The Enable Alliance advocates for lifelong learning to advance the quality and integrity of the service in the community, and to promote the e-NABLE community’s sustainability and resilience.
It brokers collaboration between:
- Classrooms, libraries, museums, and other organizations who engage in citizen science research and device fabrication, including the Half Hollow Hills Community Library, Fab Lab DC and University of California, Berkley
- Subject matter experts engaged in materials and technology development, engineering and design, including 3D Central and the University of Maryland College Park Technology Advancement Program and Terrapin Works
- IRB approved research teams including the University of West Virginia and University of Washington
- Professionally trained and credentialed volunteers and contractors, including the Ahemdabad Center for the Physically Challenged, and background checks from Verified Volunteers
- NGO staff and volunteers, including Voices of Africa
- Artists, museums and galleries, including the British Museum
SUNY Polytechnic Institute Enable Living Classroom
One of the most innovative project based learning programs is the establishment of the Enable Living Classroom Program at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. A living classroom is an immersive, learning-by-doing experience. Professor Robert Payne rewrote a manufacturing and distribution elective to create a scaled manufacturing plant. A student general manager oversees student departments designated for Marketing, Communication and Help Desk Support, Research and Development, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Information Technology (Inventory and supply line monitoring and request fulfillment). Students transfer their roles, projects and information from one class to the next, building on earlier work and continuing to advance their support for the community with each term.
The Living Classroom will be expanding across institution and discipline in the spring term 2018 as faculty in other departments include students in clinical settings.
A model informal education program actively partnered in the e-NABLE ecosystem is the FIRST Robotics Team 1511, from Penfield High School in Rochester, New York. After winning their Regional Chairman’s Award for gifting e-NABLE a dozen hands, the team held a conference session at the 2017 World Championships in St. Louis. One of the highlights of their presentation was a video from a sister FIRST Robotics team FRC 5951 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Together they called on FIRST teams to learn more about e-NABLE and use their skills to customize and make hands. They also committed to working together to make tutorials videos by youth for youth volunteering in e-NABLE.
Rolling Thunder and other eNABLE volunteers in the Washington, DC area have created e-NABLE collaborations on projects as they shared a day touring at Local Motors, an company at the National Harbor 3D printing road-worthy autonomous vehicles, the 3D printing and bioprinting labs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and visited representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill.
Members of the Team 1511 returned to Washington DC in December 2017 to present a poster and give two presentations at ENABLECON 2017.Leveraging their experiences and training from their FIRST Robotics leadership development and government advocacy training, students offered an advocacy training program for youth in the e-NABLE Community. This was recorded and in 2018 will be developed into training by youth for youth of all ages.
One of Rolling Thunder’s youth leaders began the Enable Youth Volunteers’ Advocacy Group, a team of youth and adult mentors who respond to ideas and issues of youth volunteers in e-NABLE, raise alerts as needed to adult mentors and leaders as needed and help young volunteers share their perspectives at Enable Alliance programs, retreats and conferences.
Other examples of informal education experiences in the e-NABLE community include Scouting summer camps robotics sessions making hands as service based learning and similar activities at makerspaces, museums, makerfaires and art centers. These programs use their perspective and areas of expertise to participate in e-NABLE projects and help their participants generate and share evidence of learning and 21st Century Skills development.
Preparation for Field Experiences
The Enable Alliance will be using distance learning to address service with vulnerable populations and skills to be considered field ready.
Preparation for field experience also may include technical training, such as using mobile connectivity devices or mobile power solutions.
Planning for field experiences in 2018 is underway. It may include opportunities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia/Pacific region and Central and South America.