Hands-On Empowerment at Oakland International High School

Oakland International High School is a public high school in Oakland, California, that serves predominantly newly arrived immigrant students from approximately 30 different countries. At the end of the school year, the last three weeks are dedicated to Post Session, where students enroll in one physical education or art based class. In 2017 OIHS received a Maker Empowerment Grant from the Abundance Foundation, which allowed for the creation of several multiple maker-centered learning classes, including Careers In Computing, Biking, Mural and Mosaics, and Bag Design. OIHS Computer Graphics Teacher and Media Academy Director Mallor Moser captured the broader impact of the program: “The idea is that your voice can be heard. You can develop this skill that engages the community, but also there’s a final product that everyone can enjoy.”

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.