Marcos Navas Makes with Code!
“We need to engage learners in a meaningful and authentic way.” –Marcos Navas
|Union City Public Schools|
|Union City, New Jersey|
Marcos Navas is a true ‘teacherpreneur’ who helps educators and students see new learning horizons through making! He’s been a technology coordinator for the Union City Board of Education in Union City, New Jersey, for over 17 years. In addition to being an inspiring educator, he’s an avid creator of 3D printer inventions and company founder, most recently of Hands on Coding. We’re thrilled to have Marcos as part of our community as a Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator!
In an interview with Maker Education Initiative, Marcos describes one memorable activity he’s facilitated: a coding obstacle course! Students were divided into groups and had to create an obstacle course for a robot to navigate. Once finished, the opposite group had to program the robot to navigate through the course! Marcos feels that Tynker has been a valuable coding resource, explaining that “[i]t’s a one-stop shop for districts to satisfy their future-ready needs in coding.”
For Marcos, his passion for sharing technology knowledge is firmly grounded in his ‘why’: his students. As he explains, young adults in the Union City area face significant challenges, just as he did when he was growing up in the area: “I can relate to students’ peer pressures, family pressures, dealing with poverty, and dreaming of one day getting out…I try to show them that they have the opportunity of an academic education, but they also a street smarts that they learned from hard knock lessons.” Since getting a good education may well be a path to greater prosperity for these students, Marcos understands how important it is that every learning opportunity be meaningful and carefully crafted: “The idea of just putting technology in kids’ hands is no longer an option. We need to go deeper than that, we need to engage learners in a meaningful and authentic way.”
Programs like Tynker can help students take their coding knowledge to the next level. As Marcos says, “Tynker allows for teachers to let go of their fears, and allow students to take off with coding.”
Thank you, Marcos, for all you’re doing to spread innovation and creativity to your students and beyond!
Read our previous post about Jeremy McGilligan-Bentin, a Wisconsin Tynker Blue Ribbon Educator who’s preparing the next generation of engineers and scientists!