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Maker Ed’s team has been incredibly resourceful and inspiring the past two years. We have, like so many people around the world, been navigating profound uncertainty by showing up, taking care, and dreaming bigger than ever.

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We closed our physical office and started working remotely on March 12, 2020. For a small team used to being together every day, this was an intense and abrupt shift to a new…everything.

 

We had been preparing to separate from the Tides Center, our fiscal sponsor for over a year, and were scheduled to launch as our own 501(c)(3) on April 1, 2020. It’s hard to remember all the details of those first few months of 2020 - everything was dynamic and changing very quickly, but we focused on a few core areas: taking care of our team; being responsive to the needs emerging from COVID shutdowns and the pivot to 100% online work and school; and creating a 501(c)(3) aligned with our values of joy, community, agency, learning, and equity. While Maker Ed has not wavered from this focus over the past two years, it has been full of change and transition.

 

This is our first annual report as our own non-profit and two years later, we are still making it!

I hope you see in the timeline, quotes, and statistics of our work, a team that has grown and dreamed together in powerful and transformative ways.

 

We are continuously trying new ways of being, communicating and working. We have further developed our collective practice as anti-racist, anti-oppression practitioners, and are committed to continue learning. We supported educators and our partners through painful and upsetting years, and we have built it to be sustainable.

 

We navigated internal transition and external change as gracefully as possible, knowing change is inevitable. We worked to build a culture where our team can shine and rest, and know that that journey is ongoing. We held steadfast in our belief that another way, another world, is possible, and that now is the time to make it so. 

It is a pivotal moment in education as we see educators leave the profession at alarming rates. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is banned in seven states, with 16 more bans in progress. While CRT is not part of any K-12 curriculum, these legislative actions prevent educators from teaching the truth about race and racism in this country. 2021 was the worst year in recent history for anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks, with an unprecedented number of states enacting anti-LGTBQ measures into law, and at least seven states proposing anti-trans bills in the first week of 2022. Books are being banned in nearly half of all 50 states. Education is on the precipice. Maker Ed’s response to this is to double down on our commitment to BIPOC educators and youth, to trans and queer educators and youth, to educators and youth with disabilities, and to anyone committed to co-creating a future where everyone is seen, respected, heard and validated for their brilliance. A world where everyone has access to a life of choice, voice, and freedom. We believe this can be true and we work to make it so. We hope you will see and celebrate our accomplishments of the past two years, and that you will join us as we reimagine and build an inclusive and joyful future. 

With endless hope and in solidarity,

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Making Spaces cohort 4 launches with an in-person meeting, the last big event before the COVID shelter-in-place orders.

Lauren Penney,

Making Spaces Program Manager (now, Impact and Scalability Manager)

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Making Spaces partnered with 10 Hubs from 9 states, providing around 40 hours of professional development (PD) to each Hub in 2020. Hubs worked with 76 Sites, resulting in PD for about 250 educators and impacting an estimated 20,000 young people.

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New logo and branding

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Cyber Arcade coding curriculum elementary and middle school goes live

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Facilitated a three-day long in-person Approaches to Education Workshop in Kailua, HI.

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We opened our studio doors for two community makes

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Closed our Community Studio and all staff began to work remotely due to California COVID-19 health safety measures

Shifted wellness, collaboration and community-building protocols for staff

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Distributed Maker Kits to OUSD students, 1250 over the next several months

Making Spaces community call attendance

 dramatically increases

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Secured Paycheck Protection Program loan to maintain all staff salaries

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Became independent 501(c)(3)

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Partnered with Ariel Marchante Ortiz on an episode of Learning in the Making

Scaled down to 4-day work week

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Grappled with mission statement in support of the movement for Black Lives

White-identified staff began to meet in an affinity group to read and work through Layla F. Saad’s Me and White Supremacy

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Began work on Learning Pathway in support of 26 AmeriCorps VISTAs to build capacity for maker-centered learning at 16 community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the United States as part of Citizen Schools' inaugural cohort of Maker Fellows.

Worked with Kristina Williams of Unpacking, and Dr. Darlene Hall on power and privilege dynamics at play on our team.

Justin, Learning Content Strategist (then, a Lead Maker Trainer)

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In co-developing and delivering a 6-month long professional learning pathway for Maker Fellows, I was able to refine and extend learnings related to facilitating transformative remote learning experiences, retooling a variety of approaches Maker Ed has drawn on in the past (from maker-centered learning to inquiry-based science education) to build a non-co-located community of practice.

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Board of Directors welcomed new members Ayah Bdeir and Kaustav Mitra

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Briana James and Mitchell Broxton join as Communications Strategist and Operations Coordinator

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Learning in the Making (LITM) was solidified as a permanent Maker Ed project in Fall of 2020. LITM is a response to the persistent omission of youth of color and educators of color from the dominant narratives surrounding maker education. LITM makes the work of educators and youth of color more visible amid the steady (sometimes overwhelming) stream of remote learning content. As educators grapple with how to engage students in remote learning, and how to bring anti-racism work into their practice, LITM offers concrete examples that model both. Read more about the beginnings of this series on our blog.

Hosted our first virtual  Approaches to Maker Education workshop

We welcomed Aáron Heard, our first-ever Creative Architect for Learning in the Making

Aáron, now Maker Ed's Director of Learning

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Said farewell and thank you to Stephanie Chang, Director of Impact

Completed build out of media studio for Learning in the Making

Held first All-Virtual Maker Educator Convening, with keynote speakers Dr. Gholdy Muhammad and Dr. Nettrice Gaskins; 29 sessions across 2 days, featuring 70 presenters and 230+ attendees!

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Want to support Maker Ed in building a more just education system? 

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Making Spaces cohort 5 launched, with intentional exploration of identity, privilege, bias, and oppression

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Designed and implemented resource evaluation matrix, which clarifies values and criteria for our curation of resources in our resource library

Started an organizational-wide restructuring process to implement learnings from 2020 and refine roles, responsibilities, and goals

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My new role has shifted from the external (delivering learning content) to the internal (facilitating a core, cross-program team of Maker Ed staff to collaboratively create learning content at every stage of an iterative design cycle); I am focusing on refining internal systems, processes, and pipelines of content creation.

Justin, Learning Content Strategist (then, a Lead Maker Trainer)

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Early work began with shea martin to define Maker Ed’s priority audiences - the first step in solidifying our theory of change

Enlisted Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah to support our exploration of Healing-Centered Engagement

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Began facilitation of year-long learning community at STEAM @ Stipe

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Partnership with US Foundation began, building out Maker Educator Network to gather community across the country

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Responding to a need among cohort 5, Making Spaces includes working groups (Women of Color, White Affinity) in it’s programming

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First virtual "friendraiser" to meet new folks and build community, facilitated by Aáron

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Our partnerships moved at a slower and more intentional pace as we continued to adjust to the uncertainty in our community. We began to change the way we talk about what we do, why we do it, and for whom–and that shift in our language (from our day-to-day outreach to our strategic planning) really transformed who we are in partnership with.

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Aubrey,

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Facilitated  'Rehumanizing Math Through Maker Education' and 'Exploring Identity Through Literature' workshops, a virtual meetup and Cultivating Genius bookclub with a total of 75 educators this month

Dora, Learning Events Manager

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We design, facilitate, and implement Learning Events that model maker-centered learning rooted in culturally-responsive, liberatory, abolitionist, and anti-racist pedagogies. The core of this work is to develop and facilitate learning events that are liberatory, participatory, and equitable in content and process for educators across the country.

We leverage Learning Events as a space for: creating and facilitating transformational learning experiences; designing culturally-responsive maker-centered learning activities and experiences that honor participants' whole selves; providing tools for integration and implementation of diverse media of making across content areas; training and connecting educators to utilize maker education as a liberatory practice that honors learners identities, histories, cultures, and funds of knowledge; and developing and cultivating relationships with and between educators.

Prototyping new collaboration structures - Squads, sprints, strive to make internal decision-making processes more transparent

Through Literature, as well as a Maker Educator Meetup and a Book Club for Cultivating Genius - a total of 75 educators this month

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Host first of three Learning Ecosystems roundtable discussions with institutions across the country in response to Gregg Behr’s Day One Project proposal

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Said farewell and thank you to Briana James, Director of Communications and Research, and Linda Le, Learning Communities Manager

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Learning Communities research partnership with Lemelson Foundation concludes; we produce a roadmap for building Learning Communities with educator input and investment

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Facilitated two virtual Approaches to Maker Education workshops; 12 hours each with 30 educators total

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Welcome Ariel Marchante Ortiz, Learning Communities Coordinator!

Welcome Jacqueline Garrett, our fantastic communications consultant!

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85% of participants were new to Maker Ed - working with NASA opened up a whole new world of educators.

Co-produced 7-hour free event, “NASA Makes!” in partnership with NASA STEM Engagement, Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC) and NASA Next Gen STEM for a two-day workshop for 73 educators nationwide

All-staff participate in a facilitation workshop with Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah to begin design of unified facilitation practices.

In partnership with Digital Promise, published The State of Maker Learning Today

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Said farewell and thank you to Keyana Stevens, Community Engagement Manager

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Welcome Raquel Trinidad, Director of Storytelling!

Kicked off Leadership Institute for a new cohort of Maker Fellows, in partnership with Citizen Schools

Resource Library launches in partnership with Digital Promise and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

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Culture of Repair Toolkit launched in partnership with Agency by Design Oakland and with support from the Compostela Fund

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In 2021, Learning in the Making continued to grow as a core Maker Ed project, closing out the year with a total of 13 published videos with accompanying co-host blog posts and bilingual project guides - our most-viewed video of the year was produced in partnership with NASA, featuring Brandon Rodriguez. In December 2021, I transitioned from the role of series Creative Architect to Maker Ed's Director of Learning.

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Aáron,  now Maker Ed's Director of Learning

5 Learning in the Making videos with accompanying blog posts and bilingual project guides produced in partnership with Infosys Foundation USA

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Since it's debut, LITM has been viewed more than 9,000 times and counting!

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Said farewell and thank you to Aaron Vanderwerff, Director of Learning and Mitchell Broxton, Administrative Coordinator

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A special thank you to our staff

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Aáron Heard

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Aaron Vanderwerff

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Ariel Marchante Ortiz

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Aubrey Mailliard Rawlins

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Mitchell Broxton

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Dora Medrano Ramos

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Justin Boner

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Keyana Stevens

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Lauren Penney

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Linda Le

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Raquel Trinidad

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Stephanie Chang

And our Board of Directors

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Pam Moran

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Dale Dougherty

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Jay Melican

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Jennifer Phillips

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Kathryn Nash

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Kaustav Mitra

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Kipp Bradford

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Martha Chavarin

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Matt Therian

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Robin Baskin-McNulty 

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Tony DeRose

Special thanks to Mark Greenlaw, founding board member, who stepped away from our Board of Directors in 2020. We would not be where we are today without you, Mark.

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- bell hooks

Want to support Maker Ed in building a more just education system? 

Advisors

Milton Chen

Ayah Bdeir

Individual and Family Donors

Abdul-Haqq Khalifah

Aja and Miriam Aguirre

Alma Haverty

Annette Compton

Ayah Bdeir

Ben Ford

Brian Shieh

Brittany Erickson

Cate Heroman

Colin Dixon

Danielle Robinson

Denise Chapman

Edward Parillon

Emily Clark

Gurpreet Singh

Helen Gee 

Jay Melican

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Rei Cameron

Jenny Howland

Judi Dinell

Kate and Jeff Schox

Kathryn Nash

Kaustav Mitra

Keisha Smith-Carrington

Kipp Bradford

Kyle Cornforth

Foundations

Blackbaud Giving Fund

The Compostela Fund

Dougherty Family Foundation

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Grable Foundation

Koshland Foundation

Lemelson Foundation

Remake Learning

Rogers Family Foundation

RSF Social Finance

Schmidt Futures

Skeggs and Hutchins Charitable Fund

Tides Center

US Foundation

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trustee Fund

Yellow Chair Foundation

Lars Hasselblad Torres

Lily Lew

Lindsay Balfour

Liza Siegler and Aaron Ackerman

Margo Gordon

Michael Renne

Mike Schulist

Mitchell Broxton

Monica Weintraub

Nick Schiner

Pam Moran

Peter Chess 

Richard D. Legault II 

Robin Baskin-McNulty

Sam Abramovich

Sam Winston

Samantha King

Saskia Leggett

Sherry Hsi

Sofia Pacheco

Sophia Bender

Steven and Nancy Oliver

Susan Spiese

Thomas Pupo

Tom Thayer

Tony DeRose

Corporations

Blue Shield of California

Chevron

Cognizant

Infosys Foundation USA

Google

Special thanks to Humble Bundle, whose support and advocacy means that countless customers of theirs know about Maker Ed and have decided to make small donations with their purchase of published content from Make:Community, Riley Publishing, and others. Those small donations amounted to more than $230,000 during the pandemic! Thank you to Kelley and the fantastically humble team!

Schools and Program Partners

The 29th Street Community Center (Strong City Baltimore)

Achieve Academy

Agency by Design Oakland (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

AIMS Center for Math and Science Education (Making Spaces Cohort 5)

Children’s Creativity Museum (Making Spaces Cohort 5)

Citizen Schools

Decatur Makers (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Digital Promise

Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum of Albuquerque (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

The Fab Foundation

Imagine Foundry (Making Spaces Cohort 5)

Knock Knock Children’s Museum (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Folsom Lake College Innovation Center (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Matt’s Maker Space (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Moonlighter FabLab (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Moreno Valley College

NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative (EPDC)

NASA Next Gen STEM

NASA STEM Engagement

New Castle Area School District (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Northcentral Technical College (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Oakland Unified School District

Portland Public Schools (Thanks, Kristin Moon!)

Scott Family Amazeum

STEAM@Stipe

Wayne RESA (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area (Making Spaces Cohort 4)

Virginia Tech Washington D.C. Metro Area STEAM Education and Workforce Development Labs (VT DC STEM Labs) (Making Spaces Cohort 5)

FINANCIALS

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Revenue by Category

Foundations   $1,745,326

Corporations   $811,234

Contracts   $461,878

Loans Forgiven   $354,359

Individuals   $80,744

Learning Events   $26,510

Other   $4,535

Expenses by Category

Learning Programs   $755,700

Admin   $494,063

Communications and Educator Network   $558,135

Partnerships & Development   $466,305

Making Spaces   $251,841

Impact   $81,673

Expenses by Category

Learning Programs   $755,700

Admin   $494,063

Communications and Educator Network   $558,135

Partnerships & Development   $466,305

Making Spaces   $251,841

Impact   $81,673

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Expenses by Category

Learning Programs   $755,700

Admin   $494,063

Communications and Educator Network   $558,135

Partnerships & Development   $466,305

Making Spaces   $251,841

Impact   $81,673