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Mission


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Mission


The Exploratory, we believe that creative learning is innately born in every human being and that a sustainable future depends upon our children being confidently  armed  with the tools to harness imagination to create innovative solutions.   

Our MISSION is to develop and produce education products, services, environments and curricula that provide children opportunities to sustain the love of discovery, celebrate the rigors of inquisitive, joyful learning and become students of innovation, prepared to solve future global challenges.

Develop Passion for Life Long Learning: We believe that all children are capable, intelligent and motivated to learn. Our job as educators is to recognize the variety of languages with which children express their unique selves. Using making and tinkering, we are able to introduce students to a wide variety of  tools that they can use to explore and affect their world. These learning experiences empower students to use their curiosity, imagination, and  critical thinking skills to  be agents of their own future. 

Prepare children for a future that will require effective problem solving skills, innovative thinking, flexible thinking and grit: STEM/STEAM are vehicles for  sustaining the curiosity and inquisitive nature of young children. When children are scientists, engineers and designers,  they engage in processes  where they learn to recognize problems, develop possible solutions, learn from failures, collaborate with peers and become effective drivers of innovation. Research has shown that grit is a more reliable predictor of success than IQ alone. The Exploratory's Tinker.Make.Innovate Pathways bring together all these disciplines to create learning opportunities that prepare the youth of today for a rapidly changing, unknown future. 

Build a community of stakeholders: To create a virtual and physical space where educators, parents and experts from many fields can share information on how youth can be empowered through STEM/STEAM, making, creative play, tinkering, project and inquiry based learning. To create a volunteer corps that can be trained and deployed to provide Tinker.Make.Innovate. programming to underserved communities through libraries and educator training. To create a free online resource for educators, where they can mentor each other. 

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Goals


Goals


At The Exploratory, we believe that a child’s curiosity and inquiry is at the hub of the learning wheel. From that center,   STEAM subjects( Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math ) are artfully woven with making and tinkering opportunities as provocations to the child’s development of innovation and creative thinking skills.

Build Tinker.Make.Innovate. Studios in Schools, Libraries and at other Informal Learning Environments:  The Exploratory Maker Space in Culver City CA is a sample maker space that offers families the opportunity to make curated projects, build new skills, engage in engineering challenges and invent solutions to real world problems.  We help build Tinker.Make.Innovate. Labs in libraries, schools and informal learning spaces.

Develop and Make Available Innovation Building Curriculum.  Based on 4 years of providing programming in formal and information learning spaces, our Tinker.Make.Innovate. curriculum enables educators, librarians and informal learning providers to engage their communities Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) learning, building making skills and developing 21st century mindset skills. 

 

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The Team


The Team


Jean Kaneko, Founder/Chief Tinkerer

Jean Kaneko is sought after program/curriculum developer and speaker in  the world of STEAM education and Making. An early adopter of making as an engagement strategy, she has been teaching STEAM subjects in formal and informal education programs such as after school, in-class, camps to both children and educators since 2011. 

Early days of tinkering in the garage and the dark room with her father led her to a career working in media that combined science, technology and art. She studied psychology and film in college and went on to work at the world’s first HDTV production companies in NY in the 80′s.  Among many firsts, she worked on live HDTV satellite broadcasts from NY to Japan and was part of a team that developed programming that showcased the newest High Definition equipement. NHK, the public broadcast company of Japan then recruited her to manage a new startup – HDCG (High Definition Computer Graphics ) to develop creative programming using its new HD and computer graphics technologies.  As an independent consultant, she  has developed education and entertainment programming for  think tanks, computer graphics production companies  and manufacturers of new technologies. 

Jean’s obsession with creative uses of technologies led her to create The Exploratory as her son entered elementary school and she couldn’t find programs that enabled him to do hands on, inquiry-based learning that accessed both sides of the brain.  The Exploratory was a pioneer in the use of Making as a vehicle for STEAM learning. It has provided after school programming, camps, events to build awareness, and since 2013 has become THE STEAM program for several Los Angeles based public and private schools. It is Maker Education Initiative's  Los Angeles partner in the Maker VISTA Corps program and was a pilot Maker Corps program in 2012/2013. Jean has created curriculum for HeadStart Schools to bring STEAM into early childhood education. She was also the chief architect of the Tinkering and Making toolkit for the Pearson Foundation's Project Mash. Jean has consulted with and provided professional development workshops to thousands of educators and librarians through out the years on Design Thinking, incorporating growth mindset skills, making skills and STEAM subject learning. 

Max Nishimura, Director of Operations/Maker Facilitator

Max Nishimura is a true renaissance maker. He is meticulous in his organization skills, can whip up a making project utilizing new skills he learned 3 hours ago, has a keen design sense and is amazing with children. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology in 2011, holds a second degree black belt in Wado-Ryu Karate and has coached students in international competitions. Prior to his position as the Director of Operations, Max was an AmeriCorps Maker VISTA, chosen by Maker Ed and Maker Guilds to build capacity of the organization to reach low income, under-served communities in Los Angeles through making skill development. 

 

ALLEN PAN, Electronics and Robotics Specialist

Allen is an engineer, inventor, hitchhiker, secret clearance holder, ordained minister, and all around imagination man. He graduated from USC in 2012 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Cinematic Arts. A lifelong Maker, Allen hopes to help nurture the burgeoning maker movement in Los Angeles and beyond. His interests include democratizing and decentralizing science and tech, as well as using tech and science to create decentralized democracies.  At The Exploratory, Allen brings his expertise in electronics to the Tinker.Make.Innovate. pathways, products, classes and workshops. 

 

ADVISORY BOARD

DR. EVAN BEACHY

Evan Beachy  is currently the Director of Innovation and Curriculum at The Milken Middle School in Los Angeles. He has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels at both private and public schools in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Costa Rica. Evan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology (Cum Laude) from Harvard University and completed the Harvard Undergraduate Teaching Education Program as part of this degree. In addition, he holds a doctoral degree from the University of California Los Angeles in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis on the transition from elementary to middle school settings in private independent schools.

STEVE DAVEES

For eight years Steve Davee was the Documentation and Technology Specialist and a Math and a Science Teacher at Opal Public Charter School of the Portland Children’s Museum. Prior to Opal, Steve worked in biomedical research for the University of Arizona and for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. Steve is the founder of CoLab Tinkering, which provides tinkering camps and workshops. He regularly shares the incredible work and capabilities of children through video, photography and presentations.Steve received a BS in Physics from the University of Oregon, and from Oregon State University a BS in Biochemistry/Biophysics and an MS in Biochemistry. He is currently the Director of Education and Communications at Maker Education Initiative.

LISA REGALLA

Lisa Regalla is currently the National Program Director at Maker Education Initiative . Prior to that, she was responsible for the educational content atTwin Cities Public Television where she presented on television, in person, in print, and on the web as part of the Emmy-Award winning series, SciGirls and DragonflyTV: Nano. As the manager of a national outreach program, she conducted extensive professional development workshops in gender equity and inquiry-based science and engineering for teachers, museum educators, and after-school program leaders, with a commitment to organizations that serve Latino audiences. Prior to joining Twin Cities Public Television, Lisa worked at the Museum of Science, Boston and the Da Vinci Science Center in PA. Lisa received both a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Theater from Lehigh University before pursuing her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Florida.