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The Role of School Leaders in Making and the Maker Movement

Last week I was honored to moderate a panel at the CISC conference (Curriculum Instruction Steering Committee for CA’s school leaders)  with amazing Sonoma County educators! We discussed the emerging K-12 maker and maker educator movements in the North Bay. The conference theme of, “What if…” was apropos seeing that all of the speakers (listed below) embodied the imaginative and creative approach to leadership that is currently required in K12 education. Melissa Becker and Gina Silveira were inspired by the maker talks and events they attended and then discussed to create a makerspace and run a maker camp at their sites, respectively. Mickey Porter and Casey Shea joined me with creating the first-of-its-kind Maker Certificate Program  at Sonoma State.

The panel of school leaders discussed a range of topics: they defined making, highlighted creative aspects of making (for both students and teachers), analyzed how making aligned with new standards and 21st century thinking dispositions, discussed the importance of county partnerships, and shared how making had influenced and expanded their role as leaders. Resources from the panel presentation are below including  #Storify I created to share the making discussion that happened at the conference.


  • Melissa Becker (Meadow School)
  • Mickey Porter (Sonoma COE)
  • Casey Shea (Analy HS & Sonoma COE)
  • Gina Silveira (Schaefer Charter School)
  • Jennie Snyder (Piner-Olivet USD)
  • Jessica Parker (Sonoma State University)

TOPIC:  The Role of School Leaders in the Maker Movement

DESCRIPTION: Panelists will discuss how school leaders can support and promote the Maker Movement and Maker Education in K-12 settings. Today’s leaders can harness the creative power of Making to support 21st Century teaching and learning. Panelists will share successful hands-on, interdisciplinary Maker projects, activities, and events that worked to reinvigorate their leaders, teachers, and local communities.

RESOURCES: Slides and readings 


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