MacGyver Academy
MacGyver Academy, Macgyver, diy, school

Top Engineering Colleges
Stanford University
University of California-Berkeley
California Institute of Technology

A DIY Workshop and Fabrication Studio

Our Approach

To help produce a realistic plan, we decided to identify some of the issues we view as interfering with  American student's proficiency in STEM subjects, and how we intend to address them.

A big challenge is kids often aren’t interested in STEM subjects because they don’t see them as fun or cool.  Step one in the ability to master anything is an authentic desire to do so.  That desire grows from passion, and it has to come from within.  Adults cannot cajole rather they must inspire children to become excited.  Therefore, we should examine the areas that collectively ignite our youth’s passion.  Sports and entertainment immediately spring to mind.  The reason is a no-brainer.  The intrinsic natures of sports and entertainment are fun and cool, and the people who have careers in these fields are often famous, glorified, and rich.  Developing an authentic interest in these jobs is fairly easy for most of us.

This is perfectly normal.  However, we need to start framing the accomplishments and lives of successful STEM experts in a similar way.  Children must be led to connect with the fact that people who design the video games they love and build the stadiums where their favorite teams play are a bunch of STEM geeks.  Every time they log onto a social networking site, reach for their smartphone, or drool over the hottest new sports car they should realize these advances are the brainchild of a STEM nerd.  Jet airplanes, rocket ships, the people who operate them, keep our nation safe, and explore outer space, are made possible by STEM.   The special effects in the top television shows, movies, and concerts all created by a STEM guy or gal. 
STEM experts are undoubtedly cool, quite usually wealthy, and have the power to affect lasting change.  Subsequently, they are destined to become the names that remain on people’s lips countless generations into the future.  We absolutely should remind our kids that without STEM James Bond would just be a guy in a suit holding a martini which would make for a seriously dull plot.  At MacGyver Academy we want to draw attention to the rock stars and football heroes from STEM fields for our children to look up to.

Another problem is the existing shortage of educational opportunities for children who may be interested in these fields.  Currently our public schools lack both teachers who are qualified to teach STEM subjects and appropriate learning environments for students to get hands on training in them.  Few charter schools exist that focus on them, and the private schools that do are often costly. Furthermore, the college degrees required to work in these areas are usually astronomically expensive, a reality that can cause students and their families to become discouraged.  We are aiming to improve this deficit by providing a safe, sociable, and free program where students can explore these fields through experiential learning techniques in a fully equipped facility.  
The most essential idea we would like to convey to our participants is how vital adopting a “Can Do!” attitude is to their success.  A common obstacle for many of us is fear and a lack of faith in ourselves.  Misguided beliefs such as; “I’m not good at math”, “Computers are too complex”, “Girls don’t pursue science” or “It’s too hard”, are damaging thoughts that inhibit children from reaching their true potential.

Throughout each individual’s life he or she will have no problem finding others, sometimes even those with the best intentions, to share the myriad of reasons a given goal is impractical, too complicated or even impossible.  Ambitious children will often get confronted with ridicule, criticism, and skepticism.  Further, insecure people sometimes purposely attempt to squelch the dreams of others by relentlessly doling out accusations of conceit or grandiosity to individuals pursuing their aspirations.

We would like to teach our participants the opposite ideology; that through the employment of focus, hard work, and determination, positive outcomes are in fact an extremely logical expectation and result.  Further, at MacGyver Academy we wish to instill youngsters with the understanding that a desire for success and self-actualization is healthy and noble.   Our hope is to assist children in developing the tools, strength, and courage to silence the noise and sustain their “Can Do!” mind set long after we’re gone from their lives.