Author: Christa Flores

Hillbrook School, United States - I am the coordinator of the iLab for Making, a classroom designed for analog and digital making, at the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. I teach 5th graders Problem based Science in the iLab with an emphasis on material science, design, engineering and working in collaborative teams. I also teach a year long product design course to 6th graders using the design thinking process and rapid prototyping techniques made available through digital fabrication tools such as a laser cutter and 3-D printer.

Making for Making Sake? or STEAM for 21st Century Job Skills?

Making for Making Sake? or STEAM for 21st Century Job Skills?    – Kropotkin Thank You Sylvia Martinez of Invent to Learn for this Conversation According to Educational Philosopher Gert Biesta, professor of educational theory and policy at the University of Luxembourg, “Education debate tends to be based on a truth about the nature and… Read more »

Maker Portfolios; Authentic Assessment that Tells a Story

Background Many argue that grades, especially those based on standardized tests, are limited in the information they provide about a student as a learner. Due to their “snapshot” nature, grades fail to represent a student’s growth over time. In addition, grades tend to be given by a teacher, excluding a student from the assessment process… Read more »

Alternative Assessments and Feedback in a MakerEd Classroom

The Rapid Growth of “Maker Education” Programs According to Google Trends (see photo), a new term came into existence and quickly became synonymous with progressive education and a resurgence of STEAM education in America. That term is maker education, or makered for short, and can be seen in the graph as “born” according to google… Read more »

The Role of Peer Assessment in a Maker Classroom

Background   When I first started using a problem based curriculum in science I admit that I had no idea what to expect. Moreover, I had only a vague idea of how I was going to assess my students. As an academic teacher, I am required to give my students a letter grade twice a… Read more »

What Maker Ed Can Learn from the Mayans

I love my work. It feels rewarding to me, in comparison to many other options. I also love my work because it forces me to put down my iced coffee on a Sunday afternoon in the stunning sunlit springtime of Northern California, and think. I sheepishly admit that I was lamenting the loss of a… Read more »

Building Mathematical Literacy in a Maker Classroom

I write this blog out of curiosity rather than authority. I do not think that I teach math. Even more, I decided in highschool that I was not “good at math,” and that decision prevented a potential career in a science lab at a scholarly institution. Instead, and one might argue for the better, I… Read more »