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  • Gabriela T. Richard

Former Advisee, Will Ashley, begins new role as Makerspace Coordinator for a School and Community

Updated: Oct 1, 2019

Robert "Will" Ashley successfully completed his graduate degree this summer and embarked on a new journey as a Makerspace Coordinator/Director for a K-12 school in his hometown community in coastal Mississippi. The position is unique, and there was a very competitive candidate selection process. In this position, Will will be designing the new makerspace, using what he learned in my research group and in the Learning, Design and Technology program at Penn State. Once it is built, the makerspace will be utilized for the school and the local community.

Building off of what he learned in my Makerspaces in Education course, and our research and curriculum development projects, Will developed novel interdisciplinary curricula for the school, which he has started implementing this fall. His contributions have been notable, as he was featured in his new role on the local news:

As quoted in the news story, Will explained the new makerspace and curricula gives students a chance to gain "hands-on [practical] experience with what they’re learning in classes. So, this is not just a science building or a science extension. We will be working on projects that compliment ELA, social studies, math, art, and pulling those all together.”

It has been wonderful learning more about his experiences applying what he has learned, and building new expertise and curricular designs. I'm very happy to congratulate him on his accomplishments, completion of his degree (and excellent thesis), and endeavors as a practicing learning designer and educator!

Will Ashley featured on the local Fox news channel in his new role as Makerspace Coordinator for the School and Community.

Will Ashley posing in front of the Coast Episcopal School as he gets ready to welcome back and greet new students for the first day of school.

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