Maker Education and Fort Building Encourage Hands-On Learning
When people do something, they tend to remember the details better than reading about it. Consider how many books and papers kids process at school. Maker education encourages hands-on learning with activities such as fort building and more. And when kids do something, they make exciting discoveries from the experience. Let's find out more about maker education and using fort building to help kids learn!
What is Maker Education?
Maker education and STEM learning are closely associated. Both approach learning through problem-based and project-based experiences that are hands-on and collaborative. Kids who participate in this type of hands-on education are called makers. Ideas flow freely during the invention process. Re-purposing and prototyping are used to make new inventions. Maker movement projects are developed in makerspaces that encourage these learning experiences. This can be as simple as building a fort in your living room or backyard!
Do It Yourself
Kids learn by doing things themselves. Maker education is based on dreaming of something, using what is available around you, and creating something new and amazing. Patrick Benfield, STEAM and makerspace director at St. Gabriel's Catholic School in Austin, Texas, describes maker education as
, "taking ownership of your surroundings and being aware of the design of everything around you. It's making it your own, changing it, and modifying it either to make it better or to make something more personalized." And fort building is an excellent example! Kids use a Fort Magic kit
, material, and clips, then create a unique fort they design.
Become a Maker
While the term was first coined in 2013, the concept of maker education dates back to the 1960s and earlier. Inventors, designers, and tinkerers are all makers. Encourage kids to become makers, too. The skills they learn through hands-on learning activities prepare them for future days at school and work. They also learn about all types of work and careers by becoming makers. Consider how fort building requires a variety of skills including engineering, designing, architecture, and more. The fort builders of today can become the engineers, designers, teachers, architects, mathematicians, scientists, and IT professionals of the future.
Engagement and Soft Skills
Kids do plenty of memorization, which is a necessary part of their educational experiences. But engagement and soft skills
are also essential, as evidenced by the success of maker education projects. Creativity, collaboration, and problem-solved are part of daily life. We use these skills constantly. Fort building puts these skills at the forefront. Kids dream and create, work together, and figure out problems to build a fort. And they don't even realize they are learning because the process is such fun!
Fort building is one of the many ways to offer a maker education opportunity to your kids. Let them play, build, learn, and grow. Tomorrow they could become the innovators and inventors of the future!
How do you teach your kids STEM skills and incorporate maker education into their daily playtime? What role does fort building play in their hands-on learning process? Share your ideas with us below!