MIT’s Admissions Department wants young Makers to share their projects as part of the school’s official application process. According to Dr. Dawn Wendell, Assistant Director of Admissions at MIT, a new Maker Portfolio supplement on the MIT Admissions web site is designed to provide a structured way for students to submit information about their participation in a diverse set of projects.
“As we see students getting more involved in the Maker Movement, we wanted to give them a more formalized opportunity to tell us about that part of their life and why it’s important to them, ” Dr. Wendell told the Makezine blog. “[We want to attract students who] are already solving problems and building, playing and creating, engaging in projects that they love doing. [Although] not all successful students at MIT are makers, MIT is a welcoming place for Makers, or students who want to become Makers.”
As Makezine’s Dale Dougherty notes, MIT’s Maker Portfolio is “big news” for the Maker movement and young makers, in particular.
“It’s a signal that the kinds of learning experiences that are gained through making can be recognized and valued in education, as they should be,” he explained. “It also serves as a reminder that the kind of informal learning that happens outside of school is important, and should be considered alongside achievements in formal education.”
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the growing Maker Movement can best be described as a “contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture.” Typical interests pursued by Maker culture include engineering-oriented projects such as electronics, Arduino-based robotics, 3D printing with Atmel-powered printers like the MakerBotor, RepRap and the use of CNC tools.
Recently, Will.i.am, the technophile founder of The Black Eyed Peas, offered a ringing endorsement of the Maker Movement and related culture on Facebook.
“Every young person is going to be inspired to be a maker from now on,” said Will.i.am. “It’s like how everyone used to want to be a musician, an actor, an athlete — but a maker is what people are going to want to be.”