“I contain multitudes.”
I’m Mess Wright, and I conceive, plan, and execute programs for WorkChops and The Fab Lab at WorkChops.
I was an uninspired student when I was younger. I looked at school as a necessary thing – something to be endured. I made good grades, but I spent every minute with a book about something else tucked into the book I was supposed to be studying. I ignored all but a few very inspiring teachers and mentors. The good news is, I’ve easily read thousands of books. The bad news for my own life was that I could not reconcile my contempt for formal education with my own love of learning new things. I had an okay corporate career throughout my twenties, too, but I felt for that a similar sentiment to the one I’d had for my educational career. I was just surviving it.
In 2010, I opened a STEM focused party place in Lake Highlands (“The Lab”) because I was personally tired of dragging my own young kids to pizza places and arcades every weekend. I aimed to have a space where kids could do smart, hands-on Chemistry/Biology/Physics activities, learn new things, and never feel out of place. I wanted programs that welcomed the curious kids and celebrated their quirks while nurturing their sense of curiosity and self-confidence. After one year, The Lab Rats and I packed up and moved; we enjoyed three years in Junius Heights and another year in a giant Mercedes van. In mid 2016…I added power tools and digital devices to my program offering, as I began to believe the people who would drive the future would be those most comfortable with technology and the maker movement. I was lucky to spend all of 2018 in a very cool tech/coding/computer lab in the Park Cities.
To date, I’ve led over 120 camps, a few hundred school, church and community events and classes, and more than 1,000 fun STEAM birthday parties. I did all this to further your children’s interest in science and exploration of things unknown, and I have been able to learn and grow alongside them myself.
For all my efforts these last nine years, D Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, and Advocate Magazine have recognized me in print and online. I have appeared on FOX 4 Good Day, Good Morning Texas, and Channel 33’s Close-Up promoting The Lab’s programs. I’ve also traveled the U.S. meeting with some of the brightest disruptive educators on Earth. Lots of bloggers, teachers, and parents have celebrated the work I’ve been doing and have enjoyed my support and friendship, too. (I’m most grateful for that.)
I started 2019 totally focused on bringing a real Fab Lab and related programs to East Dallas, which is why you’ve landed here, reading this way-too-long bio. I plan to keep offering the quality STEAM content I care about and that my friends and followers expect. Let me know if I can help you or the people you care about become and remain lifelong learners. You can find me on LinkedIn, or email me at mess@WorkChops.org today!
Listen to the story of WorkChops and where I stand on teaching people about technology on the 600px podcast: