Despite their tuxedoed appearance, penguins aren’t always well mannered. In the aftermath of one particular penguin scuffle among endangered African Penguins at Mystic Aquarium, Yellow/Purple (AKA “Purps”) was found to have a nonfunctional flexor tendon in her ankle. Much like an injury to a person’s Achilles heel, damage to a penguin’s flexor tendon leads to pain and difficulty in motion.
Once Purps’ injury was identified, the veterinary staff at Mystic Aquarium took action with a handmade boot to immobilize, protect and support the damaged foot. Yet the animal care team knew more modern solutions were available that would not only be more durable and less cumbersome for the small bird, but also require less time than handcrafting the boot. Mystic Aquarium’s Chief Clinical Veterinarian, Dr. Jen Flower, proposed 3D printing.
The highly-regarded Brookings Institute recently published a compelling article by Senior Fellow, Mark Munro, " The Skills Supply Chain Must Change as Software Eats the World," about the changing face of workforce development. The article illuminates the recent evolution of "digitization," as well as exploring "a variety of training-system responses to the talent needs of industry."
The impacts of software exist hand-in-hand with those of hardware, and they are long-term, so they require meaningful consideration by executives, educators and workers. Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing's Dennis Dio Parker addresses Toyota’s interest in having factory floor worker engaged with a particular "'technical core' of professional competencies, including in electronics, robotics controls, circuitry, and digital learning. 'We have to focus in detail on exactly what’s needed in talent coming into the company and whether potential workers have it,' said Parker. 'I will say we are having a difficult time procuring the talent we need because, first, there’s not enough of it now and second, we need that talent to be more talented, with more specific skills.'”
We've been hearing a lot about the Maker Movement recently. But what is the Maker Movement? Adweek hits it on the head:
The maker movement, as we know, is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. A convergence of computer hackers and traditional artisans, the niche is established enough to have its own magazine, Make, as well as hands-on Maker Faires that are catnip for DIYers who used to toil in solitude. Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in–China merchandise.
In other words, the Maker Movement is home to the do-ers, the inventors, the designers of our generation. The people who use creativity to create and do.
Makers benefit from a space that has the tools to spur their creativity - whether it's a Fab Lab or a Makerspace - this space is designed to give people the tools to "figure it out." Most are filled with the tools of the trade, from 3D printers, lasers, robotics, and more. These people are looking for efficiencies, and driving creators and manufacturers forward with new innovation.
Have you developed or used a Makerspace? What makes a successful Makerspace? Share your tips in the comments section.
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