The Maker Mindset

Getting Started

Welcome to my blog. This is a brand-new voyage for me. An adventure into unchartered territory. Truthfully, this is an adventure into already-chartered territory. This is my first blog – ever – thus it is new for me. New, and exciting! There is much I want to share, from a #stemeducation and a #maker perspective. I am going to use this platform, and bridge the value of #stemeducation, the #maker perspective, and #storytelling across all my social media platforms. My hope is that you find this valuable for your own personal, and professional, growth. The intent is to provide support for the education and #maker community and share my personal insights into creating interactive #stem dioramas that both educate and amaze.

Dr. K Passionate Educator

” Elements of the Maker Mindset”

A little background on me would help. I am an educator by trade and passion. As a college/university professor, I empower adult learners. My curriculum focuses on computer information technology, computer network infrastructure, server systems, coding, and the cloud. However, the classroom is only the starting point for learning. True growth is when you can take the foundations learned in the classroom and expand upon them. That is what I do here, but from the storytelling perspective.

Although I am a university professor by trade, my scope for educational support crosses all grade levels. I am there for you: the k12 educator, the home school parent, the private school instructor, and the #maker in all of us. The value in my work is found by incorporating all components of #stem and #steam education into a usable format so that students create, design, and make wonderful things because they are telling a story. Through that story, each student grows personally, socially, emotionally, and academically.

This blog will focus on three core passions: #stemeducation, the #makercommunity, and building models from the storytelling perspective. I will emphasize that the content is focused on STEM education, and not just STEM. I am an educator, creator, and builder. I am not an engineer. For this reason, I produce structures and models for classroom and educational purposes, not for commercial use.

Dr. K. Lives, Breathes & Thinks STEM

“Elements of the Maker Mindset”

STEM is how I think. I live science. I breath technology. I think engineering. I love math. With these innate passions, I create something special. My STEM models integrate the holistic components of my life – I live to build, create, and share my explorations. Thus, this blog. And now the story.

My specific interest is #stemeducation in storytelling, with a focus on creating interactive dioramas based on a scene from a fantasy role playing game (RPG) adventure. Yes, the focus is that specific. I have a unique gift – the ability to abstract the essential elements from an adventure and recreate that scene in a three-dimensional model. The fantasy role playing environment is colorful, energetic, and stimulating. The game play and character interactions provide enough background information to create, then recreate – in a 3-dimensional model – what is going on at any point in time within the scope of the adventure! However, there is so much more going on. From this image, I integrate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) constructs. And from this, I assimilate the interactivity between the audience and the scene itself. The RPG adventure comes alive before our very eyes!

Behind the scenes of the fantasy genre lies the hero’s journey. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) came to our consciousness by Joseph Campbell. To this day, the hero’s journey provides us with the basic template for all storytelling. It is this design structure we see in movies, books, and short stories. From the call to action, to the full immersion experience within the special world, to the final rebirth of the character and his rejoining the ordinary world with a renewed vigor and perception of life. The story template pulls each of us into the plot.

 

Dr. K Passionate Educator

” Elements of the Maker Mindset”

We must understand how the unique stages of the hero’s journey are part of our thought processes to better appreciate how each moment of the story impacts all sequential movement through the adventure. These stages can be abstracted, analyzed, and displayed in diorama format so we can better appreciate the struggles and triumphs of the characters in the story. I will continue to address these stages, and their impact on the characters in the adventure, as we explore and create the various models within a story.

Stories are the backbone of civilization. Regardless of geographic, cultural, of religious diversity, we all relate to a good story. From the safety of the campfire, our living rooms, or the movie theatre, we want to live vicariously (if only for a short while) through the life of the hero! We want to go on adventures, experience new worlds, and face difficult challenges – knowing that, at the end of two hours – we will do all of this and be victorious in the end!

So, this gives us the opportunity to tell our own story – if only a small one – by recreating a piece of that story in a model. Then, we can move beyond that, and make that model come alive using robotics and coding. To get us started, I will focus on the most mythical of creatures – the dragon!

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I empower teachers and parents to transform student learning through Lego & STEM engagement activities!

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