Design and Making: Tools, Applications, and Strategies to Foster Student-Led Creativity and Innovation

Jul 22, 2019 9:30AM—Jul 24, 2019 3:30PM


Westside Neighborhood School

Cost $1,100 members; ($1,650 non-members)

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When applied to the K-12 classroom, principles of making, design, and coding offer educators the opportunity to build multidisciplinary, hands-on experiences that empower students to direct their own learning in creative and collaborative ways. More schools are exploring and investing in makerspaces, design thinking, digital fabrication, coding, and robotics as modern day tools to spark student innovation. And, teachers from all disciplines are looking to effectively and meaningfully use design and making in their existing curriculum.

How are schools with successful making and design programs using these spaces creatively, and with collaboration amongst teachers and students? This intensive 3-day program will explore that question through hands-on activities, allowing participants to experience the potential of making and design in the classroom, to work with a variety of tools, and to get feedback on their own making and design projects. Particular attention will be paid to ways that curricular leaders can coach and support teachers in doing this work.


  • Learn ways to transform a makerspace from a room with lots of materials into an innovative school-wide learning environment;
  • Understand how making and design can foster the growth of students as independent learners, and experience principles of meaningful making/design projects;
  • Develop practical skills to develop their own projects in areas such as design thinking, multidisciplinary making projects, problem-based learning, coding and robotics, digital fabrication, etc.
  • Develop teacher-ready strategies to make effective use of a maker/design space;
  • Explore schoolwide practices and cultural norms that support meaningful making and design;
  • Work in a makerspace environment with access to appropriate tools and materials.


This program is ideal for K-12 teachers and administrators looking for a deep dive into making and design strategies.

  • Directors/Coordinators of STEM, makerspaces, and entrepreneurship programs;
  • Administrators and curriculum leaders charged with curricular/pedagogical innovation;
  • Teachers looking to deepen their expertise in making and design pedagogy;



John Umekubo is the Director of Social Entrepreneurship at Westside Neighborhood School in Los Angeles, and a consultant to schools in the areas of making, STEAM, design thinking, and educational technology. An educator for the past 28 years, John is passionate about active, self-driven learning for children, with an emphasis on hands-on, creative making as an integral part of the learning process. He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Technology and has worked with students and educators in private and public schools from preschool through university. John also sits on the board for the reDiscover Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through material reuse.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.