This year Makerschool was grateful to receive grant support from the VELA Education Fund, which focuses on non-traditional and new approaches to education. VELA recently featured Makerschool in a “Selfie” video story about the work we are doing, and had a great writeup on the VELA blog:
This fall, a team of instructors hosted a weekend workshop for teen girls to learn welding, woodshop, and metalshop skills.
During the worst of the pandemic, Nova Labs even hosted a “makerschool” pod with about 25 students from grades K-6, said Board member Kathryn Schiller, whose children attended. The curriculum emphasized learning and playing outside, and hands-on lessons in STEM and the humanities, pioneering a new model for a full-day school program held within a working makerspace.
The after-school program and community classes are led by area experts and professional educators, including Patrick Waters, an accomplished woodworker who teaches technology in a local public school, and Fabiana Cesa, who teaches film and math at Northern Virginia Community College. There are courses for students across grades K-12, and they offer need-based scholarships.
“Our classes are about meeting the kids where they are, designing curriculum that’s engaging, and offering hands-on, experiential learning,” Waters said.
VELA’s entrepreneurial spirit is exciting and we are making great connections with other innovative educators across the country as part of their grantee community. Many thanks to VELA for their support!