Many parents of high schoolers are concerned about their children receiving the right skills to succeed in the job market of the future. Forward-thinking 21st century skills such as digital design, fabrication, and prototyping are not normally taught at high schools.
That’s why high schools are redesigning parts of their campus to include a School Fab Lab Makerspace. Stations around the Makerspace include 3D printers, virtual reality, drone programming and operation, laser cutters, and robotics. By learning and practicing these hands-on future skills in the categories of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), other important attributes are developed, like problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and agility.
Insights about this topic were collected from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at the end of January. School Fab Lab summed up some of the essential skills needed for jobs of the future in a brief video.
Seven Must-Have Skills Your Children Should Learn at School So They Can Succeed in the Workplace of the Future:
1 Critical Thinking, Problem Solving: Schools need to teach children to ask questions and think for themselves.
2 Collaboration and Leading by Influence: Teach children to cooperate rather that use top-down authority.
3 Agility and Adaptability: Children need to be constantly re-learning to keep up with a fast-moving environment.
4 Initiative and Entrepreneurialism: Children have to be inspired to become “doers” and innovators.
5 Good Oral and Written Communication: Clear communication is key in the knowledge economy.
6 Accessing and Analyzing Information: Children need to distinguish between the fake and the factual.
7 Curiosity and Imagination: Children should be inquisitive, and creativity should be encouraged.
The future workplace will be fast-moving and will present difficult new challenges. Employees of the future will need to be able to learn new skills quickly and be extremely adaptable. The School Fab Lab Makerspace prepares students, not only with tangible high-end skills, but also for the mindset of the future.
High school principles, teachers, workshop leaders and students have been extremely enthusiastic about the School Fab Lab Makerspace program and integrated curriculum, feeling that it gives their students an advantage in the workplaces of the future.
As background, School Fab Lab Makerspace is a STEAM, project-based, integrated education program. It’s based on the constructionism theory developed by Professor Seymour Papert at MIT Media Lab. It adapts the Fabrication Laboratory (Fab Lab), created by Professor Neil Gershenfeld at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, to fit the needs and requirements of schools.
School Fab Lab Makerspace is an initiative of Fab Lab Connect. One attractive advancement at Fab Lab Connect is the development of the “School Fab Lab AR” app. Using Augmented Reality (AR), the app allows you to add a Makerspace at your school, allowing you to see what the area will look like before any furniture is moved at all! The various stations can be placed around the room so you can visualize and move machines around deciding where they will work out best. It’s like AR-squared: using AR to visualize a space to teach and use AR!