allen distinguished educators award

Educators all over the world are watching the blog and have been inspired by what we do with our students at Brightworks and our associated program, Tinkering School. Teachers and summer camp counselors across the United States, in Thailand, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Mexico have emailed or called to ask for guidance in starting their own programs modeled on ours. The programs that Gever has inspired – both Brightworks and Tinkering School – are contributing to the changes in education that the 21st century student actually needs in order to be a flexible, curious, dynamic adult.


Yesterday, the Paul G. Allen Foundation announced that Gever is an inaugural Allen Distinguished Educator (ADE). The Paul G. Allen Foundation, established by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, funds research around the globe that seeks to change the conventional assumptions and solutions to issues in education, science and technology, arts and culture, and poverty. Their funding supports organizations whose mission is to make unusual solutions to those issues a reality, and they have awarded over $494 million to programs that transform lives, strengthen communities, and foster innovation, creativity, and social progress.

From their press release: ““We look to support the creative and the untapped. We’ve chosen each ADE because we know they have the entrepreneurial mindset to rethink education,” said Jody Allen, co-founder and president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “The approach of every single ADE has the potential to create a life-changing experience for students – opening them to think in different ways, to be curious and turn newfound knowledge into action.””

Gever was recognized for the Arc-based pedagogy that emphasizes hands-on and experience-based learning in the context of a vastly interesting and graspable world. At Brightworks, we put a child’s individuality, creativity, and desire to learn at the forefront of the experience, guiding them to make connections between ideas, see through different perspectives and modes of expression, and use their learning in hands-on, applicable ways.

This ADE award serves as another point of validation for our unique approach to education. Congratulations to Gever!