is Honorary Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, and is currently a Visiting Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture. She studied with Swiss psychologist and philosopher Jean Piaget as well as with mathematician, educator, and computer scientist Seymour Papert. Edith is interested in the intersections between learning, teaching, design, and digital technologies. In working with LEGO, she further investigated how play itself informs, and is informed by, human imagination, creativity, and mindful engagement (make it up / make it happen / do it well). Of particular relevance in this regard, is the role of pretense and make-believe in helping learners envision new alternatives, give form to their ideas, and care for things well done.
Dr. Dennis M. Bartels
is the Executive Director of the Exploratorium. A science education and policy expert, he was appointed to the Education Working Group for the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in 2009, and in 2010 he was one of two educators named to the Oceans Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), which provides independent advice and guidance to the more than 20 federal agencies of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. Dennis has testified before United States congressional committees including the full House Science Committee. He was elected an AAAS Fellow (on Education), and he's also a Fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In addition, he speaks internationally on science and mathematics education. Dennis holds a PhD in education administration and policy analysis from Stanford University.
is the director of the Exploratorium's NSF-funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS). CILS develops professional practices and knowledge related to strengthening connections between learning in- and out-of-school. Bevan's work in both research and professional development focuses on strengthening partnerships between cultural institutions and other educational organizations, and building understanding about the ways different settings shape opportunities for learning. Her work draws on a combination of cultural-historical and ecological theory. Bevan holds a doctorate in urban education from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Professor Hubert M. Dyasi
is a science education specialist who has directed teacher education programs serving New York City school districts. He has collaborated with State Education Departments, schools and school districts, and with science centers to develop their science education programs. He has been a member of numerous advisory boards and a consultant on the teaching and learning of authentic science and has served on various panels and teams of the National Science Foundation. Over the years he has also worked on Exploratorium programs. He is a recipient of several national science education awards.
is the Director of the Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry, a national professional development center for K-6 leaders and practitioners of elementary science reform efforts. Lynn has extensive experience in professional development design. She was a cofounder and faculty member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers' Professional Development Institutes for museum educators, and served on the faculty of the NSF-funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools, a collaboration of the Exploratorium, King's College, and the University of California at Santa Cruz. She also served on the Committee for the Development of an Addendum to the National Science Education Standards on Scientific Inquiry, and on the National Institute for Science Education's Committee on Professional Development. Lynn has been the PI on numerous national projects such as the recently awarded US DOE Investing in Innovation grant to experiment with the integration of science and English language development (ELD).
, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group developed ideas and technologies underlying the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits and the Scratch programming environment, used by millions of young people around the world. He cofounded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of after-school learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick earned a BS in physics from Princeton, and an MS and PhD in computer science from MIT.
is Associate Director for Program and Director of Exhibits at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. His projects at the Exploratorium have included Co-PI of NISE with a focus on the VizLab; PI on Geometry Playground, which opened in June of 2010; Co-PI on the Science in the Stacks project for the Queens Borough Public Library's new Children's Library Discovery Center, scheduled to open this spring; and intensive involvement in the design and planning for the Exploratorium's move to Piers 15/17 on the San Francisco waterfront, which is planned for 2013.
, the Exploratorium's Executive Associate Director and Director of Program, coordinates the museum's overall program direction as well as relations with the external science, education, and funding communities. His areas of responsibility include the museum's exhibit, program, media, and teacher education programs; public understanding of research activities; and research in K-12 education and new media. Rob is the author of many journal articles and invited papers, and has been the principal investigator on projects that include developing new Internet resources, experiments using technology to enhance the museum visitor experience, and programs for teachers and museum educators. Awards include AAAS Fellow, 2006; and the NSTA 2006 Faraday Science Communicator Award. Before joining the Exploratorium in 1977, Rob taught physics and conducted solid-state and nuclear physics research. He received his PhD in solid-state physics from the Johns Hopkins University.
is the Director of the Making Collaborative at the Exploratorium. He is curious about how people develop personal and enduring understandings of the world for themselves. More specifically, his interest is in how environments can be designed to foster learning and encourage deep thinking. He applies the act of careful observation to much of his work as a facilitator and designer of activities for audiences as diverse as museum visitors, primary school students, Tibetan monks, prison inmates, and graduate school researchers.
is Professor of Computer Science and Co-director (with his wife Ann) of the Craft Technology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests focus on mathematics and science education and, in particular, on blending novel technologies with hands-on crafts for children. He received his PhD from MIT in 1991; has received numerous teaching awards at the University of Colorado; and has authored both a programming textbook and a published play.
is currently the Director of the Learning Technologies Center at the Science Museum of Minnesota, as well as a working artist. He is an experienced teacher and developer with a deep understanding of learners and the creation of learning environments in informal settings.
Keith has a depth of experience with technology program implementation and spends considerable time developing effective curricula for technology and media-infused classes and workshops. Keith's educational background is in fine art and museum practice. His work has focused on the intersection of art, technology, and science and how these integrate to support creative self-expression and social meaning-making for adults and youth.
is the founder of MAKE magazine and the creator of Maker Faire, which leads a growing maker movement. He is GM of Maker Media at O'Reilly Media in Sebastopol, California. Dale is a co-founder of O'Reilly Media, a technical publisher and conference organizer known for its advocacy of Open Source and the Web.
An early Web pioneer, Dale was the developer of Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial Web site launched in 1993 and sold to America Online in 1995. Dale was developer and publisher of Web Review, the online magazine for Web designers from 1995-1999, which was sold to CMP in 1999. He coined the term Web 2.0 as part of developing the Web 2.0 Conference. MAKE Magazine started in 2005 followed by the first Maker Faire in the Bay Area in 2006.
is a Senior Scientist for Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). He has spent much of his professional life devising ways to educate young people about science, both while they're at school and when they're out in the world, away from the classroom. He has contributed to many landmark science curricula, including Elementary Science Study and the African Primary Science Program.
is an artist, educator, and curator. He is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a nonprofit performance and installation space where they investigate art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food in a disheveled storefront in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Beyond their storefront space, Machine Project operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from beaches to museums to parking lots.
has a background in teaching, business, and educational reform. In 1998 he co-founded First Hand Learning, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to improving science learning in both formal and informal settings. Formerly Director of Education at the Buffalo Museum of Science, he worked on the design and implementation of district-wide science reform in the Buffalo Public Schools with grants from the National Science Foundation. He is the author of Schoolhouse Politics: Lessons from the Sputnik Era, an historical account of one of the important curriculum reforms of the 1960s. He holds an EdD from Harvard University (www.firsthandlearning.org).
traces her work to two early sources: being a student of Jean Piaget and Barbel Inhelder in Geneva for three years in the late 1950s; and working for the Elementary Science Study with David Hawkins, Phil and Phylis Morrison, Mike Savage, and Lynn Margulis in the mid 1960s. Together, these experiences led her to teacher education, pursuing the questions of how people learn things and what anyone can do to help. (See criticalexplorers.org) She is currently Professor of Education at Harvard University. She is also a performing modern dancer.
As Chief Academic Officer & Director of Product Development, Janet leads and manages all of Curriki's content development, user experience, and academic direction. She leads the vision and strategy for Curriki's online learning offerings and develops and maintains relationships with academic partners. In addition, Janet oversees all Professional Development and implementation. Janet began her career in the education field, spending 6 years as a Special Education teacher.
I grew up in Greenwich Village Educated and was educated in New York progressive schools public schools, and a Waldorf High School. Later, I studied painting, sculpture and film at the San Francisco Art Institute then more film at NYU where my advisor, Martin Scorcese, directed me towards documentary studies. I entered a masters program at Harvard where I concentrated in Visual Studies and Anthropology. I cofounded the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning in the mid 1970's and spent a decade helping Professors and Teaching Fellows study videotaped representations of the classes they taught. An important insight at this time: if you want to know what's going on, focusing on (recording, filming, analyzing) students' behaviors is more productive than analyzing teachers. In 1985, I accepted a job as Deputy Director of a large of educational research project. But I was soon homesick for the classroom and joined the faculty of Harvard's Graduate School of Education where I taught classroom ethnography, clinical supervision, and pedagogy until 2002. My academic passions are eclectic; the on-going question, "how do we know?" always calls. My childhood heroes still inspire me. I'll mention a few of their names: Pythagoras, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Jackie Robinson, and Maria Tallchief.
creates interactive sculptural installations based on his studies in psychology and engineering. His projects have included a stone-age digital computer, a rainstorm of chaos and nostalgia, a phone booth-confessional communications network, and a simulation of the human heart as mechanical device.
"As visitors work together to animate the mechanisms, they create a theatre for themselves and each other. By encouraging participation and touch, the pieces coax visitors to engage their bodies as well as their minds. The way that pieces move and feel and sound as you rock them, pedal, crank and press against them applies the kinesthetic comprehensions of childhood to the tasks of philosophy."
draws a lot. Creating a line is a balance between intention and recognizing the possibilities in the moment; this is ever emphasized when using natural mediums such as flower petals, water soluble inks, and the insect Cochineal.
Paul began making candles with his drawings wrapped around the outside. The endeavor was a catalyst for sewing. It has since become Paul's firm belief that all of life's questions can be answered with a sewing machine. What began as the notion of putting Art on shirts eventually evolved into the notion of making "patches." Paul will interpret whatever you can describe using five words or less, and make a free-flowing embroidery design.
This opened a world of ideas. An odd family of characters emerged, like these abstract fish animal people who make up FishTown: there's Mister Trout Pants, Octalottalipapus, Sea Moe, Fish Head, Squid Nose, Fish Mits, the Elephish, and many more sewing designs.
's family has lived in San Francisco for three generations. Scott started building toothpick sculptures in 1968, when he was 8 years old. His early structures were abstract and about 2-4 feet tall. He then built a sculpture that had a ping-pong ball roll through it. In 1974, Scott started a new sculpture which included the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street. It also had a ping-pong ball roll through it and eventually became Rolling Through the Bay. Over the years Scott has intermittently worked on Rolling Through the Bay, sometimes not working on it for years at a time while doing other projects. He also married his beautiful wife, Rochelle, and had a wonderful son, Tyler.
Scott loves working with toothpicks and hopes to do so for years to come.
As director of the Learning Studio, I see my role at the Exploratorium as an advocate for making as a way of knowing. I believe deeply in studio pedagogy, and the ability we all have to think with our hands.
As an undergrad working in environmental design, I came to see museums as places that recognize this approach. I started my 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 my own.
Now, years later, after pursuing graduate studies in education and technology, I am even more committed to the idea that constructionism is an incredibly powerful way of learning, and that aesthetics matter a great deal. These two ideas are often overlooked in more formal education settings, outside of kindergarten or graduate school. Informal learning spaces for making and tinkering offer people a chance to connect to their own learning in a deeply personal way, which is why I'm thrilled to be able to work with such a delightfully quirky group of people in the Tinkering Studio. Together, we are working to develop experiences with art, science, and technology that are playful and inquisitive, and draw on the collaborative and participatory aspects that a museum environment can offer. I look forward to seeing what develops in the coming years.
is a prolific mixed-media and installation artist whose work draws on a wide range of historical and contemporary experiences. Creating "an architecture for the remainder," she questions perceptions and addresses misconceptions. Mildred uses a visual vocabulary shaped by "memory, history, family, identity and place," but seeks to engage the viewer in a "laboratory for creative dialogue" that transcends personal particulars and is transformational. She often uses found objects and personal memorabilia in her pieces to express "a respect for ancestors." Mildred has received numerous awards, including the Anonymous Was a Woman Fellowship; an NEA grant in sculpture; the Eureka Fellowship; a Rockefeller Artists Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy; and a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Traveling Fellowship to Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work is included in the collections of the Oakland Museum; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut; the Washington State Art Commission; and the San Francisco Arts Commission.
Mark St. John
is the founder and president of Inverness Research Associates. He has a broad background in science and mathematics education at all levels. For over 20 years he has been involved in the evaluation and study of public and private initiatives aimed at improving science and mathematics education. He also advises philanthropies about investments in educational improvement.
Mark and his colleagues at Inverness Research have been involved in many evaluations of reform initiatives in education, from the study of large scale initiatives undertaken by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, to the evaluation of individual science museum exhibits. They have been involved in studying professional development and teacher leadership networks, curriculum design projects, informal science education efforts, multi-institutional partnerships and centers, and systemic reform initiatives at the state, district, and school levels.
is the primary teacher at the Tinkering School, aided by his indispensable wife Julie Spiegler and the inimitable Robyn Orr. By trade, he is a senior computer scientist, writer, and practicing sculptor. Julie is a professional playground monitor (and both teach paragliding at the Advanced Paragliding School), and Robyn's secret identity is still kept secret, but she only uses her super-organizational skills for good and for the Tinkering School.
Dennie Palmer Wolf
, who holds an EdD from Harvard, was trained as a researcher at Harvard Project Zero, where she led studies on the early development of artistic and symbolic capacities. She directed Project PACE (Projects in Active Cultural Engagement) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an organization that focused on children and youth as vital, but often ignored, forces in cultural planning. More recently, she has pioneered evaluation studies that build the capacities of organizations, funders, and the communities they serve, coauthoring More Than Measuring, a longitudinal study of the effects of arts-based learning, sponsored by Big Thought, a 50-organization consortium in Dallas. Dennie has published widely on issues of assessment, evaluation, and artistic and imaginative development. At the heart of her work is a commitment to increasing children and youth's access to learning featuring inquiry, innovation, and imagination both in and out of school.
is the project coordinator for the Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at the Exploratorium. Her interest in education stems from teaching and working in museums and arts education organizations. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, she was active in social justice and community-based organizations in New York City. Fan holds a BA in art history from Columbia University.
Héctor Manuel Fernandez Piña
is Director and Founder of Sensorama Mexico. Graduate of the Universidad Nuevo Mundo with a degree in Communications, he has also completed courses in Gestalt Therapy at the Centro Vivencial de Psicoterapias, Ayurvedic Massage at the Universidad Holistica, and Shiatsu Massage at the Centro Budista in Mexico. In 1995 he served as director and host of the radio program Noche Mágica on Mexico's WFM station and was artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 2001 and 2005. He taught as a professor of semiotics at the Universidad Nuevo Mundo in 2000, and the same year conducted a sensory workshop at the Oneness University in Chennai (Madras), India. In 2005 he directed the program Sensorama for Mexico City's Radio Ibero. He has directed over 20 sensorial shows since 1995. For more, visit http://koniclab.info/2009
, Research Specialist at the MIT Media Lab, focuses on the development of programs that build on young people'ôs interests. She is a founder of the Computer Clubhouse program and a developer of the Scratch programming language. She has directed creative technology projects at the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Exploratorium, including collaborating on the Thinking Fountain and the initial PIE Network. She recently completed her PhD in Child Development at Tufts University, bridging research on emotion, motivation, and informal learning environments.
grew up in a dairy-farming town. His parents were Czech immigrants. He had jobs shoveling snow, delivering newspapers, clerking at a grocery, swabbing throats in a clinic, helping a veterinary, hauling milk, building barns, babysitting, setting type, and operating a press. He played sports and music. He rode his bicycle to the pond or the woods. In a small town, nobody knew exactly where the kids were until they came home for supper. They were out learning about the world. He hopes kids and parents can regain that place, respect, safety, comfort, and freedom. He wants to create public alternatives to schooling.
Leslie Rupert Herrenkohl, Ph.D.
is Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences and Human Development and Cognition Programs in the College of Education at the University of Washington. She works together with formal and informal practitioners to use theories of learning and development to support the design of learning environments. Her research focuses on learning from a broad view and considers the cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions of learning rather than focusing on knowledge acquisition alone. She is currently working with a team of designers and educators to document student learning in design studio courses in Landscape Architecture and design studio-inspired courses in an undergraduate honors program and a graduate program in education. Her work is featured in one of the twelve cases studies of exemplary science teaching in Ready, Set, Science! Putting Research to Work in K-8 Classrooms (2008). She served on the advisory panel for Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments. Her new book, published by Cambridge University Press, is How Students Come to Be and to Know: A Case for a Broad View of Learning. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
was born and raised in Italy. Currently he is a scientific content developer at the Exploratorium, but before that he spent more years than he cares to count in academia, earning a graduate degree while studying how the brain learns and pays attention to its surroundings. Eventually he moved away from research and was lucky that his first foray out out in the real world was at the Exploratorium. He started as an Explainer, and quickly became enamored of the way the museum explores learning, teaching, and life. One of the most powerful lessons he learned while working at the Exploratorium is that science and the process of inquiry are really best used as a means rather than an end. Tinkering gives people permission to explore phenomena at their own pace, asking the questions they care about. He feels his role as a facilitator and designer is to create and encourage everybody's own path of knowledge. If he met you in person he would do a magic trick for you.
Dr. Rebecca Dyasi
is Associate Professor of science education at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) where she runs a science learning workshop center and teaches inquiry-based science and mathematics education at undergraduate and graduate levels. She has directed NSF-funded and State-funded K-8 teacher development programs on science inquiry in New York City and conducted inquiry-based science summer camps for children and discussed that work in numerous reports and in several presentations at national science education conferences and workshops. In addition, she has co-authored book chapters on learning science by inquiry and on its links with literacy. Internationally, she is involved in innovative science education programs in Africa, Europe, and in Latin America.
's 28 years of museum experience includes 20 years at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh where she served as Exhibit and Program Director, Deputy Director and Executive Director. Werner leads a management team which is responsible for the Museum's mission, vision, exhibits, public programs, funding and operations.
Prior to her tenure at the Children's Museum, Werner worked for the Buhl Science Center, the Carnegie Science Center and The Franklin Institute. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Children's Museums, the Pittsburgh Arts Council, Hazlett Theater, and the Fred Rogers Center.
is a visual artist, instrument builder, photographer, and composer. He is a Senior Design Developer for the Studio Gallery in the Exploratorium. In this capacity, he helps conceptualize, design, and build environments for learning, develops and facilitate activities, and also works as a photographer and graphic designer. As an artist, he has created hand-built record players powered by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. Walter has performed and been in residence at art centers and science museums internationally. He has performed with the renowned Kronos Quartet, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the electronic music duo Matmos, and the legendary Marshall Allen in venues from Carnegie Hall to a high school library in Egilstaadir, Iceland. In 2008, Walter became a MacArthur Fellow.