Create Make Learn Summer Institute
Kicks off at Generator
There has been a lot of foot traffic, excitement, and LEARNING at Generator. Generator member, Lucie deLaBruere, has a mission to change the landscape of learning in today’s schools to include more hands-on minds-on learnings. Trends in maker-education provide the perfect opportunity for this instructional shift and the Generator provided the perfect place for teachers to experience the shift themselves last week at the Create Make Learn Summer Institute.
Within minutes of arriving, Vermont maker educators, Shannon Walters and Caty Wolfe were helping educators use the tools in their new tool boxes or around the Generator to gear up for the week of making. personalizing their toolboxes with vinyl and laser cut pieces, creating idea journals using power tools to assemble laser cut chipboard covers and more.
Soon Sarah Sutter (maker educator from New American School in Japan) and Wes Fryer (maker educator from Oklahoma City) lead the group of a fun Goosechase as a way to learn more maker-ed terminology and better understand the Generator as a Makerspace.
The morning ended with a warm welcome from Michael Metz and Karen Cornish. The afternoon kicked off a series of over 30 workshops spread across the Generator, Champlain Maker Space, RETN designed to help educators better understand new materials and new processes for helping students learn through creating and making. Throughout the week, educators increased their confidence with circuits and coding, created with cardboard, made movies, cut with CNC routers and laser cutters, and created models for 3D printers.
They were inspired by the work of members hanging in studios as well as conversations and mentoring sessions with mentors from the Generator community including Mel Pulley who demonstrated welding, Ben Colbourn who shared his CNC expertise, Jake Blend who showed up a Raspberry Pi, Jill Dawson sharing her expertise with advanced circuitry, Eric sharing tips on advanced vinyl application, and Jim Shields who lead two laser certification classes.
The concept of Making Community continued, as Generator members learned about finishing 3D prints from Maker Artist Educator Rodney Batschelet and acrylic bending techniques from a strip heater that we made locally and that is now available for Generator members.
By Friday, the group had moved on to Echo Leahy Center where they had a chance to reflect on their learning throughout the week as they planned next steps for their practice as newly empowered maker educators. But the week did not end without a few educators coming back to fill out new membership forms.
The Generator received high marks as a location for this type of powerful learning.
“I loved having the generator as the site. It was awesome to see the generator members projects and be able to talk to them. The additional evening activities were a definite bonus.”
“… the new generator and the Champlain Makerspace are awesome. Great location and facilities!”
“It was inspiring to see what is happening at the Generator, the Champlain College spaces, and at ECHO.”