About Raft Colorado

raft colorado

facilitates hands-on learning for kids by empowering those who make it happen inside and outside of the classroom.

By providing educators access to attribute-rich materials, student-centered content, and immersive learning experiences, Raft ultimately equips Pre-K through 5th grade students with the skills to solve tomorrow’s problems.

raftGoods

Attribute-rich materials

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raftEd

Student-centered content

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raftLab

Immersive learning experiences

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our innovative reuse and recycling program repurposes materials destined for landfills and “upcycles” them into hands-on learning experiences for kids.

Since our founding, Raft has inspired children across Colorado to become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers through hands-on learning. Our “secret sauce” is our unique ability to combine our team’s educational expertise with a reliable stream of attribute-rich materials for endless hands-on learning experiences.

programs

become a raft member today!

Raft is a nonprofit membership organization for all of the formal and informal educators who impact a child’s life. Learn more about Raft membership and all of the benefits of joining the Raft family.

become a raft member today

raftGoods

Raft repurposes everyday items to create affordable, attribute-rich materials that, when paired with creative curriculum and challenges, help kids work, think, innovate, and learn.

raftGoods

Explore our platforms for purchasing raftGoods

raftOnline
raft resource center

raftEd

Free to Raft members, this online source for student-centered curriculum and challenges help to activate the raftGoods in the classroom or wherever hands-on learning happens in your life!

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raftLab

Raft’s immersive learning experiences empower educators to design and deliver hands-on learning for kids. We welcome groups of educators, individuals and classrooms or groups of educators and kids, and will work with you to design a custom experience that meets your needs.

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proof

the proof is in our Rafty-ness

over the years, raft has contributed to colorado’s educational landscape in so many ways.

We are inspiring hands-on learning for kids while repurposing attribute-rich materials, all while empowering educators and building essential skills in kids to solve tomorrow’s problems.

After experiencing Raft, our staff was confident, excited, and inspired to do more project-based learning activities with their students.

Frank Reeves

Superintendent, East Grand County

why hands-on learning?

 Creative thinking and problem-solving skills, indisputably essential to the 21st-century workforce, have long been on the decline in the U.S.

Renowned author and thought leader Daniel Pink posits that: “For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation—the drive do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing—is essential for high levels of creativity.”1

A hands-on approach to learning is a proven way to teach these skills. For example, a 2004 study out of the University of Chicago emphasized the importance of teaching strategies that physically engage students in the learning process.

Professor Sian Beilock explains: “In many situations, when we allow our bodies to become part of the learning process, we understand better. Reading about a concept in a textbook or even seeing a demonstration in class is not the same as physically experiencing what you are learning about.”2

A teacher echoed this point quite eloquently in the 2017 member survey: “So much of school happens on a flat surface: 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, flat desks, flat monitors and screens…much of the environment is flat rectangles. When I introduce multiple colors, textures and forms into the experience, student interest comes alive and they are more able to really take on the tasks in a complex way.”

1Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.
2Kontra, C., Lyons, D., Fischer, S., and Beilock, S. (2015). Physical Experience Enhances Science Learning, Psychological Science. April 24, 2015.

2018 raft by the numbers

Raft inspired hands-on learning for 250,000 kids in over 50 counties across Colorado

250,000

kids

34

counties

Raft diverted 30,500 cubic feet (more than 100 dumptruck loads) of attribute-rich materials from landfills into raftGoods so that kids could use them to imagine, think, create, and learn.

30,500

cubic feet

100

dumptruck loads

Over 25 corporations assembled over 5500 kits, reaching over 55,000 kids through hands-on learning.

25

corporations

5,500

kits

55,000

kids

Raft hosted 45 raftLab professional learning experiences with over 1,000 educators from across Colorado.

45

raftLab professional learning experiences

1,000

educators from across Colorado