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Community Partnerships Through Innovation

THANK YOU HD Employees (1604) Karen Bennett, Chris Dill, Josie Stout, Mary Donahue, Jill Butler; (1601) Tammy Coleman, Debbie Murray, Alissa Adams, Kim Matthews; (1608) Sue Marquart, Mike Schanno; (2578) Mike Poss, Ted Fitzgibbon, Maggie Mconnell.

Home Depot sent 15 employees from as far away as Newark, NJ to Shields Elementary School (Lewes, DE) on January 30th to support the school's first @MakerDads Night. Dads, Grand-Dads and other male role models were invited to spend a few hours working through 20 STEAM stations, but more importantly spending quality time with a parent or guardian. Check out the pics from the school's Facebook page.

Home Depot employees blew through the 200 kits I requested in the first hour as over 200 families showed up to actively engage in their child's education through MakerDads. 
The line was down the hallways for the (BreakoutEDU) Escape Room, station 17/20 MakerDads Father Engagement Stations set up at Shields ES.


How does your school define and seek community partners?
What exactly does that mean here in 2018? What is possible? What's too much to ask? 

Today I'm sharing one example that can help your school ignite a maker culture across students and adults. The pictures say it all. Look from a kids lens. Parents lens. Community lens. Educators lens. There is a lot awesome right here!

What can parents do next?
Sign up for your next Kids Workshop (always free / first Saturday of the month) at

Example of the email confirmation you receive when you RSVP
online as a parent for your child's upcoming Kids Workshop. 

What can educators do next? 

Add these Saturday Kids Workshops to the school calendar. The next one is happening Saturday, March 3, 2018. Make sure kids and families are aware. Add it to the iLAB or Makerspace calendar. Principals make an announcement over the loudspeaker and during the week of Friday, March 2nd to remind your community. Get the word out using the channels your families are already on (high and low tech)! 

Learn more about hosting a @MakerDads In-Residence at your school by completing this short form

[VISUAL] What is MakerDads?

click image for printable pdf

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MakerDadsTV - a new series aimed to support classroom teachers

Exciting news from our family start-up, MakerDads, is entering its sixth month in existence. This week, we launched MakerDadsTV, our brand-new YouTube Channel that is designed, filmed and produced for teachers and parents to watch alongside kids. Below is the first episode from Frank's Pizza in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. 

You will notice, fairly quickly, that the video editing isn't done by a professional, and we are certainly working to make that part better engaging the help of some local high school students. But I encourage you to hone in on how we are leaning on the community to deepen our understanding of making during the 5 minute. There are several opportunities for learning and reflection, that I want to bring attention to in this post. Let's take a quick look at the show's (initial) structure:

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Open Make

Last week on #LeadUpTEACH I chatted with Laura Gilchrist, Heidi Veal and Elizabeth Bostick on MakerDads, our new (5 month-old family start-up) that is growing at a pace my wife and I didn't anticipate. We honestly didn't know if we'd get more than a school or two to book us for the first year, but here we are 5 months and I'm speaking with principals, teachers, parents and students daily to plan and orchestrate two-day in-residence experiences. More on that later, but below is the 55 minute clip recorded raw without a 10 minute tidy or staged - it is right from our working home makerspace, I'm about to put it through a 3 month makeover. 

If the video looks like a guy with a mustache surrounded by a bunch of clutter (maybe in his garage?), you've got the right video.

The MakerDads work happening across (our first cohort of schools in DE, PA, CA & MN) are also evolving teaching and learning spaces in their own schools. As part of the MakerDads model, I'm wo…