We're Not Finished

By MHR

I spent most of last night awake.

Not because I was nervous or worried or stressed or scared, but because I was trying to explain to myself how we got here. Life is hard to track and stories are hard to write, but the really really good ones you can usually manage to remember most of the details. 

Lying awake, I tried to remember all of ours.

I met Shelly in a lecture hall when I had just finished my undergraduate program and wasn't really sure what grad school meant yet.

Shelly met Rose before she had finished college, in a record store down the street, where he was using a record player to amplify sounds and singing through a megaphone.

Rose and Milt started their new jobs on the same day and spent the next four years making material-tech projects including a hand wired micro controlled light box and augmented reality beat maker.

Milt had two desks at that job. At the second desk, in a dank IT basement, Jason met Milt on his first day of work, and they would work together solving problems for the next three years. 

We've been working together, in some capacity, for the better part of a decade, every detail leading to the moment, right now.

The first time we were all in the same place was unremarkable. I think we all met up at CVP to welcome Milt to the team. A round of Natty Boh, a toast, to set out on a journey.

Over the last 587 days, a lot has happened. 

We've had highs and lows. We've gotten in fights, we've made up. We've suffered crises, we've celebrated success.

We've seen products, and the companies they belong to, come and go.

We've made some truly significant accomplishments, more than most companies at our stage.

We're the only company, that I know of, to ever start their name with an indefinite article.

We're one of the only companies that still pull all-nighters as a team at the ETC.

We've made it possible for high-quality professional development to be accessible to teachers anywhere, anytime, on any device, with their friends.

Most importantly, we've found out who it is that we are together as a team.

We know what drives us, what inspires us, and what we know is going to matter more than anything else as we move forward into the future, and what it will take to make that future ours.

Last night, looking at our details, I had a hard time deciding what it is that they were. 

This isn't fate.

It's faith. 

Faith in each other. Faith in the fact that we are smart enough, driven enough, and care enough to do this. Faith that there are people out there who won't know what they need until they see they can have it. Faith in the future. 

There isn't much more to it than that.

In An Estuary we found ourselves, and in a future that is just about to begin, we will become who we already are.

It is going to be a great story.

Take note of the details, connect the dots, live in the experience, and keep reading.

We're not finished, yet.

We're just starting. Yet.


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Kicking Off the Code.org K-5 Workshop Series

By MHR

An Estuary is honored to be a part of a hand-picked group of 100 educators, technologists, and general computer science enthusiasts facilitating workshops for teachers teaching computer science in grades K-5 around the country in partnership with Code.org.

"Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color." Their vision is to provide computer science educational opportunities to every student, in every school, and that computer science becomes part of the core curriculum taught in our schools. 

This year, Code.org is offering free professional development workshops to provide educators and others the resources they need to begin introducing students in grades K-5 to computer science basics and computational thinking skills.

In partnership with Code.org, An Estuary's Margaret Roth and Jason Lewis are servings as the Baltimore-Washington Area Regional Code.org K-5 Affiliates. As a Code.org K-5 Affiliates, Margaret and Jason facilitate monthly workshops on using the Code.org Code School curriculum at the Emerging Technology Center at the JHU Eastern Campus. 

Through this program Code.org is aiming to teach 10,000 teachers and reach 100,000 students over the next year, in every state, and around the globe.

While the Dev Team was off at the Baltimore Hackathon, Margaret led An Estuary's first workshop this past Saturday. A group of nearly 30 educators from the region spent their Saturday diving into the Code.org curriculum, modifying the content for their students, and developing plans for actionable integration of computer science curriculum into their schools. 

Interested in hearing what the experience was like and what participating educators had to say? Check out the "Teaching K-5 Computer Science" course page on Sanderling

For more information on private workshops for large groups, please contact margaret@anestuary.com.

Our next workshop will be December 13, 2014. To sign up for an upcoming workshop please visit the Code.org Workshop Search Page.


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The Importance of the Pie in the Sky

I took part in a design thinking session today. During the ideation phase of the this particular protocol, the facilitator first had us produce a flurry of suggested solutions to our problem. He then told us to each dream up an impossible solution, one that could require a million dollars or even magic in order to be achievable.


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