Starting A Lab

Innovation Literacy and the STEM Monster


by Christa Flores -

Ask…. and ye shall answer your own questions

“I hope to apply a strong focus on place-based making and science while here in Atlanta...I also noticed that this year's research panel was very program and project focused, or more practical in nature. This gives me hope that higher education is stepping up to the plate to support and study best practice around making in community programs in ways it has not in the past.”

The above is a reflection from FabLearn 2016 from a prompt given to the FabLearn fellows by our mentor Sylvia Martinez. How would I apply FabLearn lessons to my new role as a K-8 outreach manager at Georgia Tech within the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC)? CEISMC is a self-contained K-12 STEM education research and design hub that has been around for twenty years. Lately, CEISMC has caught the MakerEd bug and I was hired to bring my experience to their partner K-12 schools wishing to start maker programs or makerspaces. I no longer have a makerspace of my own. I am answering my own call to arms post Fablearn. I have shifted from being a teacher/researcher or makerspace coordinator to a curriculum and learning space co-designer, working with multiple educators in multiple disciplines, at multiple public schools, one in an “up and coming” or gentrified neighborhood, and one within an area of concentrated poverty and segregation. This blog is focused on the latter school.



Rwanda maker interest


by Sylvia Martinez -

Hi Fellows,

A friend of a friend is traveling in Rwanda and posted this on her blog:


Our next stop was to the WE-ACT clinic with Mardge Cohen, an American HIV-AIDS physician, who spends part of her year in Rwanda working at the clinic with about 3500 patients.  What is unique about the clinic is the psychosocial program that treats the whole person, not just the physical.  With a staff of about 40, they do blood tests, distribute medicine and provide counseling services as well as groups.



An Argument for STEAM as the Trojan Horse for ”Making”


by Christa Flores -“ the real story of the Trojan horse, it wasn't the horse that was effective, it was the soldiers inside the horse. And the technology is only going to be effective in changing education if you put an army inside it which is determined to make that change once it gets through the barrier.”

                                                                                                                                                - Seymour Papert

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