About the Project
Random Acts of Making explores the softer side of education advocacy through making. Diving deep into hands-on learning, this project makes connections between intrinsic motivation, methods of learning, and the creation of meaningful work. The main themes include STEAM learning (an arts-based approach to learning about STEM), maker culture, social learning, learning by doing, play, innovation, curiosity, catharsis, and experiential learning. This project happens both in and out of the classroom: In the public school system, academia, or even on the bus.
Educator, community organizer, producer, and hands-on learning advocate Emily Smith loves to share knowledge, whether through public speaking, written tutorials, online media, or by leading workshops and demonstrations. She’s passionate about the cultural shift the Maker Movement is bringing about and has devoted her time to fostering environments that encourage learning by making. Emily is the cofounder of the Vancouver Maker Foundation, Vancouver Mini Maker Faire (going into its seventh year), founder of the Vancouver Fibreshed Community, and former Education Director of VIVO Media Arts Centre. She currently works as a Research Assistant at Emily Carr.
Zee Kesler is an educational innovator and advocate for hands on learning. She is a “Maker Educator” and is the director of Maker Education at Maker Foundation the non profit that hosts Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Zee is also the co-founder of the MakerMobile Workshop on Wheels; a mobile hackspace and workshop for kids as well as the Magic Trout Imaginarium: a mobile classroom in a tiny house! Through these projects, Zee hosts professional development workshops, assemblies and seminars on ADST and the “STEAM approach” to project based learning.
Emily’s Education Story
After spending the past 8 years or so creating community-engaged art and events, I made the decision to go back to school for the Masters of Design program at Emily Carr. After years of conducting my own research out of my small apartment and in local maker spaces, joining an academic community would mean creating more rigorous and formalized research. By slowing down my process, I can discover new methodologies and insights about how we can encourage even more critical thinking in the education system. In a post-truth era, vetted research and healthy debate is essential to understanding our world, and what’s possible for future generations. I’m so grateful to live in Canada, and have access to this system, even if I have a huge amount of debt. Making education more accessible (and more affordable) means investing in what’s possible for future generations.
Without proper support, our children and children’s children will become even more detached and apathetic about the way our world works. From the food that we eat to the cloth that we wear, and lastly to the robots and machines in our world, we have opportunities to create a more critically aware society.
Let’s create meaningful work and more mentorship opportunities for youth!