Mandi Figlioli is a children’s author and PK-12 instructional designer. She enjoyed ten years as an elementary educator before pursuing a career in administration. As Assistant to the Superintendent of the Burgettstown Area School District (BASD), Mandi has led the district’s charge to remake learning. In 2014, BASD was selected as one of ten schools to participate in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s “Kickstart Making in Schools” initiative. This project served as a catalyst for innovation in the district. Since that time, they have obtained grant funding to add two makerspaces to their campus, as well as a variety of media and materials for making. They have made great strides in transforming their learning spaces and instructional practices. The Burgettstown Area School District aspires to empower students to be the designers and developers of their educational journey. They encourage creativity, autonomy, and risk taking for all members of their learning community.
Mandi advocates for hands-on, child-centered learning. Through her book Miss Makey and the Magic Bin, she seeks to inspire children to tinker, explore and reimagine their world. She supports educators in designing classrooms that are immersive, collaborative, and reflective. With thoughtful and responsive planning, she believes that we can integrate academic standards into meaningful projects where students actively explore real-world problems and acquire deep knowledge.