Hello there! Let me introduce myself…
I’m Diana Rendina, and I’m a media specialist/teacher librarian at Stewart Middle Magnet School in bright and sunny Tampa, Florida. I’ve lived in Tampa my whole life and I’m actually the third generation of my family to teach for Hillsborough County Public Schools. Before working in education, I worked for Hillsborough County Public Libraries, so I’ve seen the library world from both the public and the school side of things.
I’ve always considered myself a creative person and have long been into crafting, but I never really saw myself as a science person. As fate would have it, my first school ended up being a STEM magnet school. The year I started, my school cut out art classes, which was extremely disappointing for me. I quickly began to see the need to create hands-on STEM learning experiences in our library that could also satisfy my students’ needs for creative expression. Then I discovered the Maker Movement and started reading everything I could get my hands-on about makerspace. Finally, in January 2014, the Stewart Makerspace as born.
I’ve since worked to transform our library, both in redesigning the physical learning space and through a cultivation of a participatory learning environment and culture. I’ve shared about my work here on this blog and through writing and presenting all over the place. I love what I do and I’m passionate about helping other educators to bring creative, hands-on STEM learning experiences to their schools through makerspaces.