Try. Learn. Try Again.
Co-Founder, Board President, Rob van Nood:
Rob van Nood is an Oregon licensed educator now working as a Educational Technologist at Catlin Gable School. He received his MAT from Lewis & Clark in 1995. Rob has always taken a fresh look at teaching, tinkering with ideas to make the learning experience more effective. On the first day of school a few years ago, for example, Rob's kids were presented with a completely empty classroom and were instructed to help him design the space. The idea was that if kids had control of their space, they would be more willing to work within it. This out-of-the-box thinking is Rob's signature, and it's his pursuit of teaching through the use of narrative that makes Tinker Camp such a unique experience.
   
Co-founder, Executive Director, Blake Swensen:
After spending 25 years in the computer business, half of which was running his own, Blake Swensen and his wife switched roles. He became a stay-at-home dad on a mission to improve his boys' elementary school experience. Being involved closely in the public schools as a volunteer, PTA president and chess club coach -- to name a few stints -- he discovered that, although public schools are good at many things, kids whose learning strengths don't fit inside the box often struggle. One of his sons is learning-disabled and Blake wanted to create an experience where setbacks and stumbles didn't damage his fragile self-esteem. More ....
   
Co-founder, Senior Designer Michael Hyde:
Michael is a curious and engaged life-long learner who loves exploring new ideas and gaining new skills. He believes the best way to do that is right alongside his students. Michael is a Technology Integrator at Portland Jewish Academy, where he works with teachers and students to bring digital citizenship, media literacy, technology and STEAM inquiry into the curriculum. Michael teaches a Digital Arts course for middle school students, which ranges from photography and video to podcasting and coding, and helps students become responsible, collaborative and playful learners in his Foundations in Technology course. When he’s not writing papers and lesson plans, Michael loves to tinker with everything from boats to bicycles to electronics. He will be finishing his Masters of Arts in Teaching and Oregon Teaching License at Concordia University in the spring of 2015.
   
Community Outreach, Jinnet Powel  
As an artist, environmentalist and educator, Jinnet is intrigued by the complexity and creativity of all life with a special allegiance to the well-being and resiliency of the planet’s humans. She is committed to developing thoughtful makers with the courage to take on complex issues and the humility to respect our interdependence. With a Masters in Science Education from Oregon State University, Jinnet mentors youth to think big, use science concepts as a tool for creativity, and to develop an ecologically responsible mind-set. Within Tinker Camp’s dynamic narrative, participants not only develop collaborative skills as they work together, but are challenged to think systematically. Many powerful learning opportunities emerge organically from the scenario, when, for example, participants start to develop a business plan for their arcade, or negotiate how to use limited materials. Jinnet is skilled in helping make the connection between these experiences and real-world issues that expands participants’ understanding.

Jinnet’s commitment to building community extends to working with other educational partners to identify ways to build capacity and to creating inclusive learning experiences for all learners. When not doing outreach, you will likely find Jinnet painting, hiking with her kids, or improving her backyard habitat.
   
Instructor, Denise Slattery  
Denise is a Certified Master Recycler with a passion for providing reuse and recycling education to her community, especially school-age kids. An experienced marketer, she’s developed award-winning marketing, communication and branding strategy for Fortune 500 businesses and non-profits in California, Washington, Michigan, and Oregon. Denise is currently a Board Member to Recycling Advocates of Oregon, and previously held a board position at Picture Lab, a Washington State non-profit providing hands-on art literacy education in public schools geared towards students grades K – 5. Denise regularly presents as a Master Recycler to business organizations participating in Portland Metro’s Sustainability at Work Program. As an artist, she focuses her work on representing material reclamation and spends time tinkering in her studio at any given opportunity.
 
 
 
 
     
 


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Tinkerverse is a 501(c)(3) Oregon Non-profit