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Meet the Maker Educator

Meet the Maker Educator: Dya

By February 23, 2018March 8th, 2018No Comments

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.

Dya Ishak

1. Where are you from?

I live in Chevy Chase, MD but my home is always Jakarta, Indonesia.

2. Do you have a favorite Open Explore activity?

Ping and Drawbots–I can do those with my eyes closed!

3. What’s one of your favorite workshops or programs you’ve helped develop at KID?

Definitely Cultural Programs where we present the culture of countries from around the world through hands-on activities. The goal with these is to raise awareness and respect for other cultures. When you just tell kids about a culture it’s too abstract. Activities give them experiential learning and a greater appreciation of the countries and cultures.

4. What Cultural Programs are coming up?

We have Nigeria Day and Indonesia Day coming up in the next couple of months. Indonesia Day will have a special format since it’s our second year featuring that country. We are going to have an outdoor stage where students I’ve been working with at Rumah Indonesia will perform cultural dances. There will also be traditional outdoor Indonesian games for families to play. I’m hoping to create a larger sense of community with this format, and hope we can do more outdoor programming in the future.

Dya’s Japanese inspired light box.

5. What’s something you’ve made that you’re proud of? 

My first Japanese inspired light box!

6. What’s your preferred method of prototyping a project?

First by hand, as much as I can, and then laser cutting.

7. What’s your favorite snack for maker energy?

Cheez-Its Hot & Spicy! Anything spicy really!

8. What brought you to Maker Education?

When I first moved to the United States from Jakarta I was going to continue to be a journalist. But then I met Cara, our Founder, through someone at Montgomery College when I went to take English classes. I joined KID as an intern in August 2014, and after some encouragement, began teaching a little while later. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to take over our cultural programming, now serving as the Manager of Cultural Programs.

9. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever gotten from a teacher?

“The older you get, the more knowledge you have, the more successful you become, the more humble you should be.” But that’s just a rough translation. In my Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) it’s “il mu padi,” or “arise knowledge.” I had a teacher who said as a rice plant grows it has more and more seeds, but it also gets heavier and bends down. So as it grows, it doesn’t stand up tall and break–it bends over and becomes humble. It’s a loose metaphor that’s hard to translate exactly in English.

10. Is there something you love doing outside of KID?

Dancing and writing. I love teaching traditional dances at Rumah Indonesia, and I’ve been writing in my diary almost every day since I was a kid.