Our bus will be open to tour and we will display/demo projects that we have worked on with our educational classes and our Curiosity Hacked guild. These will include 3D printed solar car and robot, DIY Arduino laser tag guns, 3D printed engineering/building tools for use with common house hold items, mini robotics powered by scratch, water powered bottle rockets and other hands on actives for adults and children to do.
Gwen Thompson first discovered her love for project based learning (PBL) while studying early childhood education. She applied the project approach as an Atelierista in a Reggio Emilia style classroom at the Young School in Columbia Maryland. She taught and directed PBL preschool for over a decade. She went on to be accepted into the Integrated Media program at Mt. Hood College in Portland, Oregon where she further honed her skills in Graphic and Web design. Together with her husband Dr. Jim Thompson, who shares her love for making, she founded a small business Wizzbangz LLC, dedicated to teaching technology, coding and making through doing. She has taught hands on classes such as “how to make your own laser tag gun from scratch” to “build your own robot with 3D printing” as well as Lego Robotics at venues such as the HRC and Cade Museum and Helped to create and teach at Santa Fe College for Kids Spring Break: Space Camp. Through her volunteer efforts she has founded the first Curiosity Hacked guild in Florida and is currently a guild leader. Her efforts with Curiosity Hacked have gained the attention of Edutopia who hosted and filmed one of the prominent leaders in the maker movement Jay Silver (Inventor of the Makey Makey) who shared his vision of teaching creativity through making with her guild. She will be a Google Maker Camp Affiliate this year for the second year in a row and is the Community Chapter Leader for LittleBits in Gainesville. Gwen believes that we all learn best by doing and her goal is to demystify the black boxes of technology. She teaches because she loves to see students become independent thinkers, designers and makers who have confidence in themselves and have a greater understanding of the world around them.