Elizabeth Perry keeps a bagel-sized theater lens on her desk. When students at the Ellis School come to her office and pick it up, Perry delights in observing their changed perspective upon peeking through the convex glass. “It changes how they look at things,” says Perry–something she strives to facilitate in her everyday work with technology and education.
Filling the role of maven and connector for the Kids+Creativity network, Perry often brainstorms and consults with projects at the developmental stage to help shape their direction and objectives. She also has a knack for connecting people with the appropriate collaborators or resources for their project. Perry says, “Here at the Ellis school, I work as a catalyst, coach, and collaborator to help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. In general, I love creating an atmosphere where people are willing to take risks and collaborate to build projects from unexpected pairings of people, materials, and technology.”
Perry also develops public workshops and informal education opportunities. For instance, recently, she led a soft circuits class for Hack Pittsburgh that had participants ranging from a 6-year-old boy to 30-year-old engineers experimenting with sewing, conductive thread, and LEDs to make enhanced, electronic clothing.