Our Story

Students in high school elective learn woodworkingOur focus on maker-centered learning first began in our physics and robotics classes, when Aaron Vanderwerff, now director of the Creativity Lab, realized that his students were missing out on learner-driven experiences essential in science and engineering. In 2010, he proposed asked his students to create something that they could then showcase at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Witnessing first-hand an increase in creativity and sense of empowerment among students, Lighthouse started the Creativity Lab program to include all students (K-12) and began providing professional development to teachers and educators interested in incorporating making into their curriculum. Our program has grown gradually over several years.

Creativity Lab Timeline

  • 2009-10   Making integrated into Physics curriculum for all 11/12th graders
  • 2010-13   High school making and robotics course culminates with students showcasing independent projects at Bay Area Maker Faire + first prototype fair at school 2012
  • 2013-14   K–12 Creativity Lab program opens: HS Elective + K-8 After School + Curriculum integration (coaching) + Professional Development
  • 2014-15   7/8 making elective + HS After School Program + continued curriculum integration
  • 2015-16   7/8 programming elective + continued curriculum integration + planning for Lodestar
  • 2016-17   Lodestar, Lighthouse’s sister school opens, featuring a maker-centered curriculum

Our big lesson since we started this work in 2009, it is that growing takes time! We have grown from one high school class into a K-12 program that supports over one-thousand community members, at Lighthouse and Lodestar, interested in integrating making into their classrooms. Every year we have focused on growing our program slowly and sustainably. For those looking to delve into maker-centered learning, we encourage you to choose one focal area or program and get started!