Kipp Bradford is a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab. He has founded start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices, and holds numerous patents for his inventions. Kipp co-wrote Distributed Network Data (hardware hacking for Data Scientists) and cofounded the Data Sensing Lab. Kipp cofounded the National Maker Faire and the first community Maker Faire, Maker Faire Rhode Island. He is a USA Science and Engineering Festival’s “Nifty Fifty” speaker. Kipp was recognized as a leading innovator at Frost & Sullivan’s GIL 2013. He serves on nonprofit boards, including The Maker Education Initiative. He is on the tech advisory board of MAKE Magazine and is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University.
Brent Bushnell is the CEO of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company. Most recently the team launched STEAM Carnival, high-tech entertainment combined with hands on projects to inspire kids about science, technology, engineering, art and math. Previously he was the on-camera inventor for the ABC TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He was a founding member of Syyn Labs, a creative collective creating stunts for brands like Google and Disney and responsible for the viral hit Rube Goldberg music video for OK Go that garnered 45 million views. Brent enjoys mentoring teens in entrepreneurship and publishes at @brentbushnell.
Kristin Fontichiaro is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, where she studies learning in formal and informal settings. Editor of the award-winning Makers as Innovators series for middle-grade readers (Cherry Lake Publishing) and author of many maker titles for kids, she is the faculty founder of the Michigan Makers project for elementary and middle school makers in under-resourced schools. Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, she leads the Making in Michigan Libraries project, a multi-year professional development initiative to engage librarians, educators, troop leaders, and civic leaders in leveraging the maker movement to fill local needs, primarily in rural and underserved communities.
MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried is the founder of Adafruit. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Since its founding in 2005, Adafruit has grown to over 50 employees in the heart of NYC with a 15,000+ sq ft. factory. Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and was recently awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Ladyada is on the NYC Industrial Business Advisory Council. In 2014 Adafruit was ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 “fastest growing private companies”. Adafruit is a 100% woman owned company.
Yvette Morrison is responsible for all marketing communication programming within the Snap-on Tools Group, including event marketing, advertising, promotional development, public relations, market analysis and marketing functions necessary to extend customer connections, build the brand and continue the profitable growth of the franchise network. Yvette joined the company in September, 2011. Prior to Snap-on, Yvette spent 15 years in various marketing roles with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA and 3 years in brand management with Nestle Food Company in Glendale, CA. Yvette holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Bart Rocco has worked as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and for the last seven years serves as the superintendent in the Elizabeth Forward School District, Elizabeth Pennsylvania. Dr. Rocco’s district has established partnerships with local universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, and California University of Pennsylvania. The district has also partnered with Pittsburgh based technology companies to implement game design courses at their high school. At the middle school, they created a SMALLab, which is a multimodal, embodied, mediated learning environment, as well as, a makerspace called, The Dream Factory. For the 2014-15 school year the district extended their makerspace to the Elizabeth Forward High School called EF Fab Lab. The district has been recognized as a Digital Promise School District, from the League of Innovative Schools, and has received an Apple Distinguished Program Award. Last year, Dr. Rocco was awarded the Distinguished Educator Award from the Tri- State Study Council and the University of Pittsburgh. He was also the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Educator from the Elizabeth Forward Alumni Association. Dr. Rocco received his BA and M.Ed. from Duquesne University and he earned his Ed.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Ahmad Shawwal is an advocate for education reform who promotes better STEM and career and technical education (CTE) across the United States. He served as National President of SkillsUSA from 2014 to 2015, leading over 360,000 CTE students nationwide. SkillsUSA is one of the largest student organizations in the U.S. and connects students with industry partners. Through SkillsUSA, he received the CTE Innovator award from the Department of Education and the opportunity to showcase his 3D Chocolate Printer at the White House. He is currently a student at the University of Virginia and serves as Class President. He is an aspiring engineer who believes that everyone has a voice in the political system. He looks forward to using his technical background and leadership experiences to put education first and benefit the country.