A 29-year veteran of Philly public schools wants to build a makerspace in East Falls - Technical.ly Philly


Jan. 2, 2018 7:31 am

A 29-year veteran of Philly public schools wants to build a makerspace in East Falls

A 3D printer will help introduce children to problem solving and creativity, says Emily Adeshigbin, a digital literacy educator at Thomas Mifflin School. She launched a GoFundMe to make it happen.

Kids living the tech life at Mifflin.

(Courtesy photo)

After 29 years teaching in Philly public schools, Emily Adeshigbin landed this year at the Thomas Mifflin School thinking about the future.

The digital literacy educator at the East Falls school teaches computer science to students K–8. Her first thought on the new job? Replicating her experience at C.W. Henry School in Mount Airy: raise some money and warm kids up to tech by tinkering with a 3D printer.

“About two years ago, one of the neighbors said he had a 3D printer at home and he wanted to come and share with the kids,” said Adeshigbin.

(That neighbor was Jan Deruiter, executive director of Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit that installs internet-ready computers in classrooms.)

A fundraising campaign led to that school getting a new machine and incorporating it into the classroom. Now, Adeshigbin is looking to get the same vibe happening at Mifflin through a GoFundMe campaign. First up: one printer to establish the makerspace, and then adding printers to each classroom as funding allows.


“It develops the curiosity they already have: how it works and how to solve problems with it,” said Adeshigbin. “It’s another way of thinking about things.”

In the long run, the educator said the aim of the makerspace is to encourage the 300 kids at Mifflin to become creators.

Daniel and Lynsey Larson, whose daughter attends second grade at Mifflin, were the first to back the campaign. Daniel, a data scientist and podcaster, said a makerspace at the school creates an opportunity for students to gather, experiment, explore and tinker.

“Regular expertly guided exposure to these tools and technology is simply not something we can provide at home,” said Daniel Larson. “We can’t wait to hear about all of the exciting adventures sure to happen in the Mifflin Makerspace.”

  • Kimmy Linke Romano

    No they don’t the library has been closed for years there is no computer teacher only use computers when teachers find the time to take the kids up there no music or art classes can’t even afford paper to make copies we had to donate and the behavior of the children that attend this school is outrageously rude and disrespectful nobody in this neighborhood uses the school everyone buses there kids somewhere else because of the way the school is so poorly run good luck with that one

    • John S

      How does it feel to be part of the problem? Not to mention this indecipherable run on rant!

    • SEPA Early Childhood

      “Nobody” uses the school and “everyone” sends their kids elsewhere? You are calling a lot of people “nobodies.” How insulting.

  • Robert Colombo

    3D Printers are all the rage and can help “creativity” — but the bigger issue is teaching students to do “Systems Thinking” — the concepts around how systems are built, how sensors work and how feedback and control make things behave. Teaching folks how toilets flush and refill without overflowing, how analog/digital thermostats maintain temperature and how a fish tank might be improved to heat, feed and clean itself are worthy projects on low budgets that can yield big returns…

  • Felicite Moorman

    Thank you, Emily Adeshigbin! We appreciate and applaud your efforts!


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