Update! We’ve completed hiring of 11 amazing Maker VISTAs to serve high-poverty communities in California. They will be helping to pave the way to expand bringing making and creativity enrichment to communities in need across the nation.
Maker Ed is proud to announce a partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service: AmeriCorps VISTA to place two VISTA teams of ten members and two VISTA leaders into our National Maker Network infrastructure. The Maker VISTA Project will develop thriving Maker Hubs within high poverty communities. These VISTA members will work to reduce poverty by inspiring low-income students through maker programs that engage them in STEM activities, as well as, the arts and learning as a whole.
The Maker VISTA Project purpose is to create and expand the vision of Maker Ed by working in urban and rural areas that have been deemed high poverty and regions that have little access to the Maker Movement as a STEM initiative. The Maker VISTA project will foster maker programming year round in 10 cities across the nation, using community-school outreach strategies to ensure high poverty youth have access to making opportunities.
The first Maker VISTA team will be placed in five cities in California in December 2013. These California partners will serve as Maker Hubs throughout the state:
- Da Vinci Center, Stockton, CA
- Lighthouse Community Charter High School, Oakland, CA
- SAM Academy, Inc. (part of the Community Science Workshop network), Fresno/Sanger, CA
- The Exploratory: Maker Guilds, Los Angeles, CA
- THINK Together, Santa Ana, CA
VISTA members will work to develop community-school partnerships within each Maker Hub placement by increasing local awareness and understanding about making, coordinating with local schools, reaching out to afterschool programs and youth-serving organizations, facilitation the start of new maker program opportunities, fundraising, recruiting volunteers and mentors, and documenting their work to share best practices with the greater education field.
VISTA Leaders, working from the Maker Ed offices in Oakland, CA, will provide guidance to VISTA members in each community, will document best practices and challenges faced in the work happening in the hubs, will capture progress made towards engaging high poverty children and youth in maker programming on a national level, and will develop and maintain partnerships on a national level to support the work of the Maker VISTA program.
The second Maker VISTA team will be placed in five hubs in other states next Spring. These locations will be determined by January 2014. For more information about this program, please contact Dr. Lisa Regalla, National Program Director, at Lisa@MakerEd.org .
To apply to become a Maker VISTA member, you can access the position descriptions and application through AmeriCorps here:
Da Vinci Center, Stockton, CA
Lighthouse Community Charter High School, Oakland, CA
SAM Academy, Inc., Fresno/Sanger, CA
The Exploratory: Maker Guilds, Los Angeles, CA
THINK Together, Santa Ana, CA
To apply to become a Maker VISTA leader (you must have served as a VISTA member before), you can access the position description and application here.
Interviews will take place in August and September 2013.