IowaLUG has developed a great relationship with the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) and another fun opportunity came from that this past summer ahead of the Des Moines Mini Maker Faire to be held at SCI on September 1st.

Launched in May, SCI's Summer of Making branded MAKE@SCI created a maker's studio throughout the building with numerious stations for working with straw construction or creating a cardboard city. This hands-on exhibit space will allow participants to engage with Making no matter when they visit!

A part of the Maker Studio, IowaLUG worked with SCI to assemble a 4' x 8' LEGO Building Wall. IowaLUG members Chris, Mike and Ethan, and Ryan and his boys helped SCI a couple evenings to afix the baseplates and create the MAKE@SCI lettering at the top of the wall.

Why Making Matters

Making through prototyping, testing, experimenting, inventing and innovating is sparking new interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It’s helping promote values like creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and self-expression -- all skills necessary to fill jobs in the world’s fastest-growing industries.

Making is preparing young people for STEM careers by getting them to participate in the process and perceive themselves as makers.

Encouraging a "Makers Movement" in Iowa can reap significant economic benefits. According to Iowa Workforce Development, a highly-skilled workforce that has the opportunity to create ground-breaking new processes is essential to the future of manufacturing in our country.

Iowa remains one of the nation’s top states for manufacturing with employees in advanced manufacturing jobs earning an annual average wage of $52,983. Iowa is proud to be on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing, and by engaging a new generation of students with STEM skills, SCI can support its efforts.

Making is also attracting the interest of educators concerned about students’ disengagement from STEM subjects in formal educational settings. It is seen as having the potential to contribute to a more participatory approach and create new pathways into topics that will make them more alive and relevant to students.

Source: Support MAKE@SCI

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