Joining the Omaha Children’s Museum as a Maker Corps Mentor!

Posted on May 5, 2014 in Teaching

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I’m excited to share that I have been hired on at the Omaha Children’s Museum to act as a Maker Corps Mentor for the summer (and possibly beyond)! Starting on May 15th I will be designing, teaching and documenting new Maker-related activities and experiences for children and staff at the Museum, essentially getting paid to make things and work directly with my community to affect positive and progressive learning opportunities!

About the Maker Corps program

Maker-Corps-logo-RGB-transparent-300x76The Maker Corps program was created by the Maker Education Initiative (a sister company to Make Magazine) as a national commitment to connect makers like me to community-serving institutions who need qualified and motivated people to expand their capabilities.

The program is intended to serve two very good functions:

  1. To provide employment opportunities for young people like me who have diverse interests and skills, but may not “fit” into traditional careers.
  2. To expand the capabilities of local community education institutions to help them implement new maker-oriented activities.

In some ways this job is perfect for me, and could not have come at a better time. This week I will be graduating from UNK with an M.S. Ed. in Instructional Technology and previously was planning on taking some pretty massive risks in order to find work that I love after graduation. Now, I will be able to pursue work that I’m excited about and make a genuine impact on the community around me!

About the Omaha Children’s Museum Makerspace

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Last year the Museum showed up on my radar when I learned that they had started up a Makerspace for kids. In the entire state of Nebraska I only know of two makerspaces (only one of which is really active), so when I heard that the Omaha Children’s Museum was starting one up I knew I wanted to be involved.

I visited the Makerspace last year at the grand opening to show some of my work and meet the people behind it all, and was very impressed by what I saw. Earlier this year I saw that the Museum was seeking three Makers to work at the Makerspace as part of the Maker Corps program, so I applied without hesitation.

Next steps

For me, the opportunity to work at the Omaha Children’s Museum is way more than just a part-time summer job, it is the first step in my career path to become a professional Maker. Being able to work at the Omaha Children’s Museum means that I also get to move to Omaha and begin working with creative professionals from day one, both within the Museum and in the Omaha community at large.

There is a lot of exciting activity going on in Omaha right now that I cannot wait to be a part of, from community workshops to a thriving art and design scene, as well as some early (but significant) steps towards a full-fledged Maker scene. Things are about to get awesome!