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White House Hosts Maker Faire

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June 19, 2014

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White House Hosts Maker Faire

On Wednesday, President Obama hosted the first White House Maker Faire in conjunction with the National Day of Making 2014. Since 2006, maker faires have been held in cities across the country and around the world to showcase the efforts of makers. Maker faires have become part of a larger “maker movement” that encourages students, inventors and entrepreneurs to take advantage of expanding access to new technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, design software and desktop machine tools that allow individuals to create, design and build their own projects.

“I am committed to helping Americans of all ages bring their ideas to life,” said the president in his official proclamation of the day. “We are supporting an apprenticeship program for modern manufacturing and encouraging startups to build their products here at home. Because science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are essential to invention, we launched a decade-long national effort to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. And we are expanding STEM AmeriCorps so that this summer, 18,000 low-income students will have learning opportunities in these vital fields.” 

The president also announced several new initiatives across the Administration. The Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education will launch a Career and Technical Education Makeover Challenge for the 2014-2015 school year, through which states and local educational agencies can compete to receive technical assistance, professional development, equipment, and/or technology to modernize and upgrade their CTE facilities. The department will provide more information of this initiative in the coming weeks.

The Small Business Administration, utilizing the accelerator competition grant program, will encourage communities to include startup accelerators and “maker spaces” for entrepreneurs in their regional entrepreneurship strategies. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is opening outreach spaces for makers in the USPTO’s four new regional offices, as well as developing a customized advice hotline and  “how to” guide on patenting and intellectual property issues for maker entrepreneurs. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will launch two new competitions later this year for community college and secondary students to compete to create commercialization plans and prototypes for existing USDA Agriculture Research Service technologies. 

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