Meet the Maker: Christa Flores
Educated as an anthropologist, Christa Flores learned the importance of looking for clues in human behavior that could impact the evolution of human development. She earned a degree in Biological Anthropology and masters in Secondary Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before taking a deep dive into the Maker Movement in Education, Christa taught science in New York City. For Flores, what started as a career in science education lead to a discovery that teaching science had not evolved much in the past 100 years.
This inspired her "to challenge the status quo of teaching science. In the real world of science, there are many different forms of science literacy working together in harmony including practicing a curious mindset about the world, acquiring factual knowledge or 'science speak' in order to collaborate, and applying principles of inquiry via problem-solving or inventing."1 Flores' holistic approach to science education leans into activating curiosity by giving learners the opportunity to "do" science and construct learning made her a perfect fit at the Amazeum as a maker in residence.
Flores facilitated workshops for the Amazeum team and join in on Tinkerfest during her time as a maker in residence. As a leading proponent of maker-based education, Her time at the Amazeum included visits to various Making Spaces schools where the Amazeum education team collaborates with educations to support the integration of problem-based learning through making.
During Tinkerfest, she led an activity to engage young learners and their families in the process of exploration and iteration through an open-ended, hands-on textile exploration designed to combine tools from the maker movement, real materials, trial and error that created a personalized learning experience. Flores, like many maker educators, realizes that constructing knowledge about STEM begins at the earliest ages when kids are giving the opportunity to simply figure things out.
Christa Flores maker residency at the Amazeum was different from other makers who have resided at the museum since 2017. While others created something tangible and exhibited traits and mindsets of makers, Flores residency explored the mindset of makers and how to develop that mindset when teaching STEM.
1 Making Science: Reimagining STEM Education in Middle School and Beyond, 2016, Christa Flores, Constructing Modern Knowledge Press