The concept of a Make-a-thon came out of the challenge we faced when we wanted to share the experience of Agile Learning that we were developing with the teachers at Dayton High School and Middle School with other schools in the area.
Our hope was to use Dayton within the context of Positive Deviancy so that it could become a catalyst for a larger transformation of the education ecosystem in Oregon.
At our first meeting of Innovate Yamill Derek Runberg from SparkFun suggested that we create an experience called a Make-a-thon that would bring students, educators and community members together to hack solutions using software and electronics. By doing so, they could begin to understand the core nature of the Agile Leaning experience.
In January of 2016, we held our first Make-a-thon at Chemeketa Community College. We brought 60 participants from around the county, most of whom had never written a line a code or ever worked with a circuit board.
We broke them into multigenerational teams and launched into a three hour bootcamp on coding and circuit design. Right before lunch they were given three challenges to choose from. They had the afternoon to prototype a solution to one of those challenges.
Here is a videos from that first Make-a-thon:
YOUTUBE dLrzDCn6BI8 Yamhill Make-a-thon
We held our next Make-a-thon in October of 2016 in Willamina as part of the launch of the Innovate Willamina initiative. This event was held in their school and, like our first event, brought together 60 co-learners - the youngest being 7 and the oldest being 70.
YOUTUBE xbjJwFELAuU West Valley Make-a-thon
We then realized that we had never done a Make-a-thon for the Dayton community, so we then held an event back in the Dayton community.
YOUTUBE dWjV1m9qgQA Dayton Make-a-thon
Jami Richardson, who participated in the School Retool program with Jami Fluke, then asked if we could bring a Make-a-thon down to his school La Creole in Dallas.
YOUTUBE j2Vf8QXIhyc Dallas Make-a-thon
We went on to do two Make-a-thon in Central Oregon, before we attempted our largest Make-a-thon yet, with over 300 participants, at the Innovate18 event in March of 2018:
VIMEO 268417575 Innovate18
We are now in the process of setting up a training workshop next fall that will be training up educators from around the state to hold Make-a-thons in their communities.
Please just leave your name on the contact form on the Innovate Oregon website if you would like help holding one in your community.