Do you think the current surge of making and tinkering spaces in science centers and museums is a temporary fad, or are they here to stay?April 24th, 2014 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the May/June 2014 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Making and tinkering are not fads. Their presence in science centers and museums may be a fad for many, but “making” is a human biological imperative. We are the species that makes over its environment to suit our needs more than any other. In many ways, a great number of us have become consumers rather than creators. Encouraging making and sharing useful skills seem like perfect jobs for informal education institutions. Making and tinkering spaces in museums should be fluid, they should change, they should grow and contract, they should be “made” and made again. At the very least, making should fit your mission and you should define what a making or tinkering space is within your institutional culture.
Elena Baca, educator and external relations coordinator, and Eric Meyer, educational services director, Explora, Albuquerque, New Mexico