Young Makers 2015: Welcome our Regional Coordinators!

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The Young Makers program is off to a new and exciting start this 2015 season!

In the Bay Area, we have partnered with three fantastic organizations and key staff members within each organization to help reach more Young Makers, coordinate cohesive and exciting regional gatherings throughout the season, and bring together new and veteran communities, all in the name of making. As in years past, the culminating showcase event will be the Maker Faire Bay Area, which takes place on May 16-17 this year. In 2014, over 275 youth brought their projects and prototypes to share with the Maker Faire audience, inspiring others with their incredible ideas and work.

In the South Bay, our Regional Coordinator hails from the growing and popular TechGYRLS program of the YWCA Silicon Valley. Sam King, who serves as Chief Maker and Community Innovation Director in the Department of Education and Empowerment, leads these efforts, bringing maker approaches and open-ended opportunities to middle and high school girls in 10 underserved San Jose schools. We expect upwards of 200 TechGYRLS to be exhibiting their rainbow-colored passions this May!

For the San Francisco and North Bay area, our Regional Coordinator draws from her deep experiences as both the Bay Area Network Coordinator for the Adobe Youth Voices Program, as well as the Bay Area Director of Educator Associates for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Lauren Taylor, of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), will help lead and coordinate efforts across the city (and across the Golden Gate Bridge!) to bring together multiple strands and youth opportunities in art & media production, science and engineering, and making.

In the East Bay (and beyond), our Regional Coordinator is Jennifer Diaz, who is a Program Coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Northern California. We are delighted to have Jennifer bridge efforts in this broad community and introduce new ways for youth to express their interests and voices. Maker Ed has collaborated with Girl Scouts of the USA in the past to create a booklet called Get Making with Get Moving!

With the talents of these three Regional Coordinators, we hope that Young Makers will continue successfully — and deepen its impact — in the greater Bay Area. We have a full spread of exciting events and gatherings, including an upcoming professional development workshop for mentors, in March, April, and May. For more information, check out our website and Maker Ed’s social media feeds for constant updates. As always, we are excited to welcome new clubs and new makers to the fold, so feel free to join our adventures!

In the upcoming months, we will also be announcing a new pilot program for Young Makers outside of the Bay Area, utilizing our efforts here to model its engagement in a new community.

The Young Makers program is made possible with the generous support of Google and Oracle. We are also thankful for the continued relationships with such wonderful institutions as Lighthouse Community Charter School, the Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science, The Tech Museum of Innovation, Pixar, and Maker Media.

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