The Smithsonian’s Ashley Deese: “How we might get kids as excited for educational games as they do with Fortnite and Pokemon”

An Interview With Penny Bauder

Penny Bauder
Jan 7 · 10 min read

We recently developed a line of freely available activities that are inspired by the makerspace movement. Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces is designed for students to engage with emerging technologies through hands-on learning such as 3D printing and computational thinking. These activities bridge formal science education and the makerspace movement by helping educators and teachers engage with digital and physical technologies within the context of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) by asking them to make something new. Our first series incorporated 3D printing and we recently released a series that uses cardboard and tape as a low-tech approach to teach computational thinking. We have an upcoming app that is compatible with cardboard headsets and offers a virtual reality experience that will bring users to the National Mall in Washington, DC to learn about the path of the sun as it moves through the sky in different seasons. We are also exploring ways to incorporate augmented reality in the classroom in a meaningful way.



  1. Do market research — Chances are that the game may have been created before. See what others are doing and then improve upon it and give it your own spin.
  2. Prototype — Before diving into digital development, prototype your game using paper or PowerPoint.
  3. Test — Playtest your game with friends, family, and ideally your target demographic.
  4. Iterate — It is likely that you will not have your final game nailed down in your first design. Take user feedback and improve upon it until you have a final product you are happy with.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Penny Bauder

Written by

Environmental scientist-turned-entrepreneur, Founder of Green Kid Crafts

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade