Dan Blake

Program Coordinator

In his role as Director of Innovation & Partnerships, Dan Blake leads the Sonoma County Office of Education's efforts to promote 21st Century Teaching and Learning in local schools. He was instrumental in the development of ieSonoma: innovate | educate, Cradle to Career Sonoma County, and the Maker Certificate Program in partnership with Sonoma State University. Prior to his current role, he spent six-and-a-half years as SCOE's Career Development Specialist.

Dan has 14 years of teaching experience, including 13 years as a teacher at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, California. He is Vice-Chair of the North Bay Makers Board of Directors, Vice-Chair of the Cradle to Career Sonoma County Operations Team, and a Board Liaison to the Sonoma County Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation. Dan holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.S. in Educational Administration from Purdue University's Calumet School of Education.

Patricia Amend-Ehn

Patricia Amend-Ehn earned her teaching credential from Sonoma State University in 1999 and she is currently teaching part-time as a first grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary School. Patricia spends the other part of her week creating interactive activities for her STEAM classes at Kenwood Elementary School. She has spent the past year engaging in the creation of engineering activities for all of her students and has collaborated with the entire staff to implement whole school engineering challenges. She completed the Maker Certificate Program at Sonoma State University in the spring of 2015.

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 "Maker Fridays" to encourage playful tinkering. Angi received his 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.

David Cole

David Cole has worked at the intersection of education, publishing, and technology for more than 15 years, much of that time with Pearson PLC, first as an employee, then as an independent consultant with the Pearson Foundation. A former English teacher, he's worked on content management systems, mobile tools and collaboration platforms for classrooms and professional development networks, digital media projects, after-school initiatives, program design for museums, STEM2STEAM projects, internships and service learning, and teacher training. Most recently in San Francisco, he's been responsible for the development of Plan Ahead, SFUSD's 9th grade college and career readiness course, created through a sustained public-private partnership between the school district, the Pearson Foundation, Gap Inc., and Hirsch & Associates. Currently he's focusing on a new project with local non-profit, NEXMAP.org (new experimental music, art and production), exploring 21st Century Notebooking and the possibilities for paper and electronics, art and science, and next generation learning in the classroom.

Susan Donner

Susan Donner is a middle school math and science teacher with 20 years of experience. As a life-long maker, she is passionate about infusing the math and science curriculum with challenges and projects that encourage students to think creatively. She was a member of the inaugural SSU Maker Educator Certificate Program cohort, at which time she and her colleague Gary Jordan developed and implemented the STEAMaker Enrichment course at Piner-Olivet Charter School. The class is currently in its third year. Susan enjoys working with other people who are interested in Making and the Maker mindset. One of her favorite quotes is by Emily Dickinson, "Dwell in possibility."

Gary Jordan

Gary Jordan is in his twenty-fourth year teaching math, science, and technology to students in grades 6 through 8 in the Piner-Olivet School District in Santa Rosa. A lifelong Maker at heart, Gary joined colleague Susan Donner in becoming a certified Maker Educator in 2014. Together they continue to develop and co-teach the Maker Enrichment course at their school, while working to incorporate Making and Project Based Learning into core curriculum.

Nate MacDonald

For the past 15 years Nate MacDonald has taught students how to design, build, and program robots. Nate is now teaching middle school students how to make, tinker, and hack in order to solve our world problems. At White Hill Middle school Nate teaches three different classes: Inventors Lab, Engineering Design, and Makers & Hackers. Nate has developed STEAM lessons using high tech and low tech classroom materials for math, science and engineering.

Nate received his masters in education from the University of San Francisco and wrote his thesis on how to implement robotics programs in low performing schools. When Nate is not tinkering with a 3D printer, building robots, or trying to convince someone why the Oculus Rift is the next biggest thing he is working on developing a community of maker teachers in the Bay Area.

Frances (Kaki) McLachlan

Frances McLachlan has been a teacher at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax for the past three years. She teaches Life Science and enjoys finding ways to bring technology, engineering and math into as many lessons as she can. Last year, she helped kick off the new White Hill STEAM team by bringing in a Digital Media class where students create dynamic multimedia projects and learn to use their digital tools in more sophisticated ways. She also teaches every 6th grader how to best utilize the tech tools available to them on campus while also focusing on digital citizenship techniques.

Kaki received both her MA in Education and her teaching credential at Sonoma State. Last year, she helped create an Local Open Online Course (LOOC) with fellow educators (many you will meet in this class) to help encourage professionals in Marin and Sonoma counties to better understand the issues and best practices of using technology in an educational setting. She was awarded the PBS Digital Innovator Award in 2014 and is excited to continue to create and make and learn!

Renee Miller

Renee graduated from Humboldt State University in 1999 and began her teaching career in a public school just five miles from where she grew up in Richmond, California. She joined the teaching staff at Park Day School in Oakland in 2007. Renee is particularly interested in math education and math curriculum development within the progressive school setting, and is currently working towards her Master's Degree in Math Leadership. In her spare time Renee can be found at local dog-friendly parks and beaches with her yellow lab, Denver. She also has recently discovered the joys of gardening and is learning the art of home maintenance.

Carinne J. Paddock

Carinne Paddock teaches fourth grade at Oak Grove Elementary in Sebastopol, California. Carinne is part of the first cohort to complete the Maker Certificate Program at Sonoma State University in April, 2015. She started a classroom Maker Space in September, 2014 and promoted the first annual Cardboard Challenge at Oak Grove. Carinne and her principal, Paige Gardner, were astounded by the interest and participation by so many students in this Maker event. She has mentored members of her faculty and administrative staff in Maker philosophy. Carinne has written and received grants to Sebastopol Rotary Club, OGEP, and Donor's Choose for Maker materials that are available to students and teachers school-wide.

Ilya Pratt

Ilya is the Director of Design+Make+Engage at Park Day School in Oakland, CA, and a Maker Leader in the Agency By Design research project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a learning specialist, Ilya enjoys working with the teaching staff to puzzle out how children learn and how we can best support kids' learning through making, design, and deep participatory experiences. She has also spent a good deal of her adult life with bicycles: working for a manufacturer and a retail shop, professional downhill mountain bike racing and more recently bicycle touring. When she's not teaching or traveling, you'll find Ilya at home building things.

Casey Shea

Casey Shea teaches math and Project Make at Analy High School in Sebastopol, CA. Following a pilot year in 2011 at 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 activities and instructional materials for their classrooms.

Aaron Vanderwerff

Aaron Vanderwerff is passionate about engaging students in making and independent inquiry in the classroom, particularly students underrepresented in STEM fields. Vanderwerff currently oversees design and making programs at Lighthouse, which includes coaching teachers and facilitating professional development. This effort came out of his making class, which culminates in students exhibiting their independent projects at the Maker Faire. Vanderwerff has taught high school science in the Bay Area for the past ten years. Before joining Lighthouse, he taught ninth-grade physics and was science department chair at San Lorenzo High School, and taught math in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.

Julia Walcott

Engaging middle school students has been at the forefront of Julia Walcott's teaching for over 25 years. Although Julia has taught all core content areas, STEAM-related subjects have always been her passion. This year she is teaching seventh grade math as well as a sixth grade Inventor's Lab. Her students work with 3D printers, EV3 robots, circuitry and more in engaging projects that exemplify engineering design concepts. Last year, Julia's students ran a Maker Shop, which served the needs of school staff. Students designed and produced tee-shirts for fundraisers, 3D printed math manipulatives, and created original classroom decals for teachers.

Julia recently completed a masters program at SSU in the Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning program with a focus on educational leadership and educational technology. Last year, she participated in the creation of a Local Open Online Course (LOOC) designed to assist teachers in deepening their understanding of Edtech theory and practice. Julia is looking forward to connecting and creating with other Maker-minded teachers from Sonoma County and beyond.