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About AnnMarie Thomas
AnnMarie Thomas is a mother, maker, engineer, and teacher.
AnnMarie joined the faculty of the University of St. Thomas in the fall of 2006. Previously, she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design. She is the director of the UST Center for Engineering Education, and the Playful Learning Lab. She served as the Founding Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative where she worked to establish the national Maker Corps program, and lay the groundwork for this nonprofit which has as its mission creating " create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts—and learning as a whole."
AnnMarie has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech, an S.B. in Ocean Engineering from MIT, and a professional certificate in Sustainable Design from MCAD. She has worked on underwater robotics (at MIT, Caltech, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute), specializing in biologically inspired propulsion. She has consulted on projects ranging from the design/creation of a "musical earthquake-playing robot" to the initial research for a book on earthquakes in Los Angeles. At Caltech, she founded the Caltech Robotics Outreach Group (CROG) and the Caltech/JPL/LEGO Middle School Robotics Conference.
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This is a book for parents and other educators—both formal and informal, who are curious about the intersections of learning and making. Through stories, research, and data, it builds the case for why it is crucial to encourage today’s youth to be makers—to see the world as something they are actively helping to create. For those who are new to the Maker Movement, some history and introduction is given as well as practical advice for getting kids started in making. For those who are already familiar with the Maker Movement, this book provides biographical information about many of the “big names” and unsung heroes of the Maker Movement while also highlighting many of the attributes that make this a movement that so many people are passionate about.