Kazakhstan’s ‘makers’ explore U.S. technology and innovation


ALMATY (TCA) — Five young Kazakhstani technologists returned from Colorado, where they participated in the U.S. government sponsored “Open World” exchange program that explored the “maker movement” in the United States, the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty said on October 24. The maker movement is a technology-based extension of the do-it-yourself culture, focusing on smart application development, electronics, robotics and 3D printing.  It encourages innovation, creativity and problem-solving through technology as well as promotes collaborative learning in social environments.

The Kazakhstani participants, including the Assistant Coordinator of Makerspace Almaty, the head of new technologies at the Department of Education in Almaty, two managers of KazRobotics, and a science and technology teacher at Nazarbayev Intellectual School, visited ten makerspaces in the greater Denver area, exploring how these spaces promote entrepreneurship, complement formal education and democratize access to technology.  “Makerspaces,” collaborative technology hubs, are opening in most communities in the U.S. and the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan supports three such spaces at American Corners in Almaty, Astana and Ust-Kamenogorsk.  

Makerspace Almaty was launched last year by the U.S. Consulate in Almaty at the American Corner currently based at MOST Youth Entrepreneurship Club. Makerspace Almaty features 3D printers, educational robotics software, and electronics, and provides technology-based training and mentorship in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Mission Kazakhstan supports Makerspaces to promote greater economic diversity, engender entrepreneurship and encourage innovation. We encourage students, promising entrepreneurs, and all Kazakhstanis to take advantage of Makerspace classes, mentoring, equipment, technology and resources, so that they can learn, discover and solve problems instead of simply consuming information,” said Catherine Marsicek, Information Resource Officer at the U.S. Consulate Almaty.

Sergey Kwan