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Amazing placement experiences from our BA Level 2 students:

Congratulations! Two of our current BA Level 2 students from the School of Education have just finished their placement at Maker{Futures}. We asked them to share their placement experience with us:

What is Maker{Futures}?

Maker{Futures} is an ambitious programme from the School of Education which is led by Dr Alison Buxton to support schools, libraries, museums, early years and community settings to develop their makerspace provision. It supports practitioners to set up makerspaces or run maker sessions in a range of spaces, providing playful and creative ways to develop digital and STEM skills through a STEAM approach that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the arts.

Current BA students’ experience sharing:

1. How did you find this placement?

Lin Zhuo: I found information about Maker{Futures} through the School of Education and it’s Placement Officer. I browsed the Maker{Futures} website and found out that they develop children’s creative thinking through various activities such as video games, robots, and crafts.

Zitong Cai: The School of Education offers us plenty of placement opportunities that we can choose from. I found the Maker{Futures} placement from our placement opportunities list, and I also visited their website to get more information about it. I submitted my CV and Cover letter to apply for the placement.

2. Why do you want to do the placement?

Lin Zhuo: I thought it was much more interesting than regular teaching and it was an area I had never been exposed to before, so I chose this placement to open my mind and develop my practice skills.

Zitong Cai: Our department allows us to choose a desk study or live placement for at least 70 hours within 2 months. I chose the live placement because I would like to get more experience working closely with children, teachers and parents for developing my skills in teaching practices, the viewpoint of teaching phenomenon and language skills. Maker{Futures} is the programme I noticed last year. I am interested in it as it allows students to do the activities by themselves using the materials available from Maker{Futures}.

3. What is your role in the placement?

Lin Zhuo: My role is similar to that of an assistant teacher, I mainly accompany the children through the activities but don’t actively involve myself in them and only explain when they are struggling.

Zitong Cai: My role is to support children and families to access a wide range of activities including electronics, woodwork, robotics and digital creativity when they are making. We always encourage children to try at least four activities which include electronics, robotics, cardboard construction, digital creativity, woodwork and coding.

4. What skills have you got from this placement?

Lin Zhuo: Through this placement, I think I have developed communication skills and seen what maker education is all about, it has been a great experience.

Zitong Cai: During this placement experience, I learned a lot about teaching practices and my language skills are also improved by working with native-English speakers, including my mentors, children and parents. I learned a lot about how to solve problems that arise in the teaching process.

In conclusion, anyone can be a maker, and the skills learned from making are integral for the jobs of the future.

Chenchen Wan, Graduate Intern



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Education Matters

Education Matters

Research at the School of Education, University of Sheffield. For more information about us, visit