Speakers & Presenters
We are thrilled to be welcoming maker educators from all over the country to share, teach, and learn together as workshop facilitators, presenters, and Ignite speakers. This page will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Keynote Speaker: Paula Mitchell of Grass Valley Elementary School
Recognizing the importance of working with the hands and body to increase engagement and understanding, Paula Mitchell has incorporated hands on learning from the beginning of her 25+ year career as an Oakland educator. Since Paula was a small child, she has enjoyed exploring, designing, constructing & deconstructing and has witnessed the same joy and excitement in the children she teaches. Paula believes in fostering equity and providing access to high quality educational STE(A)M programs to historically underserved and underrepresented populations through a focus on culturally responsive making and authentic inclusion for students with disabilities. She is delighted that her job as a Teacher on Special Assignment for Maker-Centered Learning at Grass Valley Elementary School allows her to bring more hands-on, minds-on learning to the community she loves. As a part of this work, Paula developed her school’s very first maker education/project-based learning program and its very first makerspace, the Wonder Workshop—where low tech meets no tech and imaginations run wild.
Paula has also participated in the Agency by Design Oakland Fellowship, first as a fellow and then as part of the Senior Leadership team. AbD focuses on the theory and practice of maker-centered learning. What began as a Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero research project is now its own entity looking at the promise of maker based education for Oakland youth. Paula is now excited to be continuing her journey with AbD Oakland as its Fellowship Director in the 2018-2019 school year.
In addition, Paula facilitates workshops for educators and presents at conferences and seminars, including SXSWEdu, the Maker Educator Convening, and Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero Perspectives, on the topics of culturally responsive making and authentic inclusion in maker-centered learning, and creating sustainable makerspaces.