BERKELEY, Calif., July 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As a host site for the 2013 Maker Corps program, the Lawrence Hall of science is pleased to welcome four Maker Corps members to the Hall. Cassandra Stephens, Rebecca Abeles, Jason Chilbert, and William Juang, will be co-creating, pilot testing, and facilitating Maker type activities for the Design Quest exhibit's Ingenuity Studio.
The Lawrence Hall of Science has been an active participant in the growing maker movement for many years, sharing in the goal of providing young people with inspiring project ideas as well as mentors to help them work on their own engineering, art, and science projects.
Cassandra Stephens, an education student at UC Berkeley, says "I had always tinkered as a kid and I never knew there was a name for it until I became involved in Maker Corps. Everyone is so utterly thrilled to be making and discovering and playing that it's contagious".
Jason Chilbert has a professional background in high-end audio / visual systems with an education in sound design and acoustic reinforcement. He sees an opportunity for technology like computers, projectors and sound systems to create immersive, unforgettable learning experiences. He says, "I've learned to ask the right questions when children are immersed in a project and to let them experiment to see what works, regardless of how wild their experiments seem".
Rebecca Abeles is getting her first opportunity to engage kids in an informal setting "There is no limit to what we can make when we share ideas and work together" she says "There has been a constant flow of creativity, which, I feel, is too often stifled as we go through school".
William Juang, a UC Berkeley Molecular Biology and Chemical Engineering student, joined Maker Corps because he wants to play a part in inspiring people of all ages to pursue innovation. He would like to them to see that "science and engineering is not a field that is exclusive to the ridiculously brilliant in lab coats and safety goggles, but it is done by normal people just like everybody." Of his experience at the Hall so far he says "There are many moments when people are surprised by what they learn. For instance, many do not know that PlayDoh used for Squishy Circuits is conductive. These are priceless moments".
The Hall's Director of Ingenuity Programs, Monika Mayer, has found the Maker community to be great fit for open-ended design challenges like those in the Ingenuity programs at the Hall "We build on Tinkering and Maker content, but emphasize the engineering design process and related careers" she says "As visitors go through the stages of iterative prototyping, they work collaboratively to solve real-world challenges. These are the kinds of activities that the Maker Corps members at the Hall are helping to create and teach." In addition to being a 2013 host site for Maker Corps, the Lawrence Hall of Science is an East Bay host site for Young Makers, and a regular presence at Maker Faire in San Mateo and Mini Maker Fair in Oakland.
The Design Quest exhibit is sponsored by ScholarShare College Savings Plan and by Chevron. A supporter of the Hall for many years, Chevron has provided funding that helped to seed the development of the Hall's Ingenuity programs.
The Hall is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with Maker Corps Member facilitated activities happening in Design Quest's Ingenuity Studio everyday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. General admission is $6–12. Children under 3, members, and UC Berkeley students and staff receive free admission.
For more information on engineering design and innovation at the Hall, including Maker Corps blog updates, visit:
@berkeleyscience / #weinvent
Visitor Services and membership information: 510-642-5132
About Lawrence Hall of Science:
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley investigates, creates, and evaluates educational materials and methods, professional development programs, and hands-on learning experiences for science centers, schools, community organizations, and homes. Every year programs from the Hall serve millions of students, over 165,000 visitors, and more then 20,000 teachers nationally and internationally. The Hall is committed to providing every person access to high quality, effective science and mathematics learning opportunities to enrich lives, inform communities, and advance society. For more information visit lawrencehallofscience.org
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Source: Lawrence Hall of Science