We’ve added some wonderful people to our staff this year, but I wanted to highlight our new Technology Specialist, Mack Fixler. Mack joined us in August, and is working on some of our new technology programs here at Garden Street Academy. Mack has been prolific in bringing exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) enrichment programs to schools throughout Santa Barbara. Here some of what he’s done in just the last two years:
- Co-authored a workbook for lessons with Electroninks’ Circuit Scribe pens that’s published on Amazon
- Mentored Santa Barbara High School’s Robotics Team
- Offered after school enrichment classes at local elementary schools
- Ran summer camps teaching robotics, programming, circuitry, and 3D printing
- Mentored teams and judged competitions for First Lego League
- Founder of EduCraft a small company that provides STEM education solutions
Mack is getting our new Lego Robotics program off to a great start. He’s teaching our Middle School students to build and program Lego Mindstorms to foster problem-solving make STEM fun and engaging. Mack is also working with Patti to design Lego WeDo projects for our younger students. Finally, Mack is helping John Gomm with the Upper School’s Lego Robotics club that meets once a week during lunch.
Because of his extensive experience with 3D printing, Mack is also working in the makerspace. He’s helping to tweaking our printers to get better prints. Mack’s also helping John and me to plan and design curriculum for the space.
If that’s not enough, he’s also helping me out with tech support duties for our laptops and desktop computers.
Just as important, though, Mack isn’t only about the tech. He’s also really good with students. He instinctively fits in with our kind and gentle attitude toward students, and he relates well with kids of all ages. He knows Lego Robotics so well that he makes sure our students enjoy their learning.
Here’s a photo I took today when our Kinder-First classroom was working on the tech lab.
Mack was designing some lego projects, and he showed his work to some of our students who were very eager to see how the motor and gears moved.
We’re very glad to have him working here, and so are our students!