Table Top Inventing (TTI) is dedicated to inspiring kids to be explorers, tinkerers, innovators, and deep thinkers. There is so much potential in every human being, and we want to help liberate that potential. With the challenges facing us locally, nationally, and globally, we can’t afford to lightly discard the potential locked in the hearts and minds of any child. Instead we need to find ways to help kids know that they are amazing!
The Table Top Inventing approach is to offer classroom tools, teacher and student innovator meetups, and an online learning portal (currently in testing) to encourage Maker Learning. Maker Learning puts kids squarely in charge of their own education by providing an environment where growth naturally occurs through the process of “hard fun”. Working with their hands, hearts, and heads, students collaborate and learn with each other to solve challenging problems. To see a kid who learned how to learn check out this blog that Debby wrote up about the subject. With an environment rich with possibilities and inspiration–what we call an “Educational Makerspace”–students have the raw materials to become amazing!
We believe strongly that we “cannot teach anyone anything. [We] can only make them think,” and thinking is a very personal activity done for very personal reasons. Yet environments can be created where it is safe and encouraged to explore, to tinker, and to think personal thoughts without the fear of criticism or stigma of failure. In fact around here, we don’t really believe in failure. Failure is simply the first step to something amazing!
Hey, my name is Steve and I love to make things. The things I make are sometimes useful and sometimes playful. I can’t imagine a life without being able to make things. I recently started to use a cool new technology called “3D printing”. I became so excited about this platform for making things that I just had to help other people learn how to use it too! So I did what any self-respecting American would do, I decided to ask my wife Debby to help me start a business so we could support our habit of helping others move from consuming to creating.
I’ve actually been using 3D design software, physical computing, and computer programming for about 15 years. I never used 3D design alone to make a living, but whenever I had a project that needed a 3D model, I would go to the 3D CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) software and build something. As a maker and a research scientist — sorry, I can’t help my PhD past — I have the quintessential “absent minded professor” thing going on, and fortunately for me, Debby brings a strong organization and social intuition to our business. Just as I’ve been a maker all my life, my wife has been an educator all her life. In fact (don’t tell her I actually posted this), she used to line up her stuffed animals on the bed and have “class”! She’s added a few more credentials to those skills over the years, including a Master’s in Educational Technology Leadership. To be honest, she’s the most amazing teacher of technology I know! Here are the “official” LinkedIn pages with our academic backgrounds, in case you were wondering: [Debby] [Steve]
We keep ourselves busy by chasing around our 6 kids (well, actually it’s 8 but the oldest two don’t require much chasing anymore). We enjoy making things together with our kids, and working on projects. We have a couple of budding artists, a couple of young engineers, and a couple who take care of our little ranch which includes 6 dogs, 6 cats, 10 goats, and about 20 chickens. We like lots of techy stuff as well as camping, hiking, road trips, and hanging out with our friends. We think that you’re going to have a great time getting to know us and our little company.
If you read this and would still like to know more about what we do here, click here to find out More About TTI and get the guided tour of Table Top Inventing.