Educator Advisory Committee

We established the Educator Advisory Committee (EAC) to gather the input and perspectives of maker educators who are leaders in the community. The EAC provides insightful guidance and support for our organization as we work to achieve our vision. By choosing members that represent a broad range of institutional roles, educational settings, and geographical regions, we hope to better understand and meet the needs of educators through the training, resources, and supportive community we provide.

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Michael DeGraff

Michael is the Instructional Program Coordinator at the UTeach Institute, which provides guidance and resources to ensure successful implementation and sustainability of UTeach programs nationwide. UTeach is an innovative university-based teacher preparation program, now at 44 universities nationwide, working to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers in U.S. secondary schools. In his current position, Michael coordinates the Instruction Program Review process for all UTeach Partner Sites as well as supporting instructors in implementing the nine UTeach courses. He has also helped develop plans to offer a Maker Endorsement to interested pre-service teachers in the UTeach Austin program, in part, supported through a grant from NSF.

Danielle Martin

Danielle Martin is currently responsible for leading the educational content design for Team4Tech projects, out of Redwood City, CA. She brings over 15 years of experience with instructional design, youth development, tech & media education and community organizing. Danielle most recently collected best practices as Knowledge Manager of the global Clubhouse Network, where she led the Start Making! initiative, an effort to infuse inclusive hands-on engineering projects in nearly 100 Clubhouses in 20 countries. She began her focus on youth development and activism as the local coordinator at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Charlestown Clubhouse and then served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer supporting community-based media and technology programs. She later co-created a research group within MIT’s Center for Civic Media, the Department of Play, mapping mobile technologies and youth activism methodologies globally. She also supported the 2009 federal stimulus-funded expansion of One Economy’s digital literacy and broadband access programs. Danielle holds a BA in Communication Studies from University of Rhode Island and a Master in City Planning from MIT. She started making by collaging in the first versions of Photoshop and hacking Polaroids but now enjoys social digital photography on Instagram and making baked treats for anyone that will eat them.

Jackie Moore

Jackie Moore is the founder of and program developer at the LevelUP Maker Space for Teens in Chicago’s Ford City Mall. For more than 25 years, Moore was a systems engineer in the finance and insurance industries.

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Pam Moran

Dr. Pam Moran, superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, has been a middle school science teacher, elementary principal, and assistant superintendent. Her school district is home to some of the most contemporary learning spaces in the United States, represented by a commitment to a “search, connect, communicate and make” model for unleashing the lifelong learning potential of young people across 26 schools, 726 square miles of rural, suburban and urban environments. Educators from her district are well known for their work to infuse Maker work across the curricula. Libraries in the district are transformative and the Monticello High Library recently received the Magna Award from NSBA for its premier maker spaces. The school district was featured in Newsweek’s article “Will the Maker Movement Reinvent Education?” and has been the subject of numerous articles and posts on the maker movement. The district is a charter member of Maker Ed’s Maker Corps program. The district attributes its 2% dropout rate and 95% graduation rate and distinguished performance in part to integration of make-to-learn across curricula.

Pam has served as a president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents as well as the Women Educational Leaders of Virginia. She currently serves as a board member of the State Higher Education Council for Virginia. Recognized as a national Tech Savvy Superintendent in 2010, recipient of the Bammy Superintendent’s Award in 2013, and named Virginia Superintendent of the Year in 2015, she has presented and keynoted at numerous state and national conferences. She currently is a member of the Maker Ed advisory board, the Alliance for Excellent Education Team of Experts, and the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Council of Peers.

Ryan Moreno

Ryan Moreno is a father of 3, and Administrator/S.T.E.M. Educator at REM Learning Center, an NAEYC accredited independent school and Maker Corps Host Site. Ryan earned a B.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) in Mechanical Engineering from FIU. He also holds an Advanced Florida Director’s Credential. In 2005, while participating in NASA’s ESMD Summer Research Opportunities at KSC, Ryan became aware of the shortage of graduates in S.T.E.M. fields, and felt he could help close the gap from an early age. He has been doing S.T.E.A.M. related activities with children ages 4 to 9yrs ever since. He is co-creator and the School Fab Lab Manager for the Play Make Share program. Ryan has collaborated on the topic of Making in early childhood education with PPFMoS and local organizations, and co-presented at regional (FLAEYC2014) and national (NAEYC2014, MPW2014) conferences.

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Nora Peters

Nora Peters is the Maker Educator at the Millvale Community Library, just across the river from Pittsburgh, PA. She started at the library fresh out of college as a Maker Corps Member, and never left! She graduated in 2014 from Alfred University with a Bachelor’s in Foreign Language (French and Spanish) and Interdisciplinary Art. Heavily influenced by the art programs she took part in as a kid, she created the Millvale Makers program at the library. Through weekly programming after school and a free summer camp, the kids in Millvale have been exposed to processes ranging from knitting to 3D printing. A native Pittsburgher, Nora is passionate about arts education and the benefits of maker-centered learning, specifically in low-income communities. In her spare time she enjoys sewing and embroidery, and thinking up cool new projects to attempt with the kids.

Lisa Regalla

Lisa is currently the Associate Director of STEM and Informal Learning at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. She fosters robust partnerships with out-of-school time providers, while leveraging the Center for Childhood Creativity’s research base and the Museum’s twenty-five years of exemplary work in early childhood education to contribute to the creative development of children, particularly in under-resourced communities. As the former Deputy Director of Maker Ed, Lisa developed partnerships with educators, organizations, and researchers to build and support a growing network committed to broadening participation in making as a form of creative learning. Prior to Maker Ed, Lisa worked at Twin Cities Public Television developing educational content for the Emmy-Award winning series SciGirls and DragonflyTV: Nano. Lisa also spent several years working at the Museum of Science, Boston and the Da Vinci Science Center in PA. As the manager of several national outreach programs throughout her career, she has conducted extensive professional development workshops in gender equity and inquiry-based approaches to STEM. Lisa received both a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Theater from Lehigh University before earning her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Florida.

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Andrea Sáenz

Andrea Sáenz serves as First Deputy Commissioner for Chicago Public Library, a citywide system of 80 neighborhood branches. In this role, she leads program design and evaluation and supports strategy, innovation and organizational development. Before joining the Library, Andrea served as chief of staff to Chicago Public Schools CEO, coordinating strategy and implementation of district-wide initiatives. Sáenz was previously policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC and executive director of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a national non-profit working collaboratively with employers, universities and schools to increase Latinos’ entry and success in professional careers.

Kennan Scott

Kennan Scott was born and raised loving transportation and the New York City Subway. After receiving his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University, he bolted for the west coast and the allure of automated public transit. In order to better serve riders, Kennan received a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. The son of a long-tenured special education teacher, Kennan has always held education in high regard. When given the opportunity to change fields and teach engineering in West Oakland, Kennan saw a chance to make a greater difference in the black community. With making, problem solving and design thinking at the core of his teaching, Kennan has empowered young engineers to develop meaningful solutions to the problems faced in their communities. He is passionate about creating healthy communities and advancing the field of education through interdisciplinary approaches that merge planning, engineering, advocacy, and coalition building.

Aaron Vanderwerff

Aaron Vanderwerff is the Creativity Lab & Science Director at Lighthouse Community Charter School, a K­–12 public charter school in Oakland, California. He is passionate about making and inquiry, and believes that learner-centered, hands-on education can revolutionize our educational system. In his current role, he collaborates with teachers to integrate making into Lighthouse’s core instructional program, electives, and after school program. For the past five years, Vanderwerff has taken students to display their work at the Maker Faire. He has taught high school science in the Bay Area for ten years, and taught math in Burkina Faso through the Peace Corps prior to that. Vanderwerff received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a MA in Education from Mills College. He lives in Oakland with his wife and six-year-old daughter, who loves to make things.

David Wells

David Wells, Manager of Creative Making & Learning (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, as well as maker education initiatives that use local artists & makers as guest facilitators.  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.