Hello there! Let me introduce myself…
I’m Diana Rendina, and I’m a media specialist/teacher librarian at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 school in Tampa, Florida. I was previously the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School (also in Tampa) from 2010-2017. I’ve lived in Tampa my whole life. I’m actually the third generation of my family to work in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Before working in education, I worked for Hillsborough County Public Libraries. 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. We needed activities 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.