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Saturday, November 12, 2016

On 2:57 PM by Rachel Preston Prinz in , ,
My maker friend Meredith suggested that our team watch this talk from renown maker Leah Buechley, so that we could chat about diversity and make a plan to really engage girls in the Makerspace project we are working on together.

Today I finally had time to watch it, and I was really struck by what Leah had to say, especially the reality of who Makers are in today's world.

Today's Makers consist of:
  • 80% are males
  • 44 years average age
  • 97% have a college degree
  • 80% have some post-grad work as well
  • median income is $106,000 a year: a higher annual salary than 80% of US households and 96% of individuals
*Leah shares these metrics and who measured them in much greater detail in the video below.

This is great data from which to build a more sustinable, culturally-relevant platform for our upcoming project. 

But what most intrigued me was the way that Leah looked at "outsiders" - the "base" culture of can-do-it-ive-ness that has been cultivated by ALL people, including people of color and women - and realized that they too, are worthy of being recognized as Makers. She highlights the importance of people like Lady Ada Lovelace, who realized that knitting machines (looms) could be used for computation; and Grandmaster Flash, who realized that two turntables could be wired together and records could be played in new ways, thereby becoming the grandfather of rap as we know it today. She even highlighted some interesting New Mexico examples: the low-rider culture, which interestingly is being featured in an exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum RIGHT NOW, and of course, Acoma Pueblo pottery. 

I loved seeing a new perspective on who the audience is for Maker movement, and thinking about how we might make strides to make the Maker culture (which is being actively brought into our schools) more relevant for the diverse children we are trying to reach. 

Did this talk inspire you?
What will YOU do to make what you love to do more relevant for your community?
Share your thoughts with us!!

2015 Closing Plenary by Leah Buechley from The UTeach Institute on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

On 10:30 AM by Rachel Preston Prinz in , ,
About 14 days ago now, I found out that I was invited to Washington DC, by THE WHITE HOUSE! to attend the inaugural South by South Lawn festival. It was the most amazing event. And even more amazing that out of 20,000 nominations, I somehow made the cut!

What was even more amazing was that my parents and friends rallied to get me there. My folks gave me airline miles to fly and my friends raised some money with a gofundme campaign that allowed me to travel with zero worries.

I had three days in town: Sunday for fun, Monday for the festival, and Tuesday as a backup for the festival in case of rain, which we didn't need, so I got to see one of my besties. The "fun" day Sunday ended up being 10 hours touring and 14 miles walking. I saw almost everything, monument and memorial wise. That night, I went on a nighttime small group tour with Bipartisan Tour Company that was out of this world good! Here are a few highlights of my photography from my explorations in DC that day:

I stopped outside the capitol and across the reflecting pond for a few moments and watched Japanese and Chinese and Korean tourists get photos of themselves there. It took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath. All I could seem to do was cry. I was so grateful for everything that had come together to allow me to be here.

I texted my mom this photo of the awesome Carrion plant from the US Botanic Garden. I just couldn't help but wish that the person who taught me to love flowers and plants and trees would be there. Right at that exact second, she called me!

I met this awesome little Albanian girl outside of the Museum of the American Indian, which I worked on the design of once upon a time when Smithgroup hired my firm to help do structural and mechanical coordination on. She wants to be an architect when she finishes school. It was awesome to meet her!

 Iwo Jima always makes me think of my dad. When I was born, he was a Marine Corps DI. Which is why military school was so easy for me! LOL!

 I could have spent an entire day in the Air and Space museum!


On 10:29 AM by Rachel Preston Prinz in , ,
There just are not words to fully describe the impact of #SXSL on me. So I'm just going to collect things here that inspire me about it, from my own pics to others' videos and projects.

Blogpost: The Best Thing about #SXSL by Verizon's Chief Storyteller Jason Moriber 

Real American Heroes!!!

Ananda Leeke

Obama + DiCaprio + Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, photo by Julia Youngs


Luke and Chris from Nexus! Photo by random stranger. : )

Jason Moriber, Luke Ritchie and Chris O'Reilly of Nexus Productions UK

Amy the amazing lady astronaut!