Announcing the 2018 Infy Maker Award Winners

by Infosys Foundation USA | 05/23/2017

We are proud to announce the 2018 Infy Maker Awards winners, 10 organizations from across the U.S. that are taking unique approaches to creating opportunities for more students in their communities to engage in Making. The winners come from 10 states, are working in urban and rural communities and include libraries, museums, makerspaces, colleges and non-profit organizations:

  • Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito, CA) will partner with the Girl Scouts of Northern California to create a Maker program for girls to complete their engineering badge and train adult volunteers to continue designing with their troops.
  • BLDG 61: Boulder Public Library Makerspace (Boulder, CO) will expand underserved high school student engagement through internship and scholarship programs.
  • Digital Harbor Foundation (Baltimore, MD) will pilot a program with Baltimore City educators to facilitate student connections with Tech Coaches via a tablet kiosk school counselors' offices.
  • Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum (Albuquerque, NM) will create standards-aligned training and field trips to inspire hundreds of students & educators to bring the Maker mindset back to their schools and community.
  • Free Science (Ithaca, NY) will create an intern program for low-income and underrepresented teens, where teens will mentor youth from their communities and develop their own projects.
  • Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH) will develop a program with Cincinnati Public Schools where students will create and care for gardens with families and community partners.
  • Illinois MakerLab (Champaign, IL) will provide free summer camps for low-income families focused on design thinking, electronics and 3D printing.
  • ImagineWorks (Honolulu, HI) will expand its community outreach across the island by building out the set of tools and technologies available for students to use.
  • Keene Public Library (Keene, NH) will create Maker programs for youth to develop and prototype solutions to civic problems from homelessness and hunger to bicycle and pedestrian safety.
  • Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates, ND) will recenter its Lakota language immersion school for students on Standing Rock around traditional Making and learning.

This year’s Infy Maker Awards competition focused specifically on supporting maker education. Making provides students with opportunities to engage in real-world, hands-on learning by working on projects that they care about and are personally meaningful to them. Maker education is interdisciplinary, enabling young people to learn about STEM, arts and design together. Research from Harvard Graduate School of Education found that maker-centered learning enables students to develop a deep understanding of how they can impact the world and a sense of agency and empowerment.

While schools, libraries, museums and communities across the U.S. are setting up makerspaces where students and families have access to tools and technologies for designing and prototyping, the applications received by the Foundation demonstrates a significant need for more of these opportunities to be supported, particularly in underserved communities.

In order for us to reach more students, K-12 schools, universities, libraries, museums, foundations, companies and local governments can work together to support professional development opportunities for educators, establish and grow makerspaces and support on-going research to understand the impact of Making on learning.