Opinion
Science Opinion

Bringing Dreams to Life: Maker Movement Goes Global

By Tom Vander Ark — August 01, 2018 2 min read
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Children have great imaginations. School often squelches rather than nurtures dreams. What if we asked every child what their dream was--and then helped them bring it to life?

MyMachine, a 10-year-old nonprofit in Belgium, helps bring dreams to life by recruiting college design students and high school prototypers to help bring to life the dreams of elementary students.

Tom recently visited the founders of MyMachine and asked about the origin story and how they’ve scaled up to help over half a million students worldwide gain creativity, entrepreneurship, and agency.

In this podcast, the founders mention a few favorite machines: one that fights boredom, one that provides compliments machine; a turning bunk bed, an elaborate homework delivery machine, and a Belgium fries shooting machine. Some are serious while others are silly--it’s about the process, the journey and learning.

At a recent event at a science museum, Technopolis sponsored by Agoria Flanders, advocates for the tech ecosystem, MyMachine showcases student machines.

At the event Tom talked about the #FutureofWork and why design skills, like those promoted by MyMachine, are so important.

Key Takeaways from the Podcast:

[:14] About today’s podcast and guest.
[1:20] The MyMachine founders introduce themselves.
[1:44] Co-founder Jan describes the location of MyMachine.
[3:21] Do the co-founders feel that the education system is not keeping up with the thriving economy in Europe?
[4:25] Filip tells the story of the origin of MyMachine.
[6:30] When did Piet hear about this idea and come to think about it as an organization?
[8:25] What is the prompt MyMachine gives to elementary students in the classroom?
[9:30] Some of the answers from elementary students and the values and agency it builds for them.
[12:10] One of the MyMachine answers that stood out most for Jan.
[13:50] One of Filip’s favorite MyMachine ideas.
[15:33] Why are three groups of students (elementary, secondary, and higher ed) involved in the MyMachine process?
[18:13] The skill benefits that the students gain from MyMachine.
[21:07] What benefits do Jan’s corporate and philanthropic partners see in the program? Why do they support MyMachine?
[23:11] What does success look like to the founders? How will the world be better 5-10 years from now with the growth and success of MyMachine?
[25:10] Does Jan see MyMachine making schools better and different in the future?
[26:48] Filip’s thoughts on what success looks like a few years from now.

For more, see:

  • Teaching Students How to Bring Their Dreams to Life
  • Design-Focused University--The Best Thing Since French Fries (Which Are Also Belgian)

Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update. This post includes mentions of a Getting Smart partner. For a full list of partners, affiliate organizations and all other disclosures, please see our Partner page.
The photo above was taken by Tom Vander Ark

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