MEET OUR TEAM
We’re teachers, scientists, technologists, artists, activists, tinkerers…makers. We believe the future of learning is in making.
Maker State Administration Team
Stephen Gilman is the founder and executive director of MakerState. Stephen and his son Ben started MakerState to bring fun STEAM building and learning projects in robotics, coding, game design and more to all kids, schools and communities (STEAM: science, tech, engineering, arts, math). Stephen’s mission is to help transform K-12 education from lecture-based memorization to student-centered, inquiry-based, experiential learning, empowering our kids with life-transforming passions and creative masteries in 21st skills and 21st century technology. Stephen is a founding board member of the Urban Assembly Maker Academy, a founder of the Carnegie Learning Center, a founding teacher and dean of Bronx Collegiate, a public school based in Outward Bound experiential learning, and a founding board member of the volunteer network, UlsterCorps. A veteran 82nd Airborne paratrooper, Stephen is focused on bringing our warriors back into civilian life with a youth-empowering purpose equal to their former missions of national defense. Stephen enjoys historical fiction writing, game design, geocaching, hiking, biking around NYC, and creativity of all kinds, especially if it’s with Ben and his partner Laura.
Noah Chevan is the Maker Fellow Coach and a Maker Fellow instructor at MakerState. Since 2016, Noah has worked in may classrooms across the five boroughs instructing coding, robotics and media arts to countless young engineers! As the MakerFellow Coach, Noah works with all MakerState instructors from training to last class presentations, ensuring quality experiences at all MakerState after school programs. Aside from his contributions to MakerState, Noah is an active musician and audio engineer with a focus in music and sound design for film. He is currently pursuing an MFA at Brooklyn College’s Fierstein Graduate School for Cinema and operates a small studio in Brooklyn, NY. Noah’s passion for creative technology inspires his teaching, hoping to pass on the tools and skill set that allow for the utmost creativity!
Shawna Stewart is MakeState’s Programs Specialist and a wife and mother to four children with a formal background in early Childhood Education and Psychology. Serving on PTA boards since 2001, when her daughter became a kindergartener, opened her eyes to the absolute need for supporting local schools and the families who fill their corridors. As a programs specialist with MakerState, she is in direct communication with PTAs, after school programs, and parents to promote the benefits of year round STEM education and further expand the opportunity to truly benefit students as it teaches independent thinking, innovation and discovery skills. Having lived on both U.S. coasts, and a couple states in between, Shawna believes the skills of problem-solving, discovery, and exploratory learning, along with collaboration and teamwork, are skills that are essential in our global society and for future generations.
Edward Dennard is MakerState’s IT and Maker Materials Director and an anthropologist focusing on technology driven social exchanges. He currently holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, a B.A. in Asian Studies, and is completing his B.S. in Computer Information Technologies. He began working with MakerState as a Minecraft specialist with over four thousands hours of experience using Minecraft and supporting software, developing modded servers, and even a bit of modding himself. His role at MakerState later transitioned into that of IT Directory, where he oversees the day to day IT operations of the company. This new role has only increased his avid enthusiasm for multi-user based games as a means of cultural exchange and education. To this end, he is constantly reviewing new games and software that can be of benefit to MakerState in our mission to deliver STEM education.
Naushin Tasnim is a Senior Maker Fellow instructor with MakerState and a photography enthusiast currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Marketing at Baruch College. Naushin is always trying to expand her creativity, whether it is arts and crafts, coding or photoshop. Naushin has been a youth advocate since the age of 13 and continues to speak for others. Naushin’s passions include photography, photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and blogging.