Rekindling the Spark: It Begins with the MLK Boys Academy

I am currently reading a book about telling stories, so I’m doing a little experiment with my blog posts. Hopefully, they will be a bit more engaging, or perhaps I’ll just learn a bit more about effective communication. I do use AI to help get things started and learn ways of stating things I haven’t thought of. However, I’ve done enough editing of the generated text to call this my own.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos are credited to Sophia Timba

Recently, I was standing in the hallway of the SUNY Brockport chemistry building, watching a procession of thirty some students and a few of their teachers. They were taking part in the MLK Boys Academy, a program for inner-city students from Rochester to acquire life skills and explore various aspects of social and professional development.

My colleague, Carly, and I were tasked with hosting a one-hour workshop for the Academy, aiming to ignite their curiosity and passion for science through hands-on experiences. Since I recently started a Makerspace, “It Begins in Brockport” (IBiB), I wanted to incorporate makerspace resources. One of our recent acquisitions, a Maker Cart from TeacherGeek, provided all the materials we needed for this endeavor.

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IBiB: Building boats and making waves

If you are a regular reader, you know that I recently started a makerspace in Brockport called It Begins in Brockport (IBiB). We are only a month old and have come a long way in that short time. We’ve equipped our space – one of the studios at the Hart Art Gallery – with 3D printers (both filament and resin), an electronics workbench and a laser cutter. There’s also a CNC mill that is still a work in progress and we recently received a grant for a high-end vinyl cutter. On Friday, we received something truly special.

That’s a makercart (along with Kaitlyn and Mark) from TeacherGeek, a local company that makes STEM educational activities. The cart – valued at $8000 comes with about 15000 bits and pieces (gears, rods, frame, motors, connectors, switches, screws, and more) that can be used to engage students in well over 30 engineering activities.

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I won something!

This past week, I was humbled to receive the Monika Andrews Creative Volunteer Leadership Award, which is offered annually to a resident of Brockport, Sweden, or Clarkson in recognition of volunteer contributions to the community.

Me with Bill Andrews (to my right, who endowed the award), Rozenn, and two members of the selection committee.

Here’s a snippet of text from the Award citation:

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