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Remaking Education Awards GREAT Grant

The Grant for Remaking Education through Action Together (GREAT) has been awarded to the University of New Haven for their project “Faculty as Students: Using Makerspaces to Remake Education.” The $15,000 grant will provide an opportunity for 20 faculty members at the University of New Haven to collaborate with the people and resources of MakeHaven, a community makerspace in New Haven. The University of New Haven faculty will also collaborate with peers from Bucknell University who are experienced with hands-on, experiential learning in the college environment.

All attendees of Remaking Education, an event convened by Olin and Emerson Colleges on November 2, 2018, had an opportunity to develop a proposal for the grant. Nearly 250 educators, employers, nonprofit professionals, policymakers, and others passionate about the future of education joined together at Remaking Education to engage in a daylong collaborative event to accelerate change in education.

In addition to hearing personal stories about the power of education, every participant engaged in active hands-on, team-based learning in a series of smaller group sessions.

The participants were eligible to submit a grant proposal that recognized and celebrated a new project by a Remaking Education participant that was bold, collaborative, experimental in nature, and socially, ethically, and culturally aware.

The winning proposal was submitted by Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, chair, Department of Engineering and Applied Science Education, and director, University Makerspace at the University of New Haven. Carnasciali collaborated on the proposal with Margot Vigeant, professor of chemical engineering and faculty coordinator, B-FAB Bucknell Fabrication Workshop, at Bucknell University, and J.R. Logan, executive director, MakeHaven, in New Haven, Connecticut. 

“I am thrilled to receive the GREAT grant. Not only will it enable us to go beyond just informing the faculty about the resources and the equipment in our new University Makerspace,” said Carnasciali, “it is a stepping stone towards promoting faculty implementation of educational practices based on hands-on, authentic, project-based learning.”

She stated that attending the Remaking Education event was a turning point in how she sees her role as director of the campus makerspace. “We must re-envision how we educate students, but we must also re-envision how we onboard faculty.” Carnasciali and her collaborators will incorporate the data collected from the grant-supported activities in their engineering education research. 

Jonathan Adler, associate professor of psychology at Olin College and the faculty director of the Remaking Education event, said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer this grant as one tangible way of using the momentum generated by Remaking Education to foster meaningful change. The stellar projects we have been able to fund are among many other new collaborations, opportunities, and initiatives that would not have emerged without the powerful coming-together at Remaking Education.”

In addition to the primary grant, Remaking Education awarded smaller grants to two additional projects from among the competitive pool of applications.

One awardee was the Lewisburg Children’s Museum, located in central Pennsylvania and serving an economically diverse rural audience. The museum will use the funds to host fabrication workshops to introduce children, teachers, and caregivers to fabrication equipment.

The Foundry Consortium, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also received a grant to survey city residents about their interests in becoming engaged in community programming. The Foundry Consortium is a new nonprofit focusing on the connections between STEM and the arts.