Scenes from Constructing Modern Knowledge

After fifteen glorious years, we have made the difficult decision to announce that Constructing Modern Knowledge 2024, July 9-12th in Manchester, New Hampshire will be our last summer institute.

If you have been dreaming of attending CMK or returning one more time, this is your last chance!

In this perilous time for education, educators like yourself deserve community, respect, and inspiration now more than ever. Our alumni tell us how CMK launches them back to school reenergized, revitalized, and excited about new possibilities for learners.

CMK 2024 will be a celebration of hard fun, where science, art, and powerful ideas play together. Our lineup of guest speakers is mind-blowing, including Dr. Stephen Wolfram, arguably one of the world’s leading scientists, El Sistema expert Tricia Tunstall, and Jazz House Kids founder Melissa Walker. We have some other surprises in store for you too in addition to meat on swords, Fisher Cat baseball, the project pajama party, and four days to work on personally meaningful projects with a mountain of materials and supported by our assembled expertise.

Constructing Modern Knowledge is an act of love and lunacy. We have done the impossible – together – for fifteen years without grants, sponsors, or an exhibit hall. CMK is the culmination of my life’s work and confirms everything I know about how things need not be as they seem in schools. 

Each summer, educators take the leap into an alternative universe in which we co-construct the future we choose to teach, lead, live, and learn in – a universe of possibilities unencumbered by the burdens of an unimaginative system.

The breathtaking projects educators create at CMK each year is only surpassed by the lessons that emerge from each unique learning experience. Constructing Modern Knowledge is the gold standard for models of learning-by-doing and PBL.

Nothing has brought me more joy than sharing Grammy, Tony, Pulitzer, National Book Award, winners, several MacArthur Geniuses, two NEA Jazz Masters, best-selling authors, historians, scientists, mathematicians, treehouse designers, filmmakers, inventors, TV stars, YouTube pioneers, and many of the great progressive educators of our time with the teachers who participate in CMK. They not only experienced what excellence looks, sounds, and feels like up close, but our guest speakers leave impressed by the creativity, curiosity, confidence, and competence displayed by educators. Constructing Modern Knowledge is a 360-degree educational experience, the experts learn as much from the participates as the educators in attendance gain from the guest speakers we attract. Guest speakers frequently spend way more time at CMK than we asked them to because they’re having fun. Everyone is transformed by the experience.

I tear up thinking about when teachers share what it meant to go for soup dumplings with Carla Rinaldi of Reggio Emilia; take a walk with Edith Ackermann, one of the great epistemologists of all-time; or chat with Marvin Minsky, the father of artificial intelligence. Working on digital embroidery projects with the mother of educational computing, Cynthia Solomon, is but one of the gifts we share at CMK.

I can never possibly repay the generosity, kindness, talent, patience, hard work, and playfulness of the amazing faculty we have developed over fifteen years. They embody the noblest ideals of education with finesse, care, and only a scintilla of instruction. 

The educators of CMK have been frustrated and triumphant – serious and silly, sometimes simultaneously. 

Life will simply be less rich without our annual pilgrimage to Manch Vegas or reconnecting with old friends. Not only have educators returned to CMK multiple years, but our dear friend Marsha Stewart has blessed us with her participation TEN times.

Most of all, for four glorious days each July since 2008, countless educators bravely removed their teacher hat, donned their learner hat, and set forth on remarkable learning adventures – often on the frontiers of science and technology and frequently beyond what any of us could have imagined.

Please join us in Manchester, New Hampshire this July 9-12th for the final Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. Team discounts are available and there are two fantastic pre-institute workshops being offered as well.

Would you please do me a favor?

  1. Forward this letter to colleagues, perhaps with a note telling them why they should attend CMK 2024. Team discounts make it possible for you to change the world with friends and colleagues.
  2. When you see our social media posts announcing Constructing Modern Knowledge, please reshare/repost them, again with words of encouragement. Quite frankly, we need your help to ensure that this is the greatest event for educators by educators ever.

With profound gratitude for all you do,

Gary S. Stager, Ph.D.
Founder: Constructing Modern Knowledge

Scenes from Constructing Modern Knowledge