What’s Happening, October 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.


Mustang logo This past month Bethune Middle School engaged 25 students in S.T.E.A.M Nation, the 4th annual Lights-On-After-School S.T.E.M. Event.  It serves as one of the largest single day events in Los Angeles County celebrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education. The Los Angeles’ community came together to ignite passion for STEM and inspire youth to see themselves as future creators of technology. During the event,  students explored the intersection of S.T.E.A.M. subjects by rotating through interactive learning hubs. They also interacted with true S.T.E.A.M. professionals and explored S.T.E.A.M. related careers.


Lighthouse Community Charter School

The Creativity Lab at Lighthouse Community Charter School uncovered new ways to integrate Maker Education into their curriculum. This development was due to a circuit block project implemented in collaboration with 3rd grade teachers. The great news is that the VISTA Members also published a blog on this project, which can be assessed here.


Charlotte Lab School

VISTA members designed, developed, and launched a brand new blog for Charlotte Lab School. The blog will document and showcase Maker Education in action with its K-8 students.  Visit every Friday for updates on weekly projects taking place at its Maker Lab.



During the past month Art 120 has focused on engagement with its local school communities and partner school students. One of its biggest endeavours was to administer community surveys to understand how students would like to use the new Southside Maker Arts Center (SMAC) for Maker Education initiatives. This engagement, led by VISTA member Philip Stetson, has received over 50 surveys from local schools and spoke with 100 students at the Howard School. Art 120 is excited to offer more making opportunities that are community-inspired in the new SMAC.


la escuelita

La Escuelita Elementary hired its first Maker Space Manager, Rei Jackler. VISTA member Erik Pirmann helped with the process by sharing insights for needs of the Maker Space due to his engagement with teachers and students. Ms. Jackler will also have a jumpstart in the Maker Space as Erik has worked hard in organizing and establishing its initial Maker Education offerings for the La Escuelita community



Los Robles Magnet Academy Makerspace was reorganized, which allowed VISTA Members to begin preparation for volunteers to manage the space. With volunteers onboard, this will increase access for students during non-classroom hours such as the lunch period. In addition, any students who do not currently have classes that utilize the Makerspace will also have the opportunity to experience making. The VISTA members are also leading volunteer recruitment and training to increase the number of active volunteers for the Ravenswood City School District Makerspaces initiative.


sfmsFalcon San Fernando Middle School VISTA Member Matt Moor attended two symposiums in Los Angeles focused on the current state of education for students of color. Speakers included Principal Jose Luis Navarro, who discussed his Social Justice Humanitas Academy and Professor Howard at the Changing the Narrative for Young Men of Color. Attending these sessions, combined with attending smaller lead teacher meetings, has helped provide insight on how to support educators, and how race and ethnicity can affect Maker Education.







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