Author: Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson is the co-founder of the iSTEAM Lab at Bing Wong Elementary School, a public school in San Bernardino, California, United States. The iSTEAM Lab was founded to inspire students to imagine, innovate and engage in building hope for their futures. Emerson is the school's STEAM program facilitator, primarily teaching mechanical engineering, manufacturing, product innovation, entrepreneurship, and animatronics to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. She also collaborates with her colleagues at the elementary level, as well as the secondary and post-secondary levels, and community partners to design and implement cross-curricular units in which students explore careers in various STEAM industries. Emerson is currently a certification writer for Linked Learning at the elementary level. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chicano studies, a master's degree in education, and a GATE certificate from the University of California, Riverside.

My maker identity. A maker educator manifesto?

I am not a maker. I am a maker. I am not a maker. I am a maker. I fear making. I feared making. I fear making new things. I feared making new things until I made them. I wasn’t good at making things when I was a kid. I didn’t know that what I… Read more »

In Depth Project: Animatronics

Materials: 2-speed 12VDC Windshield wiper motors, PVC pipe, bubble wrap/foam pool noodles, various connectors/motor arms, various hand and power tools, props and costumes, iPad or mini projector This unit was designed to explore the possibilities of how far into the world of animatronics students could go in our makerspace. Animatronics is a unique and mostly… Read more »

Teaching SolidWorks to Young Children

SolidWorks is a CAD program, stated to be the world’s most popular, used widely in the manufacturing industry, and it’s a program I teach to Kindergarteners. You might be wondering, Why teach SolidWorks to young children at all when free programs such as Tinkercad exist? Well, initially I had a very specific purpose for teaching… Read more »

Rube Goldberg, YouTube, and the Archimedes Screw: Hidden Drivers of Pedagogic Transactions

In Edith Ackerman’s paper “Hidden Drivers of Pedagogic Transactions: Teachers as Clinicians and Designers,” she shows that as teachers take on the role of clinicians (facilitating communication around a problem) and designers (imagining and creating a safe learning environment for exploration and negotiation of old and new thoughts), a pedagogic transaction takes place between the… Read more »

Making Hope Happen

                    When a tragic event happens in a community, the members of the community come together in an emotional connection of support and hope. When our city of San Bernardino, California experienced such an event in 2015, a tragic mass shooting, our children felt compelled to… Read more »