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  • Writer's pictureKyra Zylstra

What if curiosity and connection are the path toward purpose and change?

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

At the Future of Work Muncie we believe that the dynamic world we live in requires collaborative solutions that challenge us to think and connect in new ways. The questions we ask guide the way we look at opportunities and the creative potential to propel us forward.

One of the things I love most about the partner workshops that we’re offering is the sense of excitement in the room. As we use curiosity to guide our learning opportunities both students and adults come away energized and excited about new possibilities.

These are some of the questions we’ve been asking and the collaborations that have formed around them:

How might we create learning and connection opportunities that are inspiring to educators, meaningful to students and relevant to the local workforce?

In partnership with MTEN and Purdue Polytechnic, we have launched the pilot year of the Educator Maker in Residence program. This year-long fellowship brings together professional educators passionate about incorporating a maker focus in their classrooms. Through Maker Mindset training, a membership to the Madjax Design Lab, and collaboration with student apprentices, workforce and community partners, these educators are exploring their own curiosity to create community workshops and camps that explore what it means to be a maker and strengthen our maker skills.

Visit to learn more about the regional workshops and camps offered this Summer!

What would it look like for students to be excited about technology that meets human needs?

In partnership with the Ball State University Adaptive Technology Lab, we invited students to explore ways that technology is being used to create accessibility options for individuals with disabilities and how these advances can support learners and workers of all abilities. Alongside some incredible volunteers who shared about their real world experiences, students explored technologies that convert text to braille, create maps and images using 3D printing, use raised line technology to depict images and words, convert websites to audio, adapt board games for visual impairments and more!

How might we create maker focused opportunities that explore environmental sustainability?

In partnership with the Muncie Sanitary District, our local Stormwater and Recycling Educator helped participants learn about ways to protect the cleanliness of our local watershed, shared insights on the structural improvements happening locally, and led participants in creating Barrel to capture rainwater runoff.

Imagine if every Upward Bound student had everything they need to have a full and meaningful life. What would that look like?

In partnership with the Upward Bound program at Ivy Tech, Muncie Central students participated in a leadership team workshop series using this question to guide them the development of a workshop series that will be offered through the Upward Bound program this Summer. Students use a Strategic Doing based process to identify their own strengths and assets, connect with program staff and community partners, and develop life skill workshops that they will co-lead. Students identified topics including Budgeting & Financial Literacy, Cooking Skills, Professional Networking, Self Wellness, and Laundry Life Hacks as their top areas of interest to contribute to a full and meaningful life.

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