With the completion of Sadie's Maker Space in our PRISM Center I have spent some time learning as much as I can about making culture. Alumni parents Michelle and Steve Goldsmith introduced me to the idea and importance of "making" many years ago and we are naming the new maker space after Steve's grandmother, who was a riveter in World War 2.
"For me the art of making unites head, heart, and hands. It's a way to engage our whole selves in the visceral act of creating meaning in our lives." Mike Crowley of Yestermorrow. This quote really captures the spirit of making culture for me. My father has always loved to make things and he learned about building, creating and making during his time at Dublin in the 1950's. School founder Paul Lehmann invested a great deal of trust in the students and encouraged them to build up and make their campus.
I learned a great deal about making from John Fisher, the shop teacher at Aspen High School. He taught me to be patient, to learn from mistakes and not get frustrated when things did not go right. I learned that making is about designing, building, and then redesigning and rebuilding. John helped me to learn how to build my own downhill skis and we eventually worked together to teach the Aspen students how to build their skis. I have rarely seen the level of pride in a young person that those makers exuded when they carried their homemade skis around the school.
With the opening of Sadie's I challenged my self and anyone on the faculty to make something of their own choosing over the summer. I urged them to borrow a page from our students and use Youtube to aid them in their making. I decided I wanted to learn how to print out mountains in three dimensions. I found a great tutorial and proceeded to design an "STL" file of Mount Monadnock. I downloaded a few free software programs to build my virtual model and delivered the file to technology teacherTom Tulio (say that four times fast!). Tom started to print out the file on one of the three printers in Sadie's and things started to go horribly wrong.
Luckily we have people like Bill Kennedy and Tom who can help rookies like me fix their mistakes. Tom got me back on track, helped me find the mistake I made, and then made a perfect print. The cool thing is we can now print as many of these as we want now that we have the file. This morning we showcased some of the maker projects from the faculty. Here is a gallery of photos of their projects.
Now I can't wait to see our students bringing Sadie's to life!