Justin is a Lead Maker Trainer at Maker Ed. A core member of Maker Ed's Learning Team, he designs in-person and online professional learning experiences for educators in support of integrating maker-centered learning into their practice and environments. Over the last three years, he has facilitated workshops on curricular development and assessment in maker education, as well as coached 2 cohorts of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools around the development of their Maker Labs. He holds a B.A. in Classics from New College of Florida and an M.A. in Classics from UC Berkeley.
Mitchell is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies. While in college, he worked with elementary school students at UC Berkeley’s summer camps, and at an after-school program at an Oakland public elementary school. Mitchell is interested in making education more equitable by taking an intersectional and social justice approach to learning. He is a lifelong learner, always curious, and is passionate about building relationships through active social construction. Mitchell grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in Oakland. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with friends, surfing, watching sports, and relaxing outside.
Kyle has two decades of experience working at the intersection of education, organizational development, social justice, and advocacy. As the Executive Director of Maker Ed, Kyle oversees the execution of our major initiatives, programs, and partnerships. Over the last 20 years, Kyle has trained teachers from all over the world on how non-traditional education experiences are essential to truly prepare students for their lives on this planet, with the belief that teachers, administrators, and schools have the opportunity to adapt their practices to the shifting world. To this end, she worked within a nascent field to build shared practice and professionalism to ensure equity and cultural relevance are foundational to program delivery at the Edible Schoolyard Project. With her incredible team, Kyle built ESYP’s internationally renowned training programs and communities of practice. Kyle holds clear communication, accountability, and feedback in all directions of an organization as vital to ensuring an organization can fulfill its mission. She loves to dance, cook, and hang out with her family.
LITM: Creative Architect
Aáron B. Heard is a creative problem solver committed to our collective liberation through the intersection of art, healing, and education. Born to a 21-year-old mother in Los Angeles, CA exactly one month after the murder of her 19-year-old father, the first of many losses, Aáron has been on a healing journey embedded in art practice her entire life. Rooted in love, curiosity, and community Aáron is often described as the "heart of the team.” She is grounded in purpose, leads with enthusiasm, questions with a critical curiosity, and prioritizes learning, reflection, and growth. Aáron received her Bachelor’s Degree in English: Creative writing from the University of Southern California and her Master’s from Loyola Marymount University. Additionally, Aáron holds certification as an Arts Integration Specialist and was a two-time fellow of Agency by Design Oakland.
Aubrey Mailliard Rawlins
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Aubrey has more than a decade of experience telling meaningful stories, fostering growth, and connecting needs with resources. After working in communications and messaging in New York City and the Bay Area, he moved to rural Mendocino County where he built bilingual educational programs for agricultural workers and convened a group of northern California farming organizations to confront drought conditions jeopardizing that community’s well-being. He then spent three years growing the resources and establishing new program areas at a land-based social justice and education organization on the central California Coast. With Maker Ed, Aubrey is excited to explore new partnerships, deepen existing relationships, drive conscientious growth, and build sustainability where the broader community most needs it. His most beloved pastime is making food and sharing it his loved ones. You’ll see him escape to the outdoors whenever possible, and exploring the power of plant life all around.
Ariel Marchante Ortiz
Learning Communities Facilitator
Ariel Marchante Ortiz is the Learning Communities Facilitator at Maker Ed where they focus on building ecosystems of community sustainability. Ariel has experience in facilitating and developing curriculum that support youth to explore their identities, build creative practices, and counter harmful narratives through STEAM based learning experiences. Using multi-modal media practices, they strive to bridge the gap between art and science so that youth can reclaim personal and community identities. They’ve taught in K-12 contexts using different art practices such as comics, animation, game design, coding, robotics, 3D Modelling, VR/AR. Ariel is a storyteller and artist at heart. In her free time she loves to create art and write stories that she then centers in her educational practice.
Dora Medrano Ramos
Learning Events Manager
Dora Medrano Ramos is the Learning Events Manager at Maker Ed. Previously, Dora worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science as a museum educator, where she gained experience in a variety of roles focused on maker-centered, learner driven pedagogy. She facilitated a hands-on learning lab for families, taught camps and NGSS-aligned K-12 science workshops, coordinated a technology internship for high schoolers, and worked as a program specialist in curriculum development and coordination of summer camps. Dora also worked at a Pre-K-4th grade after school program where she supported educators in implementing STEAM/maker-focused enrichment projects while fostering a positive identity and agency in all her students. Dora is passionate about creating a cultural shift in math education by integrating equitable, accessible, and culturally-relevant maker centered activities in math learning environments while also working on ways to support educators in integrating making in all subject areas. Dora received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Applied Mathematics with an emphasis in Quantum Mechanics and a minor in Science & Math Education.
Evaluation and Scalability Manager
Lauren is the Program Manager for the Making Spaces project, supporting educational institutions and educators with training and resources to establish and strengthen maker education initiatives while also cultivating a community of practice around making. Lauren has been supporting youth, educators, and making for the past fifteen years across a variety of educational environments: She has been an educator and curriculum developer for various Boys & Girls Clubs and a Girl Scout summer camp. During her graduate school years, she played a key role in the establishment and development of FUSE Studio. She loves inspiring and helping youth and educators build their capacity and confidence in STEAM and making. Prior to joining Maker Ed, she worked with TEALS in the Bay Area to recruit, train, assemble, and support teams of tech industry volunteers and high school teachers who collaboratively taught computer science classes. Lauren has a B.S. in Computer Science from CU Boulder and a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. She grew up in Colorado, but has since lived in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and now the Bay Area. She discovered amigurumi in 2009 and is constantly thinking of ways to spread this craft.
Director of Learning
As the Director of Learning, Aaron is responsible for content development and delivery to educators and trainers. He manages the design and content behind Maker Ed’s work, including resources, workshops, and programs. Throughout his sixteen years as a public educator, Aaron has been passionate about making and inquiry, believing that learner-centered, hands-on education can revolutionize our educational system. Prior to working at MakerEd he was the Lighthouse Creativity Lab Director, where he collaborated with teachers to turn learning over to students throughout the school day. Aaron started the Creativity Lab program in 2010, growing it from a high school elective to the K-12 program it is today. He also supports educators through Designing Making Experiences workshops, the AbD Oakland Fellowship, and teaching a course on Designing Equitable Groupwork in the Stanford Teacher Education Program. He taught high school science and robotics in the Bay Area for over ten years. Aaron lives in Oakland with his wife and daughter, who love to make things.
Our Amazing Contractors:
Communications and Content Creation
Always seeking out pathways towards creativity and meaningful work, Jacqueline has worked in the non-profit space in the Bay Area for over 4 years. After graduating university in 2017, Jacqueline was a French teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, CA. She continued in the education field with an emphasis on Food Justice while working as an Operations Coordinator and Garden Educator at The Edible Schoolyard Project for over three years. Here, she helped establish DEI learning pathways for the annual Education Conferences, co-facilitated the Black Student Union, and made equity and accessibly a core function in her teaching strategies. Her current life chapter is focused around Graphic Design, Social Media, and Communications, using technology and art as a mode of storytelling and sharing impactful materials with the online world.
Communications Strategy & Design
Storyteller, innovator and educator, Bri brings a decade of communications experience, along with a lifelong love of learning and making, to Maker Ed. Before joining the organization, Bri was the Head of Creative and Content at Workologie, an equity-focused digital education platform borne out of the Kapor Center for Social Impact’s Innovation Lab. A Jill of many trades, Bri’s other career bonafides include running Scrumpt, a national lunch program focused on healthy food for kids, teaching at the University of California, Davis, and writing for Bravery Magazine, an empowerment-focused publication for young people, all after starting her career in antitrust law. She received her B.A in political science from Emory University, J.D from Duke University School of Law and Certificate in Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts.
Who We’re Learning With:
shea martin is a lit educator, scholar, and community curator raised at the intersections of gospel and go-go. In their writing, pedagogy, and practice, they employ queer, Black feminist, and abolitionist pedagogies to explore the nuances of organizing, schooling, and liberation. As a consultant, shea dreams and partners with students, teachers, and organizations across the country in their efforts to reimagine literacy, community, and education. Determined to bridge the gap between the “scholarly” and the personal, shea uses storytelling as a tool to build community and enact change. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Electric Lit, and several other national, local, and academic publications. shea is a co-founder of both the Liberate and Chill* Collective and Love & LiteraTea, a literacy community for LGBTQ+ youth, runs the Anonymous Teacher Speaks project, and currently spends their days just drinking espresso and reading as a doctoral student. Find them dreaming at @/sheathescholar.