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Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology brings “Maker Tour” to New Jersey Students

Touring makerspace group challenges Fair Lawn, NJ middle school students to imagine, innovate and create

Partners with the National Museum, Sandvik, Inc. and Sandvik Coromant, sponsored a hands-on workshops to give students the opportunity to experiment with programming, robots and electronics. Intended to spark the creative process, students created prototypes using Strawbees and Quirkbots, which are Swedish inventions used in education around the world that introduce simple programming and mechatronics into the prototype designs allowing students to try out new ideas.

"We are proud of our continuing partnerships with Sandvik, Inc., which has supported our schools locally through our STEM league competitions and our High School technology laboratory. This newest partnership will provide all of our seventh-graders with an opportunity to see how coding, technology, robotics and design-thinking can be used to solve problems in the local and global communities," said Ron Durso, District Supervisor of Science & Engineering for the Fair Lawn Public Schools.

According to JoAnn Mitchell, Sr. Partner Marketing Specialist at Sandvik Coromant, "The objective of the Maker Tour is to strengthen the confidence and lower the threshold for the students to get started with innovation and problem solving. We have seen that the creative process can be a powerful way to learn with a high intrinsic motivation from the students. Using our hands is key to developing our nervous system and problem-solving skills. What we learn from tinkering, putting things together, taking them apart - investigating real life 3D structures - is helpful to us in almost all aspects of life."

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"We have found a great way to inspire both teachers and students all around Sweden, and we are convinced that it will work equally well internationally. Teachers often have a positive view of digital development but lack the tools to work with this subject in the classroom. The traditional classroom-based method of teaching needs to be complemented with creative, hands-on activities", says Maria Olsson, who is responsible for the project at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm.

Jessica Alm, Head of Sandvik Group Communications, states, "The ability to find the right skills is crucial to the success of our company. We are working in many different ways to inspire an early interest among young people in mathematics, the natural sciences and technology." She continues, "We are a global company, and the Maker Tour gives us the opportunity to demonstrate Sandvik's values and wide-ranging areas of expertise. The Maker Tour has been a great success in Swedish schools, and it'll be great fun to introduce the concept to American students."

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