Maker Ed is thrilled to be hosting what we hope to be the most exciting and impactful Maker Educator Convening to date. The 2017 Maker Educator Convening will be taking place May 16-17, 2017 across two amazing San Francisco locations: the Autodesk Gallery at One Market Street and Galvanize SF. The event will be focused on the theme of “Impact and Outcomes of Maker Education: Empowering Youth and Educators.” You can register here!

Casey Shea, a math teacher at Analy High School who helped create the first Project Make class, described the first ever national Maker Educator Convening as “an amazing opportunity to connect with people doing great work from all over the country, learn from them, and establish an ongoing dialogue and network that can help sustain and grow individual programs and the movement at large.” Leaving behind their schools, museums, libraries, universities, and community organizations, maker educators came together to take advantage of an opportunity that, up until then, had been largely unavailable to them — gathering under one roof, connecting and learning from one another, sharing experiences and best practices, and coming together around a shared identity.

“The maker education movement has grown primarily due to a passionate group of educators from all levels of the profession,” Shea says. “In my opinion, it is important that the voices and experiences of these people continue to be heard, and that making does not become co-opted [or] made overly scripted and programmed.”

He continues, “Through workshops, demonstrations, quick talks, and a variety of opportunities to connect, network, and share, we hope that this year’s Convening will create a space for educators to discuss some of the common challenges facing maker educators, and come together to seek solutions. One great challenge I see moving forward is providing support structures without reducing the movement to a canned package. Opportunities like the Convening gives educators the chance to connect with like-minded individuals to get some of that support.”

I invite you to join Shea, as he presents his work “on connecting making to core content areas which [he sees] as necessary to help expand the role of maker education [and] around making with students with special needs,” Be sure to register now, before spots fill up, to attend as well this year’s Maker Educator Convening!