Luke Wiget

Studio NPL Mentor

Neil Gaiman, a best-selling author, once said, “We learn by finishing things.” The best way to learn is to take something all the way to completion. The concept at Studio NPL is simple – teens come in, and they make things – but it’s during this process that passion, enlightenment and learning come to life and doors begin to open.

Studio NPL allows students to learn much more than what’s at their fingertips. They are learning social and emotional skills without even realizing it. They are doing math, converting measurements and practicing critical thinking. If students want to make a beat, they end up learning how to use software, read through manuals, email attachments and use Google Drive. Or, if they want to record a song, they are automatically learning about recording, production and maybe even video creation. That desire to have a finished product instigates an entire stream of learning that we mentors help facilitate. Classroom teaching is often dictated and guided by state standards and teachers’ learning objectives.

The concept at Studio NPL is simple – teens come in, and they make things – but it’s during this process that passion, enlightenment and learning come to life and doors begin to open.

At Studio NPL, learning is driven by the students’ own desire to be here. As a former teacher, I know how hard it is to keep the attention of 20 to 30 students at one time, or to drag 150 students through Algebra over the course of a day. Everyone learns at his or her own pace, and this method can make it hard for students to see progress and results. At Studio NPL, a student can walk in, see something he or she is interested in, get one-on-one guidance and walk out three hours later with an “artifact” that proves something valuable was done with their time. These students are incredibly proud of what they make, and as a result, they have a new motivation to learn.