What is the Innovation Hub™/Tinkering Lab?

The need for making and breaking is the essence of all tinkering labs or innovation hubs. School curriculum  often leaves no room  for free discussion and creative questioning. The  child inside every individual  is waiting to churn out something new and create.Though this concept is in its nascent stage in our country, makerspaces will soon become the need for the future .

What benefits and learning outcomes do the students accrue in the Innovation Hub?

The Innovation Hub provides a space and the freedom of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. It emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world.

The aims of Innovation Hub are to encourage and enable students to:

• enjoy the Innovation and creative process, develop an appreciation of its elegance and power

• develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems

• use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and to solve problems

• develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems

What is the curriculum of a makerspace?

Providing creative time and space for students of all ages to build prototypes, explore questions, and build confidence to tinker, break and make. A typical day at a maker space will include  tinkering with a project, understanding challenges to be solved, designing a solution and implementing or optimizing a prototype of the solution.  Design Thinking, problem-solving and collaborative teamwork with mentors and sharing information with all is also a key part of the tinkering space.

Why should schools and colleges have makerspaces?

Using school space to  create a hub for exploration and tinkering is imperative. These hubs are  creating an environment for design thinking and  future innovators. These hubs can function during school/college hours  or after school/college hours or during weekends.

Is there a government impetus for Tinkering labs or Innovation Hubs?

The National Institution for Transforming India ( NITI) Aayog on May 2016 established the ÀTAL innovation  mission which aims at setting up 500 tinkering labs in schools from grade VI to XII.

What are the outcomes of tinkering labs?

Confident and inquisitive learners with the ability to analyse hypotheses are the outcomes of tinkering labs. Due to the nature of hands on Do It Yourself learning, booking concepts and fundamentals are understood. Outcomes of tinkering labs include: understanding interactions of phenomena, troubleshoot skills to solve challenges encountered, the ability to question previous assumptions or hypotheses and analysis of results.

Of course tinkering labs can lead to creation of very interesting prototypes that can be the first step to different innovations and inventions as well.

What are advantages of tinkering labs?

Tinkering labs  create, inspire and  open doors to limitless possibilities that are generated  through curiosity and the urge to make.  The provide an environment to work with like-minded individuals who believe that they can create anything. This  interaction promotes team culture. Mentors  in such hubs combine manufacturing equipment, experience and know-how with teamwork to enable community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.  Creating projects that generate a  significant national and social impact is a long term advantage of setting up a Tinkering Lab.