Erica and Paige from Bowers Institute at The Tech Museum in San Jose conducted 3 days ‘Design Challenge Learning’ workshop for Agastya’s educators. The Bowers Institute at The Tech offers resources and worksops designed for educators to build their skills in all aspects of Design Challenge Learning and gain confidence with cutting-edge tools for STEM teaching. During the workshop Agastya educators had the opportunity to become familiar with the Innovation Design Process by experiencing several design challenges (both physical builds and systems design challenges), understand and are comfortable with Design Challenge Learning facilitation methods by being introduced to these methods, reflecting on methods and using methods with a set of students during the workshop. Additionally, they created a plan to integrate Design Challenges into their learning settings by working in teams to develop, iterate and share their design challenge plans.
Erica began work in the museum field in 2001 to share her love of science with others, but she soon came to see science and engineering as a way to empower young people and adults to trust their own abilities to create and think critically. It is a passion of hers to inspire the same spark in educators and to bring them together to share their experiences and expertise. She has worked with after-school educators, teachers in grades pre-K through 12 and museum educators regionally, nationally and internationally in all areas of STEM and in reflective practice. Erica has a bachelor's degree in molecular and cell biology from U.C. Berkeley. As Senior Director of The Bowers Institute at The Tech Erica leads efforts to support educators as they develop the next generation of problem solvers via Design Challenge Learning. This work includes the development of educator resources and establishing key partnerships with like-minded organizations around the world.
Paige is passionate about working with diverse communities, particularly in the areas of radical education, food justice, and community building. She believes neighborhoods are better served when local people come together to collaborate, develop healthy relationships, and take ownership of community building equanimity. Paige served as a high school science teacher in Brooklyn, NY for seven years while participating as a S.T.E.M. fellow for the New York Hall of Science and performing research at Columbia University in nanotechnology. She then went on to becoming a director for a science and engineering educational non-profit, Iridescent, working with multiple schools, universities, children (k-12), families and professors throughout New York City and nationally. Most recently, she has worked with Howard University, U.C. Berkeley, and International Education Association (Beirut, Lebanon) providing hands-on and social justice-oriented curriculum and workshops focusing on relationship, rigor, and relevance to interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary approaches centered around identity and critical thinking.