MPW Speakers and Bios

Angi Chau
Angi Chau is the Director of the Bourn Idea Lab at Castilleja School, an independent, all-girls school for grades 6-12 located in Palo Alto, California. The Bourn Idea Lab is the school’s makerspace, digital fabrication studio, and engineering/robotics lab all rolled into one. Angi and her team collaborate with teachers of all subjects and grade levels to design, develop, and implement hands-on projects that are integrated into core subject classes, so that every student experiences making and building during their Castilleja journey. She also teaches engineering electives, advises the school’s robotics teams, and opens up the lab to the whole school community once a week on “Bourn Fridays” to encourage playful tinkering. Angi received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley/UCSF.

Steve Davee
Steve Davee is the Director of Education and Communications for the Maker Education Initiative. Steve is a former Documentation and Technology Specialist and Math and Science Teacher at Opal School in Portland, OR.. He has decades of educational experience working with all ages from infants to college-age students and adults. Prior to Opal, Steve was a biochemist engaged in studies of cell signaling. He the founder of CoLab Tinkering, which provides tinkering camps, workshops, and after-school programs.

Rena Dorph
Dr. Rena Dorph is the Director for the Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. In this capacity Dr. Dorph provides leadership and support related to research, evaluation, assessment, and educational policy for the Lawrence Hall of Science community as well as for projects and organizations that contract with the Research Group. Rena has served as Principal Investigator or Research/Evaluation Director on over 60 projects related to STEM learning. Among her current projects, Rena leads several studies related to STE(A)M learning within makerspaces and serves as a Principal Investigator of the Science Learning Activation Lab. Rena’s research focuses on the relationship between learning experiences and learner outcomes, paying consistent attention to issues of equity and impact.

Christa Flores
Christa Flores is the coordinator of the iLab for Making, a classroom designed for analog and digital making, at the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. She teaches problem based Science with an emphasis on material science, design, engineering, and collaborative work. She also teaches a year long product design course using design thinking process, rapid prototyping techniques, and digital fabrication. Before shifting to an emphasis on design she taught lab-based science for 10 years in New York City. Christa graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in Biological Anthropology, has done graduate level work in primatology research through the New York Consortium of Evolutionary Primatology and obtained a masters in Secondary Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is passionate about making, and research and design in the PreK-8 learning environment. Learn more about the work students are doing at Hillbrook from her blog at

Kristan Hutchison
Kristan Hutchison teaches and designs curriculum for Imagination Unlimited, an afterschool program in the South Bay, CA. This is her second year shepherding 4th, 5th and 6th graders through the Maker process… a total of 53 students this year bringing 39 different projects.

Jeannine Huffman
Jeannine Huffman teaches energy, design, and pre-engineering to at-risk youth at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in the Da Vinci Center for Innovative Learning within a high school setting. At Da Vinci we use the Makerspace model to provide a place for students to explore, dream, design, create, experiment, take things apart, put things back together, invent, hope, make, try again, teach yourself, teach others, and feel safe.

Jean Kaneko
Jean Kaneko is the Chief Tinkerer at The Exploratory, a community makerspace in Culver City CA and the Executive Director and Founder of Maker Guilds, with over 20 guilds throughout the US. A veteran producer of new technologies, computer graphics, special effects and animation, she brings her passion for technology and arts to workshops, classes and the development of a Maker toolkit and curriculum called Tinker.Make.Innovate. TMI is a toolkit designed to help educators in schools, libraries and other youth serving organizations to create hands-on STEAM Making opportunities for children from preschool to high school.

Sam King
Sam King serves as the Director of Education and Empowerment and Chief Maker for the YWCA of Silicon Valley. She has more than 15 years of experience serving underrepresented youth through teaching, community service, non-profit work and research. Sam has a BA in English Literature from UCLA, a Secondary Teaching Credential from San Jose State University, and a Masters of Education from the University of Michigan.

Sabrina Merlo
Sabrina Merlo is Program Director at Maker Faire, the world’s largest celebration of DIY creativity. She enjoys helping people tell their stories and “driving” projects to showtime—and has played this combined role across many disciplines, from product development (MOTO Development Group), to civic software (Code for America), to science and education (Exploratorium). Occasionally she tells her own stories and makes things with friends (e.g., Futurefarmers, Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), and Survival Research Laboratories). Sabrina is a mom of two kids, Ruby and Arlo, and lives in Oakland, CA.

Danielle Martin
Danielle Martin coordinates the knowledge-sharing strategy and new activity development among local Computer Clubhouses in the international Network, in collaboration with colleagues at the MIT Media Lab, including the content, community-building and outreach for the intranet social networking site. She also acts as the geographic liaison for the SouthWest United States Clubhouses and the project manager for the Intel Making! @ Clubhouses initiative. From 2001-2005, she was the Computer Clubhouse Coordinator at the Charlestown (MA) Boys & Girls Club. Prior to joining the Clubhouse Network,
she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at UMass Boston, and in 2010 she co-created a research group within MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media focused on the design of new mapping and mobile technologies and youth activism methodologies called the Department of Play. Additionally in 2010, as part of One Economy’s digital literacy initiative, Danielle developed new strategies to scale up from 30 to over 100 after-school Digital Connectors youth service programs nationally. She holds a Master in City Planning degree from MIT and a B.A. in Communications Studies from University of R.I.

Lee Martin
Lee Martin is an Assistant Professor in the UC Davis School of Education. His research examines when and how young people become flexible and resourceful STEM learners, able to create effective learning environments for themselves. Within the maker movement, he looks across in- and out-of-school settings to study the potential of making to move young people along a trajectory toward adaptive expertise in design and engineering.

Ryan Moreno
Ryan Moreno is a father of 3 children 3 yrs old and under,and the Makerspace/ School FabLab manager for Play Make Share, a creative learning program at REM Learning Center, a small, family owned and operated private school serving the community of Miami Florida for over 30yrs. The goal of Play Make Share is to teach 21st Century Skills and inspire a lifelong love of learning at an early age. In the Play Make Share Studio, Ryan works alongside children who range in age from 4yrs to 9yrs old, creating safe, engaging environments with opportunities for them to explore the use of real tools and feel the empowerment of making something themselves. Ryan has been doing S.T.E.A.M related activities with children since 2006, holds a Florida Child Care and Education Program Director’s Credential – Advanced Level with VPK Endorsement, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Robbie Munsey
Robbie Munsey is an 8th grade physics and chemistry teacher with Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his classroom, science is enhanced through engineering and rapid prototyping with Silhouette Die Cutters and 3D Printers. Robbie’s work has evolved into a maker’s classroom where students bring the curriculum into their work, and not the other way around. His innovative work with his students has been shared across the nation including keynote speaker at Longwood STEM Conference, features on PBS National News, and features in many other conferences including ISTE 2014. Robbie’s work has resulted in a full collaboration with the Smithsonian, as well as collaboration with Monticello.

Kathryn Nash
Kathryn leads Cognizant’s corporate social responsibility in the US. She is responsible for developing, executing, measuring and communicating the Making the Future education initiative, Cognizant’s primary philanthropic investment. Making the Future seeks to inspire young learners to pursue science, technology, engineering and math disciplines by creating fun hands-on learning opportunities. Kathryn previously served as Director of Civic Engagement for Citizen Schools Texas from 2005 to 2011 building public-private partnerships to provide in-kind, financial and human capital to close the opportunity gap for underserved youth. Her career has spanned both business and education: 18 years in business including 10 years as a business owner and 10 years as a teacher in inner-city middle schools. Kathryn is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin.

Kylie Peppler
Kylie Peppler is an assistant professor of Learning Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. An artist by training, Peppler engages in research that focuses on the intersection of the the arts, making, and informal learning. Peppler is also a national advisor to the Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN) and leads the Make-to-Learn initiative supported by the MacArthur Foundation. Her current work with Maker Education Initiative on open portfolio practices in makerspaces is generously supported by the Moore Foundation.

Mike Petrich
Mike Petrich: As Director of the Making Collaborative at the Exploratorium, Mike is curious about how people develop personal and unique understandings of the world for themselves. With a background in fine arts, filmmaking, and photography, he applies the act of careful observation to much of his work as an educator and facilitator. Mike has been working at this for 20 years, with audiences as diverse as museum visitors, primary school students, Tibetan monks, prison inmates, and graduate school researchers.

Chad Ratliff
Chad Ratliff is a district administrator with Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has broad experience across the education sector including being honored for his work as a teacher and coach in one of Virginia’s most high-poverty school districts. He has also been recognized as a private sector entrepreneur being profiled as one the “Top 20 Under 40” by the Blue Ridge Business Journal, serving as a StartupWeekend coach and mentor, and facilitating the High School of the Future Startup Event at the 2013 Virginia STEM Summit. Chad is Vice President of the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association, is a Virginia Board of Education Appointee to the State Advisory Committee for Career and
Technical Education, and currently serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits. Chad has also taught undergraduate courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Business. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and an MBA from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.

Lisa Regalla
Dr. Lisa Regalla was recently named the Interim Executive Director for the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed). In her previous role as the National Program Director, she led Maker Corps, a program that builds the capacity of youth serving organizations to engage youth and families in making. She also managed Maker VISTA, an AmeriCorps initiative focused on building thriving Maker Hubs within high poverty communities throughout the nation. Before joining the Maker Ed team, she was the Manager of Science Content & Outreach at Twin Cities Public Television where she was responsible for the educational content presented on television, in person, in print, and on the web as part of the Emmy-Award winning series, SciGirls and DragonflyTV: Nano. Lisa previously served as an educator at the Museum of Science, Boston and the Da Vinci Science Center in PA. Lisa received both a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Theater from Lehigh University before obtaining her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Florida.

Bridget Rigby
Bridget Rigby is the Learning Director at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA. Bridget develops design-based learning programs and partnerships for The Tech. She partners with local innovators, start-ups, and innovative learning partners throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She previously worked at Galileo Learning, where she led The Tech Summer Camps, launched Sally Ride Science Camp for middle school girls at Stanford, and brought Camp Galileo to multiple locations throughout the South Bay. Before Galileo, Bridget directed technology-based learning centers with SCORE! Educational Centers. She graduated from Stanford where she focused on science, math, and philosophy. She’s passionate about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math) and the power of design-based learning to gear people’s mindset towards positive problem solving, innovation, and collaboration.

Luz Rivas
Luz Rivas is the Founder and Executive Director of DIY Girls, a nonprofit organization that develops and implements educational programs and events for girls and women designed to encourage exploration with technology, promote self-confidence and support aspiration to technical careers. For over 10 years, she has worked on developing out-of school science and engineering education programs and has developed higher education programs focused on recruiting and retaining underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Luz has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a Masters in Technology in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Derek Runberg
Derek Runberg is the is the Curriculum Curator for SparkFun Electronics Department of Education – a position dedicated to creating outstanding curriculum for electronics education. Previously, Derek worked as a middle school technology/engineering teacher, a digital design lab program instructor and is the author of the “Processing and Interactivity for Educators” website. In his free time, Derek likes to spend time with his two children, enjoy the outdoors, and write code. Derek’s expertise and experience will bring SparkFun’s curriculum to new levels!

Rick Schertle
Rick is in his twenty-first year teaching middle school social studies and language arts in San Jose, CA where he also leads after-school maker clubs. He’s the founder and director of the Washington Maker Workshop, a non-profit makerspace in the low-income neighborhood of San Jose. He’s a contributing writer for MAKE Magazine and designed the compressed air rocket for MAKE 15 and the folding-wing glider in MAKE 31. With his wife and kids, he loves all things that fly and is the co-founder of

Casey Shea
Casey Shea teaches math and Project Make at Analy High School in Sebastopol, CA – the hometown of Makermedia. Following a pilot year in the Make headquarters, Project Make moved into an abandoned metal and electronics shop on campus adding 21st century upgrades to the traditional tools remaining. In addition to teaching students the skills and practices of making, he is interested in sharing with educators the many ways that modern tools can be used to create custom instructional materials for their classrooms. In 2014-15, Casey will be working part-time with the Sonoma County Office of Education to help teachers start or expand making programs.

Jerry Valadez
Dr. Jerry D. Valadez is Director of the Central Valley Science Project, a University of California professional development network of science faculty, professional developers and teachers of science K-16. In addition he is an instructor for the Fresno Adult CTE Program and consults in the development of CTE curriculum for the University of California and California high schools.

Aaron Vanderwerff
Aaron Vanderwerff is passionate about engaging students in making and independent inquiry in the classroom, particularly students underrepresented in STEM fields. For the past four years, he has integrated making into a class culminating in students exhibiting their independent projects at the Maker Faire. Aaron is currently the coordinator of the Creativity Lab at Lighthouse Community Charter School, where he works to support teachers K-12 to integrate Making and inquiry into their classrooms in East Oakland. Aaron has taught high school science in the Bay Area for the past ten years. Follow the Creativity Lab at

Shirin Vossoughi
Shirin Vossoughi is a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University and the San Francisco Exploratorium, where she studies learning in the context of STEM-rich tinkering programs. More broadly, her work centers on the ethnography of learning, equity and social change. As an educator and 2nd generation Iranian immigrant, she is personally invested in developing humanizing and intellectually rich educational contexts for youth from immigrant and diasporic backgrounds. Shirin will be an Assistant Professor in the Learning Sciences Program at Northwestern University starting in the Fall.

Rebecca Vyduna
Rebecca Vyduna is the Director of the STEM Center for the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE). The STEM team at the SMCOE is dedicated to providing high quality professional learning to educators across the county’s 23 districts. Previously, Rebecca was a Coordinator at SMCOE supporting Principals and districts on a variety of school improvement plans and projects. She gained the experience to do this work as a Principal of an elementary school in South San Francisco Unified School District. Rebecca moved to the Bay Area three years ago after serving as a K-8 Principal in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a bilingual third grade teacher in Chicago (her hometown) and a Kindergarten teacher in Guatemala City. Outside of work, Rebecca is currently immersed in the new world of motherhood. When time allows, she also enjoys hiking, crafting, singing and dancing.

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.

Karen Wilkinson
As Director of the Tinkering Studio, Karen sees her role at the Exploratorium as an advocate for making as a way of knowing. She believes deeply in studio pedagogy, and the ability we all have to think with our hands. As an undergrad working in environmental design, she came to see museums as places that recognize this approach. Karen started her museum career as a volunteer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, soon met people from the Exploratorium and other institutions, and quickly realized how deeply a museum philosophy resonated with her own. Now, years later, after pursuing graduate studies in education and technology, she is even more committed to the idea that constructionism is an incredibly powerful way of learning, and that aesthetics matter a great deal.