About the book

Join the maker movement!

There’s a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education. This book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement to every classroom.

Children are natural tinkerers

Their seminal learning experiences come through direct experience with materials. Digital fabrication, such as 3D printing and physical computing, including Arduino, MaKey MaKey, and Raspberry Pi, expands a child’s toy and toolboxes with new ways to make things and new things to make. For the first time ever, childhood inventions may be printed, programmed or imbued with interactivity. Recycled materials can be brought back to life.

While school traditionally separates art and science, theory and practice, such divisions are artificial. The real world just doesn’t work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game developers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable. The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians. The maker community brings children, hobbyists and professionals together in a glorious celebration of personal expression with a modern flare.

When 3-D printing, precision cutting, microcomputer control, robotics and computer programming become integral to the art studio, auto shop or physics lab, every student needs access to tools, knowledge and problem solving skills. The maker movement not only blurs the artificial boundaries between subject areas, it erases distinctions between art and science while most importantly obliterating the crippling practice of tracking students in academic pursuits or vocational training. There are now multiple pathways to learning what we have always taught and things to do that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Making for every classroom budget

Even if you don’t have access to expensive (but increasingly affordable) hardware, every classroom can become a makerspace where kids and teachers learn together through direct experience with an assortment of high and low-tech materials. The potential range, breadth, power, complexity and beauty of projects has never been greater thanks to the amazing new tools, materials, ingenuity and playfulness you will encounter in this book.

In this practical guide, Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager provide K-12 educators with the how, why, and cool stuff that supports classroom making.


Media Kit

right click to downloadTitle: Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering the Classroom

Authors: Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager, Ph.D.

Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press

ISBN: Print 978-0-9891511-0-8  Kindle 978-0-9891511-1-5

Pages: 252
right click to save

Price: Print – $34.95 US Kindle – $9.95 US (MSRP)

Availability: Worldwide at Amazon.com

Cover image (high res image)

Author high res headshots (download zipped file)

Author bios

Announcement press release (download Word file) (download PDF)

Reviews and quotes about the book


The modern maker movement is placed in a historic educational context.

Constructionism is a learning theory strongly resonant with the maker movement. We look at learning through the lenses of making, tinkering, and engineering.

We explore ways to think about design, the process of invention.

That’s a good question! We have some answers.

What do making and constructionism look like in the classroom?

Making in the classroom is not new; we connect new materials to time-honored learning opportunities.

Three activities of the modern maker movement can revolutionize learning: fabrication, physical computing (robotics, Arduino, etc.), and programming.

You were wondering where the shopping list was!

How to create a learning environment (physical, emotional, and intellectual) that is most conducive to making.

The maker movement is an opportunity for students to become leaders and advocates in their school and community.

Share the fun of making with everyone.

How to convince others that invention, making, and makerspaces belong in your school.

How can teachers learn to do and teach things that didn’t exist when they went to school?

Websites, books, kits, parts, software, online stores, and more to build your maker classroom.

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