At MakersLoft, we believe in facilitating learning through self discovery and collaboration with other students and trained mentors, within a prepared environment. Our 3500 square feet studio in Ballygunge is fully-fitted with lots of stimulating materials like Lego educational kits, 3D printer, 3D Doodling Pens, Robotics, Electronics, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) kits, natural dyes and paints, hand and power tools etc. We help develop these 21st century skills in our students:
- Creativity and imagination
- Critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Collaboration and teamwork
Our focus is on ‘process’ (of learning) rather than ‘product’ (what is made) or output (grades). We differ from conventional education and activity centers in the following ways:
• Learning across age groups: Children learn faster simply by observing adults or older kids who they see as role models . In traditional education contexts children spend most of the time with their own age group. At MakersLoft kids get plenty of opportunities to interact with out expert trainers, mentors and coaches who are talented individuals from engineering, creative and other professional backgrounds. For instance, we recently held a Robotics competition where middle school students competed with engineering students from IIT. In the process, the younger children learned about new robotic techniques and technologies.
• Group skills: One of the most important factors to success in life, whether in professional or personal settings, is the ability to working effectively with other people. It has been seen that most successful CEOs of companies are people played group sports while growing up. In the Indian education setup and with nuclear family structures, there are not many opportunities for group work, most of the learning happens at an individual level. At MakersLoft, we have deliberately embedded group projects in our modules so children get an opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively with others.
• Self-directed learning: We provide an environment where kids are given full freedom of being creative and taking ownership. Instead of giving step-by-step instructions, we try to inspire them to be curious and let them figure out themselves. This develops in children a habit for self-learning and independent problem solving – an essential life skill for the 21st century. Check out the video below as an example of something made by a student member using his own creativity, rather than building from a manual.
• Using Technology for learning: All kids are attracted to technology and gadgets. We try to leverage this interest to make children active creators of technology rather than passive consumers. So instead of playing video games, they could learn how to make one. There are a variety of tools like Scratch and Makey Makey with which even 7 year olds can make computer programs and cool projects using everyday things. Check out this video as an example.