This profile is the first in a blog series called Meet a Maker, where we’re highlighting the experiences and insights of maker educators in Maker Ed’s programs.
Name: Becca Rose
Maker Ed Program, Site Name & Site Location: Maker Corps, Lighthouse Community Charter School, Oakland
Hometown: San Francisco, via Bristol, UK
Background: Puppetry and Illustration
Quirky Identifier: I like playing with words. Some of my favorites: lovelyjubs (very nice), radunculous (ridiculous), magnarvoulous (magnificent + marvelous!).
Q&A with Becca
What is your earliest memory of making something?
I’ve been tinkering with paper for as long as I can remember. One project I was particularly proud of as a kid was a life size human skeleton made from only folded cardboard and split-pins. It was from in a kit that I got for my 9th birthday, and I put it together with my dad over a weekend. I took it into school on Monday and they used it as their classroom skeleton model for the rest of the time I was at the school (and perhaps longer).
What aspect of making excites you the most?
Ah, this is a hard one! I can’t really say what excites me the most, as I find so many aspects of making very exciting! When I am making things with my hands I am in my element––it feels very right, I am at my happiest, and time just flies by! I also really love it when young people encounter a similar experience with making. It brings me hope.
What is your favorite making project and/or tool at the moment?
I am totally excited (and somewhat obsessed?) with making light dance at the moment! I suppose that light is the “material”, and I am exploring ways to make it move, make it cast shadow, and make it interactive. I use tiny surface mount LEDs that can fit inside books, and explore ways to animate shadowy worlds in books.
What is the most positive experience you’ve had so far in your program?
One of the middle-schoolers (who is several years younger than the rest of the summer camp group) has been a joy to work with over the past few weeks. She is generally quite shy, but last week she was working with older students to make an animation, and confidently directed her seniors (who were almost twice her height) to create the animation. It was really great to see her gain in confidence and realize her vision.
If you could give one piece of advice to other educators, what would it be?
Focus on the good bits: notice good work students make and reward it with praise. It sounds so simple, but sometimes there is so much going on in teaching, that you may overlook the smaller achievements students are making. This advice was given to me by Aaron Vanderwerff at the Creativity Lab, and has really helped with the classes I have that struggle to focus.
BONUS QUESTION: If you could be in the movie of your choice, what movie would you choose and what character would you play?
The French director / animator Michel Gondry has a wonderfully playful approach to filmmaking. His films combine live action and animation with intricately crafted cardboard sets, and they are very inspiring (especially because of the handmade aesthetic). I’d love to
perform animate make on one of Gondry’s films, I think it would be a lot of fun!