Michelle Carlson

Red Bluff, California
Future Development Group, LLC


What does it mean to be a maker?

More than anything, I think being a Maker means you are the architect of your own destiny; that no matter what challenges you face in life, you can overcome them and create a future for yourself in a way that also builds the community around you. I know this firsthand from my own life story and I see it happen every day with the kids that I work with. Sure, it's about being innovative and using your imagination to create, but it's also about having the power to impact others in profound ways.

I believe Making is the thing that will transform us as a nation. This movement is a powerful force that can be leveraged in ways that will address poverty, gangs, and the challenges of our educational system to provide engaging, joyful and relevant learning that prepares kids for successful futures.

I am proud to be a part of this community of amazing people!!!

What are you doing in the Maker community?

Gosh, there are a lot of projects I am working on related to the Maker community currently. Here are a few:

Member of the Education Outreach leadership team for the Shasta County Mini Maker Faire http://www.makerfaireshasta.com/

Founding member of the team which brought the Maker Showcase to the Tehama District Fair http://bit.ly/1r17Af7

Founder, Future Development Group: our mission is to provide places of learning with the support and resources they need to give students the education they deserve. In doing so, communities thrive, innovation happens everywhere and the world is a better place.

Founder, Leaders for Sustainable Change, a non-profit: our mission is to build community through Making by offering a place to learn, connect and be mentored for all.

Founder, North State Educator Meetups: free and openly accessible professional development and community meetings for educators and school leaders

Author of 180 Days of Making: A book that will document and share all of the resources that we created for a 180 day maker elective class that turned into a new model for school. (to be released summer 2016)

Who are some other Makers you admire and why?

I admire everyone at Maker Education Initiative for their dedication, passion and amazing things they create and share every day!

I also admire the scientists and inventors of the past like Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla. These people's minds were alive with ideas and inspiration and I would absolutely love to bring that kind of explosive innovation back through the renaissance that is happening now in the Maker Movement.

Locally, there are so many people that I admire who are makers that it would be hard to name them all. Our community is bustling with people who find joy in creating and sharing and I am honored to know them all and call them friends.