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Story Time + Tinkering 

Something incredibly wonderful happens when you combine children's literature with tinkering activities. As children engage with materials and stories, math moments start to reveal themselves in surprising ways. We'll share teachers' learning stories from PreK-3 classrooms, highlighting children's thinking as a way to develop understanding about math and materials literacy. The session will provide a range of practical ideas for building your own tinkering library of books and materials to support early math through hands-on explorations.



Karen Wilkinson is the Director of The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Through her commitment to playful and experiential learning, she helped shape the pedagogical approach of the Tinkering Studio; drawing upon a deep interest in “constructionism” and studio thinking. Her background is in education and technology, and she has worked in the museum field for more than 25 years. She co-authored The Art of Tinkering, a book highlighting makers and tinkerers working at the intersection of art, science and technology; along with articles related to teaching and learning through tinkering: The Big Idea is Their Idea, Learning through STEM-Rich Tinkering, Tinkering is Serious Play, “I See Students Differently”: Following the Lead of Maker Educators in Defining What Counts as Learning. 

Karen Wilkinson

Steph Muscat's is a Museum Educator / Tinkering Specialist on the Tinkering Studio team at the Exploratorium, Steph designs and develops playful learning activities to support learners in thinking with their hands to build wonder and construct understanding. She is always looking for ways to support the move from the scary vulnerability of not-yet-knowing to creative exploration—including through children's books. 


Steph Muscat


Peter Limata is a second grade teacher at Emerson Elementary in Oakland Unified School District. Mr Limata and his second graders love and enjoy tinkering and science. Since the shelter in place order in March, Mr. Limata has hosted online Story Time With Mr. Limata to promote reading and literacy among students and their families. Mr. Limata is an alumnus of CSU East Bay and a recipient of the university’s 40 under 40 recognition award for 2020. Find Story Time with Mr. Limata online: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Peter Limata

I am passionate about providing effective and robust learning experiences for young learners while empowering the educators who work with them to do the same. I spent the first decade+ in the classroom, always looking to take the children on a journey for the next STEM project.  In my leadership role, I'm focused on bringing to life the vision of a school where STEM is not just approachable but a great springboard for student achievement. I'm committed to improving equitable access and delivery of educational experiences to a diverse audience of early learners.


Ihuoma Iheukwumere


Ryan Kurada currently teaches kindergarten at University Elementary School in Rohnert Park, California. He holds an M.A. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education and a B.F.A. in Art Education. He is passionate about designing hands-on curriculum that is relevant, meaningful, and interesting for children of all ability levels. As an ardent proponent of project-based learning (PBL), Ryan is formally trained in project-based teaching and coaching through the Buck Institute for Education. His passion for PBL has motivated him to study in the internationally renowned preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. In addition to his teaching, Ryan serves as a project-based learning coach at his school and conducts professional development workshops across the San Francisco Bay Area. He also is an adjunct faculty lecturer in the Early Childhood Studies Department at Sonoma State University.

Ryan Kurada

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