LAST November 24, Xavier Ateneo Junior High School held their third School Maker Faire activity. The Maker Faire activity has been described as the “greatest show (and tell) on Earth – a family friendly festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness and a celebration of the maker movement.”
Being the first in Mindanao to participate in the first worldwide run last 2016, Xavier Ateneo Junior High School continues to establish its mark in being the forerunner and leader of innovation and technology in education as they are also considered as the first to have been awarded as a Microsoft Showcase School in Mindanao.
Dr. Dulce Dawang, Vice President for Basic Education of Xavier Ateneo, shared in her opening remarks that our type of education has at times, “put students in a box.” As such, she said that the educational system has somehow curtailed the creativity and innovation of learners. Therefore, Dr. Dawang saw this event as an opportunity to unleash the creativity within the students. In the process, students become more reliant and educated enough to help themselves and others.
The power of collaboration
This year’s Maker Faire has been possible because of the partner organizations and makers coming from a wide variety of fields. One of the invited organization for this year’s Maker Faire is the Ateneo Outdoor Recreation Society. Their president, Mr. Carlos Valencia provided a knot tying workshop to the participants, which he explained is crucial especially for climbers like him. But more than climbing, their organization is committed to preserve the environment. He said, “our organization does not only aim to climb a lot of mountains but also let our members appreciate the beauty of the environment since it is in appreciating that we learn to love and protect it.”
Other notable workshops given are the limestone dust mosaic by Mr. Danilo Samaniego of JSL Educational Resource, Misfit Organization, an advertising and art company who provided a photoshop and digital art workshop and basic figure drawing workshop, the Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro provided a cooking demo or various dishes, Calligraphy workshop by select XUJHS students and Xavier University – School of Education Interns, Ms. Marianne Grace Danuco, an XUJHS teacher provided a basic Thai language workshop, Minecraft Hour of Code by Ms. Lea Lilibeth Emata, Asst. Principal for Academics for XUJHS just to name some.
Various prototypes, exhibits and inventions were also presented by the students of XUJHS applying their skills in their Science and Robotic subjects. Amazing inventions such as the sensor operated trash can and the bicycle powered charger caught the attention of the participants. But the stories behind their inventions are equally interesting and inspiring as the makers shared how their ideas came alive.
Consistent participants to the Maker Faire are The Xavier Ateneo Students from the College of Agriculture agricultural technologies and their products hoping to ignite the passion of the youth to work for the Agricultural sector as expressed by the Agriculture Prime Minister Ms. Philline Marie Felicida. Robogals, which is an international student-run organization that aims to inspire young women to consider studying engineering and STEM sees the Maker Faire as a platform to share not just their tangible products but their advocacies.
But the Maker Faire is not just an opportunity to exhibit prototypes and inventions, it was also a day where talents of the XUJHS student body were celebrated from dance showdowns, band presentations, and cultural numbers. Truly, it was an event that all types of makers converged in with the aspiration to inspire and collaborate, to create and share, and to learn and innovate.
Learning for and with others
The Maker Faire activity acknowledges that making is something that is uniquely human and at the heart of the Maker Movement is the understanding that making is not just for one’s personal gain but a commitment towards helping others. Staying true to the brand of a Jesuit Institution of being men and women for others, this event is not only an activity that showcased inventions and creations, but rather an opportunity for collaboration, outreach and service.
The Tulong-Dunong partner public elementary school pupils and teachers joined the event with their students being exposed to various activities helping them see the beauty and fun creations of the students and various groups and their teachers being given free Microsoft Training by the school’s Microsoft Education Ambassadors of XUJHS. Tulong-Dunong is an established service learning program of Xavier Ateneo Junior High School and it created a stable platform for forming students and creating avenues where the public and private schools collaborate for quality education.
Moreover, same experiences were given to the teachers and students from the various Jesuit Bukidnon Mission Schools participated in this event through the strong support coming from the Parents Students Teachers Auxiliary Group of the Xavier Ateneo Junior High School. Believing that quality education should be brought to the peripheries, the organizers of the event made sure that this event is not just an opportunity to showcase the innovative creations of the participants but also an opportunity to reach out.
One of the stars of the event: The 3D Printer
Joseph Philip Fernan Gaston, a student-volunteer of the American Corner of Xavier University shared to the students and guests a demonstration of the 3D printer, which is a machine that facilitates the creation of three-dimensional object prototype of the creative ideas of innovators.
He said that “more than a hobby it is his passion to share the beauty of the 3D Printer.” As a Mechanical Engineer, he said that this “new technology gives an edge to makers and innovators in creating things really quick”, which becomes taxing using the regular strategies and approaches. “I enjoyed the curious faces of the students and their openness to learn new things since these are essential in creating a community of innovators and makers.”
Moving forward, the American Corner sees their mission to create a more knowledgeable society about the available machines and resources that could facilitate the creation of the brilliant ideas of the students. Likewise, Ms. Estrella Cabudoy, Director of the Xavier Ateneo Libraries, mentioned that it has been a joy to make collaborative activities with the United States of American Embassy, especially with their desire in creating an atmosphere for inclusive education as they bring resources to all learners.
Consistent with the aims of the Maker Faire, this event has truly been a platform that allowed makers come together to learn, share, make and collaborate with each other. With a world continuously changing and evolving, this day has proven the need to push our education to allow learners to venture into creating, making, inventing and exploring. The opportunity to make education relevant is on our finger tips. But it starts by recognizing that everyone has the potential to make and that everyone has the responsibility to nurture creativity, innovation and imagination.