Mayor encourages Maker Movement to become part of classroom


ROCKFORD, Nov. 6, 2014 — Mayor Larry Morrissey spoke to nearly 90 business and community leaders today, sharing his vision to strengthen Rockford’s economy with the enthusiasm, drive and creativity found in local entrepreneurs.

The speech was sponsored by Bergstrom, Inc. and is part of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council’s coffee talk series.

As a departure from the informal early morning meetings typically given at a business, this month’s talk was held at the Nordlof Center’s Sullivan Theater at 118 N. Main in a “Ted Talk” format.

Morrissey articulated his belief that entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged and is a viable tool in the economic redevelopment of the Rockford Region; and that to truly succeed in developing our entrepreneurs, we must begin with integrating the maker movement learning experiences into all levels of the teaching curriculum.

“Rockford was built on entrepreneurs. Historically, the business climate supported these types of independent thinkers and their ideas. Education has changed the way we think about those individuals who want to create or work with their hands, and the road to entrepreneurship is not the natural path to success it once was. The Maker Movement, which is beginning to take a strong hold in technology, can provide the pathway for a student or lifelong learner to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

The mayor challenged the audience to begin to think about integrating lessons learned from the Maker Movement into the daily lives of students at all levels. “Kids in the most rigorous classes are denied the opportunity to have ‘maker’ learning a part of their daily curriculum. Teaching a student to be a ‘maker’ seems to be reserved for the shop class and Gen Ed.”

The talk was taped by Auburn Academy students from Media II class: Spencer Kelley, Wesley Bannister, DeAvonte Pope and Maliya Gilbert. They will work with teacher Natalie Boone and Academy Coach Jay Larson to edit the talk to post at the RAEDC website and elsewhere.

Media coverage: Rockford Register Star.

See a photo gallery at the RAEDC Facebook page.



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