Maker Difference

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A guest blog by Donna Rawling.

“I am Computing Lead at a Primary school in Greater Manchester. I am  aCAS Master Teacher, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, BCS accredited and a Barefoot Computing presenter. My passion is to encourage as many children as possible to study Computer Science and ultimately pursue a career in the Sciences. I do this through a STEM/STEAM, MakerEd approach wherever possible, with a huge emphasis on Growth Mindset and resilience. I hold daily drop-ins in the school makerspace which I have developed, it’s attended by up to 40 children, where junk modelling, knitting and Coding are all part of the lunchtime sessions”

For much of her life I’ve had a sense of what is important to me, but also very much a feel of many strands of my life, experiences and, dare I say my talents (as I perceive them) to be the raw materials of some as yet unwoven cloth or project.

My ‘lightbulb moment’ (more of the lightbulb later) came when I inherited my Mum’s button tin.

When I sadly lost my Mum 5 years ago, one of the things that I felt really strongly that I wanted to have of hers was her button tin. This tin, full of buttons of every shape, size and texture had been one of the enduring highlights of my childhood. I used to love to sift through it, wondering where each button had started life, what it had been attached to, what it had helped to hold together.

It was my Mum who had taught me to sew; to knit; to crochet. My Mum who had never lost patience in my endless stitch dropping, who casted on and off for me as this for me, in my scarf making stages, was the ‘tricky bit.’ These times of crafting still envoke fond memories of comfort, belonging, social engagement, the finished product being almost an aside.

As I began my career in Education, I keenly recognised this for need belonging in the children in my care, of finding a voice, a way to state one’s identity.

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