Learn SteamHead's Design Teaching Process

This in-depth video lecture explains how SteamHead teaches the creative design process to their MakeFashion Edu students, and we hope it can inform and inspire the educators in your community. This is a great example of how to get art back into the classroom because it speaks to the critics who doubt the educational value of art programs. By having this framework, built on Stanford d.school’s model, teachers and advocates can better explain the values of creative work to administrators and other stakeholders. As design thinking and making projects are important skills in almost any field.

James from SteamHead explains how they walk each student through six steps of the design thinking process: Empathy, where students find what is important to them and their community; Define, where students brainstorm and explore what they want to build; Ideate, where the idea is sketched and students find the right scope and materials given their constraints; in Build, the project becomes a reality from prototype to finished work; Revise is where the student rehearses with their class and discovers problems both physical and with the story; and finally Share, when they have a big fashion runway and gallery that serves both to show the community and to motivate the students to work, knowing that the project will be seen on a serious platform.

Now, go make it happen! We hope you share this video with the educators and parents in your community to inspire kids who become future creative changemakers.

MakeFashion Edu: Bringing Tech and Art Together in the Classroom

MakeFashion Edu is achieving something great in education. As Director Carrie Leung explains, “Kids that normally wouldn’t touch tech are now using tech as tools, and kids that normally don’t see themselves as creative, are now seeing themselves as more creative.”

Find out more about this event and MakeFashion Edu here: http://www.makefashion.ca/edu/tucson

Ask almost any teacher or administrator and they can tell you how challenging it is to start a new school program, but beyond that, how challenging (and often controversial) it is to integrate technology into the classroom. Add to that the mounting cuts to arts and creative programs deemed non-essential to improving test scores and thereby the school’s funding, and you’ll have an idea of what programs like MakeFashion Edu are up against, despite the fact that the idea of teaching kids to be innovative, tech-savvy problem solvers has a lot of support both within and outside of schools.

There is a lot to be learned from this documentary feature about this struggle and how these changemakers made this program a reality in Tucson, AZ that culminated in a tech fashion show in January of 2019. They have supported similar programs and events in Shenzhen and Calgary with more to come.

Girls in Tech - “It’s no longer a boy or girl thing, it’s just, ‘We have a story, we want to create this, and this is cool!’”

Local organizer Twila Busby talks about how, “MakeFashion brought together craft, the sewing, the traditional, with some technology, and along with the traditional—kids are saying ‘oh my Nana sews’ … and now I can touch her sewing machine.’” This is to emphasize not only the students connecting with their family on a meaningful level, but also how this program is a welcoming entry point for girls to become comfortable with using technology as a tool. There’s an imaginary line between technical tools like sewing machines and 3D printers both in conception and as gendered objects, but we can see how easy it can be to erase that line in the minds of girls. These young designers learned to code, use LED lights and other electronic tools and products once that opportunity was presented in a welcoming way.

The team behind MakeFashion Edu, the producing non-profit org, SteamHead, and film maker Michael Shaw are members of the Cultivative network, and we’re happy to share this project and support them here.

Bringing Community Together is Key to Make It Happen

Bringing Community Together is Key to Make It Happen

James and Carrie from SteamHead are grassroots organizers who have spent years building this event for their community with Shenzhen American International School (SAIS). Even if you're not in Shenzhen, listen to their story and learn about how you might be able to bring your own community together.

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