Jean Kaneko, Founder, Chief Tinkerer
Jean is a 7 year old boy in a 40 something year old female body. She gets a lot of her love of technology and creativity from her father who was an electrical engineer who loved photography. Her 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 with 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 new technology. NHK, the public broadcast company of Japan then recruited her to manage a new startup – HDCG ( High Definition Computer Graphics ) to develop creative programming its new HD and computer graphics technologies. Together with her husband, their company Inertia Pictures, she has developed programming for interactive technology think tanks, computer graphics production companies and developed an all CG IMAX film which was a proof of concept that data used in 2D could be used to create stereo 3D large format films. She has also produced creative content for interactive, virtual reality projects, TV series, online games, and online comics.
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 uses both sides of the brain. She has volunteered countless hours in preschools and her son’s elementary school classrooms as well as participated in teacher workshops around the country. She has visited schools that utilize project-based, inquiry-based and reggio inspired curriculums to put together unique programs that combine her love of tinkering, making, creative media and psychology for children to prepare them for the 21st century.
Now, if she could just figure out how to get her son to get all his clothes in the hamper…..
Paola Cervantes, Director Early Childhood
Paola Cervantes has over ten years experience working with children. She began as an alumni mentor in her teens for a local community arts education program called Inside Out and proceeded to become a teaching artist to empower at-risk and underserved middle school age youth through visual arts, performing arts, and media workshops. After embracing motherhood, she decided to emerse herself into the study of early childhood. She studied child development at Santa Monica College and is working towards her MA in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College. She worked as a teacher at the New School-West Preschool in 2005-2013. At NSW, she taught and worked to make learning visible, interpreted data and created curriculum off the data collected. She has served as a mentor for interns from Santa Monica City College in their pursuit to work with young children. Passionate about sharing the value of quality education in early childhood to the greater community, she has presented her work on using sound and music as a language to support learning at North American Reggio Emilia Alliance and consulted with Brightworks in 2011. Prior to working at NSW, she worked in Venice as a teacher at First Years Preschool. Growing up in a family learning to live with special needs and raising a son on the spectrum has motivated Paola to advocate for children of all needs. She has presented with Southern California Association for the Education of Young Children to help parents through the process and was invited to join a panel on KCET’s family resource program “A Place of Our Own” special needs episode.
Max Nishmura : Americorp Maker Vista Outreach Coordinator
Max is a social theorist and martial artist by training, but a maker at heart. His favorite classes growing up as a child were home economics and woodshop in middle school and photography in high school. He is disheartened by the fact that these wonderful classes he looked forward to everyday when he was a child become eliminated through budget cuts and politics. Max holds a BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley and his motivation for becoming an Americorps VISTA with Maker Guilds is to bring making back into the hands of children.
Danielle Owens : Americorp Maker Vista Development Coordinator
Danielle is a Kansas City, MO native, lover of learning, and maven of meditation. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a B.A in English and Sociology she served as a Parent and Community Specialist for the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District where she was responsible for connecting the school, parents, and the community with resources to support students’ academic success. Danielle felt the need for a change so she joined the AmeriaCorp VISTA program and is now a part of the Maker Guild’s family. The driving force in Danielle’s choice to work for Maker Guild’s is to make a difference in lives of youth through education and empowerment.
Dr. Evan Beachy
Evan Beachy is currently the Dean of Faculty, K-12 at New Roads and Director of New Roads’ Malibu Middle School a private k-12 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.
Kristin is currently a preschool Director at The New School-West in Los Angeles. With an M.A. in human development, Kristin serves as a Director Mentor with the CECMP (California Early Childhood Mentor Program) and coordinates with Santa Monica College in the development of early childhood educators through internships and observation. As a member of the Westside Collaborative, she continues her dedication to the constructivist approach to learning through study in Reggio Emilia, Italy with Reggio Children and NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance). Serving on the advisory counsel for The Exploratory, she brings the need for exploration of mathematic and scientific properties and a heightened image of the child to public awareness.
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 is currently the National Program Director at Maker Education Initiative . Prior to that, she was responsible for the educational content at Twin 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.
Patrick J. Doody
Patrick J. Doody is a screenwriter and television producer living in Los Angeles. One of his first jobs in town was a creative producer for a content driven website. For the site’s launch, he helped design six mobile television studios inside of RVs, which would allow a filmmaker to shoot, edit and upload material directly to the site. This was in 1999, six years before YouTube. Over the past decade, he has worked on science shows such as Operation Junkyard — the kids version of Junkyard Wars, and I.Am.First, the ABC special about Dean Kamen’s First Robotics Challenge. For the past three years, he has produced videos for the TED Conference and their TED Fellows Program. On top of all that , he loves making music and milkshakes.
Jacqueline Morris Doody
Jacqueline Morris Doody is a writer, television producer and director, who originally hails from the United Kingdom but now lives in Los Angeles. Her passion for creativity and science has always been a guiding force in her life and work. She holds a B.A. in Art & Design and her media career is an extensive portfolio of science shows made for British and US television networks – titles include (Emmy nominated) Junkyard Wars, Scrapheap Challenge, Full Metal Challengeand (Emmy nominated) Operation Junkyard. When she’s not up to her arms in paint, you’ll find her enjoying a good Sunday roast at her local British pub, or doing the crossword puzzle.
Allen Pan: Electronics and Robotics Fellow/Instructor
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. He currently acts as at The Exploratory. When Allen isn’t designing curriculums or running workshops, he’s working on electronic kits and products for the soon-to-be real hardware startup Space Robots.
Andrew Gonzalez: Science Fellow/Instructor
Andrew is a senior bio medical engineer at USC, as well as a camp enthusiast and maker. When he is not studying or uplifting the spirits of youth Andrew is searching for new hiking trails, trying new cuisines, or busting a move on the dance floor. He finds passion for working with the underserved and helping the youth see new possibilities. He has been a Mad Science instructor, camp instructor, and volunteers for several non-profit organizations.
Janean Hinrichs, Communication Fellow/E-Textiles Instructor
Janean is a life-long learner, an external student always searching for something new to educate herself on. She is also an artist who has been paints/draws to maintain her sanity. She is excited to be a part of The Exploratory to help market and advertise the wonderful services offered! Janean is also one of our E-Textiles instructors and Library Volunteers.
Debra Ansell: Electronics and Robotics Fellow/E-Textiles and Arduino Instructor
Debra has a lifelong love of creating and science starting from childhood with LEGO building sets and trips to watch streamlined bicycle races with her aeronautical engineer father. She earned a B.A. in Physics and Applied Mathematics followed by an M.S. in Physics, then went to work as a software engineer before her three boys were born. She has coached her kids’ FLL (FIRST LEGO League) robotics and Jr. FLL teams for the past three years, and loves to experiment with electronics, computers and science projects and write them up at her blog: www.geekmomprojects.com. She is a big proponent of increasing girls’ engagement in science and furthering scientific literacy in general.
Aaron Turner: Wood Working Fellow/Instructor
Aaron is a Santa Monica, CA based artist and designer, earned his MFA from UCLA. For several summers he was The Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, NY, builder-in-residence. He is presently working with Frank Gehry and naval architect Germán Frers on the design of a 72’ wooden sailboat. Most of his spare time is spent playing hide and seek-freeze tag with his daughters age four and six.
Allie Borgeson, Preschool Program Maker Educator
Allie is extremely excited to be joining the Exploratory family! She teaches some of our after school programs, works alongside Paola teaching AM Preschool Tinkering and Saturday Toddler class. She loves to learn with children as they explore and discover the environment around them! She has five years experience working with children. Most currently, Allie has been a Nanny for a fantastic 4 year old boy. She has worked intimately with his family as they experience the challenges and triumphs he has faced from living on the Autism Spectrum. Working with children has made her realize all children have special needs and interests that need to be recognized in order for them to thrive!
Allie is currently attending National University to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Working with children brings her immense joy. She looks forward to discovering with them in PPSH and The Exploratory.
Michael Licht: Scratch Instructor
Michael Licht is a 15 year video game design veteran from Lucas Arts & Electronic Arts with 10 shipped titles over his career. He is also a part time video game design instructor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and a graduate student mentor in the video game design program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Over the last few years, he has consulted in video game design and production at several studios in in various countries holding design workshops and working as a remote design lead on several high profile projects. Michael is also a father of two young boys and an enthusiastic educator.
Yael Lichaa: Ceramics Instructor
Yael has her Master Degree in Elementary Education and has taught various art courses, such as Beginner and Advanced Ceramics, Figure Sculpting, Basic Drawing and Sketch Drawing, Oil Painting, Mixed Medium, Bookmaking, Abstract Art, Oil Gilding, Painting on Wood,Dry Pigments and Shellac, Egg Tempera, Milk Painting and more for STAR Education and other organizations in Los Angeles.
Anna Ayeroff: Arts Media Instructor
Anna Ayeroff received her BFA in Sculpture/New Genres and Art Education from Otis College of Art and Design. She is a fine artist whose work has been exhibited nationally. She has also curated and contributed to various publications in the Los Angeles area. Ayeroff currently teaches art workshops to young artists ages 5-15 throughout Los Angeles.