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Motlow's Billy Hix instructs Lincoln County Teachers in Maker Faire session

Sept. 1, 2014

Billy Hix, associate professor of education at Motlow College and director of the Motlow STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, recently contributed to the Lincoln County school system's adoption of the national "Maker Faire" campaign.

Billy Hix, associate professor of education at Motlow College and the director of the Motlow STEM program, recently contributed to the Lincoln County school system's adoption of the "Maker Faire" campaign, a new approach that encourages creativity and a do-it-yourself approach to education and learning.
According to Hix, Maker Faire is a new educational movement currently taking place in schools all across the United States. It has been inspired by research and the best-selling book "The Art of Tinkering" by Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich.

Several cities across the nation have recently introduced the new approach with "Maker Faires", which are events that encourage creativity and a do-it-yourself approach to education and learning.

"Teachers or students are taught and encouraged to create, discover and build," said Hix. "Many researchers feel that with so much standardize testing, students have become nothing more than memorizers of facts.

"I want to allow students to create, discover and more importantly, to fail," added Hix. "Much of the Maker Faire process is just the engineering design cycle broken down in a process for students and teachers to understand."

Teachers involved in the session had one hour to research and understand the principals of rocketry; having to demonstrate how the center of mass versus the center of gravity impacts the flight of a rocket, build a rocket out of scrap materials, and launch their design.

"I applaud the Lincoln County school system for seeing the importance of such a program and encouraging their teachers and students to understand how lessons like these impact the way that students see the world around them," said Hix.

In addition to being the director of the Motlow STEM program, Hix has conducted education programs for students and teachers across the United States for Motlow, NASA and the Space Foundation.