Maker Educator Boot Camp at West Liberty

On June 23-26th we held our second Maker Educator Boot Camp, and our first in West Virginia! All through this past school year Kevin has spent many of his Tuesdays driving down to work with WLU to help build out and facilitate their makerspace. As part of this partnership they were kind enough to host us for three days of educator professional development with workshops, discussion, reflection and making. On the fourth day we invited them back to Pittsburgh to experience our MAKESHOP in person.

The attendees came from diverse backgrounds and interests including physical education, library science, pre-service teacher programs, and art therapy. Some people were already comfortable with some of the skills and ways of thinking that we were emphasizing, but many were initially uncertain or uncomfortable. There was some wonderful discoveries, frustrations, and “a-ha! moments” along the way. It was great to see educators acting as learners, being pushed and pushing themselves in ways they didn’t expect.

We can’t wait until our August Boot Camp, when we’ll welcome approximately 40 people from at least four states to join us in the museum for another four days of learning and making. Meanwhile, check out these photos from June’s event!


Every participant started the week by creating and binding a notebook, beginning with the cover.


We began with a group design challenge:
1. Make a ball move at least three feet
2. The design must leverage the materials you use
3. It has to be AMAZING

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Monday we had workshops about computational thinking and using apps. Kevin has a post coming up about facilitating stop-motion animation with the educators.


Tuesday was full of workshops! Each attendee participated in introductory woodworking and sewing before picking one as an “advanced track” to spend more time on.

Photo Jun 24, 10 03 14 AM Photo Jun 24, 10 03 21 AM Photo Jun 25, 3 07 05 PM


Wednesday morning we played “Maker Bingo” to learn a little more about how different people find out about new things and spread their knowledge.

Photo Jun 25, 9 18 10 AM


We spent most of Wednesday exploring electronics: taking them apart, building new things out of them and tinkering with different ways to apply our knowledge of circuitry to different disciplines.

Photo Jun 25, 10 24 57 AM


Thursday was MAKESHOP museum day! I won’t say too much about our morning challenge, so that I don’t spoil anybody who attends the August Boot Camp but suffice it to say: there were some fun creations!

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Rebecca has been a MAKESHOP intern, educator, Teaching Artist and Manager. She's also been a graphic designer, costume shop manager, shoe salesperson, and hair stand-in for Fabio.

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