Creating an Educational Ecosystem for Design Fabrication and Invention

Amon Millner, Shaundra Bryant Daily


This chapter describes Learn 2 Teach: Teach 2 Learn (L2T:T2L), a program mobilizing teens in their out-of-school time to gain knowledge in technology-rich domains and to create their own ways to share knowledge with their younger peers. The program is examined with a Community of Practice lens to show how participants share understandings of designing with technology amongst themselves and with others in their community. Applying such a lens to this community's evolution from 2003 to 2006 reveals multiple, interconnected Communities of Practice that create an ecosystem for engaging youth with hands-on activities related to emerging technological ideas such as personal fabrication in ways that United States public schools, in the main, have not widely adopted. The focus in this chapter on a Personal Fabrication Community of Practice shows how the signature-approach to teaching and learning in L2T:T2L helps promote creativity and critical thinking within tomorrow's technology innovators.

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