Teachers invited to mobile maker workshop


The Spark Truck, a mobile maker space quipped with tools, lights, gadgets and gizmos, will be rolling through Taos this week.

Twirl Play and Discovery Space, The School Zone ­Taos and the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University (SMU) have been collaborating to bring the Stanford University-designed fab-lab­ to Taos during spring break, according to Nikki Ross of Twirl.

Kids and families will have their chance to explore the van and take part in hands-on projects at the Taos Youth and Family Center March 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

But in an effort to cultivate more homegrown enthusiasm for making, tinkering and innovating, teachers are invited to participate in a workshop March 17 to discuss pedagogical approaches to maker-based education and the tangible benefits of this approach to education.

The teachers’ workshop will take place at Twirl Too, located at 229D Camino de la Placita in Taos, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with light breakfast provided. Those interested are asked to RSVP to nikki@twirltaos.org.

The workshop features Kathryn Krummeck, one of the original team members behind the Spark Truck and current director of the Deason Innovation Gym at the Lyle School. She’ll be joined by Rickey Crum and Gray Garmon, both of SMU.

”I had become very interested in the whole maker movement and loved the idea of a mobile concept for our rural community. A play and discovery van filled with materials and cool stuff for kids to play and make with became a dream and we began, slowly, to plan how we might make one happen,” said Ross.

Makers have been making their mark in Taos for a few years, starting with occasional maker-oriented summer camps, the popular “Invent Event,” and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programing in both traditional public schools and charter schools from Taos to Questa.