Gizmo Garden Blooms in Maine

Published in MIT News on March 30, 2015, by Nancy DuVergne Smith, Alumni Association

The MIT Edgerton Center’s K-12 electronics curriculum was the basis for a creative technology-education workshop in rural Maine this winter.

When a middle-school girl from rural Maine updated her Facebook page with a photo of herself soldering on a circuit board, the creators of Gizmo Garden knew the project was working — participating students were developing new images of themselves.

Bill Silver ’75, SM ’80 and his wife, Judy, held the winter-break workshop in February for 10 students to bolster the opportunity for technical education in coastal Maine — a place they loved, but one with limited resources.

Gizmo gardenThe couple, living full-time in Nobleboro, Maine, for the past five years, wanted to find a meaningful way to contribute to their community. Bill Silver, a co-founder of the machine-vision systems maker Cognex, and Judy Silver, who worked at Cognex in marketing and sales, drew on their technical and outreach skills. Drawing from MIT Edgerton Center curriculum models, they developed a week-long workshop that brought middle-school students together in a local library and invited them to create their own projects using their newly acquired skills of breadboarding and soldering electronics onto circuit boards.

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