Pasadena Programs

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Instructors

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Instructors

Jonathan Markowitz Bijur

Jonathan Markowitz Bijur is the Executive Director of reDiscover Center, overseeing reDiscover Pasadena. He likes to make things in a variety of media, including construction lumber, felt, and >60% cocoa chocolate. Jonathan has studied and/or worked at Yale, Tufts, MIT, and the Santa Monica Public Library. He's been a tinkerer-in-residence, historic house tour guide, performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, robotics instructor, and stay at home dad to his three children.

 

Deborah Sigel

Deborah Sigel is building up the new reDiscover Center Pasadena site as its Coordinator, and is one of the instructors.  She is a STEM education consultant, mechanical engineer, and artist.  She loves developing fun  new courses focusing on how to make stuff, and spends her free time making things or taking classes on making things.  Deb has 14 years of experience as a mechanical engineer, designing space hardware including 2 versions of the Mars Rover (at JPL), prototype underwater swarming robots, and a medical device that enables the blind to see.   As an artist, Deb works in any media she can find including acrylic, pen & ink, watercolor, woodcarving, brazed steel, soldered copper and silver, and cake.  She  is the founder and organizer of Kids Building Things, a volunteer organization that enables engineers to develop and teach hands-on tool-based STEM classes for kids in the Pasadena area.  She also taught 2 years of  Engineering at Clark Magnet High School (GUSD) in La Crescenta, CA, and  has taught Hebrew phonics and reading (in a fun and non-scary way) to adults and kids on and off for 6 years.   She holds a BS in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Maryland, and an MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.  

 

Ken Rogers

Ken is a lead instructor for Tinkering School LA, and taught camp in 2016.  He is an experienced middle school robotics teacher in the Long Beach school district.  He previously ran LBUSD outdoor school in the San Gabriel mountains where he would introduce 5th graders to wildlife over week long trips, and maintain a telescope. He enjoys developing science demo apparatus like 3D constellation maps, cloud chambers, and light beam radio signal transmitters. He grew up with access to a machine shop and dad who taught him how to use it.  Now he shares his skills with our Tinkering School students.

 

Molly Allis

Molly Allis is a multi-media artist and musician based in Los Angeles. She designs and constructs interactive environments with sculpture, illustration and sound design, encouraging audience participation and improvisation. Working with recycled materials, she re-imagines everyday objects, serving as props for participants to play with. Her award-winning animations have screened in festivals internationally, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Madrid Experimental Film Festival, and the Linoleum Festival in Moscow. Molly received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Theater Directing/Design, and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Integrated Media and Experimental Sound Practices.

 

Rachel Ames

Rachel has worked in costume production and taught herself pattern drafting, tailoring, and embroidery. She enjoys turning flat pieces of fabric into 3D shapes, whether stuffed animals or 18th-century jackets. She started using fabric to make her own toys when she was quite young, and believes that handmade toys have something special that no other toy can match. She also enjoys game design, drawing, woodworking, cooking, archery, and learning how things work.