The White House has placed a strong emphasis on hands-on STEM education. The Administration’s priorities include encouraging the exploration of STEM subjects, encouraging citizen science, and fostering entrepreneurship by making tools need to design and build more widely available. These efforts can be seen in “Maker Faires” – which celebrate science projects, engineering, arts, crafts and the “Do It Yourself” mindset – around the country, an increasing number of maker spaces and online communities, more museums creating maker programs, and the growing access to tools such as 3-D printers and associated software.
Along these lines, ASTC and the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) formally announced the collaborative “Making it Real!” initiative in June 2014. This initiative is designed to facilitate more hands-on experiences at science centers and museums and to draw young students closer to the individuals and organizations that are the targets of their growing interests in science.