What’s Happening, December 2015

Welcome back to our ongoing series highlighting “What’s Happening” at our Maker VISTA sites. Each blog will quickly introduce what our subsites have been up to during the past month, and include a link for more information.

Maker VISTA is dedicated to eradicating poverty and supports Maker Ed’s mission to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making. Members develop the capacity of subsites by building infrastructure, expanding partnerships, securing resources, organizing maker education training, and linking communities to the maker movement.

To learn more about the Maker VISTA Project, click here.

To learn more our Maker VISTA Members, click here.


rmc cog logo In December, Maker VISTA Montana Manalo brought her illustrative talents to the redesign of Ravenswood Makerspace Collaborative logo.  Montana created an image that was academic, versatile, and memorable in order to reflect the experience of exploring the Ravenswood Makerspaces.  In anticipation of new Tinkerers joining the RMC team,  new equipment, including laser cutters, vinyl cutters, milling machines, and an embroidery machine will be available for use.  Meanwhile, Maker VISTA Victor Aw, began work on a graphical user interface for makerspace usage tracking software which will allow staff to analyze the impact of the makerspace for the community.

sfmsFalcon In December, Maker VISTA Matt Moor partnered with an instructional coach, Toutoule Ntoya of LAEP, to develop a making activity centered on engineering a cardboard structure able to withstand a natural disaster.  This pilot project generated a project guide for educators to use and adapt for future curriculum.  Additionally, Matt helped plan and coordinate SFMS’s first Health and Resource Fair, which allowed him the opportunity to share Maker Education with community members and leaders. This month also included support from Los Angeles County with gardening materials for a making project on erosion. VISTA member Matt also hopes to utilize making through gardening as a positive outlet for SFMS students who face poverty, crime, and gang violence in their community.

sharp - la escuelita - square In December, Maker VISTA Erik Pirmann became a Certified Maker through Lighthouse Community Charter School’s Maker Fellow Program. This certification will support development efforts of La Makerspace by expanding his tools to identify, plan and build resources for the space. Eric also supplied and prepared materials for several La Makerspace projects such as bookmaking.  


Charlotte Lab School

In December, Charlotte Lab VISTA members, Brittany and Colby continued to support educators with integrating Maker Education into existing curriculum.  Projects ranged from creating a sound garden to utilizing paper roller coasters as a way to study math, and even making weather stations from handmade anemometers and other measurement tools.  VISTA members designed a post-project survey and led group discussions to collect feedback and identify promising practices from participating educators , in order to promote replication and inspire adoption of making projects in the classroom.

Mustang logo At the Bethune Middle School Maker Studio, VISTA member Kira Watson promoted National Computer Science Education Week, December 7-11th. Partnering with Code.org and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the Bethune Code Studio hosted coding labs, coding workshops, and Code Dojo-a virtual chat with USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and Computer Science. These activities were designed to spark students’ interest in the computer science and technology fields. Students will continue to have access to computer technology and coding programs in the Maker Studio through June 2015. Learn more here.

Art120Logo - Square Throughout December,  Art 120 has focused primarily on community engagement and their partnership with Howard School. This collaboration allowed for participation in MainX24, a 24 hour party on Main St., during which Art 120 showcased the artwork of Howard School at a gallery event inside their Southside Maker Arts Center. Maker VISTA member Philip Stetson organized and advertised the event. He created a dozen advertising pieces as well as encouraged Howard School students to participate in the event.

Lighthouse Community Charter School For the month of December, Maker VISTA member Cissy Monroe started working with the Creativity Lab team to set up consistent systems for organizing and securing materials for the lab and for classrooms.  She also helped create a professional development session for LCCS teachers.  Maker VISTA member Tobie Irvine, and submitted a proposal for an Empowerment Grant from Agency by Design.  This grant is awarded to schools that promote maker empowerment, especially with sensitivity to design and providing more making opportunities for students. 







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