Deborah Sigel

Deb is a mechanical engineering consultant, STEM educator, artist, and parent in the Burlington area. She is also the co-owner of the Vermont Idea Company. Deb has designed parts of Mars Rovers, astronaut tools, underwater robots, and eye implants that enable the blind to see. She has years of experience teaching fun hands-on STEM workshops and camps focusing on fundamentals of engineering (often by destroying things) and empowering kids to build their own giant creative things with tools. She currently teaches Arduino and Space Design courses to high school students at the Governor's Institute of Vermont. As an artist, she loves learning new ways to make things and integrating those new skills into her art. She dabbles in illustration, woodworking, silversmithing, sculpture, fabric, food, and more. In her free time, you can find her picking blueberries, inventing a new toy (like an interactive phone switchboard for her preschooler), or making kreplach and challah with her kids.
Materials for Tinkering

Teaching Kids How to Deal with Failure and Frustration

From my experience doing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) outreach and teaching kids tinkering, I have found that tinkering is a great way to teach kids how to deal with failure and frustration....
robot menorah

Making Hanukkah Meaningful for Your Kids

My family and I find December to be a challenging time of year. We celebrate Hanukkah, a minor 8-day Jewish holiday that celebrates our survival over assimilation to the Syrian-Greeks. We’re here because throughout...

Tips for New Vermonters from a New Vermonter

New to Vermont or thinking about moving to the state? Here are some tips for new Vermonters based on my experience moving to Vermont 5 years ago. I moved to Chittenden County with my family...
spool parrot

Tinkering as a Form of Meditation for Children and Adults

I’m an artsy fartsy maker type, and I’d like to propose tinkering as a form of meditation. I don’t do yoga. That’s actually a lie. I took ballet and swimming as a kid. I’m super flexible...
Kids learn taking things apart

Why It’s Important to Let Kids Take Things Apart

When I discuss inventions, I love to ask why it’s important to let kids take things apart: "If you were to design a drill to drill into rocks on Mars, how would you know what...