Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March is for Making: March 8 - Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8

As I  grabbed my coffee, glanced at the news, read my email this morning gearing up to write another March is for Making blog post,  I was inspired by the images of women that streamed across  by computer screen.

And along with these women, so many more amazing women have contributed in ways that we don’t even know about.  Along with the ‘hidden figures’ who have made amazing contributions to moonshot innovations, there are countless women who make a difference every day by serving as role models for those around them -- women who are not afraid to step outside the stereotypes that limit us.  

Since this blog series is focused on creating and making in our schoola, I’d like to use today to say THANK YOU to all the amazing women who have been part of the Create Make Learn community and who every day are making a difference by inspiring young women to take risks and by helping to change the implicit biases that that both men and women, boys and girls have around the roles that women are and can play in our world.

One of the most important ways that we can do that is by creating safe places for girls and women to take risks,  gain confidence with new tools and processes,  and explore possibilities.  Creating and Making can be a powerful vehicle for this.  

Create Make Learn Summer Institute is a co-ed learning opportunity that last year included over 50 women doing exactly that -- taking risks; gaining confidence; and exploring possibilities! As women we were....

-- surrounded with people who looked like us and sounded like us throughout the week.  We laughed together, inspired each other, and grew together all week.  The men amongst us were helpful, encouraging, and supportive of our growth and desire to learn more.  

-- inspired by amazing skilled female role models as leaders and teachers.  Having workshops lead by so many highly talented women not only helps break stereotypes of who ‘holds the knowledge and the power” to make,  but it helps us connect to skills that we have often not related to. Women often find a different entry point when working with technology.

--welcomed into a safe place to learn, to take risk, and to come back to even after the event.  The Generator (the Burlington makerspace that has been the Create Make Learn headquarters)  has not only allowed us to grow as a community of  women educators, artists, and makers,   they actively and explicitly strategize to provide a safe and welcoming place for making.  

Generator is an open innovation environment fueled by one thing: the power of ideas and your passion to make them real. Neither men or women have exclusive competencies in this domain; Generator is committed to meeting the needs of all our members without prejudice or favor for a science over an art, a knowledge domain or an industry sector.

Generator celebrates today and every day the brilliance and beauty, the service and the independence of our women. I invite you as part of this community to recommit to opening and expanding access and opportunities for women and girls that are made possible through competence in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.”  ~ Lars Hasselblad Torres, Director of Generator

There is so much more, I’d like to say, about the importance of celebrating the contributions of women both locally and globally,  but let me end with a picture of the WHY this is so important!

Photo Credit: TechSavvy Girls camp 2016

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