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Is the Maker Movement the STEM Answer?

We spend a lot of time in schools across the country and there is a definite love of STEM programs for after school and even during school that require making things from robotics to computers.  These programs are designed to increase a love for STEM at early ages when students see how fun it is to mess around with engineering and design (see Ed Weeks blog - Growing STEM Innovators: A Love Story).  Great stuff for kids - but is it really having an impact on the STEM issue.
 
We get calls all the time about some whiz bang thing someone has created to get kids interested in STEM but there has to be learning associated with the whiz bangs if kids re going to get anywhere.  You are not going to go into STEM if you are not good in math and/or science.  I know the reverse is also true that you have to have see the reason for the learning and have a little fun doing it if you are going to spend the time to learn it.
 
So if the Maker Movement in STEM is going to be successful the things students make have to meet standards so that students are truly learning what they need to learn. That is why the NMSI educators spend some much time on inquiry based lessons tied to common core or STARR - so that kids have fun and acquire the deep learning that will give the a love of STEM.
 
Just having projects without the standards will not get us anywhere.