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Prompt #1: Introductions


Welcome to the Math in the Making online forum. To begin the conversation, please share your name, your background and institutional affiliation, and a little bit about why you are interested in the intersection of mathematics with making and tinkering.

Our next forum topic will be posted on Friday, April 1 (no joke).

Looking forward to meeting you!


Scott Pattison, Andee Rubin, and the Math in the Making team  

Christine Rafal

My name is Christine Théberge Rafal; I'm a seamstress and painter who has also been a teacher, a researcher and evaluator, a developer of performance assessments and online courses, a writer of workshops and of grants. I currently serve as Grants Coordinator at Artists for Humanity (AFH) where, with NSF funding and input from Education Development Center, folks are working to formalize and share AFH's unique, contextualized approach to STEAM learning. I look forward to learning from all of you.



I’m Kim Koin, Director of Art and Tinkering Lab Studios at Chicago Children’s Museum. I’m a maker in many disciplines, such as collage, sewing, bookbinding, printmaking and experiences for children and adults. I’ve been working in informal learning for over 15 years, working mostly with the family group as social learner while wrestling with accessibility and making (in many permutations). I am now involved in a collaborative research project that will investigate how reflective interactions between parents and children (ages 6-8) during tinkering activities ultimately impact child engagement in STEM.


Re:Prompt #1: Introductions

Hi my name is Keith Braafladt I am the director of the SMM’s Learning Technologies Center. I currently lead the Science Museum of Minnesota’s maker program: Play Tinker Make (Activate) with 70+ volunteers facilitating maker activities that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math every Saturday. This gathering seems like a perfect place to learn what others are doing bringing together Making and Math.

Hi Keith! I was glad to see

Hi Keith! I was glad to see your name on the list!


Tracey Wright
Introduction and WELCOME



Hi All,

I am a member of the Math in the Making Team and am delighted to "meet" those of you who share an interest in bringing together two areas near and dear to my heart...Mathematics Learning and Making/Tinkering.  Here's a bit about my background in teaching and at TERC:

Tracey Wright’s BA in Child Development and K-3 teaching certification are from Tufts University.  Her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction was completed at Lesley University in 1992.   After teaching for 5 years, Tracey has spent over 20 years as a Researcher and Developer at TERC in Cambridge, MA.   Her expertise ranges from interviewing students on their understanding of the Mathematics of Change, to developing elementary math curriculum and assessments (Investigations) as well as extensive work doing professional development with teachers (Cheche Konnen Center for Science Education).  Through her research and publications, she has contributed to the field of formal math education as well as informal science education.  Her work on Handling Calculus and the Math Core project involved using body motion as way into learning math for visitors at Science Museum exhibits.  Her TERC Movement Study Group has allowed her to continue to learn about ways to connect embodied cognition with student engagement in a variety of STEM settings.  Her work on professional development has also extended into informal settings through the Math in Zoos and Aquariums project (MiZA), the Zoo and Aquarium Action Research Collaborative  (ZAARC), and currently the Interpreters and Scientists Working on our Parks project (iSWOOP2.0). 

I look forward to hearing and sharing more about bringing together people and ideas related to doing and learning authentic math in Making/Tinkering environments.  





My name is Nuria. I've worked at TERC for 8 years, where I do research, evaluation, and project management. My work has mostly focused in informal math education through projects like Mixing in Math, Math off the Shelf, and currently Nana y Yo y las Matematicas. I am also working in Engineering Beyond the Double Bind, a research project that examines the factors that keep young women of color in engineering. In addition to my work at TERC, I am a doctoral student in Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies at the University of Georgia. 

Looking forward to learning from all of you! 


Hello everyone,

Hello everyone,

My name is Scott Pattison and I’m a co-PI with Andee Rubin on the Math in the Making project. It’s an honor to meet you all and I look forward to our online conversations.

A little about me: I am a researcher and evaluator at the Institute for Learning Innovation and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I came at this job through the back door (as many of us did), beginning as an educator and exhibit developer at OMSI, and I’ve been interested in how people learn about and become interested in STEM outside of school ever since. Andee and I have been working on math projects for many years, including Access Algebra (http://www.informalscience.org/access-algebra) and REVEAL (http://www.informalscience.org/research-researching-value-educator-actions-learning-reveal), and we see the rich potential for informal learning experiences to engage children and adults in mathematical thinking—especially those who might have had negative experiences with school math.

I have less direct experience with making and tinkering but I have recently been involved in a number of NSF-funded design and engineering projects, including Designing Our World (http://www.informalscience.org/full-scale-development-designing-our-world-community-envisioning-girls-engineers) and Head Start on Engineering (http://www.informalscience.org/head-start-engineering-supporting-engineering-interest-development-early-childhood).

Looking forward to learning from all of you!



Welcome to the Math in the Making forum!

Hello everyone,

I'm Andee Rubin, co-PI with Scott Pattison on the Math in the Making project.  The whole team is excited that this forum is actually beginning after months of preparation.  Thank you for joining us.

I'm a mathematician (as an undergraduate), computer scientist (as a graduate student) and educational researcher (in my work life) who has become increasingly interested in how math can be made more approachable and accessible to people outside of school.  While I have helped to develop elementary school math curricula (Investigations in Number, Data, and Space:  https://investigations.terc.edu/ ) and software (http://ink-12.mit.edu/ ), I find myself most passionate about people's experiences with math in other contexts.  I’ve been involved in the Design Zone and REVEAL projects at OMSI along with Scott and am currently co-PI of STEM Literacy through Infographics (SLI), ( http://science-infographics.org/ ) whose goal is to figure out how to provide tools and support to high school students both in and out of school in creating their own infographics.

In terms of making, I’m less experienced, although I am an occasional visual artist whose primary medium is monoprints – and a constant choral singer (second alto!)

Jennifer Knudsen

Hi Everyone!
I am Jennifer Knudsen and I work as a senior math educator in the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. I have designed innovative, technology-rich curriculum and PD for the past 30 years. My team has recently taken up the challenge of helping teachers and students into the practice of mathematical modeling. Our approach is to do this, in part, through design thinking and making. We are just beginning to explore 3D printing as a context for math modeling.

My 18 year old daughter is my ambassador into the world of making. She is into costume design and 3D construction of many types. She is in charge of our 3D printer. I am also  a collage artist.

Currently, I'm the director

Currently, I'm the director of the STEAM Lab at Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts serving over 440 students that reflect the diversity of Boston’s neighborhoods. I have worked for several years in K-12 and post-secondary education, community media and technology before enrolling at Georgia Tech where I received a doctorate in Digital Media in 2014. My model for ‘techno-vernacular creativity' is an area of practice that investigates the characteristics of this creative production and its application in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) learning. This includes the use of culturally relevant or culturally responsive art forms that are based on math principles. 

Susan Klimczak
Oh so glad you are going too!

The folks in this conference are so fortunate to find out about your exciting work with youth!  Folks should check out Nettrice's excellent blog and an excellent FabLearn Fellows discussion she participated in, "Reimagining and Revisioning Making and Maker Education" for Diversity


Hi everyone. My name is Lee Martin and I'm an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis. I do research on making as a context where young people can develop adaptability and resourcefulness in problem solving, and where they can develop their identities as agents in a world of designed things, so that they can take actions and make things and make change. My research team and I built a mobile maker workshop (in a van) which we use to bring the tools of making to sites that would not otherwise have access to them. I also have a long standing interest in mathematics and, in particular, the ways in which mathematical and scientific representations can help us to think. My research into mathematics learning has focused primarily on how informal, out of school understandings of mathematics develop, and how we can connect them to the in-school disciplinary concerns of math class.


So glad you're coming!

Susan Klimczak
Love widening the circle of people I think with and make with!

For the past 14 years, I have been blessed to be education organizer (think community organizer & education director) with teenage youth teachers in Boston's Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn, catalyzing cultural change about the creative possibilities of #MakingSTEAM and #MakingLiberation.  From April - August each year, youth teachers LEARN (computer & physical programming, digital design & fabrication, alternative energy, electronics, graphic design), BUILD projects that solve community issues they think important and then travel to 25+ community organizations to TEACH what they have learned to over 700 elementary & middle school youth living in the Boston neighborhoods most in need of education resources.  

I love our youth and their genius, riding my bicycle, baking pies and tweeting @zackboston.

I look forward to thinking and collaborating with all of YOU because so often, though I love and am so inspired by the youth who rock my world, I feel so isolated from kindred spirit educator adults because L2TT2L keeps me so busy. 


Hello Everyone,

My name is John Edmark. I'm an inventor, artist and designer. I also teach product design at Stanford University. From my artist's statement:

Much of my art work celebrates the patterns underlying space and growth. Through kinetic sculptures and transformable objects, I strive to give viewers access to the surprising structures hidden within apparently amorphous space. The works can be thought of as instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.

I employ precise mathematics in the design and fabrication of my work. I do this neither out of a desire to exhibit precision per se, nor to exalt the latest technology, but because the questions I’m trying to formulate and answer about spatial relationships can only be addressed with geometrically exacting constructions. Mathematical precision is an essential ally in my goal of achieving clarity.

Through my work I endeavor to share the joy of discovery with others in a continuing pursuit of the timeless patterns of change.

I look forward to sharing ideas with each other!


Hi! My name is Kate Chapman and I'm a first year doctoral student in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. I am part of a research team, co-lead between Vanderbilt University and Indiana University, investigating implicit mathematical practices in traditionally female textile practices with an eye to how some of those practices might be leveraged to promote persistence in STEM disciplines. 

Currently I am working in several informal spaces, from a hands-on art exhibit, to a library makerspace, and our own pop-up knitting club. I am particularly interested in creating a better flow of information and ideas between informal and formal spaces, and I'm really excited about the diversity of expertise represented by this group already! Looking forward to meeting everyone in a few weeks. 

Hello everyone!

Hi everyone -

My name is Gina Navoa Svarovsky and I am faculty at the Center for STEM Education here at Notre Dame. I also have a joint appointment in the College of Engineering here and teach in the First Year Engineering course sequence. Before taking this role at Notre Dame, I worked for five years at the Science Museum of Minnesota in the Department of Evaluation and Research in Learning. I was fortunate enough to collaborate on several projects that focused on the intersection of Making and STEM (though I'll admit I have have an engineering emphasis) with some wonderful folks there like Keith Braflaadt (Hi Keith!). I'm currently co-PI on the Making Connections grant with Marjorie Bequette at SMM, which looks at both unpacking culturally-embedded definitions of Making as well as exploring ways to further engage members of communities of color in developing and participating in Maker-style activities during the Play Tinker Make events Keith described above. In addition, I'm currently a co-PI on the Head Start on Engineering project that Scott Pattison mentioned in his introduction, and I collaborated with Monica Cardella from Purdue on the Gender Research on Adult-child Discussions within Informal Engineeirng Environments (GRADIENT project).

So, in a nutshell, I like to think a lot about how young people - and in particular, girls and youth of color - engage in designing/engineering/Making and what (inter/disciplinary) learning looks like during those experiences. Really looking forward to meeting many of you in person - and of course, to learning from all of you!

Intro: Doug Moore

Hello everybody (can't help but hear that in Grover's voice) - 

I'm Doug Moore, a dad in Brooklyn, NY who leads digital education strategy for the New York Hall of Science. NYSCI has embarked on ambitious work to bring products and services out to audiences beyond our walls - educators, parents, learners anywhere. The first major work in that area are five iPad apps called Noticing Tools (noticing.nysci.org), along with supporting curricular resources, and professional development courses. They offer a playful and creative invitation to explore math and science through expressive design projects - animations, photo mashups, videos with annotated data overlays, forced perpective photography, and 3D models - that embody NYSCI's Design, Make, Play approach. 

I'm keenly interested in math and making because it is not how I remember learning math in school, but I really wish I had. A year spent learning "tips and tricks" from my precalc teacher (primarily the basketball coach) left me staring up a huge conceptual hill to climb the next year in calculus. More broadly, the world needs, and will value, creative collaborative problem solvers, and I'm delighted to feel that I have a role in helping nurture young learners towards that future. 

Really looking forward to welcoming everyone to NYSCIYou can also find me on twitter @dnielsenmoore. 

All the best, 




Hi everyone! My name is Leah Rosenbaum, and I’m a first year PhD student at UC Berkeley studying math education. I’m particularly interested in opportunities to bring tangible, physical models (and the making thereof) into high school math classrooms. This focus combines my formal mathematics background with my informal interest in making (currently in the genre of cardboard models and large, sometimes illuminated origami). I’m also generally fascinated by tools and mechanisms (usually manifested by way-too-long trips to the hardware store). I would love to learn about past or ongoing work seeking to use tangible mechanisms and interactions as a physical basis and entry point to concepts in high school math.


Hi, I am Eli Tucker-Raymond, a learning researcher at TERC, in Cambridge, MA. I was a classroom teacher in Chicago (a while ago now) and I am now conducting research on what happens in learning environments when young people of color are knowledge producers and facilitators rather than consumers. Particularly I am interested in how this affects the ways in which they see themselves as participants in STEM fields and in the world. I am currently PI or Co-PI of two NSF funded projects. The most relevent to this project is called Investigating STEM Literacies in MakerSpaces where we are developing a framework for how to identify and support work with representations (images, words, sketches, multimedia, diagrams, CAD drawings, etc...) in makerspaces. We are conducting case studies of six different spaces in the process, including the Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn program that Susan Kilmczak organizes. Our website! STEMLiMS 

Personal Factoid: I work four blocks from the house I grew up in (and in which I currently live). I also do some work for the city around STEAM awareness and opportunities for young people. I love being able to do meaningful work with people I have known since Kindergarten. 


Hello, my name is Brindha Muniappan and I'm the Director of Programs at the MIT Museum. I led the creation of our creative learning space, the Idea Hub, and have produced a number of math-based public programs at the MIT Museum (Mathternoon, Paper Caper, Math MoSAIC Fest). I look forward to meeting you all next month and learning about your audiences and/or spaces and methods for integrating math with making.


Hi! My name is Keith Ostfeld and I'm the Director of Educational Technology and Exhibit Development for the Children's Museum of Houston (which still doesn't really explain what I do). I spent 2 years teaching Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC) and Biology in high school and 5 years teaching IPC and Life Science at a middle school before joining the Children's Museum of Houston in 2001 (yeah, THAT long ago...). I've been fortunate to work in an environment where my natural constructivist desire to provide creative avenues for families to engage in inquiry,exploration, experimentation, and discovery has been allowed to grow and thrive. I've worked on several math projects such as Math Momentum, Magnificent Math Moments (M3), and Cyberchase: The Chase Is On! as well as many making projects including being a part of the Playful Invention and Exploration (PIE) Network, Community Science Workshops, Invention Convention/Inventors' Workshop, Maker Annex, and Made In Your Mind. While we naturally include math in our maker projects, I'd be very interested in discussing how to be more deliberate about both adapting our existing and developing new opportunities to include math without sacrificing the natural exploration and tinkering that is a part of making.

See you soon!


Myriam Steinback

Hi! I'm Myriam Steinback, director of Investigations PD at TERC. We develop and offer professional development for K-5 teachers, coaches, principals and other support staff around the teaching and learning of math. Up until three years ago, all of our work was face-to-face. We developed online courses and our world has exploded with opportunities and new challenges! Before coming to TERC 20 years ago, I taught math at the college and community college levels, and did research on high school students sense making of mathematics. I was PI, with a great team of adult ed practitioners, of an NSF grant developing a math curriculum for out of school youth and adult learners of math: EMPower. I'm interested in learning about making and tinkering and the interesection of them with mathematics. There's no question in my mind that a lot of what we make requires mathematics, and I want to see it in action in classrooms so that the connection is explicit. I look forward to learning a lot here!

Hello all. My name is Edna

Hello all. My name is Edna Tan and I am a science educator on the School of Education faculty at UNC-Greensboro. I am working on a project currently with Dr. Angie Calabrese Barton at MSU on youth community makerspaces where we collaborate with the local boys and girls club (BGC). We work with upper elementary to high school youth from the BGC to make and innovate items that will solve or address a community concern. I look forward to our conversations at the workshop. 

Hello. What an interesting

Hello. What an interesting group we have here. My name is Julie Remold. I am a Research Social Scientist at SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning. For the past three years, I've been working in educational making usually as an external evaluator of funded projects and usually for projects with science or engineering goals. Recently, I've been in discussion with my colleague Jennifer Knudsen (she's already posted here) about making as a way of engaging students with mathematical practices.

Hello, I am Dorothy Bennett. 

Hello, I am Dorothy Bennett.  I am currently the Director of Creative Pedagogy at NYSCI, responsible for leveraging constructivist strategies of engagement in our beyond the walls programming at the museum, including teacher professional development efforts, app and curricular resources, and programming around our newest exhibits.  I have been working for the last 30 years researching and developing design-based approaches to teaching and learning in STEM, with a focus on how to invite diverse audiences into engineering and technology (particularly girls).   I got my early start in my career as as a researcher working at the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop)  on the math series, Square One TV, a series that was born out of the new NCTM standards at the time that called for broadening children's conceptions of math beyond computation and manipulating algorithms.  Ever since. I have been very interested in the many ways to make mathematics learning tangible for those students who don't see themselves as "math people."  Recently that has included leading the development of our digital "Noticing Tools" which allow kids to make math and science discoveries while creating digital design projects and in my work with Peggy Monahan on the creation of Design Lab.  I am interested in exploring experiences that don't perpetuate inequities that continue to exist in math and science education for many young people -- the kinds of making experiences that invite kids to explore math in purposeful ways.  Looking forward to meeting everyone!

Hello, I am Dorothy Bennett. 

Hello, I am Dorothy Bennett.  I am currently the Director of Creative Pedagogy at NYSCI, responsible for leveraging constructivist strategies of engagement in our beyond the walls programming at the museum, including teacher professional development efforts, app and curricular resources, and programming around our newest exhibits.  I have been working for the last 30 years researching and developing design-based approaches to teaching and learning in STEM, with a focus on how to invite diverse audiences into engineering and technology (particularly girls).   I got my early start in my career as as a researcher working at the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop)  on the math series, Square One TV, a series that was born out of the new NCTM standards at the time that called for broadening children's conceptions of math beyond computation and manipulating algorithms.  Ever since. I have been very interested in the many ways to make mathematics learning tangible for those students who don't see themselves as "math people."  Recently that has included leading the development of our digital "Noticing Tools" which allow kids to make math and science discoveries while creating digital design projects and in my work with Peggy Monahan on the creation of Design Lab.  I am interested in exploring experiences that don't perpetuate inequities that continue to exist in math and science education for many young people -- the kinds of making experiences that invite kids to explore math in purposeful ways.  Looking forward to meeting everyone!


Hi, everyone. It's nice to see so many familiar names on the participant list, and to read all the interesting introductions above from folks I haven't met yet. 

I am Elizabeth Fleming, the Director for Learning Environments at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. Over the past nine years working at MLS, I have had the chance to work on multiple mathematics projects and tinkering projects. I was an exhibit developer and the MLS project manager on the NSF-funded Math Moves exhibition (in collaboration with SMM, MoS, Explora, TERC, and CRMSE). MLS also developed the Flip It, Fold It, Figure It Out: Playing with Math exhibition, which is now part of our permanent collection. I have also helped lead and support many of the Museum’s tinkering initiatives to date, including development of the Contraptions and Launch Lab exhibits. Based on these experiences, I recognize that there is a lot of math inherent in many of our exhibits and programs, and am interested in learning more about strategies for highlighting the math in authentic ways and more explicit ways. I am looking forward to the upcoming discussions here on the forum and at the workshop.  



Hello, I'm Jennifer Jacobs. 

I'm a 5th year PhD student in the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. My research examines ways to diversify participation and practice in computer programming by building expressive computational tools for combining art, design, digital fabrication, and craft. Prior to joining the Media Lab, I studied fine art. This experience, combined with my re-discovery of the artistic power of trigonometry, linear algebra, and calculus when combined with programing, directly motivated my current research. I'm excited by how computational design enables people to engage with mathematical and computational concepts by applying them to concrete creative projects. At the moment I'm particularly interested in how creative tools can scaffold math learning by enabling people to explore mathematical relationships in intuitive and embodied ways. I'm really looking forward to the workshop.


Hello, I'm Beth Warren.  I co-direct the Chèche Konnen Center at TERC.  For the last several years my colleagues and I have been engaged in a wonderful collaboration with Boston Arts Academy, local independent artists, and research scientists to explore artscience as a design space for informal and formal transdisciplinary learning.  Together, we've designed and studied a summer "water studio" with rising 9th and 10th graders and classroom investigations into the human microbiome.  We have approached these designs in an open-minded way, with an eye on how practices of cultivating attention, making, critique, and exhibition/performance/communication can desettle conventional modes of STEM learning to emphasize  “the creative rather than the uniform” (see Shirley Brice Heath) and open up new possible engagements with STEM for students from historically non-dominant communities. We see an artscience repertoire as one that multiplies possibilities of knowing, analyzing, experiencing and feeling—what we like to think of as the kinds of relationships that students can cultivate with phenomena towards more intimate, embodied, and expressive relationships than is typically possible or supported in school.   I'm interested to learn how folks in this forum are imagining and approaching math in the making!

Hi All! I am Kathleen Lawson.

Hi All! I am Kathleen Lawson. I serve as the Director of the Arkansas Discovery Network, a consortium of six (and growing!) museums and science centers in Arkansas. Though very different in a lot of ways, we have found a common ground around making and tinkering and facilitate our work primarily in the six Tinkering Studios we have around the state. I look forward to learning how we can better integrate math learning into our spaces. I participated in my first tinkering workshop in January of 2012 and have been a champion around making/tinkering ever since.

Introduction - Sherry Hsi

Hello! I recently started a new job as a Senior Researcher at the Concord Consortium (based on Concord, Massachusetts with a growing office in Emeryville, California where I work.) I have worked on small projects (http://papermechatronics.net) and large projects (http://howtosmile.org) with wonderful collaborators. I consider myself both a learner designer and researcher usually applying design-based research methods to develop methods, tools, media, tasks and activity structures to support interest-driven learning in STEM (usually in science and engineering.)

I am interested in how to broader participation in making and how maker activities can be used an rich contexts and opportunities for talking or working with disciplinary ideas. In my observation of high school students building paper animal robots, they tell me the valuable skill learned wasn't the programming, electronics, or arts, but learning how to use a ruler, when and why to use a ruler, and value that comes from precise measurement (a cardboard part that fits together how they imagined.) I can see teens also working through geometric ideas as they puzzle about how to move from flat paper and cardboard into 3D forms. Finally, I see many children get discouraged from classroom mathematics and start to believe they can't learn math. I am looking forward to participating to learn alternative ways to facilitating math learning. Looking forward to meeting you all! 

Mike Petrich
Introduction - Mike Petrich

Karen Wilkinson and I co-founded a "Tinkering Studio" at the Exploratorum in 2007, focusing on ways for museum visitors to think with their hands and develop their individual pathways toward understanding by using tools and materials, exploring rich scientific phenomena, and expressing their own delightful ideas.  This work now includes a robust research effort, inspiring community-based programs in the Bay Area, and professional development networks across the US, Europe, and Asia. The most rewarding aspect of this work is the continued learning and ongoing program development with network colleagues and critical friends.  I'm looking forward to thinking more about the impacts of this educational approach with all of you, and in particular thinking about the potential and possibilities of embedding math into the mix.



Hello all! 

I'm Alana Parkes. I develop exhibit content at the Museum of Science, Boston. I"ve been doing this for 16 years and have worked on several math-related projects including the Math Moves exhibit others have mentioned. Most recently I worked on The Science Behind Pixar exhibit that looks at the computer science, math, and science that goes into creating computer animation. My bachelor's degree is in math and my Master's is in math education. I spent a few years at TERC doing research on math learning, too. 

So far, I've been on the edges of making, but I'll be working on a new exhibit with Lydia Beall where we intend to engage visitors in engineering and computational thinking through design activities (facilitated and unfacilitated).



I'm happy to be working on planning this conference with Andee, Scott, Tracey and other advisers!   I worked at TERC for a long time, and now work at a much smaller STEM nonprofit in Maine (Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.)  We work with several rural "Hubs" on an NSF project to get 10-18 year olds more involved in STEM outside of school (I work with Sue Allen and Tom Keller on this.)  We don't have *any* science museums in the state, but there is a lot of making going on!  An issue that someone brought up in a planning meeting prompted me to think more about how people think about "making" when they must make to survive.  It is not a hobby for the people I work with--it's a necessity.  How can we capitalize on this as a strength?


Hi, my name is Stephanie Kadam. I am the Family Programs Manager at Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk, CT. I went to school for biology and I minored in music, but I have worked in the museum field for almost 15 years. I am really excited to learn more ways to incorporate math into our programming at the museum. Although we informally integrate mathematic standards into our other programming, we do not offer any programs that specifically present math content. I also really enjoy working with my staff to design programs and engage the visitors in activities that are maker-based.


Hi, my name is Laurie Brennan. I am the President of TERC. I have been at TERC for 20 years overseeing finance and accounting, then as the CFO and COO and was just appointed President a few weeks ago. My background is in mathematics and computer science. I am very interested in the maker movement and in identifying the math learning within the making. Working at TERC for so many years I have seen the numerous ways in which mathematics is part of so much of what we do each day. The maker movement aligns well with TERC's educational philosophy. I am looking forward to attending the workshop and learning as much as I can from all of you.


Hi, my name is Marta Civil and I am a professor of mathematics education at the university of Arizona. My work focuses on cultural, social and language (ELLs) aspects in the teaching and learning of mathematics, equity, linking in-school and out-of-school mathematics, and parental engagement in mathematics. I have directed several funded initiatives in K-8 education involving children, teachers, and parents, including a NSF-funded gender equity project, Girls in the SYSTEM (Sustaining Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) aimed at engaging low-income, culturally diverse children ages 8-13 in hands-on mathematics and science explorations in informal and after-school settings; NSF-funded MAPPS (Math and Parent Partnerships in the Southwest), which had as a goal to promote Latino/a parental involvement in mathematics through the development of leadership teams (parents, teachers, and administrators) who learned about mathematics and in turn facilitated workshops for parents within their school district; and NSF-funded CEMELA (Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as), an interdisciplinary, multi-university consortium focused on research and practice on the connections between the teaching and learning of mathematics and the cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/a students.

I know very little about the maker movement, but the little I've heard about is quite appealing to me, as I see connections to my research and outreach interests.

Greetings! My group here at

Greetings! My group here at RPI combines math and culture, and making is an activity of growing importance for us. One approach has students using simulations of traditional crafts, called "Culturally Situated Design Tools." These include native american beadwork, african textiles, urban graffiti, cornrow braiding and more. Then they render the virtual patterns as physical objects. For example kids create virtual adinkra symbols, and then render them with a 3D printer and stamp their own cloths

Another approach we work on is called "e-waste to maker space". For example we had kids from the Harlem Academy in NY take discarded computer parts to make automatic plant watering systems. They not only explored some of the math and computing topics but also looked at how heavy metals like lead from e-waste affect low-inocome communities. 


Hi all,

I'm Heather Singh. Currently, I'm the Gallery Education Manager at Thinkery in Austin, Texas. My background is in biology and education and I have been a museum professional for over 10 years, mostly writing curriculum and curating experiences for visitors of all ages. Making has become a more prominent part of my work over the past 2 1/2 years and math is an inherent component. I'm interested in working with this group and exploring ways of bringing math to the forefront. I enjoy working with my staff and pushing their boundaries to bring new and creative experiences that combine old and new technologies and processes to our visitors.


Hi Folks. My name is Josh Gutwill, and I'm the Director of Visitor Research and Evaluation at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I'm also an adviser to the planning committee for this workshop. I've been working with Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson at the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio for several years now. Together, we conducted a research study focusing on the kinds of science learning that happen during tinkering/making activities. We produced a Learning Dimensions Framework along with a video library of examples of the different dimensions of learning, which you can access here. We were trying to articulate the kinds of science learning that are valued by practitioners, and then look for evidence of those aspects of learning. We didn't focus on math learning, though, so I'm excited to see what comes of this group's conversations. I want to know: What kinds of math learning are evident in making/tinkering activities? In what ways, if any, does it help learners to be aware of the math when they engage in making/tinkering? I have also been involved in math learning projects here at the Exploratorium. A few years ago, we created Geometry Playground, an exhibition designed to foster spatial reasoning through whole-body immersive exhibits and interactive tabletop exhibits. Based on the math learning literature, our team carefully defined spatial reasoning and investigated the degree to which visitors engaged in spatial reasoning at the two types of exhibits. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better in the coming weeks!


Hi all. I am Marcie Benne with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, Oregon. I am currently the Associate Vice President of Transition for Exhibits and a member of the Research & Evaluation team. I have been involved with math-related projects since I began as an Exhibit Evaluator at OMSI in 2001. I was involved with the NSF-funded exhibits Moneyville and Access Algebra. I am also one of the PIs on an NSF-funded research project called REVEAL: Researching the Value of Educator Actions on Learning, in which we're studying the facilitation of families' museum math learning at math-related exhibits. OMSI has advanced maker spaces, projects, and fairs and I am interested in how we can promote math learning in these activities and others. For many reasons, M is one of my favorite letters in STEM. I look forward to learning with you all.


Re: Prompt 1 – Intorduction

My name is Monika Mayer. In my position as the director of Ingenuity Programs at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science I oversee the development and implementation of design-based programs and exhibits for visitors of all ages. I manage the Ingenuity Lab, a science and engineering design tinkering studio that seeks to foster creativity, problem solving and collaboration. I bring an extensive background of more than 25 years of designing, directing and teaching educational programs for PK-12. My interests include design thinking, engineering education, play-based learning, girls in STEM, DIY digital technologies, and the maker movement. I am looking forward to connect with all of you at NYSCI to explore how to integrate mathematics into design, engineering, making, and tinkering environments.


My Name is Bohdan Rhodehamel. I am the coordinator of the Math Technology Lab at San Diego State University. I am also a math teacher at Southwestern College and Woodbury University. Since 2009 I have worked on the design and fabrication of mathematical teaching and learning tools intended for use in and out of the classroom, and activities that integrate math and the arts. Much of what I do is making, and I've experienced first hand how making can both directly lead to math explorations and be improved by a more explicit focus on math. The perception of math as a discipline is improved as people develop a necessity for it in the pursuit of their own personal interests, and when they begin to see that "doing math" is not just about crunching numbers. Making and tinkering can provide great opportunities for such experiences to emerge.

Hello everyone! I grew up

Hello everyone! I grew up playing awesome 3-D video games, and as an adult software developer I decided to make math games that were as much fun as my favorites as a child. Last year I developed Mathbreakers.com, which covers elementary math subjects like fractions and arithmetic.

Today I am working on SuperMathWorld.com, a 3-D math game creation kit, so that any teacher or student can invent their own math adventure from scratch to teach about whatever subject they like. I am really looking forwards to e-meeting/speaking with this group, there are quite a few interesting people here. :-]

PS: Our tool is in prototype testing stages now, so if you would like early access to build math games, please let me know.

Charlie Van Norman

PPS: My name is Charlie Van Norman.


Hello new and old friends!

My name is Jean Ryoo and I am an educational researcher at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. For the past couple of years I have been directing a project called the California Tinkering Afterschool Network (CTAN) which is a research-practice partnership involving the Exploratorium, Community Science Workshop of Fresno and Watsonville, Discovery Cube of Santa Ana, and Techbridge of Oakland. Together we have been examining what students learn through STEM-rich tinkering/making activities, as well as what effective pedagogical moves and associated professional development are necessary to support such learning, within the context of afterschool programs serving children underrepresented in STEM. If interested, please check out our work and the various professional development resources we have created here. This project is part of a larger collaboration called the Research + Practice Collaboratory which is working to challenge historically inequitable relationships and poor communication that has often existed between researchers and educators. You can learn about this NSF-funded effort here. I am also working on a project with Mike Petrich, Karen Wilkinson, Lianna Kali, and others from the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio in a partnership with an Oakland-based charter school. This project--funded by the Overdeck Foundation and NSF--involves incorporating tinkering activities developed at the Exploratorium into an afterschool making program where we are collaboratively looking at student learning. We are simultaneously organizing regular meetings with various educators in the school to reflect on how these learning moments can relate to the formal school day in ways that can be translated for in-school educators' needs and use.

I am really excited about this conference because I have been seeing interesting ways that math emerges through tinkering and making activities, but haven't had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in reflecting on why and how what I'm seeing is "math." I am looking forward to the opportunity to be in a room with lots of other experts who are thinking about these same issues! Thanks for organizing this conference!


Hi everyone, what an honor to be included in this amazing group of people. Sorry my travels have made me late to the game. My name is Sherry Marshall, Vice President of Programs and Outreach at Science Museum Oklahoma (SMO). I also manage the Oklahoma Museum Network, a partnership of five museums throughout the state dedicated to bringing rich, interactive science programming to learners of all ages.  We have two tinkering style spaces at SMO, and have installed four other similar spaces in our partner museums that include one history museum and three children's museums.  Math is such a natural concept to highlight in projects, and is easily visible through patterns, geometry, sequences, and measurements. Sometimes it is difficult to help learners identify the math that is present, because it is common for people to only think of math as formulas, counting and numbers, but not mathematical thinking and logical processes. I am very eager to see how to bring all of these concepts together for deeper learning.  See you soon!


Hello math Makers! #:-)

My name is Bridget Rigby. I've been leading design-based learning programs for years, from innovation camps for kids with Galileo Learning and Maker programs at The Tech Museum of Innovation, to innovation learning consulting working with school districts, museums, libraries, & summer camps to get design-based, Maker-style learning going throughout their learning spaces.

I have a very playful & passionate relationship with mathematics. After studying math + philosophy and the creative process of mathematics in college, I've read countless books just for fun on mathematical curiosities, creativity, & innovation. I've been developing in the background and even doing a little prototyping for my own camp concept called Camp Fibonacci, a math + creativity camp exploring fascinating topics in mathematics, from Fibonacci #'s to fractals, and connecting math with other creative subjects and innovative mindsets.

So excited to be gathering with all of you, many of my favorite museum Makers and many soon-to-be new math friends, to combine all of these passions. I believe fear of failure plays a huge role in holding people back not only from living their most innovative lives, but also from loving math the way I do. Math is such a powerful & playful tool that they can use throughout their lives, and the Maker mindset is just what's needed to help shift the math classroom into a lively space of creativity, collaboration, making, tinkering, learning from failure, iteration, & innovation!

My favorite math quote ever, from a French mathematician (I'll need to dig up my old books to remember who): "With the tinkering, comes faith."



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