I traveled to California this week to assist with the very hard step of moving out of the Maker Ed Community Studio.
My reminiscing began as the Uber approached the Victorian house nestled on a quiet street in Berkeley. I began to reflect on the journey over the last ten years that brought me to this organization and place, Maker Ed and the Studio.
The launch of Maker Ed in 2012, brought together the most passionate network of creative educators, dedicated to honing their craft and building a movement to bring joy to learning. As a board member, not only did I have a front-row seat, but in true maker style became part of the group. A full calendar of Maker Faires, SXSW, CGI, convenings, workshops, forums, meet-ups, Zoom calls and more.
There are far too many fond memories and meaningful experiences to share, but here are just a few.
Making Spaces, a CGI commitment in 2013, resulted in 36 regional hubs that work with over 200 schools across the country. The Cognizant 2017 sponsorship of the Boy Scout Jamboree to build a 5400 square foot maker space that awarded over 4000 badges that never would have happened without the expertise and partnership of Maker Ed. The Maker Ed stage at Maker Faires were standing room only as teachers sought tips and tools of the trade. The annual Convenings provided a heavy dose of information, best practices, demonstrations, and INSPIRATION.
In 2018, Maker Ed Community Studio became the heart and soul of the organization and a sought-after workshop destination. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of a teacher’s classroom after they returned from their studio experience with renewed spirit and dedication. The staff of Maker Ed made it happen for everyone, every time. The culture, care, and practice were a complete package. In 2020 when COVID turned the world upside down, Maker Ed stepped up to produce virtual real-time projects to address the needs of isolated learners. Week in and out students, teachers and parents tuned in for the latest episode. In the same year, when the streets became a hotbed for social unrest, Maker Ed deepened their commitment to integrating culturally responsive practices to ensure equity in learning environments.
Over the years the relationships, partnerships, true friendships, and collaborations reached across all stakeholders in the making communities and beyond. The connections that have been made are for a lifetime, and the shared experiences will have lasting benefits. I thank you for giving kids confidence, agency, and curiosity. I thank you for guiding teachers and helping them shift their practices. I thank you for recruiting the most dynamic hard-working team. I thank you for instilling a love for life-long learning in all who came into contact with you.
I am truly inspired, and it has been my privilege to serve on the Board.
Vice-Chair Maker Ed