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White House Week of Making—Good for Makers and MEP Centers

The third White House Week of Making will be held from June 17 – 23, 2016 and NIST MEP is once again participating! It’s an opportunity to showcase how the MEP Network can be instrumental in supporting Makers transitioning to Manufacturers.

U.S. Makers are developing new solutions and products to pressing challenges, by not only engaging students in hands on, interactive learning of STEM, arts and design, but also by enabling non-student individuals to learn new skills in design, fabrication and manufacturing.

The Week of Making promotes communities across America by encouraging them to share and celebrate their involvement in the Maker Movement, using #NationOfMakers and #WeekofMaking on Twitter and Facebook, which can showcase their amazing work and enable connections to be made with other Makers and organizations that support them. Below are ways that everyone can get involved:

  • Post photos of a current Maker project you are working on or start a new project, even asking a couple of friends or family members to build it with you, and tag it with #NationofMakers. You can find fun and creative projects ideas from a variety of websites for Makers.
  • Organize an event and/or host an open house at your local school, library, rec center, makerspace or set up a hangout online to connect and share your inventions with Makers across the country. Be sure to share out the event on social media so others can find it.
  • Volunteer to be a mentor for someone who is interested in learning a new skill or find a mentor who would be interested in teaching a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn.
  • Create a project of your own and then share the plans online through Maker platforms so others can also make, modify, or remix your project.
  • Organize a maker roundtable, town hall, or tour to convene thought leaders and decision makers in your community.
  • If you’re an organization or company, encourage your employees to volunteer as an educator and/or mentor to host maker-oriented workshops or classes in your community.

This year, MEP Director Carroll Thomas, will make two MEP Commitments to demonstrate how the MEP System will develop the Maker culture into manufacturers in this country. She will announce these commitments during the National Week of Making. Stay tuned to find out more.

Be part of the Maker Movement—whether you are a Maker yourself, an MEP Center supporting Makers to Manufacturers in your community or are just learning about this exciting initiative, which is poised to Make its Mark on Manufacturing in this country!

About the author

Heidi Sheppard

Heidi Sheppard serves on the Partnership Team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) developing strategic partnerships and making connections that further MEP's mission. She is the lead for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge grant, the Maker to Manufacturer initiative, the Start Up, Rural and Very Small Manufacturing firms engagement, and the current study on the Value of Industrial Design for Small Manufacturers. She seeks out new opportunities for the MEP System, makes connections and grows partnerships.

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