This Week in Informal Stem Education (ISE): Maker Faire Turns 10, Michelle Obama, IMLS

May 22nd, 2015

This week in informal STEM (ISE) education, we highlight the 10 year anniversary of Maker Faire, First Lady Michelle Obama presenting the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the NSF 2015 Video Showcase, and the Association of Children’s Museum Interactivity 2015 Conference.

10 Year Anniversary of Maker Faire

Maker Faire Bay Area celebrated its 10 year anniversary last weekend. The annual event grew from 22,000 visitors in 2006 to more than 150,000 in attendance this year. Additionally, Maker and Mini-Maker Faire’s continue to pop up around the globe with the inaugural US National Maker Faire occurring next month. About the early days of Maker Faire, Dale Doherty, founder of Maker Media, told Re/Code “I understood that the makers were the stars. We create a venue and they just bring what they’re doing.”

Michelle Obama presents 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Institute of Museum and Library Services Acting Director Maura Marx presented the 2015 National Medals for Museum and Library Service. In her address, Obama stated, ““The services that you all provide are not luxuries. Just the opposite. Every day your institutions are keeping so many folks in this country from falling through the cracks.” The National Medal is given to museums and libraries that demonstrate exemplary community service through programs, partnership and outreach. 

The NSF 2015 Video Showcase

The NSF 2015 Video Showcase drew to a close last weekend. Though the period for commenting and voting has ended, you can view the recognized videos and discussion on their site. The videos that were contributed by members of each of the resource centers enabled this successful event where cutting edge work was shared across multiple NSF programs and with the public at large.

Association of Children’s Museum Interactivity 2015 Conference

The Association of Children’s Museums annual InterActivity Conference wrapped up in Indianapolis last weekend. This year’s theme was Bringing the World to Children and Families and aimed to focus attention on “the many facets of what it means to a be a children’s museum in a time of increasing connectivity”. Conference sessions highlighted recent strategies in pedagogy, community engagement, and early learning. You can review the active hashtag on Twitter with #IA2015 What are your informal science education news items from this week? Please share them in the comments below. If you have tips and leads for next week’s round-up, send them to us at