Maker Educators – Learn from the Best

Maker Educators – Learn from the Best

Make: Education Forum Shares Best Practices For Making in K-12 Schools

September 24 & 25 2021

Schedule and Event Registration: Here

Are you a K-12 educator who would like to learn more about implementing maker education at your school? Are you planning and budgeting for a school makerspace? Would you like to meet other educators who have been doing this work at a variety of levels? Are you looking for ideas and inspiration to improve the student experience of making and learning in your school makerspace and connect your students to the broader community?

We invite you to join other maker educators for the Make: Education Forum, to be held online Friday and Saturday, September 24th and 25th. It’s a program for educators by maker educators. No celebrities, no product pitches, no astronauts, no politicians. Just practitioners sharing what they have learned in creating maker spaces and maker programs in schools and how making provides hands-on experiential learning for students.

“Maker educators understand the importance of sharing,” said Godwyn Morris of SkillMill NYC, a co-organizer with Make: of the program. She adds:

Godwyn Morris
Godwyn Morris

“From ideas, tips and tricks, best practices and what doesn’t work, communicating with others is the way we all improve. Throughout my years working with educators about incorporating making and hands-on learning in their classrooms, the question I hear most often is ‘how do I implement this in my school?’ I have found that the best way to answer this question is to showcase successes, provide examples and encourage people to learn from each other. I saw the growing need and wanted to create an opportunity to bring educators together to discuss maker education. As the center of the maker movement, MAKE is the perfect organization to host that conversation. We teamed up and that is how the Make: Education Forum came to be.”

The Make: Education Forum was produced previously on the Friday before World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. We realized that the best way to support and encourage maker education was to share the experiences and best practices of the maker educators who have created programs and makerspaces in K12 schools. While many of us continue to wish for an in-person gathering, we just felt it was time to do something to support making in schools, as most teachers are returning to the classroom. We decided to do the event virtually using Zoom. Our program consists of interactive sessions from educators around the country and from countries such as Canada, UK and Australia, and there’s even some time for talking and sharing in the virtual hallways.

Our goal is to bring the experience of hands-on maker education to more students and schools. We believe in the power of encouraging students to do projects based on their interests, ideas and interactions with their own community. If you give access to the tools and materials needed to turn ideas into prototypes AND you establish a creative process for collaboratively designing, making and sharing, then you have given students an opportunity show what they are able to do together. They are able to have real-world impact.

If you believe that maker education has the potential to transform our educational system and create positive experiences for student learners, we hope you will join us and our team of “champion” maker educators.


  • Karen Blumberg has been teaching and making in schools since 1996. She is thrilled to be the Innovation and Technology Coordinator at The Brearley School in New York City. Karen will talk about her experiences as a maker educator before, during and after COVID.
  • Andrew Sliwinski of LEGO Education 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 co-founded 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.
  • Emily Burk is a Maker Integration Technology Specialist in a 3,744 square foot public high school makerspace in the North Texas area. Her colleague is Ted Mackey, Director of CTE in the Anna Integrated School District and the school makerspace serves both CTE and STEM students. They will share their experience of connecting a school makerspace to the community outside of school, providing new sources of support as well as creating opportunities for student internships.
  • Lauren Siegel of Math Happens will share some of the “making” that mathematics educators are doing now, using digital fabrication to build models, exhibits and displays. Founded in the fall of 2014 by Philip and Lauren Siegel, MathHappens has been exploring ideas, options, strategies and partnerships to bring math into the community conversation in Texas, New York and California.
  • Educator Chuck Stoffle will explore how makerspaces can be a highly effective tool to deliver curriculum while engaging students in a variety of daily and long-term challenges and projects. He will look at how Hawks Makerspace has integrated its program with classrooms so that teachers can expand on each project within their own learning environment.
  • Educator and award-winning designer Kylie Burrett will provide strategies and tips for educators to promote the development of spatial reasoning skills in their maker and STEAM programs. Her mission is to ensure students have access to resources that help develop design skills for success in making and STEAM related careers.
  • Brian Cohen, Executive Director of the BEAM Center in NY, and staff will talk about bringing fabrication resources to a wide range of communities and public high schools in New York City.

Here you will find a complete list of speakers and the program schedule.

Extended Program

The two full days of live sessions will be recorded and made available immediately after the event to registered attendees. We will have a collection of recorded interviews with maker educators also available for viewing by registered users at any time.

Please join us and the growing community of maker educators who share their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for making.

Schedule and Event Registration: Here

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty


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