Last summer, a group of Stanford d.school students put a makerspace inside an old delivery truck and set out on a cross-country voyage to bring hands-on learning back to schools. We drove 15,323 miles and met 2,700 kids between California and Massachusetts, teaching them about tinkering, brainstorming, and how to get unstuck. This summer, SparkTruck is gearing up for its second road trip, and we want to come to your town!
In an age of budget cuts and standardized testing, we still believe in the value of hands-on education. We believe that the act of making something by hand can teach a young mind so much about resilience and collaboration. It can inspire confidence and creativity, and empower a child to go out in the world ready to invent, innovate, and tackle some big, hairy problems. Still, we understand that not every school and learning environment is able to provide kids the tools and resources to make. That’s why we’re bringing them.
Kicking off at last year’s Maker Faire, our inaugural journey was an unbelievable adventure. As we drove across this beautiful country of ours, teaching hands-on workshops to 4th- through 6th-graders, we were humbled by the enthusiasm with which we were received. Seeing kids’ eyes light up as they turned their imaginations into unique inventions was more rewarding than we had anticipated. The feeling that we were doing something worthwhile – along with the hundreds of friendly emails inviting us all over the USA – convinced us that we had to keep going.
So this summer, we’re doing it again, and this time we’re partnering with LEGO! After a pump-up weekend at Maker Faire 2013, we can’t wait to hit the road. We will be on the road from July 1 to August 30, traveling as far as we can to meet as many young makers and makers-to-be as we can possibly reach. Which is where you come in.
The task immediately before us in the coming weeks is figuring out where to go. Is there a school, library, museum, or community center in your town that could benefit from the visit by a mobile makerspace? Would you like to meet a bunch of unreasonably giddy college students and have them show you how the design process works? Do you need an excuse to put on a maker-education get-together in your community? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above, please get in touch and invite us out! We will continue accepting invitations until June 18.
We’re looking forward to meeting lots of awesome new friends this summer! We hope to see you, and we’ll certainly keep you updated on our travels right here on the MAKE blog. (A huuuge thank you to our friends at MAKE for inviting us to blog here!)
Want to bring SparkTruck to your town this summer? Fill out our “Arrange a Visit” form and we’ll be in touch!
For more info about SparkTruck, visit sparktruck.org.