Starting a New School Year -- A Lot Going On
Good luck to all those supporting school makerspaces and maker programs
The new school year is underway and it’s a busy time for teachers and families. I wish you the best for a good school year with as much making as possible.
Recently, I visited Jason Farthing in the new Innovation Space at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa. About half of the school was burned down in 2017 in the North Bay wildfires. Among the new buildings on campus is a makerspace, which Jason now runs. This is Jason’s first year at Cardinal Newman and the makerspace is new to students and teachers. I expect them to start breaking it in soon.
Jason has an art background and previously ran a maker lab at charter middle school. He told me that he was inspired by an early issue of Make: magazine to make cigar-box guitars, and he developed a sideline business making them and selling them on Etsy. He even had a band of musicians all playing cigar-box guitars.
There are a few events that I’m working on that I’d like to tell you about.
Make: Education Forum - September 22-23
Godwyn Morris has put together a great program for this year’s Make: Education Forum, a virtual event for practitioners of maker education. On Friday September 22, we will have a series of talks and on Saturday, we’ll have workshops. We will also hold an unconference where educators can meet each other and decide what they’d like to talk about.
Here are a few of the speakers on Friday:
Author and engineer Jasmine Florentine on Teaching Physical Computing through Storytelling. (I interviewed Jasmine here.)
Matt Wettergreen of Rice University on Prioritizing People over Equipment in Makerspaces.
Jinger Zeng on Maker Education around the World.
Richard Lehrer from the Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas on Creating and Using a Problem Bank in Your School.
This just in… at the closing session on Friday, I will have a conversation on Next-gen Maker Education with Kylie Peppler, Professor of Informatics and Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine and Director, Creativity Labs and Co-Director, Connected Learning Lab.
Here are some of the workshops on Saturday:
Noga Elhassid on Cardboard and Paper Motion Mechanisms.
Cecilia Hillway on Making Characters Talk with Micro:Bit.
Carlotta Berry on Robotics for the Streets: An Arduino Workshop
Jaymes Dec on Creative Computing with AI
Maker Faire Bay Area - Student Days
Maker Faire Bay Area is back at a new location on the waterfront at Mare Island in Vallejo in October.
So that more Bay Area students can experience Maker Faire, we have created two student days at Maker Faire on Friday October 13 and 20. Admission is $10 for students and $15 for chaperones. More information here.
Maker Educator Happy Hour - September 28
Save the date. Join us September 28 at 4pm PT for a Maker Educator Happy Hour. It will be an informal gathering without an agenda other than getting to know each other. I will send out information for joining this Zoom event next week.
Also, if you are a Bay Area Maker Educator, join the Happy Hour to discuss meeting other educators at Maker Faire.
I would like to hear from any maker educator about your goals or challenges for this year. What would help you meet your goals or address your challenges? Write in the comments below or email me (dale at make.co). Good luck with the year ahead!
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