What does it mean to teach ‘build’ skills at Makers XD?

People learn by doing considerably better than they do by hearing. A build class by nature focuses on making things. Like design classes it follows the tenets of design thinking. Unlike design, these courses exclusively focus on physical application.
Students engage in the design process by iterating through five steps1:
  1. Empathize
  2. Define
  3. Ideate
  4. Prototype
  5. Test
Though prototyping is the most obviously related to a BuildXD class all of these steps together represent the full process of designing and building within our maker space. Practice in each of these steps increases efficacy in later applications.2 Too often education focuses on only one aspect of a more complex process to the detriment of learning and acquisition of skills. The United States has fallen behind in the world in Mathematics and Science. We also no longer produce many of the goods that we consume.  
Product design requires attention to detail, evaluation of procedures as to maximize efficiency
and it develops business acumen.3 All of these skills apply outside of the shop. In addition physical work develops an understanding of metric and standard systems, fractions, and decimals. These are no longer abstract concepts but directly relate to finished product which is demonstrably better if the concepts have been mastered.
BuildXD classes promote and in many ways demand creativity from the students. Creativity is something that is sorely needed in our educational system. It is well known that creativity diminishes as children grow. What is less well known is that there are ways to affect the amount that creativity decreases4.  We at MakersXD have a mission to cultivate creativity wherever we find it and to develop and often redevelop the belief that every human at their core is a maker and an artist.
  1. Lewrick, M., Link, P., Leifer, L. J., & Langensand, N. (2018). The design thinking playbook: Mindful digital transformation of teams, products, services, businesses and ecosystems.
  2. Hammond, M. M., Neff, N. L., Farr, J. L., Schwall, A. R., & Zhao, X. (2011). Predictors of individual-level innovation at work: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
  3. Çeviker-Çınar, Gözde & Mura, Gökhan & Demirbag Kaplan, Melike. (2017). Design Thinking: A New Road Map In Business Education. The Design Journal.
  4. Ohly, Sandra & Plückthun, Laura & Kissel, Dorothea. (2017). Developing Students’ Creative Self-Efficacy Based on Design-Thinking: Evaluation of an Elective University Course. Psychology Learning & Teaching.

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