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Sharrell Howard Joins Make48 and The DeBruce Foundation as Educational Experience Strategist

In July 2024, Sharrell Howard joined Make48 and The DeBruce Foundation, bringing her extensive experience and innovative vision to the role of Educational Experience Strategist. In this position, Sharrell will play a pivotal role in advancing the impact of both organizations within high school and college settings. She will focus on refining, deploying, and supporting the Make48 Innovation Experience, a program designed to teach core concepts for success in the Make48 competition environment and the Agilities© necessary for individuals to be considered Employment Empowered.


2 men and 1 woman, Sharrell Howard, at The DeBruce Foundation
Welcome Sharrell Howard! Pictured with Tom Gray (left) and Brett Kisker (right)


Sharrell's impressive educational background includes a BS in Architectural Engineering, an M.Ed, and an MBA, and she is currently a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University. Her nearly two decades of experience span various roles, including higher education professor, PLTW Master Teacher, K-12 instructor, and administrator.


Throughout her career, Sharrell has made significant contributions to education and the professional world. As an Academy Director at two high schools, she developed engineering programs that achieved Distinguished and Model status from the National Academy Foundation (NAF). Her innovative teaching methods earned her the 2015 Lowe’s Pride Award for "STEAM Innovative Teacher of the Year," and she was featured on the cover of Charlotte’s Pride Magazine in the "Women in STEM" issue. Additionally, Sharrell is the author of "The Professional Classroom Playbook" and "The Sustainable Classroom Playbook," further establishing her as a thought leader in the industry.


Beyond her professional achievements, Sharrell is dedicated to serving her community through various non-profit organizations. She played a pivotal role as Board Chair in the establishment of GOBIG, the first all-girls, STEM-focused K-8 school in Charlotte, securing its approval by the State of North Carolina.


In an interview, Sharrell shared her enthusiasm for her new role and her vision for the future:


"What attracted me is the hands-on, real-world version of what we teach in the classroom in terms of innovation. Being able to produce something with potentially very real results is incredibly valuable. Students and people, in general, need to see and understand that they can create something meaningful. All great ideas start somewhere, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing something you designed materialize. It's like magic, but of course, it's science, as Jay Flores would say."


Looking ahead, Sharrell is excited about her involvement with Make48.


"I'm especially talented at student engagement, teacher training, and bringing a digital platform to life. During COVID, I helped teachers transform their face-to-face curriculum into engaging digital content. While the innovation experience is not an online course, it has an online component that must be engaging. My view is that if students are not having fun, they won't be engaged. I aim to make the experience enjoyable, unique, and rewarding for both students and teachers."


Sharrell emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between imagination and physical production.


"For students and young people doing these competitions, they have the tools to bring their ideas to fruition. We often get hung up between what we imagine and what we can produce with our hands. Having assistance to bring ideas to life and pitch them is a dream. The Agilities tools created by The DeBruce Foundation are the missing piece in helping people understand their strengths and how they relate to the workplace."


Regarding enhancing inclusivity and diversity within Make48 competitions and the Innovation Experience


“One of the things I’ve noticed is that diversity is gradually increasing among the Make48 teams. It's exciting to see the variety of participants and the different backgrounds they come from. However, I would love to see an even wider breadth of students, cultures, and communities represented. The School for the Blind episode was outstanding. It really pulled at your heartstrings—such an incredible moment. This highlights the potential impact of bringing more diverse groups into the competition. I definitely want to be part of the effort to push and extend our reach into other communities. Many of these communities simply don’t know about the opportunities Make48 offers. They just aren't aware yet. I can think of countless schools that would excel in this competition, have a great time, and benefit immensely from the experience. Our goal should be to inform and engage these communities, ensuring they know about Make48 and feel encouraged to participate.”


Sharrell, her husband, and their three children enjoy traveling and spending quality time together, especially engaging in STEM projects and playing board games. Driven by innovation and a commitment to sustainable consistency, Sharrell is dedicated to making a lasting impact in the world of Sustainable STEM Education for future generations.


Sharrell will be attending the MSOE and Nationals Make48 events to further integrate into her new role and make a significant contribution to the Make48 and The DeBruce Foundation missions. She is eager to bring her expertise to these upcoming events, where she will connect with educators and students, further solidifying her commitment to fostering a dynamic learning environment.


Sharrell Howard headshot
Sharrell Howard

This is just a glimpse into the life of Sharrell Howard. To learn more about her work, accomplishments, and upcoming projects, visit her LinkedIn page.


Stay tuned for exciting developments and initiatives as Sharrell brings her vision to Make48, creating a lasting legacy in the world of Sustainable STEM Education. 





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