Making Makers in Nedlam’s Workshop
Nice piece about the Makerspace that Ben Shapiro helped create to draw Haitian girls into STEM. Ben’s quote is great — it’s about changing attitudes and identities, not just teaching tech.
The tools, computers and gadgets in Nedlam’s Workshop might imply that the Makerspace’s main purpose is to teach students technical skills, but that’s just one benefit it provides.
“At the heart of it, it’s not so much about any specific technology as how we can develop kids’ identity as people who can do this kind of stuff,” Shapiro said. “And how we can change the perception of teachers and administrators in the process.”
Demographically, young white males populate most Makerspaces in the United States, but Nedlam’s Workshop is used mostly by Haitian girls–recent U.S. immigrants, many of whom do not speak English fluently, and struggle with traditional classes. Nedlam’s Workshop offers an alternative mode of learning and expression.