Creativity and Empowerment at Lighthouse Community Schools

Lighthouse Community Public Schools are located in Oakland, California and include two contiguous schools- Lighthouse Community Charter School and Lodestar. The schools serve elementary, middle, and high school students. The school maker faire is an annual event where students in elementary, middle, and high school present projects that they have worked on over the course of the school year. It functions as a deadline for students to aim for when working on their project and a chance to share a prototype of something they have created, or try out an activity with their community. Agency by Design Oakland team member Aaron Vanderwerff is the Creativity Lab Director at Lighthouse and describes the broader goal: “Maker-centered learning supports a deeper conceptual understanding, so we really appreciate the power of maker-centered learning and hands-on learning when it comes to understanding mathematical ideas, or a scientific idea, or understanding civics and how the world around us works.”

Check out the video below, which was created with Agency by Design Oakland as part of a series showcasing the work of participants in the 2016-2017 fellowship cohort. And click here to read a longer blog post about the incorporation of making into class curriculum at Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning!

Agency by Design is a research project exploring the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. The project began in 2011 as collaboration between the Abundance Foundation and Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. The initial phase of research studied the practice of maker-centered learning in the K-12 context and included an action research component based in Oakland, CA. The most recent phase of the project includes an ongoing Oakland-based fellowship that provides professional development, coaching, and funding opportunities to local educators who incorporate maker-centered learning in their practice.