39 Days of IDEAS | Day 14: Bringing the “maker space” to students

September 22, 2014
| by Editor |

Community Guilds, which provides students with hands-on job-skills learning experiences, wanted a way to get kids involved in—and leading—practical, collaborative problem-solving projects. Their answer: a design studio-on-wheels called the STE(A)M Truck.

Community Guilds Founder Jason Martin came up with the idea for their mobile maker space, the STE(A)M Truck, after seeing a similar design studio-on-wheels launched by a friend at the Stanford School of Design. “We took that idea,” said Martin, “and modified it for the most impact on public education.” 

Pulling the STE(A)M Truck up to a school every day for four weeks, Martin and company work in hour-long sessions with 10 students at a time. Community Guilds debuted STE(A)M Truck in October 2013 as a temporary prototype, using a borrowed vehicle, but it took just 60 days for the idea to generate enough money for Community Guilds to purchase their own. Within three months, they had enough support from local and national foundations to outfit the vehicle with everything it needed. 

Response has been so great since the start of programming in April—they even won “Most Innovative Venture” at the Points of Light Good Frenzy Pitch in June—that Community Guilds is already planning to replicate the program throughout the state. “Our five year goal is to have a STE(A)M Truck for every school district,” said Martin. “We’re almost booked up for all of next year, so we think there’s enough interest, support, and cost-efficiency built in to make it happen.” 

 

Each quarter, Georgia Nonprofit NOW delivers the practical know-how, thought-leader insight, sector news, and community updates you need to be a High Performance nonprofit professional. Become a GCN member, and get the only magazine devoted entirely to the Georgia nonprofit sector, delivered straight to your mailbox and available online. 

The Georgia Nonprofit NOW team: Betsy Reid, Editor-in-Chief: Marc Schultz, Managing Editor; and Tom Zimmerman, Community Editor 

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