Unleashing creativity is the driving force behind the team at CORI. As engineers and educators by trade, our company’s evolution has been a collaborative journey conceived along-side innovative students, passionate teachers, and inventive makers who were actively reimagining the learning and creating experience. Those conversations, in concert with the design thinking process, is how CORI was born.
Our design thinking process began with one central question – how do we remove the barriers to creating? As we unpacked the challenges in classrooms, makerspaces, and our everyday garages, some patterns emerged that started our ideation. The CORI team focused on designing our products with these key elements in mind:
• Storage, Safety, and Space
• Aesthetic Value
• Open Source Topology
• Community Connection
Yet, like any effective design process, we continued to listen, ask questions, research, test, and improve our designs which helped us prepare us for the next phase. In January 2020, we officially launched CORI. We remain committed to reflecting upon our experiences in the field because customer relationships and feedback are the backbone to our mission. We look forward to innovating solutions that spark creativity and inspire the next generation of engineers, makers, scientists, and artists. We invite you to connect with us at our community hashtag – #CoriCreate. We love seeing your creative versions of our designer templates, but we especially get inspired with freestyle building that uses CORI in ways we never thought possible.
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” – Albert Einstein
In my 15 years in K-12 education, I have focused on developing modern learning environments and programs that support a strength-based approach for students. My education narrative began as a failed, traumatized Kindergarten student who had countless visits to the Principal’s office. During those early elementary years, my interests were not in school, but rather building with Legos, creating storylines with my GI Joes, and making up games with friends down the street. Reflecting on my education journey from student to teacher, I discovered learning can happen anywhere and in many contexts. Specifically for me, comic books taught me how to read, sports taught me teamwork, and tinkering with cardboard inspired my engineering career.
As I transitioned from engineering to education, I fully understood the power of focusing on students’ passions and interests. I was known as the “rebel” teacher who varied from the traditional curriculum and brought topics like video game-based coding, stock market trading, and launching eggs with catapults to teach content area standards. Making education relevant for the students is where I saw the most success, and that often led back to lessons being social, hands-on experiential and demanded creativity…and oh yea, not tied to an irrelevant worksheet. These guiding principles continue to drive me to design products that support the maker mindset, creative soul, and encourages STEM education for every learner!
“Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been.” – Albert Einstein
After more than twenty years in the tech industry I still have a huge appetite for technology and innovation. From a young age I was obsessed with tinkering – taking things apart, building, and modifying. As I transitioned into my career, my happy place remained with problem solving, design, and prototyping. I’ve seen the value of learning-by-doing throughout my life. I believe everyone can be innovative and creative, but just like most other things, it takes practice.
I think we can all agree that there is a change in how kids play and create these days. Instead of open-ended tinkering, kids are more comfortable following strict recipes. Instead of learning by doing, they learn by watching. Instead of creating, they consume. If allowed, our kid’s devices will devour their attention leaving little time left over for hands-on creativity. Yet, it’s during our youth when our imagination and creativity is at its best. Our virtual worlds are great, but at some point, we must connect it back to our physical world.
I have seen the proud look on a kid’s face when they have created something new and unique. The sense-of-accomplishment-smile that they cannot hold back is truly priceless. Our goal with Cori is to build a belief in our next generations. A belief that they can accomplish what they set out to do.