Sonoma County Office of Education

SCOE leading innovations in Maker education

01/22/2016 - Design Lab Laser Cutter

Maker Education is thriving in Sonoma County (and beyond), engaging learners of all ages in hands-on exploration across multiple academic disciplines. The Sonoma County Office of Education is helping to lead this movement towards a “learn by doing” approach in classrooms and schools. Below is only a partial list of the ways in which SCOE is actively supporting the growth of Maker Education:

The 2015 21st Century Teaching & Learning Summer Institute focused on Making to Learn: Connecting the Maker Movement to CCSS, NGSS, & 21st Century Skills. Approximately 40 teachers from throughout Sonoma County participated in the week-long professional learning experience led by SCOE teachers-on-loan Casey Shea (Maker Education) and Anna Van Dordrecht (Science) and Technology Innovation Specialist Matt O’Donnell.

The Summer Institute also served as the official opening of the SCOE Design Lab, an 800 square foot collaborative learning environment featuring digital manufacturing tools such as a laser cutter, 3d printers, and a vinyl cutter. The makerspace, one of the first of it’s kind in a county office of education, can also be used for multimedia production, electronics and microcontrollers, and simple hands-on projects. Along with workshop offerings in the space, SCOE staff has hosted multiple groups from around the county and state looking to create a similar space for making, innovating, collaborating, and creating.

SCOE staff members have been invited to set-up makerspaces and present on the benefits of Maker Education at multiple regional and statewide conferences in an effort to introduce the power of making to a broader audience. These conferences include:

  • 2015 CISC Leadership Symposium (Anaheim)
  • 2015 Accountability Leadership Institute for English Learners (Los Angeles)
  • 2015 ONEder Symposium hosted by One Workplace (Oakland)
  • 2016 Gathering STEAM Conference (Eureka)
  • 2016 SSU Teacher Technology Showcase (Rohnert Park)
  • 2016 Educating for Careers Conference (Sacramento)
  • 2016 National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education Conference (San Diego)

SCOE Educational Support Services(ESS) team members are collaborating with other SCOE departments to expand teachers’ understanding of Maker Education. These collaborations include:

  • Working with teachers in the Alternative Education Department
  • Working with SCOE’s Visually Impaired program teachers
  • Making plans to include a Maker Education component for participants in the North Coast Teacher Induction Program

  • reMAKE logo

    Given all of this momentum and energy surrounding Maker Education, SCOE is excited to announce that this summer it will be hosting reMAKE Education: A National Maker Summit for Educators. Educators and leaders in the Maker Movement will descend on Sonoma County from August 3-5 for three days of making, learning, and networking at 180 Studios, a 15,000 square foot makerspace under development in Santa Rosa. For more information about this exciting event, please visit