Sonoma County Office of Education

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reMAKE Education Summit Underway Aug. 1-3

08/02/2018 -

Educators laugh over a project at reMAKE EducationOver 160 educators from around the nation have convened for three days of making at the annual reMAKE Summit on August 1-3. At this one-of-a-kind conference sponsored by Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), participants hear from leading industry and maker education experts, attend hands-on workshops, and network as they explore new tools and strategies for transforming and inspiring the classroom.

reMAKE is hosted at 180 Studios in Santa Rosa, a community makerspace with state-of-the-art equipment. Noteable this year is “the quantity of people from out of the area who found their way here,” said Casey Shea, maker coordinator at SCOE. The conference has drawn a number of attendees from Southern California, as well as states across the country, like Oregon, Texas, Colorado, Philadelphia, and Florida. Also in attendance are educators local to Sonoma County, including students from SCOE’s Maker Certificate program offered in partnership with Sonoma State University.

One feature that sets the 2018 conference apart in terms of theme is a focus on using maker projects to support literacy. According to SCOE’s Science Coordinator Anna Van Dordrecht, humanities are seen as “the next big thing” in maker education. Several activities this year are designed around incorporating making and digital tools with teaching literacy and storytelling.

Another common thread in the sessions this year is around maker empowerment. “Maker projects allow students to create something meaningful and unique,” said Van Dordrecht. reMAKE trainings offer teachers tools and skills they can use to encourage students to drive their own learning—and even change the world.

Among the other innovative activities offered are sessions on designing mini Solar Carnivals using solar cells, motors, and music; making handcrafted ukuleles; making videos using a green screen, and so much more.

Graig Marx, an educator from the Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA, enjoyed hearing best practices that he can adapt to fit the needs of his own school. “You can really make it your own,” he said of what he had learned. He added that he appreciated the reMAKE philosophy of experimentation and “always getting better and learning from mistakes.”