RAFT members share stories, advice, opinions, and best practices in teaching.

Michelle Steever, RAFT 2015 Teacher of the Year

Michelle Steever

Children learn so much better when they’re touching something or seeing it happen. I create the questions and let them find the answers. So they own their learning that way, and it’s there and it stays.The very best days of teaching are when I can step back and let the learning happen.   continue...


Roy Gonzales, Elementary School, San Jose

Favorite Kit: Puff Rockets

Roy Gonzales

RAFT is an unknown gem and I wish more teachers knew about it. The kits are great and coming to RAFT helps you to use your creative mind. When I use hands-on in the classroom I can just see the kids’ faces light up like they’re doing something fun and it’s going to engage them, and they have something to   continue...

take home and say “hey mom, look what I made today!” The students actively ask questions and they have a blast. RAFT’s Summer Institutes are fun; they engage me, they engage other teachers, and they open my mind to what I can bring to my classroom to get the students engaged and think outside the box. We all learn together.

Judy Barton, Middle School, Pacifica

Favorite Kit: Retractor Car

Judy Barton

I really love RAFT because it brings together resources from the whole Bay Area, things that are leftover or could be trash, and brought to this place where really intelligent, creative educators put them together as a lesson plan or as a project idea. From talking with experienced teachers I know that I’m not the   continue...

only one getting these “aha moments.” There are so many great things. The way the RAFT teachers share, we are getting tips for classroom management and how to help the kids process and work with their thinking so they can create, explore, build, and make things better, so that the whole optimization that we do in the real world, they can start doing even at a younger age.

Elizabeth Pombo, Kindergarten, San Jose

Favorite Kit: The Germinator

Elizabeth Pombo

The affordable workshops offered at RAFT are invaluable. I've enjoyed a variety of subjects including grant writing, book making, math centers, team building and my favorite - the Innovation Institute! I've walked away with tools and supplies I can use in the classroom every time. Meeting other educators has also   continue...

provided a chance to network and share ideas. I have implemented many of RAFT's hands-on learning activities into our kindergarten curriculum. You can feel the students’ excitement when they are actively engaged. Hands-on learning has many benefits including adding interest, improving retention and developing problem solving and collaboration skills. RAFT continually works to improve and provide services/products to help us meet the changing needs of our students.