Making in the early years - The MakEY project
The exhibition outlines work produced by children as part of the project ‘Makerspaces in the early years: Enhancing digital literacy and creativity’ (MakEY). This is an EU-funded project that involved researchers in six European countries and the USA. The project involved exploring the value of makerspaces for young children's learning. These are spaces in which users could tinker, hack and make using a variety of tools, including new technologies such as 3D printers. The project involved a collaboration between researchers, makerspace staff, artists, teachers and library and museum educators, working together to offer children inspirational and creative maker activities.
The Sheffield-MakEY project has involved four educational settings – Broomhall Nursery School, Clifford Church of England Primary School, Monteney Primary School and Norfolk Community Primary School - working alongside researchers from the University of Sheffield’s School of Education and Department of Urban Studies and Planning, long with artists and staff from ignite Imaginations and Makers. In the exhibition, you can view the children's work and find out about the potential value of makerspaces for early years education.
On completion of the school projects, it was clear to all those involved that the makerspace activities enabled the children to:
learn new knowledge and information about the world, and enhance knowledge and understanding in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects;
express their imagination and enhance their language skills through engagement in stories, theatre and poetry;
develop their creativity through a range of arts activities;
acquire a range of skills in the use of technologies, including digital film-making, 3D model-making and 3D printing. This work will be used to develop material and guidance for schools, libraries and museums that wish to offer makerspaces -