085 – Young Makers with Peggy Healy Stearns

085 – Young Makers with Peggy Healy Stearns

Young Makers with Peggy Healy Stearns

“Education is more than knowing answers.  It is important to be curious… and as we discover ourselves in the context of community, we have a chance to find our own voice and develop the courage to express ourselves.” –Peggy Healy Stearns

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085 - Peggy Healy Sterns

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • Can you learn to write software without programming experience?
  • How is educational software unique?
  • How important is technical confidence for young learners?

Join us for a look at technology through the lens of educational software.

Welcome to the Table Top Inventing Online Radio Show.  Every week we interview successful individuals from across the career spectrum and share their stories.  Hearing the stories of others who have been down a tricky path and navigated to success has a way of inspiring confidence that I too could find success.

Today’s guest, Peggy Healy Stearns, began developing and writing educational software on some of the very earliest personal computer systems.  What was the road like?  What lessons has she learned about the intersection between technology and education?

Buckle up for a fun journey through the development of some of the best selling educational software inspired by the advent of the personal computer.

Every now and then, I have a guest who completely educates me on the history and perspectives of a particular aspect of education.  Peggy has seen educational software from one end to the other.  There probably isn’t a trend in ed software in the past 30 years she hasn’t touched.

Sometimes it’s just good to reach out for someone else’s expertise, and I’m so glad I get the opportunity every week to be educated by some of the best minds in the country.

If you think you might like a little extra help inspiring your teens this summer, point your browser to the ttinvent.com website and find Inventor Camp.  This summer at Inventor Camp, teenagers across the country will be inspired to try on the title “Inventor”.  Your kids may need a little push to start, but just like Alex, after the first day at Inventor Camp, they’ll be hooked.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

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Guest Bio

Peggy’s mission is to empower and inspire students, teachers and parents with compelling learning experiences and easy-to-use software that supports both formal and informal learning environments.

Peggy is an educator, author, and the designer of eight award-winning children’s software programs, including Stationery Studio® from FableVision and The Graph Club®, Neighborhood MapMachine™, and Community Construction Kit® from Scholastic / Tom Snyder Productions. She has designed extensive curriculum and resources to support classroom implementation. Peggy’s work has earned more than three dozen national awards.

Peggy is co-founder with Glen Bull of the Fab@School coalition and lead designer of Fab@School Maker Studio, an easy digital design and fabrication web app due out winter 2015-2016 from FableVision Learning. Peggy has 20 years experience at the K12 and university levels, was a district technology coordinator, and has presented seminars and conference sessions to thousands of educators across the country.

Peggy specializes in research, concept, and design of original applications; interface, documentation, user guides, classroom activities, editorial, and professional development.

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085 - Peggy Healy Sterns mountain_edit.jpg

Additional Notes

Connect with Peggy:

Additional Links:

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I would like to acknowledge two educators, neither of whom has been one of my formal teachers.

When I have questions about history or music or literature or myriad other topics, I turn to my husband, Gordon Stearns. His enormous knowledge base and ability to see connections and understand multiple points of view adds daily to my background and perspective. Gordy is also my primary editor, helping me hone my thoughts and present them more clearly. Our partnership has been a continual learning journey that has spanned decades and enriched my life.

Glen Bull, UVA Professor, brought me into the Fab@School project. When he first contacted me in January 2009, I knew little about digital fabrication, and nothing in the context of the K12 and STEM education. With Glen and the extensive network of educators with whom he connected me as guides, I have explored exciting new technologies and possibilities and was inspired to design Maker Studio It’s been an exciting, inspiring, and challenging journey ­­ somewhat akin to earning another graduate degree.


My latest projects fabricated just a short time ago were two pop up cards, one celebrating Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot, and the other celebrating Peter and Paul’s book Going Places.

Text Transcript Coming Soon!

Perhaps the most meaningful learning comes from life experience and relationships.  Education is more than knowing answers.  It is important to be curious… and as we discover ourselves in the context of community, we have a chance to find our own voice and develop the courage to express ourselves.  I think that voice is the bridge to our own creative, unique potential.  –Peggy Healy Stearns

People think engineering is just about sending rockets to the moon or really complicated projects, but everything is engineered.  A toothbrush is engineered.  Everything we use is engineered, and people need to see engineering as being something that is familiar and something they can approach.  –Peggy Healy Stearns

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