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Maker Faire takes Needlearts into the classroom

Posted By TNNA Staff, Friday, August 05, 2011
Updated: Monday, August 08, 2011

I just received this email from one of our Maker Faire Detroit volunteers Suzanne Zobel. Thought I’d share it with you.

Thank you so much for asking me to represent TNNA at the Teachers as Makers Academy! The event was a lot of fun, and although the time was short, it did make an impact on the teachers.

We were one of four makers asked to participate during a two hour session Wednesday afternoon. The twenty teachers were divided into four groups and had about 20 minutes at each station. I was able to use the needlepoint/cross-stitch materials to design a small project which could also be adapted to their teaching situation. The teachers began some of the stitching while we discussed ways the needlearts could be incorporated into various subjects and grade levels. (The teachers represented K-12 and a wide variety of subjects.) Some took additional materials to continue or experiment further. I know that several of the teachers will contact and follow-up with projects for their classroom.

(As is always the case, one wishes for more time to prepare and more time to present — but if a similar opportunity arises I would have a better grasp on structuring the experience. However, this went very well.)

As the teachers sat and stitched while we discussed ideas, one comment came up several times in each small group — "This is very relaxing!” Often the men were the first to make that comment.

Megan closed the session by thanking all the makers and asking the group if they had any feedback about the session. Some general comments were made by the teachers along with three specific comments directed specifically to the TNNA maker experience: ”It is wonderful to see that there are people willing to share their abilities and materials without asking for anything in return. And wonderful to see people excited by what they do!”

A (male) history teacher noted: ”I’m definitely going to use some of the needlearts ideas with my classes. I can see where it would be very helpful in understanding the cultural aspects of history.”

Another teacher commented (sort of the reverse): ”Almost all my teaching is hands-on, but I can see now how to draw history and science into these projects.”

When Megan asked the group what they were most likely to use, the majority mentioned the needlearts followed by the weaving project.

Thank you again for asking me to participate in this seminar on behalf of TNNA. And thanks also for the opportunity to help with the Maker Faire activities. It is really a great experience!

———————- We thank you, Suzanne!

Tags:  classroom  crochet  cross-stitch  education  hands on  k-12  knitting  maker faire  makers academy  Marketing Needlearts  needlepoint  needlework  Needlework News  teachers  The National NeedleArts Association  The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA)  TNNA  TNNA Youth Outreach  youth 

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