Maker Education Certificate – Course Descriptions
Introduction to Design Thinking (3 credits)
Design thinking is a way of thinking (philosophy, mindset) and working, as well as a collection of hands-on methods. Design Thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. Whether you work in business, government, education, or nonprofit, design thinking can help you develop innovative solutions based on the needs of your customers and students. The semester begins with learning about design thinking skills, habits of mind, ways of thinking, being reflective about how we think, and common language for design thinking in STEAM.
You will be immersed in hands-on-minds-on activities that will help you unlock your creative potential. Students will examine how industry leaders like Apple, Google, Samsung and GE apply and document the design process to obtain patents and protect intellectual property that brings the theory of design elements and principles to bare in the marketplace. The second half of the semester, students will create and implement full design challenges, working in different materials, tools, machines and processes, and then a final design challenge with an engineering notebook/portfolio that assesses the design process and design thinking and application of the tools and safety and principles.
Developing a Maker Mindset (3 credits)
Participants will gain valuable knowledge about the maker movement and its integration into education. Guided by readings, online videos, and instructor facilitation, participants will gain hands-on experience designing and safely fabricating in 2D and 3D with makerspace tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers; and creating new products with electronics, textiles, and coding/Arduino. In collaboratively developing a new product or revising an existing one to solve a real-life problem, participants will demonstrate fluency in all phases of the design and fabrication process. They will also learn how to connect to the maker community, and how to create equitable maker-centered learning opportunities for all learners.
Makerspace Safety and Emergency Lab (3 credits)
Participants receive lessons in developing and implementing curriculum and instruction in safety using guided practice, and assessments pertaining to each aspect of safety processes. Students will receive demonstrations, guided practice or assessments, and then demonstrate their ability to provide it to others (e.g., their students and other teachers).
Designing and Facilitating Maker-Centered Learning Environments (3 credits)
Participants will learn how to design and support maker-centered learning experiences for all students. Participants will learn how to set up and supervise makerspaces to ensure safety and maximize student learning. They will receive valuable practice writing curricula and promoting pedagogical practices supporting the norms and practices of the maker community. They will also develop assessments that best evaluate the academic, professional, and personal gains made through maker-centered learning experiences, and that are aligned with common standards and rubrics in STEM education.
Maker Educator Capstone (3 credits)
Working with a faculty mentor, the Maker Educator Capstone is a rich opportunity for participants to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the program to a specific area of content expertise and/or local learning context. Participants will design a significant maker-centered learning experience and present it to peers, colleagues, instructors and mentors in a Maker Certificate Showcase.
Maker Education Certificate – FAQ
1. How long does it take to complete the program?
The entire certificate program can be completed in a year or less.
2. Are there any prerequisites to enter the program?
The program is open to all with a Bachelor’s degree. There are no other special qualifications or prerequisites required to gain admission to the program.
3. Why should I take the program?
Maker-based learning activities are project-based and provide an engaging enrichment experience that can serve as an anecdote to student disengagement in an era of online learning. Many schools have a potential makerspace or equipment that are underutilized. This certificate program will provide the necessary training so that schools can make the most of their investment. Educators who take the certificate program will learn how to teach and empower students to complete maker-based projects, and how to assure their safety while using makerspace equipment. Participants will be trained on how to supervise and assess safety using maker equipment and tools aligned to OSHA regulations.
The high-quality program is an excellent resource to support STEAM Tank and Sustainable Jersey projects.
4. When and where will the classes be held?
The program was designed in hybrid format, in which face-to-face classes alternate weekly with asynchronous virtual classes. Face-to-face classes are held one day per week from late afternoon to early evening at the Rutgers Makerspace, following strict social distancing and other COVID safety guidelines. Partly due to COVID-19, we are making more allowances for an 100% online option, especially for students who are out of state or have an unreasonable commute, and/or who have access to a comparable makerspace or makerspace equipment. Our instructors will work with you to identify an individualized plan to complete coursework for the alternating weeks that were originally designed as face-to-face. A kit of materials will be provided to all students, and may be part of the solution for online plans. We suggest a conversation with at least one of our instructors to set up an 100% online option.
5. Who has approved the Certificate?
The program has been approved by the state of New Jersey as an official Rutgers Certificate program.
6. Are credits transferrable?
Credits may be transferrable to other programs at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) or those at other universities, as assessed by those programs.
7. What is the cost of the courses?
The cost of the courses aligns with the tuition structure of all courses offered by the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Tuition for part-time students who are current NJ residents is $757.50 per credit over the 2022-2023 school year.
8. Is there an application deadline?
Applications must be received by August 15, 2023.