Teresa Sappington

Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, Lamar County Technical Center


What does it mean to be a maker?

As a Maker I create a physical representation of an idea or design. Sometimes I create something that solves a problem. Other times I create for fun.

Makers love the challenge of creation. Most of the time, the first design does not work. Makers often go through redesign several times before perfecting a creation.

Makers also like to both teach and learn. It's a life-long process. They keep up with changes in technology and have become masters at "learning to learn".

Makers also believe in social change. Makers very often are found improving the communities that they live in.

What are you doing in the Maker community?

I currently serve as the Maker Caucus Fellow in the office of Congressman Mark Takano, one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Maker Caucus. I help organize events and briefings, catalog Makerspaces and their districts, and research all aspects of the Maker movement to keep the Maker Caucus informed. I am currently working on organizing the Capitol Hill Maker Faire.

I am also teaching as many people as I can the joy and ease of designing with TinkerCAD, a program that is an easy introduction to Computer Aided Design. I also design and 3D print trinkets.

Who are some other Makers you admire and why?

My father, Jesse Burge, taught me how to work in a wood shop. He has been hand building acoustic guitars since the 1970's. He also rebuilds John Deere tractors. He never runs into a problem he won't try to fix and he never gives up on a project until it's just right.

My mother, Elaine Burge, taught me how to sew and helps with all of my sewing projects. She taught herself how to use a computer, and learned how to scan, edit and recreate old pictures. She taught me that girls can be anything they want to be.