Maker culture in Budapest
“No matter what profession you will pursue in future, it is always good to know how technology works”
Since it is always good to also include local practices in seminars we had booked a visit to the local makerspace. We were warmly
received by the Makerspace staff, and the founder, Péter Fuchs. Peter explained the activities available in their makerspace and the pedagogic idea behind them. Like many makerspaces, this one also hinges on offering very practical and non-formal ways to engage young people in technological activities. With these activities they can acquire skills that can be valuable in their lives, no matter what kind of profession they choose to pursue; after all, technology is so prevalent in today’s society that we all come in contact with it every day. One example Peter was highlighting was microcontrollers, which are used to control a variety of connected devices; Peter was explaining how we were interacting with these devices on our way to Makerspace when checking schedules and validating our tickets on the tram, for example.
Our participants were tasked with two kinds of activities; one group was using a design software and a laser cutter to engrave the capitals into wooden map pieces of Europe. The other half of the group was tasked to find 3d-models of famous landmarks in those countries and print them using a 3D-printer. These are both tasks that can work well as an entry point for many of the activities available in a makerspace. The tangible aspect of holding a physical object that you designed and manufactured yourself can be a really strong motivator in these activities, and it bridges the abstract concept of 3d-design into the real world.
The pedagogic approaches used in the makerspace were engaging, and we could imagine how their particular brand of using storytelling and gamification to motivate young learners could motivate them to learn. We hope that these kinds of learning spaces and communities pick up traction also in the youth work field; a trend that is luckily already visible in many places including the Luxembourgish Bee Creative -network and many maker fairs happening around Europe. We would like to see this kind of education be adopted in youth work curriculum even more widely in the future.
This the 3rd post in a series of blog post based on an article that is an outcome of the international seminar ‘Developing digital youth work’. The seminar was hosted between the 12th and 16th of March 2018 in Budapest, Hungary by Tempus Public Foundation – Erasmus+ National Agency in Hungary with the support by Finnish National Agency for Education.
Continue to the 4th blog post ‘Social media for good and for better’ from this series. Start from the 1st blog post ‘Digital youth work developments are taking steps forward’, should you missed the beginning.