What influence can Makerspaces have in the mission to prevent students from dropping out of school? That is the central question of the international project 'PROGRAM labs'.
Makerspaces and schools from Belgium, Spain, Lithuania and the Netherlands got together in Kortrijk, BE at the premises VIVES University of Applied Sciences to deliberate ‘How can we use our Makerspace and Fab Labs to combat early school leaving?’
Can Makerspaces play a role in the growing problem of students with symptoms of burn-out like concentration problems, low self-esteem and trouble with performance in general? Within Program Labs a training trajectory will developed to facilitate Makerspaces all over Europe to support these young people. The first step in the process is the identification of what makerspaces already do in this matter, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Questions arose like ‘Who are these young people? What characteristics and behaviour of students can be indicators of an increased risk of dropping out? What kind of programs could resonate with this target group and how do you facilitate and support this? How do you combine this with 'regular' education?’
After the research phase Program Labs will transfer the first findings into a full training week for youth at the M-Lab makerspace in Vilnius, LT in April 2020.
Besides lead partner VIVES, Spes Nostra and Rhizo from Belgium, Friesland College D’Lab and the Learning Hub Friesland Foundation from the Netherlands, Fab Lab Cuenca from Spain and M Lab Vulius from Lithuania participate in the project.