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Building and Managing Makerspaces in Extension

As traditional face-to-face Extension office interactions decrease in favor of online dissemination, the makerspace creates an authentic engagement for Extension and the community. Makerspaces create opportunities for learners to make and learn from each other in a cooperative learning environment. Extension has an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge of the land-grant educator and volunteer network to participate in a meaningful way. Creating and supporting makerspaces will increase the visibility of Extension and deliver content to a new audience. This effort will assist Extension in staying relevant in the 21st century.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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