So it turns out we haven’t been the only ones touring the country in a big education-mobile lately.
In what I’ve decided to call an unforgivable case of blatant plagiarism, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, also recently embarked on a coast-to-coast back-to-school excitement-sparking journey.
We got to meet Secretary Duncan last night during the last stop of his tour (and he told us he’d heard of us!). It was a Back-to-School rally at the U.S. Dept of Education near the National Mall, and thanks to us it featured lasers.
We parked in front of the building early in the day to run some workshops for local 3rd-graders. (Thanks to Rupa, Jason’s classmate who’s doing Teach for America in D.C., for supplying said 3rd-graders).
Today we’re at Betascape, rounding out a few lovely days around the Chesapeake Bay.
We knew Baltimore was going to be great because we started off with an excursion to Faidley’s for some award-winning crab cakes.
The above picture, it must be pointed out, I got from the site of Maryland photographer Marty Katz. This is because our crab cakes were devoured too quickly for us to take a photo of them.
And there were other delights besides food in Baltimore. Like, of course, lasers.
We ran our laser-cut stamps workshop at a few schools in the city, and everyone had a blast. This time, we again had the kids think of one thing you can do to make the world a better place, and then design a logo that convinces people to do that.
To make it feel real, we had all the kids write letters to someone important talking about the issue that’s important to them.
We think this step is really important, since it makes us feel like we’re really implanting seeds of meaningful empowerment.
In the past few days we’ve also gotten to visit an awesome place in Fairfax, VA called Flint Hill School. We ran a few workshops with kids and parents, and got to meet some amazing teachers who made us feel really good about where education is headed in this country. It’s really heartening to hear schools talking about the need to encourage creativity and a prototyping mindset.
[remind me to find a picture of the Flint Hill workshops]
Of course, Baltimore left a mark on us.
Luckily, it came off pretty easily.
All in all, it’s been a great few days, full of encounters with amazing people aged six and up. So as we’re packing up the truck to drive to New York, I’ll sign off with another mark that was left on us, this one by a student in one of our Baltimore workshops. I’ll let Raven speak for herself:
(Full-resolution image here.)