Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators
In January 2012, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) hosted Design-Make-Play: Growing the Next Generation of Science Innovators. The two-day conference brought together leaders of schools, community-based programs, research and development organizations, the funding community, universities, government and business. They gathered at NYSCI to assemble evidence supporting the belief that designing, making and playing can create new pathways into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), particularly among children. A core argument of Design-Make-Play is that informal learning centers like NYSCI and emerging communities like the Maker movement contribute experience and expertise in transforming education from a passive to a participatory pursuit, reflecting the latest research into how we best learn STEM subject matter and channel the potential of that knowledge into new innovations and entrepreneurship. The goal of the Design-Make-Play conference was to arrive at a framework for assessing design, making and play as methodologies for reforming and improving STEM education as a first step toward meeting the need for a more plentiful and diverse STEM workforce.