Published January 2017
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Bijur.
Jonathan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
reDiscover Center was founded in 2004 to provide recycled materials for art and creativity to schools, artists, and families in Los Angeles. A group of parents and teachers came together to share expertise on creatively reusing waste and scrap for education, unlocking kids’ creativity while diverting thousands of pounds of material from the landfill.
We’ve grown to add educational programs for ages 3-12 at our center in Culver City, in schools, and at community events across Los Angeles. Our flagship program is Tinkering School LA, a one week intensive for youth ages 7-12 that provides real tools and real materials to solve real problems. Using hand and power woodworking tools, reclaimed lumber, recycled materials, and a huge amount of imagination, tinkerers build huge robust structures, from 6′ tall mobile puppets to full-scale playground equipment.
reDiscover Center operates a robust educational program, a creative reuse materials warehouse, and a seven day a week kids’ maker space. It works with school systems, libraries, museums, and community organizations to provide educational experiences combining art, tinkering, and sustainability, to over 6,000 students per year. 2017 initiatives include expansion in the South Bay and Pasadena areas.
Please tell us about reDiscover Center.
reDiscover Center brings together artists, makers, educators, and parents to create a unique learning experience for children. We maintain a tight focus on our educational philosophy that trusts children to be able to teach themselves using real materials. reDiscover’s programs are intensely hands-on. Participants explore familiar and unusual materials, think with their hands, gain skills in manipulating wood, plastic, metal, and composite materials, and apply a modified engineering design process that incorporates artistic expression. Starting in preschool, reDiscover Center program participants gain mastery over the material world. As they age and gain familiarity with particular materials and techniques, students make increasing complex and robust projects, following reDiscover’s prompts and their own open explorations.