Starting to offer maker opportunities to students can feel overwhelming. And, finding the right tools for students to use can be confusing. There are so many options out there and most of the materials...
I have always been in love with learning. I crave the amazement and satisfaction that come from the revelation of new knowledge and perspectives. I didn’t really understand this until I was in college and was able to choose my courses and paths to learning. Because of this passion, I became a teacher. I wanted to spark the same interest for learning in my students. Teaching was overwhelming. It was frustrating. It was also incredibly fun and rewarding. I taught in classrooms for five years (3 ½ in sixth grade). When I started, I was focused on following the curriculum that was passed down to me and making sure I was “doing it right.” The longer I taught, however, I found that students were more engaged and curious when we veered off in directions that were relevant and interesting to them. It was when I gave them time to discover their own conclusions that sparked the love of learning in them that I found myself.
When I moved out of state a few years ago, I decided to pursue museum education and became an educator at a local science center. This is how I became passionate about maker education/STEM/STEAM/PBL. The organization emphasized discovery through hands-on learning and it triggered my interest in learning through experience. I loved seeing the excitement and engagement that occurred when I facilitated prototyping and experimenting rather than lecturing and leading them down a narrow path of exploration and content.
I believe our job as educators is to spark student curiosity, and guide students to help them discover their own unique passions.
Over the years I have gotten the opportunity to work in a variety of positions in schools and museums. I have written curriculum, led summer camps, taught preschool through eighth graders, and run education programs like Girls in STEM. I love working with educators who want to empower and engage their students in learning.