The MakerGhat Curriculum

Developed by Stanford University researchers, our program and space are designed to foster active and hands-on learning, tinkering and constructionism, and project-based situated learning. We have woven together a curriculum that will build technical rigor on fundamental design, engineering, prototyping, and testing. This curriculum aims to connect students to the core teachings of their primary formal education institution (whether high school, vocational training, or public undergraduate university) and also introduce them to a variety of real-world application areas for these problem-solving skills. Alongside the technical rigor, the curriculum will also foster building interpersonal skills, specifically: leadership, project and team management, and public speaking.

The curriculum is designed to minimize lecture-style education and passive instruction; all artifacts of the program will be project-driven or active learning-based.

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Student Learning Objectives

  1. Develop hands-on technical expertise and experience as a mechanical, electrical, computer engineer, or artist

  2. Develop critical problem-solving skills as part of a whole suite of rapid prototyping skills

  3. Foster entrepreneurial resilience and humility

  4. Develop design-thinking sensibilities with a focus on inclusiveness in design

  5. Think about grand challenges, and understand how STEM fields currently address them and could potentially address them in the future

Program Artifacts

Workshops

Teach new technical skills (3D printing, woodworking, programming, sewing, etc.); Introduce new technologies (VR and AR, data science tools); Introduce new ideas or areas of work and activity

Bootcamps

Design thinking and team-building sessions; Public speaking and general communication training; Building resilience as an individual and as a team; Teach non-technical skills: empathy, perspective, inclusiveness

Story Hours

Invite leaders from academia and industry to share an experience or tell a story; Reflect on challenges and current ideas, situating learners in a larger domain of work

Show and Tell

Rapid-fire pitches and presentations; Learners talk about project progress and milestones; Receive quick feedback and ideas; Build a team or find supporters and collaborators in a larger domain of work

Meetups and Office Hours

Informal social events around a broad theme; Networking opportunities to share ideas and learn other perspectives; Drop-in one-on-one mentorship sessions with the mentors; Check-ins on project status, milestone completion, and overall well-being

Field Trips

Visit a local industry or factory shop; Real-world prototyping of an idea or proof of concept; Learn a new skill and meet new mentors at an off-campus locations

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Program Milestones

The timeline for the program is 3 months. For a student who wants to enroll and work towards a formal certificate of completion of the program, she/he will be required to:

  1. Complete at least 15 hours of programming; this includes attending and completing the deliverables (if any) for at least, 4 equipment workshops/trainings, 2 bootcamps, 2 story hours, 2 show and tells, 2 field trips, and 3 office hours

  2. Log in at least 5 hours of general attendance time at the space every week

  3. Volunteer with a non-profit or educational institution at least 5 hours in the last six weeks before certification

  4. Complete a capstone project which will be independently reviewed by at least 2 mentors; this includes

    1. preparing a proposal presentation (slide deck) in Month 1; this involves team formation, identification of the mentors for this project, and presentation of an outline of the needs, approach, benefits, and challenges of executing the idea

    2. submitting the first prototype by the end of Month 2

    3. completing a field prototype evaluation and presenting the final deliverable by the end of Month 3

    4. During the lifecycle: students/teams must engage in at least one needs-assessment field survey or study, conduct and evaluate at least one field test of the prototype, and perform at least one cycle of iteration

Students who successfully complete these requirements will be provided with a certificate of graduation.