What’s Happening, September 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. Maker VISTA members develop the capacity of partner subsites to enact this mission 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 about our Maker VISTA Members, click here.

LargeArt120LogoVista Member Philip Stetson created a very cost effective thank you gift to encourage individual donations to the new Southside Maker Arts Center (SMAC). Philip worked with the Art 120 team to fundraise during the Chattanooga Maker Faire and at the Maker Faire After Party by designing an  insulated cup with the SMAC logo as a thank you gift for every donation of at least $10. The cups were an instant hit, of which Art 120 will continue to use as a donor gift for future events.

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This month at Bethune Middle School, VISTA Member Kira Watson connected students and educators with free resources for a three-day coding workshop that utilized free online computer programming and coding teaching tools such as MIT/Harvard Scratch. To prepare, she researched and acquired general knowledge of computer coding in order to encourage students to explore computer programming/coding. Through these efforts the Kira encouraged students to positively impact their environment, and the technology we use through innovative processes.

Charlotte Lab SchoolAt Charlotte Lab School, VISTA members designed a making activity for first grade students to explore how to create inclined planes. Once VISTA Members outlined material needs for the teacher, they also trained parent volunteers to give student space to explore and struggle with their own ideas about making a slide, even if they appeared to be unsuccessful. Every student eventually built the slides they wanted, from tube slides to looping slides and high slides, even if it took a few iterations. Read more, and see photos of the slides here.

Lighthouse Community Charter SchoolThis month, Lighthouse Community Charter School’s Creativity Lab (LCCS) was featured on KQED’s Mind Shift blog. The article explores how making and self-guided discovery can incubate creativity in schools, and features interviews with Creativity Lab Director, Aaron Vanderwerff. Specific examples from classrooms illustrate how LCCS applies “making” to core curriculum subjects. Read more here.

RavenswoodVISTA Members at Ravenswood City School District have been working to add specific features to their makerspaces. They have created project cards to accompany the Little Bits Library installed at each makerspace out of instruction booklets with suggestions for play. They have also worked over the past few months to build software to log student sessions in the makerspaces, which will make keeping track of the number of students using the makerspace easier. The system out for the first time in a tech elective taking place in the makerspace at Belle Haven School.







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