The Make: Education Forum aims to transform education by focusing on the needs and interests of educators and their students by developing new technical skills and encouraging the process of creative problem-solving.
Access our video library of the 2021 Make: Education Forum and join a group of like-minded maker educators in our community group.
We hope you’ll join us for the 2022 Make: Education Forum in the Fall of 2022.
Give Us Your “C” Students!
The biggest opportunity for maker education is to reach the students who are not motivated to learn by mainstream education’s methods and practices. Making provides a way to engage students, especially those who struggle to achieve in school. Projects can connect students with real-world problems, build confidence and foster a love of learning by doing.
Making Learning Visible
Andrew Sliwinski & Dale Dougherty
In this conversation with Dale Dougherty, Andrew will discuss his current charter – to help LEGO Education transform from a toy company to an organization focused on learning. We’ll discuss how this is an opportunity to understand how play can make learning more visible, more impactful, and more motivating. Andrew is a maker whom Dale first met in Detroit more than ten years ago. He co-founded DIY.org and then went to work as co-director of Scratch at MIT with Mitch Resnick for six years before moving last year to Denmark to join LEGO. We’ll talk about the broad shift from knowledge-based to skills-based approaches in education, which is also a move from teacher as instructor to co-constructor engaging learners.
The School Makerspace & Community Connections
Ted Mackey & Emily Burk
Educators from Anna ISD in Texas
The connection between the school makerspaces and community members as well as local businesses can help prepare students for future success in college and career readiness. In this session, Ted and Emily from the Anna Integrated School District in Texas talk about how to create community connections and develop industry-based certifications that give your students opportunities to seek & develop skills necessary for the workplace. A teacher with 22 years of classroom experience, Emily Burk is a Maker Integration Specialist in a 3,744 square foot public high school makerspace. Ted Mackey is the CTE Director.
How Real-world Problems Enhance Motivation in Students and Teachers
Dr. Steve M. Potter
Professor of Neuroengineering & Maker
By tasking their students with solving real-world problems in small groups, instructors at all levels can transform even the most reluctant students into ones who are excited to learn. The solutions they come up with involve making physical things as well as digital artifacts. These might include novel experiments in the laboratory or out in the environment, and new articles on Wikipedia. Prof. Steve M. Potter taught at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Caltech and Georgia Tech since 1986. His award-winning real-world approaches to enhance learning and student engagement are described in his book, “How to Motivate Your Students to Love Learning.”
Build a Better Book Project
Dr. Stacey Forsyth & Dr. Kat Penzkover
University of Colorado at Boulder
Musical App Smashing with Makey Makey, Soundtrap & Scratch
Serena Robinett & Meredith Allen
Soundtrap for Education, New York
Re-Aligning Mathematics Curriculum With Making
Brilliant Labs in New Brunswick, Canada
Through maker education, we can transform our communities into classrooms. Jordan Mareno of Project Invent will talk about how we empower high school students to build solutions to the community challenges they feel most intimately connected to. This session will highlight tools and templates for community mapping and engagement. Join us for a tactical conversation with the potential to unleash student agency, confidence, and empathy within your classroom.
Purpose, Projects and Power Tools: The BEAM Center Model
Brian Cohen, BEAM Center, NYC
Interactive Remote Robotics with CodeJoy
Kelsey Derringer and Matt Chilbert
CodeJoy, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Virtual worlds offer a “metaverse” of options that can be used as learning spaces. So how do we enhance the maker experience and emulate it online? During this session, we will dive into a few examples, look at the features of several platforms, discuss how they can benefit maker education and take a closeup look at a virtual maker space. Vriti Saraf, the CEO & Founder of k20 Educators will talk about how we have and can leverage these spaces as educators and learners to innovate within education.
Putting the Tools of Science into the Hands of High-Need Communities
Curt Gabrielson & Erik Herman
Community Science Workshop
With a plethora of project models and program examples, Curt and Erik will describe Community Science Workshops, a network of 8 independent organizations throughout California and two other states. They’ll outline what’s needed to start one and highlight some recent successes. The original CSW was started in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1991, and serves 1000s of kids per year from the current site in Mission High School. Curt is the author of several books, including Tinkering and More Tinkering, published by Make. Erik runs the Free Science Workshop in Ithaca, NY and the Physics Bus.
We need to set up the same learning environments for our teachers as we wish for our youth. It is vitally important to allow teachers to experiment and relive the feeling of being learners alongside their students, lessen the distance between what it means to be a teacher and a learner, and create multi-developmental learning groups within administration, faculty and student body. At NYSCI Maker Space, we offer experiences that playfully explore concepts and materials/tools, where visitors creatively design and make things that have importance to them as well as their communities. Putting people at the center of their learning is a foundational concept in NYSCI’s Design-Make-Play philosophy.
Join David Wells as he shares how NYSCI Maker Space have designed Professional Learning Experiences for formal and informal educators and administrators worldwide to integrate the Maker Mindset throughout their organization. NYSCI has also developed a new book, Design Make Play for Equity, Inclusion, and Agency, edited by Harouna Ba, Katie McMillan Culp, and Margaret Honey, which combines new research, innovative case studies, and practical advice to focus on STEM experiences that are truly equitable and inclusive, and that foster young people’s sense of agency.
Geometry is a very natural fit to making, since its roots were in the practical creation of everything from physical objects to navigation. It also lends itself to 3D printed models and puzzles. Authors of the recently published Make: Geometry, Joan and Rich have created an open-source repository of 3D printable geometry models, as well as lesson plans for teachers of the visually impaired. We will discuss our design philosophy and approach and give some practical hints on developing good models to demonstrate math and science concepts.
“Amber the Maker”
Dr. Ann-Louise Davidson, Concordia University
Reach Challenge for Adaptive and Assistive Products
Gavin Wood, ITEEA
Experiences as a Maker Educator (before, during, and after COVID)
Karen Blumberg, The Brearley School in New York City.
There are multiple opportunities for makerspaces and maker educators to support and enhance mathematics education. Co-founder of the the MathHappens Foundation, Lauren will share some of the “making” that mathematics educators are doing now, and the work that the Foundation has done over the past seven years using digital fabrication to build models, exhibits and displays, and the opportunities to increase learning opportunities for the community. Maker education can have a profound impact on mathematics, but we need to communicate and collaborate with mathematics educators and seek partnerships with informal educators.
Using Makerspaces To Create Engaging Curriculum
Hawks Makerspace, Windsor, Ontario Canada
Making History - Fostering Student Creation in the Humanities
Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California
Learn how to provide opportunities for students to design and create fashion tech apparel that tells a story or expresses a message. Twila is an educator with MakeFashion Edu, who will be joined by James Simpson and Carrie Leung, will share how Fashion Tech can be introduced into classroom settings. Students are encouraged as young designers to learn design thinking, technical skills, practical building skills, and most importantly using these skills to express themselves and tell stories for themselves and their communities. Student work is celebrated and exhibited to a public audience, usually in a runway event.
The Nuts and Bolts of Starting and Running an Integrated K-8 Maker Program
Maker Lab Teacher, Steindorf K-8 STEAM School
In this workshop, Rick will go over how to start and run a maker program in a K-8 school environment. As a maker educator, Rick creates making programs for K-8 students both in-person and during remote learning. He is a passionate educator and the developer of the “Compressed Air Rocket” kit, which is a long standing Maker Faire Bay Area favorite. Rick will share his favorite tools, projects, best practices and how he has built a maker program from scratch in the past five years at a public K-8 school. There will be plenty of time for Q & A and he will provide lots of practical resources for you to take and use on your own.
Engineering with Paper: Simple Supplies for Complex Projects
Assistant Director Dazzling Discoveries
Gary Stager, Author and Educator
In this talk, Gary will share at least 20 things every educator should know about Seymour Papert and discuss how standards established a half century ago remain aspirational.
Meet the Speakers
Karen Blumberg expertise includes navigating social media, crafting digital projects that embrace new media literacies, building a PLN, supporting faculty’s professional growth, and launching a variety of original curricular projects which integrate STEAM.
After ten years as a classroom teacher Rob began designing models made from cardboard. He is the author behind “Paper Locksmith” and “Paper Automata”. Rob is now working full time as a designer and often visits schools and teachers courses to talk about design technology. Learn more about him at www.robives.com
Kylie Burrett (Lawrence) is a dynamic educator and award-winning designer. As co-creator of the Splat ® – Engineers Australia sponsored 3D design tool – Kylie’s creative out-of-the-box thinking is helping students develop their design and spatial skills for improved STEM outcomes.
Tim Needles is an artist, educator and author of STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum. He teaches art/media at Smithtown School District, is a TEDx Talk speaker, and his work has been featured in the New York Times. He’s a National Geographic Certified Teacher, PBS Digital Innovator, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and an ISTE Arts & Technology leader.
Kathy Ceceri is a STEAM educator and the author of over a dozen books of hands-on learning activities with a focus on science, technology, history, and art. She has taught live online workshops for Maker Camp, written beginner-level tutorials for companies including Adafruit Industries, and worked with the Girl Scouts of the USA to develop robotics badges and a cybersecurity challenge. Check out Kathy’s books in MakerShed.
Sadie Lewis is the Director of Instructional Design + Personalized Learning in the Mehlville School District, where she works to develop programs and professional learning around instructional design, technology integration, engagement strategies and best practices. She works with teachers to plan innovative lessons and activities, and provides classroom support to foster authentic learning.
Jacob Lingley, Executive Director, Brilliant Labs in New Brunswick, Canada, balances many passions: mathematics teacher, researcher, tinkerer, avid Star Trek: TNG fan and father to some young maker daughters. In his role at Brilliant Labs, Jacob is able to share the educational benefits of maker education throughout all four provinces of Atlantic Canada by supporting Brilliant Lab’s mandate of helping students and educators (K-12) create expressively innovative learning opportunities.
Jordan, with Project Invent, is a seeker of purpose, guided by the belief that within every young person lies unique, world-changing talent. Previously, she was a management consultant at Brighthouse and worked with youth-centric nonprofit organizations across the US and abroad. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.S. in Business Administration and Political Science.
MathHappens is dedicated to creating math models and supporting development of mathematical experiences outside of the classroom. MathHappens was founded in fall of 2014. We have built partnerships with institutions that are destinations for families and individuals in our community. We bring math programming to their regular exhibits as well as special events and we have funded and built permanent installations as well. We are excited to connect with the maker community and educators from all disciplines.
Serena Robinett was an educator for New York City DOE before she became an Education Specialist at Soundtrap. She was the Instrument Music Director at a middle school in Queens where her students learned music literacy, music history and participated in various ensembles like modern rock band, symphonic orchestra, and digital music. Serena then taught technology at a K-8 school in Harlem for two years. Her students learned to use technological applications to share their voices and knowledge. They also learned to be digital citizens and computational thinkers. Serena is focused on the importance of cultivating and sharing student voices, building trusting relationships, and creating a culturally responsive classroom.
Prior to joining Spotify and the inception of the Soundtrap for Education team, Meredith served as an Instructional Technology Consultant at Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa. Preceding her consulting, Meredith taught instrumental music, K-7 technology and facilitated the district’s Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders program. She also served on the District Leadership Team, served as the district’s Technology Integrationist, and assisted with the implementation of the district’s 1:1 computing initiative. Meredith has strong interests in elementary coding and was a CS Fundamentals Facilitator for Code.org. She has held several roles within Soundtrap over the years and is currently posted as Head of Engagement and interim Head of Marketing.
Twila has been an educator for 25+ years and an advocate for project based learning for most of them. She believes that every classroom should be a makerspace as students learn best by doing. Academics and projects can be integrated so there is purpose in the learning and students should have many opportunities to show and talk about their work outside of the classroom. Twila is currently in Tucson, AZ after a 5 year stint in Shenzhen, China where she had the opportunity to collaborate with SteamHead and MakeFashion Edu.
Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron are the co-founders of Nonscriptum LLC, a consulting and training partnership focused on 3D printing and open-source technologies. Since 2015, Joan and Rich have collaborated on eight books (most recently “MAKE: Geometry”) and many LinkedIn Learning courses. They also have taught many educators how to get started with 3D printing and use the technology effectively in their classrooms. Joan is a recovering rocket scientist and alumna of MIT and UCLA, and Rich is a RepRap 3D printer innovator whose designs include the RepRap Wallace and Deezmaker Bukito.
Matt Chilbert, CodeJoy’s director, is an educational media producer with 10+ years of classroom experience and 20+ years of experience in filmmaking, including working at Sesame Workshop and the Jim Henson Company. He specializes in creating story-driven learning experiences that use filmmaking techniques to keep kids’ minds focused on learning goals.
Prof. Steve M. Potter taught at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Caltech and Georgia Tech since 1986. His award-winning real-world approaches to enhance learning and student engagement are described in his book, “How to Motivate Your Students to Love Learning.” He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, where he and his research group created the first embodied cultured networks to study learning at the cellular and network levels. He left the ivory tower in 2015 to become a freelance maker, scientific consultant, writer, and maker workshop teacher in Ireland.
Kelsey Derringer, CodeJoy’s on-screen teacher, is an educator with 18+ years of classroom and professional development experience. She specializes in teaching robotics and coding to non-CS teachers, helping them bring creative robotics into other subject areas.
Vriti Saraf is an educator & founder. She has worked with public, private, and charter schools both locally & internationally, across the k20 spectrum. An alumna of Teach for America & Relay Graduate School, Vriti served as a teacher, dean of instruction, and network director of professional learning at Ascend Public Charter Schools, where she built the network’s first teacher residency program. At the same time, she worked with first year teachers as an adjunct professor at Relay. Most recently, she spent several years building schools around the world with Whittle School & Studios. As Global Director of Professional Learning, she constructed the professional learning and growth infrastructure for educators. Vriti is currently the CEO & founder of k20 Educators.
Andrew Sliwinski is the Head of Product Experience at LEGO Education. His work focuses on the intersection between learning, creativity, and technology. Prior to joining LEGO, Andrew served as the Co-Director of Scratch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – an online community and tool for kids to explore their creativity through computing which reaches millions of children every year. Andrew also co-founded the learning organization DIY Co. which was acquired by LittleBits in 2018. As a designer, engineer and maker, Andrew has worked with various organizations and partners during his career including Google, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Web Services, Hewlett-Packard, Universal Music Group, and The Aspen Institute. His work as a creative technologist has been displayed at The Museum of Modern Art, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall and has been profiled by The New York Times, NPR, Wired, and Fast Company.
Godwyn Morris is the Director of two programs in New York City, Dazzling Discoveries, a STEAM education center for grade school age children and Skill Mill NYC a maker space and digital fabrication studio for adults and teens. She is also the inventor of Dazzlinks Cardboard Engineering kits and Engineering with Paper, downloadable packets. Godwyn has been working and creating with educators and children for more than 20 years. She is an advocate of making, mixing, trying, testing and playing, all with the aim of teaching creative thinking and problem solving skills to kids and adults. She works with hundreds of students and teachers every year in classes, camps and professional development workshops. Her expertise is helping educators bridge the gap between teaching content and expanding hands on exploration.
Brian Cohen is Executive Director of Beam Center, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that supports young people and their communities to learn, grow and flourish through ambitious collaborative project-making. The Beam Center now serves 7,000+ students annually at their camp in New Hampshire, and in NYC through partnerships with 30 public schools, and Apprenticeship and Youth Employment programs.
Asier loves to surf new technology waves, making them approachable for newcomers and helping experienced developers make new breakthroughs. Before joining NVIDIA he has been a VR developer (FB Oculus Launchpad), worked on block-chain (Consensys, NY) and Quantum Computing (IBM Research, NY). At NVIDIA he helps universities, maker & developer communities to adopt NVIDIA Jetson as the most powerful and cost-effective platform for Edge AI.
When Erik isn’t cracking himself up with his own puns to the eye-rolling of his wife and two teens, he’s either making music or straddling tinkering and academia. Despite much failing at school–even repeating entire years of it–he ultimately earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and Teacher Education from the University of Arizona. He enjoys the stress-free, boredom-free, follow-a-whim ‘flow state’ of creating things with junk, amassing an arsenal of wacky exhibits that ride aboard the Physics Bus. Now he splits most of his time between the Free Science Workshop and Cornell University, convinced that a bridge can be made between the two seemingly disparate worlds. He believes that a cultural revolution is overdue and that CSWs are a nucleation site for the way forward.
Dr. Kathryn Penzkover is the Assistant Director at CU Science Discovery, a K-12 STEM education outreach program based at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Co-Lead of the Build a Better Book project. Kathryn’s educational background is in Biological and Chemical Engineering and she brings a creative engineering perspective to a wide array of STEM and maker education programs for K-12 students and teachers.
David Wells, Director of Maker Programming at the New York Hall of Science, is responsible for all programming and activities in NYSCI’s Maker Space. He oversees the design and implementation of maker-related programs which engage families, students, and visitors of all ages. He also works with formal and informal educators to create and implement maker activities and maker spaces in their setting. A self-proclaimed “maker of things”, David also designs sight specific interactive art installations using discarded technology, audio experimentation, and digital media to create an interesting yet whimsical experience for his viewers. During his time at NYSCI, he has worked on a wide variety of projects including designing exhibits for the Early Childhood space, developing emergent curriculum for educational programming and creating educational videos for teachers and students. He received his B.F.A. from F.I.T. and a Masters in Museum Education from Bank Street.
Paula Frisch is a visual artist, educator and lifelong maker. She is Assistant Director of Dazzling Discoveries STEM Education Center and a co-creator of their Engineering with Paper initiative. Paula holds an MFA from Social Practice Queens CUNY and is currently pursuing an MA in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University.
Carrie Leung is a maker-educator focused on building open community platforms for young makers, educators, and industry to collaborate, learn, and connect. She has spent eight years in Shenzhen, China teaching in project-based learning classrooms and exploring ways to embed the maker mindset and real-life experiences into education. Afterwards, she set up an Electronics and Media program at High Tech High in California. Outside the classroom, she built non-profit programs and spaces, MakeFashion Edu and SteamHead, to connect her community of schools, teachers, and companies with each other and to leverage the amazing technology manufacturing resources that Shenzhen is famous for.
James is empowering Maker Ed teachers, students, and schools with techniques and formalization of their makerspace programs. Living in Shenzhen for the 8 years, coming from San Francisco, he is using his engineering and academic mindset to organize the chaotic world of Making into a system of learnable innovation by releasing Open Source tools, hosting public meetings, and donating time to organizations in Shenzhen, California, and Arizona. The SteamHead makerspace he set up and community in Shenzhen ran possibly the first foreign funded and staffed maker education program in China.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary at ProfessorGaryStager.com.
Dr. Stacey Forsyth is the director at CU Science Discovery, a K-12 STEM education outreach program based at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has more than 15 years of experience overseeing STEM education initiatives, including summer camps, after school classes and community outreach programs. She has managed the Build a Better Book project for the past five years, connecting interested makers and educators with community partners to help address real-world needs.
If you have concerns about the affordability of the Make: Education Forum, we encourage you to reach out and we will take your situation into consideration. We do not want a registration fee to prevent maker educators from participating; we will work with you on a case-by-case basis to find the appropriate fee and help you attend the Make: Education Forum.