Whether it’s technology or textiles, this faculty member uses her skills to enhance Prairie's clubs, classrooms, and computers.
She’s an entrepreneur, crafter, computer guru, and problem-solver. She’s an expert on the Velociraptor. She speaks Mandarin.
To put it another way, Alison Wojahn, Prairie’s Technology Manager, is fluent in a lot of different areas.
The Student Resource Center (SRC) is her home base for helping students and faculty solve technology dilemmas. Wojahn is quick to respond to concerns and has been overheard saying, “Give me a few minutes to read up on that and I’ll get back to you with an answer.”
In addition to the SRC, Wojahn can also be located in the WonderLab mentoring students who are participating in the Makers’ Club, which meets after school three days a week.
The club is a creative outlet for students to hone crafts like embroidery, macramé, and jewelry-making, as well as digital arts. The Upper School (US) club is not very large, but the students involved have put their own spin on it. Wojahn says they “made a list of things they want to try and spin the wheel (on a phone) to decide what they’re doing that day.”
Wojahn provides the projects and guides students in accomplishing their goals. When working with Middle School (MS) students, she wants them to start thinking about how to best use resources. “One of the things I’m trying to get them to think about is how much we waste as a society. We have a printer in the SRC and a lot of people don’t pick up what they print, so there’s a lot of paper left over.” So, she had a printer upcycle challenge to see what could be used in a new way.
“Students had to do something creative with printer paper and cardboard,” Wojahn says. “One kid essentially made what looked like a pink oven.”
While Wojahn is a good steward with Prairie’s resources, her recycling tendencies were developed as a child. “I used to make things out of popsicle sticks and push pops, and I was making my own cards because my mom was a single-parent and we got what we needed, not necessarily what we wanted.”
Wojahn would get creative with items left over from school projects. She would make crafts with her siblings and sell them at craft fairs. That’s where she earned her “fun money.” She still sells crafts today, as well as home décor and jewelry with her mom.
She is also passionate about dinosaurs. When Wojahn was 3-years-old – and throughout most of her college years – she wanted to be a paleontologist and dig for dinosaurs in China. But, not just any dinosaur: raptors – the Velociraptor in Mongolia to be specific.
In college, one of Wojahn’s professors encouraged her to pursue a Master’s in Chinese; her first position at Prairie was teaching Mandarin. Ever since, her passion for learning, technology, and crafting has impacted Prairie’s students in new and undeniable ways.
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