An introduction and an Invitation
August 22, 2012, by Steve Davee
It’s a privilege and a thrill to be announcing my role on the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) team as the Blog and Video Coordinator. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and invite your ideas and suggestions for what you’d like to see on the Maker Ed blog.
My new role builds upon my documentation and teaching experience in education, and on the joy I’ve had over many years of making connections and meeting folks in various maker and educational communities. Most of all, I get help build a community that shares a common understanding of the value of making in education.
A bit about my background
A student’s view of my documentation role Opal Students Design and build planter boxes in math A few Colab Tinkering Camp projects
For the last 8 years I have been a math and science teacher and documentation specialist at Opal School and the Center for Learning at the Portland Children’s Museum. I’ve had the great pleasure of working with students and colleagues on integrating design and collaborative project work in every subject area. Many projects came out of questions and challenges posed by real- world problems. As a Documentation Specialist, I was lucky enough to regularly capture the incredible work, thinking and capabilities of children through photography, video, and audio. Sharing this work through presentations, publications and professional development also allowed for constant reflection on the work and collaboration with other educators.
I have run my own tinkering camps and workshops over the past few years, which further illuminated the importance of play and the power of providing time, space and materials for open- ended tinkering. Collaborating with, and documenting, other schools and camps such as Tinkering School and Tinker Camp has shown me even more about the variety of successful approaches to project work, and the varieties of roles adults can play in facilitating the best possible making experiences.
Prior to working at Opal, I worked in Biomedical research at the University of Arizona and for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Throughout college and my academic science career, I acquired a wide variety of work and volunteer experience with kids. I volunteered for science camps and in children’s hospitals, coached Odyssey of the Mind and Destination Imagination teams, and taught rock climbing for kids and adults.
In all of these educational environments I’ve seen the tremendous benefits of integrating art and science, the creative and the technical. I’ve witnessed the great success that making experiences in education brings. I’ve seen authentic challenges and constructivist approaches help students become confident problem solvers, enthusiastic about learning, curious, and self-motivated. The experience of making things builds character, academic success and responsible, productive citizens.
The Maker Education Initiative blog will feature stories about young makers
The goal of this blog is to tell real-world stories about the kinds of making experiences that are created by and for students. We’d love to share your stories. We want to help you share your work, and the work of your students and children, your experiences with making in education, and your questions and insights.
I’d like to personally welcome your stories and feedback, and invite contributions. I can be reached at [email protected]
Every child is a maker. Let’s ensure that they get the chance to fulfill this intrinsic truth. Together, let’s inspire and build amazing things, and build a network of support and resources, inspiration and collaborations. Let’s help create opportunities for more children to become makers.
Here’s to the Future!