contrasting maker programs in cities with rural ones:
The maker movement has expanded greatly in recent years and much of the attention has focused on cities with high population density and large well-funded school districts. In rural districts, teachers are also developing maker projects to help students gain the benefits that come from hands-on experiences, while better understanding the needs of their communities.
Maker projects in Montana and Iowa
Shaffer reports on work by a students in a Montana community who built and programmed air sensors to monitor pollution from forest fires and wood smoke cause year-round air pollution, and one in which Iowa high school students analyze agricultural data they gather by flying drones over farm fields.
Shaffer’s sources note the need for teachers to anticipate skills students are likely to need a decade or more in the future and design projects that help them develop those skills.
Her sources also point out that schools can’t just equip a maker space and assume students will know what to do: Initial experiences must be structured.
Read the entire blog post.