KID Museum’s Maker Educators are highly-trained and extremely busy — they develop innovative new programs and workshops, teach the school groups that come in every day, and design and facilitate camps, after-school programs, and weekend activities. They serve as mentors to our high school apprentices and our high school coding corps, and as inspiration to the thousands of children and families that visit KID Museum each year.
1. Where are you from?
2. What’s one of your favorite Open Explore activities?
Pom Poms! I’m hoping to bring more textile activities to Open Explore.
3. Are there any workshops coming up that you’re excited about?
I have a big list of fiber workshops I’m hoping to develop. I’m most excited about felting workshops–both wet and needle.
4. What’s something you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
Many things I’ve created come to mind: the nose art on a P51 mustang for the National WWII Museum, circus and dance costumes, a mermaid for a beach themed father/daughter dance, a quilted pillow for the MakeShop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh that doubled as a color wheel, a lime green needle felted cat, a pom pom shaped like a hamster, and two murals still on display at the Joseph Moore Museum–one painted and one done entirely in colored pencil.
5. Do you have a preferred method of prototyping?
Hmmm… I love laser cutting everything, and also designing by drawing or using watercolor.
6. What’s one of your favorite inventions (yours or someone else’s)?
I created a small set of conductivity blocks for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh as an introductory step to building circuits. They seemed to really help children and families who were new to circuit building understand conductive materials.
7. Why did you decide to go into education, or specifically, maker education?
I started my museum educator journey in college, and quickly saw the impact it had on kids. I’ll never forget my experience handling and caring for the Joseph Moore Museum’s live reptile. Visits with these fur-less friends were often met with kid screams and concerns about snakes being slimy, poisonous, and dangerous. It was really impactful to observe these children develop a relationship with the friendly animals I had come to know and love. I’ve always gravitated towards making, and was so delighted to become part of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s MakeShop team. I worked there on top of a full-time job at the Carnegie Museums, and would look forward all week to working that 6th day of work.
8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from an educator?
“You did the thing! Now do it one more time. Point your toes! You got this!” – Jenly, circus teacher
9. Who’s someone (living or deceased) you’d most like to meet?
Mr. Rogers. I once spent an afternoon with Mr. McFeely who confirmed Mr. Rogers wasn’t hiding any tattoos under the sweaters his mother lovingly knit for him. Also, yes, he really was always that nice.
10. If you could have a super hero power, what would it be?
Actual current power: the ability to nap anywhere. Dream power: the power to change the temperature!