Aaron Vanderwerff

Lighthouse Community Charter School
Oakland, CA

Project Description:

Vanderwerff’s innovative teaching idea, “Lighthouse Creation Studio”, is designed to help students, ages five through 19, learn and apply  STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills to real-world problems and ideas in new and innovative ways. Older students  will learn how to use conventional hand and power tools and computer-aided design (CAD) to design parts and test assembly. The younger  students will learn to make their ideas a reality by using age-appropriate materials and programming kits. The Creation Studio is  designed to be a safe place where participants can try something, fail, and try again; where teachers can be innovative, team up across  grade levels and introduce new ways of learning. The ING Unsung Heroes grant will help expand the number of students who are able to  participate in this engaging, hands-on experience from 30 to more than 700 students. Vanderwerff, who resides in Oakland, believes that  throughout the process, the students will acquire grit, gain confidence, and learn how to take an idea from concept to production.