School of Art, Media, and Technology

Institute of Play Seeks Designer-Educator

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The Institute of Play seeks a creative, energetic, designer-educator for Short Circuit, an afterschool program where kids tinker at the intersection of design, technology and art. They’re looking for a maker who is inspired by middle-schoolers, dedicated to project-based learning and ready to explore everything from cardboard to code.

The Institute of Play seeks a youth‐oriented, highly motivated, design and technology‐savvy individual, to teach in its afterschool program, Short Circuit. Short Circuit is an enrichment program developed by the Institute of Play for Quest to Learn, the game‐based public school it founded in 2009. Short Circuit extends into the afterschool space the school’s focus on tinkering, civic engagement, problem-solving, collaboration and invention.

Short Circuit is a multi-disciplinary enrichment space, where participants have the opportunity to imagine possibilities, create products and explore materials—from cardboard to code. In a studio-like learning environment, kids experiment at the intersection of physical and digital materials, taking systems apart and recombining their components in new ways. Through thematic curriculum modules, participants are empowered to build expertise in a range of design, media, and technology skills—programming, soft circuits, sound/music, web development, game design, artifact creation and more. The program is being partially funded by the Gates Foundation, as a pilot site for youth-led programs centered on creativity and innovation.

The successful Short Circuit candidate is a designer, maker,educator and facilitator. S/he is enthusiastic, committed to working with youth within a design, media, and technology‐led space, open to new ideas and collaboration with a range of stakeholders, adept at engaging diverse audiences, and able to foster and inspire broad participation through the creation of engaging, challenge-based learning activities.

Teach in Short Circuit, working with participants around co‐created project ideas
Work with the Informal Learning project team to develop learning activities and workshop challenges
Engage in a range of activities to mentor and empower young people around design topics, new media literacies, community engagement, and youth‐led collaboration
Maintain an inclusive, positive, and effective learning environment
Demonstrate a daily commitment to experiential inquiry and project‐based learning

Experience teaching and working with middle school participants
Experience building in real and virtual environments with hi and lo-tech tools
Enthusiasm about new solutions, technology platforms, free and open-source solutions and their integration into the design process
Flexible, open to new ideas and able to solve problems creatively and effectively
Strengths in communicating, collaborating and working with a diverse team of stakeholders
Responsible, independent and willing to pitch‐in where needed

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 2pm-6pm and Wednesday 12pm-4pm
Employment Dates: August 22–December 15, 2011 (with option for renewal)
Part Time with an on‐site commitment of 25 hours per week
Salary: Commensurate with experience

Interested applicants should submit the following materials:
Letter of application outlining your interest in the position and qualifications you would bring to the job (within the body of an email)
Link to your online portfolio or attached PDF file with relevant work samples
Resume as PDF attachment
Names and contact information for 3 references
All materials should be submitted via email to:

Application deadline is Friday, August 12 or until position is filled.

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