“Makers: Innovation, Education and Entrepreneurship,” is an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) specifically for Egypt that took place from September 15 to October 3, 2014. The Maker Movement encourages creativity and collaboration through the intersection of science, technology, engineering, the arts, math (STEAM), do-it-yourself (DIY) production, and entrepreneurship. The participants included two science teachers and four information technology entrepreneurs.
The group’s visit began in Washington, DC where they met with Mr. Kumar Garg, Senior Advisor, Office of Science & Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President. Mr. Garg discussed the May 2012 “Maker Faire,” established in response to President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign. They proceeded to the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center in Baltimore, MD, for a tour of this “makerspace” for youth and explored the organization’s mission “to align technology education for grades K-12 with the needs of a growing tech economy.”
The next stop on the tour was Detroit where they enjoyed a visit to the Practice Space, which offers members (mostly from the automotive industry) a place to hone their creative skills. In New York City, the annual “Maker Faire” attracted thousands of attendees, including tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. At the last city stop, San Francisco’s Tech Museum of Innovation, offered a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds that provided another memorable experience. One of the visitors commented that the program had changed his life.