Build in Progress: MDE – Maker, Design, and Engineering

May 28, 2018 | All School, MV Mag Issue 2, MVIFI

Shaped by Us. Now.

Just as we have begun to outgrow our spaces, in some ways we have outgrown our programs. At the very least, we have heard loud and clear from the students we serve that they want to make: prototypes that are more than popsicle sticks, show-stopping art, and digital media that is on the cutting edge. Most of our students want to make a difference. In a word, they are describing what our MDE program would call agency – the belief that the world is malleable and is just waiting to be shaped by us. Now.

A generous grant from the Goizueta Foundation has been a tremendous accelerator for the future that students have anecdotally described. Over the past three years, the Goizueta Foundation has poured into MVPS through three primary phases:

  1. Building out and equipping the HIVE;
  2. Iterating the design and programming options for Innovation Diploma with opportunities such as the 3-Day Startup and partnerships with Magic Wheelchair; and
  3. Conducting action research and sharing the well.

In August of 2018, MVIFI will be releasing a new podcast called Build in Progress. In season 1 we are exploring intersections of Science, Engineering, Art, and Design. You can always find show notes, video content, and other cool stuff at Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

Curating and Sharing

We are on the final leg of that third phase, and it is exciting to see just how far we have come. Simultaneously, we are looking forward by sharing our story and that of others in order to accelerate work in Maker and STEAM at MVPS and beyond. This is just one project that Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation has been working on behind the scenes for the last three years.

Executive Director of MVIFI Bo Adams says, “From our strong foundations in design thinking, we are building a maker community that cares deeply about designing a better world and is developing more sophisticated skills and knowledge to bring their ideas to life. What’s more, we are sharing our growing understanding with others so that more learners can engage with school as a way to design a better world.”

Build in Progress, a multimedia storytelling form of action research, is the culmination of this chapter of our MDE story. Coming soon, educators, makers, and artists will be able to hear, watch and interact with stories about designing and building MDE opportunities with students. MVIFI is currently curating and sharing:

A first season of the Build in Progress Podcast. Here we interview makers, artists, and designers at MVPS about the intersections of science, engineering, art, and design.

A playlist of youtube videos that teach people a little about our MDE program at MVPS as it relates to our scope and sequence called Cognitive Gearing, teaching strategies, safety protocols, and favorite (and least favorite) tools.

A professionally shot and produced mini-documentary that takes an honest look at the building of a Maker program – its highlights, fails, and unexpected turns – as well as opportunities it has afforded students to build their sense of agency.