Following its preliminary activities in Science Literacy, NIDA has received expressions of interest to explore the potential of including science in makerspaces in pursuit of sustainable development. This is not a new idea - the International Centre for Theoretical Physics/Third World Academy of Sciences (ICTP/TWAS) has been hosting workshops and facilitating Scientific FabLabs since 2014 and there are many national efforts already underway, such as those in Nepal, which joined the maker movement with a Mini Maker Faire in September 2016 and involved scientists to help their people rebuild their lives, homes and livelihoods following the 2015 earthquakes.
Learning through makerspaces empowers citizens and students, helping them to shift from being passive consumers of information and knowledge towards becoming active creators and innovators.
What role could a small organisation like NIDA usefully play? The first responses suggest that this could involve:
The next activity in NIDA’s‘ connectwithscience’ programme with developing countries is to collect examples of recent or ongoing makerspace initiatives in the area of science, that have been shown to meet their objectives. We are especially seeking actions which have the potential to be adapted for a range of different cultures and contexts.
If you know of additional innovative initiatives we invite you to provide examples using our template form: