Making Young Makers


Wednesday, September 17, 1:30 pm to 2:10 pm in Auditorium

The growth of any movement is predicated upon young people discovering the benefits of the experience and embracing it at their core. Making young makers is no different: engaging K-12 students through project-based learning helps them develop confidence, unleashes their creativity in new ways, and endows a culture of sharing and collaboration. This session explores peer-to-peer learning and a new way of looking at instruction (inside and outside the classroom) that opens young minds, establishing a lifelong love of curiosity, exploration and discovery through making. 


Betty Ray

Director of Programming and Innovation, George Lucas Educational Foundation
Betty Ray is the Director of Programming and Innovation at the George Lucas Educational Foundation. In this role, Betty combines her passion for innovation in education with over 20 years' experience leading communities around ideas that matter.  When she's not wrangling the creative juices of the large community of educators who create content for Edutopia, she's overseeing the site's content to ensure it is rigorous and authentic and will make a meaningful difference in students' lives.  
As one of the founders of the Webzine conferences in 1998, Betty has devoted her career to empowering and encouraging people to participate in DIY movements including education (Edutopia); internet radio (Live365); and personal publishing (Webzine, Tripod).  She was one of the organizers of TEDxSFED and #EdcampSF, and has participated in the Stanford d. school Design Thinking Boot Camp. Betty has spoken about the power of personal publishing and design thinking at conferences including an IGNITE session at ISTE, SXSWEdu, the NonProfit Technology Conference (NTC), TIDES, EdcampSF, and the Hero's Round Table.


Diane Levitt

Director of K-12 Education, Cornell Tech
Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Diane was the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Belkin, the global consumer electronics organization. She managed Belkin’s philanthropy, community engagement, employee volunteerism and events, and government relations and was philanthropic and public policy advisor to Chairman and CEO Chet Pipkin. She helped develop Belkin Education, products designed to maximize the learning opportunities technology offers, and was deeply engaged in supporting the growth of high achieving charter and traditional public schools for low income students in Los Angeles, including several STEM schools. Prior to that, Diane worked for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District managing philanthropic and public funding. As a consultant, Diane has worked for the California Endowment and the California Wellness, Ewing Marion Kauffman, James Irvine, and Stuart Foundations. Diane received a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College, and a Bachelor of Science in Women’s Studies and Anthropology from Barnard College, Columbia University.


Luke Bauer

Principal, Maker Academy
Luke has been a teacher and administrator, working in both middle and high schools since 2002. Luke started his career in Kansas City, Kansas working at Turner High School as a high school social studies teacher and a baseball, basketball, and soccer coach. In 2006, he began working at East Bronx Academy for the Future (EBA), a 6-12 South Bronx school, where he taught both middle and high school social studies. In 2007 while still at EBA, Luke founded the Boston Road Alliance of Small Schools Athletic League to provide opportunities for students from small schools to compete in athletics. During the first three years there were 6-8 schools who participated in boys and girls basketball which culminated each year in a final tournament. Luke became an Assistant Principal at EBA in 2008 and helped develop the school’s use of mini-observations, interim assessments, and real-world performance assessments to improve student achievement. Luke strongly believes students should learn to apply skills and knowledge to real-world situations because that is what will be asked of them in college and the world of work. While at EBA, Luke realized his passion for working with middle school students. He believes these years are important for students to build the academic skills needed to be successful in high school and for figuring out who they are as individuals. Luke enjoys supporting them in both of these journeys. In 2012, he joined Odell Education and helped develop and write a Common Core literacy curriculum for New York State, which is featured on the Engage New York website. In 2013, Luke was appointed Director of Professional Development for Odell Education where he created and delivered training for teachers, principals, superintendents and other leaders in districts across the United States. Luke believes that all people should exhibit benevolence, appreciation, and resiliency and students deserve an education that teaches these and prepares them for the challenge of an ever changing world.