Join Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy for an in-depth discussion in this video Suzanne Hawtrey: Artist, part of Project-Based Learning: STEM to STEAM.
Suzanne Hawtrey: My name is Suzanne Hawtrey and I am the lead parent-teacher mentor for the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy. I came on board as a, an artist. And I'm bringing my pottery skills, my ceramic background, and my love for art and creativity to the Engineering Academy. Suzanne Hawtrey: My son, Owen McKenzie is a junior at the Engineering Academy presently and he inspired me to participate and become involved with the academy.
And just exited to be a part of his class and to be learning with the students, and I'm just excited to be with them. Suzanne Hawtrey: I think what's most exciting about the Engineering Academy, is the enthusiasm among the students and their desire to really take risks in terms of exploring not only engineering but creativity, and the desire to combine engineering with creativity, I think it's very exciting for students, parents, teachers, and the entire community.
Suzanne Hawtrey: Well, as a mentor, I don't see myself as even necessarily in control. I basically show up for the students, make myself available to answer questions that they might have in terms of art. But as a mentor, I believe what's important is to scaffold the students if they need help to step in, but then know when to step back so that they are actually in charge.
And as a mentor, that becomes an art itself to recognize when the students need help, and then when it's time to allow them to fly. So as a mentor, I also offered some creative ideas in spent, this time recently, where they were asking questions and I was available to them. But I needed to recognize that many of my ideas were not used, they were just merely possibilities.
But I would was always looking for, for the students to really run with their own concepts and ideas. Suzanne Hawtrey: I met many parent mentors that were very open to offer ideas and what I found most interesting is that there were so many unique and different backgrounds and perspectives.
So I think that the more involvement from parents in the communities, the more possibilities. So that was very exciting. Suzanne Hawtrey: Well, primarily the evening of the Maker Faire, it was almost indescribable. The joy and the enthusiasm, and the excitement of an evening that required so much hard work and from the students it just came, came all together that evening and it was very exciting to see the students so proud of their hard work, indescribable.
Suzanne Hawtrey: It's extremely exciting to see this new perspective in education. From a personal level, I've waited for this moment my whole life. Because if I can share that, I felt is, because I'm an artist, I was personally misunderstood throughout my entire education. So, to see that the students are having hands-on learning experiential and creativity involved with academic, technical and rote memorization.
If you can combine the two, the highly technical academic aspect, and then the creative side of learning coming together, I think is the most exciting frontier that future students can face right now, and I'm very excited about all of it. Suzanne Hawtrey: The evening of the Maker Faire, I was in charge of the ceramics display and it was a interactive, and I was totally covered in clay and totally in my element.
And for me, personally, to see other people within the community sharing that experience was one of the happiest moments of my life. Suzanne Hawtrey: I think to present to the community the possibility of combining engineering and art together in a venue that was not strictly academic or strictly creative. It was the combining of the two and to present it into a public venue that was open to everyone.
I think is very, very exciting and holds a lot of potential for the future. Suzanne Hawtrey: I would say to future mentors that here, again, we have an opportunity for students to take risks, and this isn't a place to control or delegate own personal ideas, but to allow the students, the environment, the resources to explore art and science in their own exploration.
Suzanne Hawtrey: For me, personally, thinking of the term mentor removes the teaching aspect. So that relationship between mentor and teacher almost becomes more of the mentor becomes the student. Even though we're here to facilitate and guide, I think that the teachers and the mentors became friends almost.
We were on a very equal level where we assisted each other and we were learning from each other that the teachers were learning from the mentors and the mentors were learning from the teachers, it was very symbiotic. So, it's almost as if the definition of parents, teachers, mentors, and students fell away and, as a community, we all became a team.
We were one team. Suzanne Hawtrey: One word that comes to my mind would be gratitude that the Dos Pueblos Engendering Academy made available to parents to mentor, bring in their own skills to the academy. It's exciting, but also that the students move beyond the academy walls out to the community, and that it's with gratitude to the students for having the vision and teachers for supporting the vision, and I believe it's just the beginning.
Well, thank you.
When you're done watching the documentary, make sure to check out the bonus conversations in the Interviews chapter.