Dr. Folami Prescott-Adams is President of HTI Catalysts, a network of consultants that provides coaching, facilitation, and professional development to schools and youth and community-based organizations. Among work arising from this work was a four-year assignment as Director of Leadership Development for KIPP Metro Atlanta.
Folami loves the fact that Community Guilds teaches students to be creators, not just consumers. "I see minds churning and critical thinking happening right before my eyes," says Folami.
Her dream invention is a virtual empathy machine, something "that allows us to feel – using all senses – what other people in specific life circumstances feel."
Matt Candler is Founder and CEO of 4.0 Schools in New Orleans, LA. "4.0 Schools offers a platform for teachers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to create bold solutions for the real problems in America’s schools," explains the organization's website.
The level of ownership that kids can claim in their STE(A)M Truck work is what excites Matt most about Community Guilds. "Engagement is through the roof," says Matt.
In his spare time, Matt would simply more of what he's already making: electric motorcycles. "It's mostly an excuse to buy tools and surf eBay," confesses Matt.
Maria Ebrahimji is a journalist, independent consultant, and co-founder of I Speak For Myself, a book series and publishing platform that produces interfaith and intercultural titles. Maria previously worked for CNN for 15 years as a journalist, editor, director, and producer.
She is thrilled with how Community Guilds inspires and enables children to build BIG. And if she could build anything herself? "I want a robot that zaps the weeds in my yard and waters all my plants so they don’t die during our hot Atlanta summers!"
Ariela Freedman is the founder of MavenTree Consulting and an adjunct assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
She is particularly enamored with the design and thought processes that Community Guilds exposes to students through the STE(A)M Truck curriculum. "It engages kids in defining and really understanding problems, then testing all kinds of strategies for solving them," says Ariela. "It teaches kids that trying and failing is part of the learning process."
Ariela would like to create the ultimate "experiential art exhibit" in which people can visit a room laden with raw materials that can be used to create a wide range of things. "I like seeing what people can create collaboratively with random things and no roadmap," says Ariela.
Adam Green is the founder and executive director of Rocking the Boat, a New York-based nonprofit that is a kindred spirit of Community Guilds; the organization "empowers young people from the South Bronx to develop the self-confidence to set ambitious goals and gain the skills necessary to achieve them. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row and sail, and restore local urban waterways, revitalizing their community while creating better lives for themselves."
What Adam likes most about Community Guilds could have been said by Community Guilds' founder Jason Martin: "it offers kids the opportunity to learn, not just through doing, but through creating real things that actually work. That is the kind of learning that builds community, changes people, and transforms lives."
Given the opportunity to build anything, Adam would stick to what he knows best: wooden boats!
David Jernigan is the Deputy Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools and was previously the Executive Director of KIPP Metro Atlanta. David was intimately involved in the first STE(A)M Truck pilot at KIPP Ways, the school at which he was the founding principal. He is most excited about the way Community Guilds connects classroom learning with real-world problems.
As for his dream invention, David would like to make a coffee maker that brews variable amounts on demand so that "I don’t have to choose between convenient small cups of coffee from a Keurig machine vs. inconvenient fresh pots of coffee."
Diley Hernandez is the GoSTEM Program Director in the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) at Georgia Tech. Being a STEM professional, she loves the fact that Community Guilds enables youth “to engage in fun and meaningful STEM experiences.”
Diley is already a maker in her spare time: she makes art. She’s a musician, songwriter, and painter!
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Community Guilds c/o Center of Civic Innovation Third Floor, 115 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30303