Rafranz Davis

Lufkin, Texas
Lufkin ISD

http://lufkininnovates.weebly.com

What does it mean to be a maker?

Being a maker means living by a rule of no boundaries. What you want to create is a matter of learning, planning and doing it. Makers are driven by the passion to not only create but also share. I like to think of is as being a person who tinkers with the mixed media of life to create cool stuff.

What are you doing in the Maker community?

I'm currently working to empower a culture of making in our rural community. I'm running two makercamps this summer where kids will be doing some tinkering and coding for the first time with raspberry pi, microbits, arduinos and the world around them. I'm actually facilitating the entire camp from grades K-12 but it is through partnerships with our community and the Windows IoT team at Microsoft that is making this work. I've been creating with Raspberry Pi for a while now but it was going to class with our engineering and robotics kids that made the difference. In my mind, if we can provide these opportunities to tinker well before high school, the sky is the limit for our kids. I'm excited for what we will be accomplishing! The cool part is that we will be sharing so that other communities can do the same!

Who are some other Makers you admire and why?

I started this work because of my nephew Braeden. He taught himself to make puppets at 8 years old using youtube and has gone on to learn everything from clay molding to painting and whatever else is on his search bar. He always wanted to make his puppets animatronic and stopped trying because he didn't have the parts to do it. No kid should have those limits. He's coming to learn with our students this summer and I cannot wait!