Setting the scene

Creating the right environment for creativity

As the facilitator of the Makeathon, you play a critical role in setting the tone and atmosphere for creativity and innovation. Since the role of the facilitator is to guide the students through the process, rather than simply to stand up in front and tell them things, creating the right context for that learning to happen is one of the most important things you can do.

Here are some ways you can create a positive and supportive environment that encourages participants to be creative and innovative:

  1. Set clear expectations: Make sure that participants have clarity regarding the goals of the Makeathon, the timeline, and the judging criteria. This can help to create a sense of structure and clarity that encourages participants to be focused and productive.

  2. Create a positive atmosphere: Create a positive and supportive atmosphere by being enthusiastic and encouraging towards participants. Offer ways that their work might be improved and set high expectations, but also remember to celebrate any small successes and progress made towards the goals of the Makeathon.

  3. Celebrate diversity: Make a point of highlighting the benefits of diversity of perspectives that the different participants can bring. Asking students about something that people might not know about them, or a surprising thing that they know a lot about can be one way of approaching this.

  4. Encourage risk-taking: Encourage participants to take risks and try new things. Let them know that failure is an important part of the innovation process and that it's okay to make mistakes.

  5. Celebrate creativity: Celebrate and recognise creativity and innovation throughout the Makeathon. Highlight interesting ideas and unique approaches, and encourage participants to share their work with the group.

  6. Emphasise collaboration: Emphasise the importance of collaboration and teamwork throughout the Makeathon. Encourage participants to share ideas and work together to solve problems.

  7. Provide mentorship: Provide mentorship and support to participants throughout the Makeathon. This can include one-on-one coaching, group feedback and informal conversations.

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