Teachers from all four Plumas County public schools (Greenville, Chester, Portola, and Quincy), and representatives from Indian Valley Academy and the local charter school community, got together for a 3-day workshop around hands-on learning and the design approach. This event was the third in a three-part series sponsored by Feather River College as a part of their community outreach and Career + Technical Education initiatives.
The first event, which took place in early May, was a one-day introduction to 3D printing and the design process, with these same teachers as well as students from each school. The second event was the county-wide STEAM Fair, which was an opportunity for the teachers to test the techniques we had introduced, and see it in action.
This third event was their chance to dive deep. As a part of this initiative, Feather River College invested in Fab Lab Kits for each participating school. Day 1, we focused in on the contents of the Fab Lab Kits: they range from routers and other power tools, to exacto knives and post-its, to a dedicated computer and Makerbot's newest 3D printer.
Day 2, we zoomed out to the classroom scale. Now that you have the technical skills to use these tools or the confidence to figure it out, how do you bring them into the classroom? A lot of great ideas and strategies were discussed, and each teacher developed a curriculum to test out with their students.
Day 3, we zoomed out even further, to the school community. How can we integrate these Fab Lab Kits and this design approach into the community? Each school developed its own policies and strategies to address issues like safety, maintenance, training, access, and teacher support.
We hope that, moving forward, this core group of Teacher Champions will continue to work together and offer one another support in making this initiative a success! Thanks again to Feather River College for making this initiative possible, and for our incredible Teacher Champions for their energy and dedication!