From concept to prototype, MAKEADEMY’s learning resources are ready for the future makers

Friday 22 December 2023

Home » Higher Education and Research » From concept to prototype, MAKEADEMY’s learning resources are ready for the future makers

Can the issues of the modern world be addressed through sustainable and socially conscious approaches? MAKEADEMY was created to answer this question by promoting innovation, critical thinking and a holistic perspective. Central to its mission is the dissemination of the CDIO methodology (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) and the promotion of transdisciplinary learning for engineering students.

The project aimed at democratize educational content, typically confined to specific universities or networks like makerspaces and fablabs, thanks to open educational resources.

In essence, MAKEADEMY strives to elevate technical education by implementing strategies to develop overlooked fundamental skills, embrace interdisciplinary educational methodologies, and make innovative programs accessible to a wider audience of interested students.

MAKEADEMY programme was tested during the Summer School at Link Menu Fabrika of Vilnius Tech for two weeks in July – August 2023 and proved to be effective in transforming ideas into concrete products. One of the challenges of the summer school was to create a new product using electronic waste.

Five mixed teams of international students created product prototypes. Their creative journey culminated in a pitching event where each team had 7 minutes to present their problem, idea, developed solution, business model, target audience, and the technical efficiency of the prototype they created.

Giulia, one of the students who participated in the summer school, tells us in this video about her experience and the skills she has developed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkJ6RGSb9P8.

The MAKEADEMY program is made up of a series of resources designed to support teachers and educators in offering their students an innovative and interdisciplinary study module. The resources include practical guides and a free e-learning platform.

Available resources: the educators’ guide

The educator’s guide is designed to assist educators in guiding workgroups or university student classes through the entrepreneurial idea development process using the Student Business Idea Development Roadmap.

This guide aids educators in facilitating entrepreneurial idea development, fostering creative thinking, collaboration, and personal skills. The process is deliberately flexible, adaptable to various goals such as commercializing existing research or applications, fostering innovative ideas, or forming robust workgroups. It can range from a 48-hour hackathon to an entire semester of activities, allowing customization based on subject matter or available time. Most methodologies proposed are freely available on the website. Support from educators, facilitators, and mentors throughout the journey is crucial. Mentoring pathways with experts can be activated as needed. The guide has been developed and tested at the Riga Technical University under the IdeaLAB program.

The e-learning platform

As for the MAKEADEMY e-learning platform, this offers a flexible and structured program with two main courses:

  • Creating Innovations: Everything from Idea to Reality: This course focuses on the product development process, offering essential tools and techniques to transform ideas into tangible products. It covers problem identification, idea generation, project management, intellectual property protection, and pitching ideas to investors for funding.
  • Everything about Prototyping: Exploring the maker mindset and comprehensive digital manufacturing technologies, this course provides versatile tools and approaches to prototype innovative real-world solutions. It imparts basic knowledge in product design, digital fabrication, and electronics.

Both courses are structured into 3-5 modules (each worth 1 ECTS credit) and 4-5 chapters. At the end of each chapter, there’s a self-assessment section to reinforce theoretical understanding.

These courses can be taken independently or in a classroom setting, allowing group activities coordinated by an instructor, including the submission of a business idea and presentation during a pitching session.

Multiplier events

In December 2023, the project partners introduced the MAKEADEMY educational resources to both the academic community and interested economic stakeholders. In Palermo, the event occurred on December 18th at the University of Palermo. Teachers and students attended, providing them with the chance to delve into the educational resources and gain insights into a distinctive approach.

The MAKEADEMY platform is open for registration: join us in this innovative learning journey to develop essential skills and transform ideas into reality. Register now to access these enriching courses and unlock your potential for innovation: https://makeademy.eu/e-learning-platform/.

About the project

MAKEADEMY – Makers Academy: Developing Future Engineer’s Skills is financed by EACEA, Erasmus+, KA2: Strategic Partnerships for higher education.

Partners

For further information

Read more about MAKEADEMY, visit the website www.makeademy.eu and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Contact Caterina Impastato: caterina.impastato@cesie.org.

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