Two Rivers Gallery launched MakerLab six years ago and since then awareness and interest in maker activities and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning has only increased. Three years ago, the BC government even revised the curriculum to include an Applied Design, Skills and Technology section, paving the way for hands-on maker activities in schools and educational facilities and Two Rivers Gallery’s Maker Experience was born!
This September over 80 students from School District 57’s rural elementary schools in the Buckhorn, Blackburn, Hixon and Giscome areas of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George visited Two Rivers Gallery. With support from SD57, Two Rivers Gallery secured funding from the Industry Training Authority to create an experience for students with limited opportunities to engage with technology and programming.
It was a day of controlled chaos, with students moving from station to station exploring everything from 3D printing to printmaking. Facilitators are all professionals in their fields of engineering, computer programming, design, and science – and it is a great example of inter generational learning where the facilitators learn just as much from the experience as the children do.
Partnerships play a huge role in making this event happen. The Exploration Place, Science World and Emily Carr University of Art & Design jumped at the chance to facilitate activities, and 30 first-year student teachers from UNBC helped supervise the students and move them from station to station.
As STEAM learning becomes more prevalent, MakerLab at Two Rivers Gallery is proud to be one of the core members of the Prince George Hub of North America’s Symbiosis STEAM Ecosystem and looks forward to develop more opportunities for STEAM education.