In Kids & Family

Brinn Labs maker-space is located on East Stewart Street in Bay View. (PHOTO: Betty Brinn Children's Museum)

Brinn Museum named one of 15 national Designated Making Spaces Hubs

The Betty Brinn Museum was selected as one of 15 organizations in the country to participate as a designated Making Spaces Hub, an innovative program partnership between Google, Maker Ed and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh that supports maker-centered learning in schools and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education.

The Betty Brinn Museum joins other museums, libraries, school districts and community organizations that were chosen to participate as a Making Spaces regional hub. Throughout the nation, the hub institutions partner with schools in their area to help jumpstart and sustain maker education in classrooms through crowdfunding, professional development and community engagement.

The Museum is pleased to announce partnerships with the following schools as a part of the Making Spaces Hub program: Lloyd Barbee Montessori School, Bayside Middle School, Messmer St. Mary, Messmer St. Rose, Clara Mohammed School Inc., Pewaukee Lake Elementary School and Stormonth Elementary School. The Museum's maker educators work out of the organization's new off-site makerspace in Bay View, Brinn Labs, to help guide school educators, curriculum developers, administrators and parents in launching crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for a designated school makerspace, and provide guidance to help educators and facilitators hone their approach to implementing project-based learning. The program also provides access to information for short-term activities as well as open-ended, long-term projects, curriculum samples, examples of facilitation methods and practices, and the pedagogies and values aligned with making.

"Schools are increasingly interested in maker education for all grade levels and in creating makerspaces, but many do not have the resources, training and support they need to get started," said Fern Shupeck, executive director, Betty Brinn Museum. "We are thrilled to combine the Museum's experience and accomplishments in the Maker Movement with the knowledge and support the Making Spaces Hub program offers, and to begin sharing this model with local educators."

The Museum also presents Teacher Studio, a free, professional development event series, held at the Brinn Labs location, that provides an introduction to resources, training and activities for K-12 educators looking to implement making, makerspaces and STEAM learning. In 2018, the Museum will introduce opportunities for schools, libraries, community organizations and other educational institutions to secure consulting services for STEAM education programming, standards-based lesson plan development, and the creation and growth of makerspaces.

About Brinn Labs

Brinn Labs is the Betty Brinn Museum's off-site makerspace, located at 433 E. Stewart St. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood. Brinn Labs features classes for teens and adults, professional development training programs for teaching project-based learning in the classroom, and is the headquarters for Maker Faire Milwaukee, the Museum's free, annual event presented in partnership with the Milwaukee Makerspace.

About the Betty Brinn Children's Museum

The Betty Brinn Children's Museum serves more than 240,000 people annually. The Museum's Maker Initiative was established in 2013 to expand the organization's core learning-by-doing mission to the larger community through year-round maker programs at the Museum, community outreach, the annual presentation of Maker Faire® Milwaukee and the establishment of its off-site maker hub, Brinn Labs, in 2018. The Maker Initiative represents a critical investment in education, and in Milwaukee's long-term economic and workforce development.

In addition to Brinn Labs, the Museum's Maker Initiatives include:

  • The Be A Maker Teacher Studio, a free, year-round workshop series for educators presented in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, with generous support from Rockwell Automation;
  • An 800-square foot Be A Maker Space that offers daily open making sessions, and workshops and events to Museum visitors;
  • Maker field trip programs that meet national academic standards and developmental milestones for early learners and community partnerships that bring maker programs to high-needs communities;
  • Maker Faire Milwaukee, the largest FREE admission Faire in the United States;
  • Local, regional and national affiliations that raise awareness about the Maker Movement, including serving as the Wisconsin Ambassador to the Nation of Makers Initiative, participation in the Global Maker Faire Producers Group, collaborations with peer institutions including the New York Hall of Science and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to develop model educator training programs, and membership in the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the Association of Children's Museums;
  • Education research, including two outcomes studies of maker field trip programs conducted in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University; and
  • Designation in 2017 as a Google Making Spaces Hub institution. Making Spaces aims to develop a national strategy to sustainably integrate making into schools. The program employs an innovative model by providing schools with maker education expertise from a nearby museum, library, school district or community organization, known as a "hub." There are 15 hubs across the country, and each hub collaborates with 5-10 schools to help them launch crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for their makerspaces, and provides guidance to help each school hone their approach to implementing maker education.

For more information, please visit brinnlabs.org or call (414) 291-0221.


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