Lisa

Lisa is a veteran in the Media and Entertainment industry and has worked with some of the leading influencers in the industry, from gaming giant Electronic Arts Canada, to software makers Alias and Autodesk. Throughout her career, Lisa has collaborated with top artists, designers and directors in the industry to deliver innovative educational content, training and best selling games.

With two young, creative girls at home, she sees how inventive, curious and thirsty for knowledge children are. They love learning and making in a fun, relaxed and open way where they can explore, make mistakes, messes and ‘things’ that mean something to them. This enthusiasm is what Lisa wants every person, young and old, to experience at The Maker Garden.

Dillon

Dillon is a self described techie, geek, nerd, and kid who generally wants to know more about everything. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Dillon’s career started off at an early age working at his father’s business, Airzone in Oshawa. He fixed inflatable castles, arcade machines, and learned how important customer service was early in life. Being the techie type, Dillon started his own web design company and is busy building websites and problem solving for a variety of small and large organizations. His love of anything tech and tinkering led him to look into building his own Makerspace. That is until he found out about The Maker Garden while at Toronto’s Maker Festival. Dillon came on board, jumping in with both feet helping us develop our website and providing invaluable insight into what the millennial generation would like in a Makerspace.

Gerry

As a child, Gerry routinely tinkered and took apart his toys to come up with even better ‘franken-toys’. His love of learning through play has become a lifelong passion and personal creed. By age 10, Gerry developed into a prolific tinkerer and routinely engaged himself with ‘making’ projects, like designing and trying to make a perpetual motion machine.

Gerry’s interest in teaching began more than 20 years ago while on a school exchange to a Costa Rican agricultural college, and later as an instructor and content developer at a technical college in Montreal, Quebec. After spending a number of years in structural engineering software development, he gravitated back to education and became a professional teacher where he has been a middle school teacher for 10 years. He embraces project-based learning, open-ended problem solving and all that the future has to offer. His favorite part of the job is being able to promote the pure enjoyment of learning through play.

Justin

Justin was always the kid who took everything apart and spent countless hours pouring over DIY books. He was born curious; always looking to make things better. At times curiosity got him into trouble, but he believes it’s what helped him in his business and creative ventures.

After working in various retail positions since the age of 14, Justin opened his first retail chain at the age of 22. It was a unique business that quickly expanded and became Canada’s largest retailer in its field. It is now the largest in North America. A businessperson at heart, his dynamic skillset facilitated his success as he led Operations for West Marine Canada, a large big box retailer out of the US.

The rock-solid values, business acumen, and MacGyver-like ingenuity Justin has refined over the last 25 years are what he brings to The Maker Garden. This, combined with serious creative chops, will help our students and members be successful with their creative and entrepreneurial undertakings.

Derek

Derek Fullerton is an accomplished 3D modeler, animator, and tinkerer. With over 20 years of teaching experience at the college and university level and over 30 years of 3D experience you might say he has a passion for his craft. Derek spent the past 8 years teaching 3D animation and modeling to the students at UOIT in the Video Game Development and Entrepreneurship program.

Derek’s interest in computers began at an early age when he bought his first computer, a Commodore VIC-20 back in 1982, then a C-64 and taught himself computer animation and graphics on his Commodore Amiga back in 1985.

Like many makers he enjoys taking apart things and see what makes them tick then using that knowledge, making things that interest him. He has constructed a fully working stand-up arcade, which included the woodworking for the cabinet, as well as the control panel for the various games that can be played on the system.

Derek also is a budding mycologist, dabbling in the growing of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. He currently is designing and constructing an environmental control system for his mushroom endeavors using Arduino and various sensors.

Derek enjoys the art of origami and is a talented home brewer.

Aleksi

Aleksi always wanted to create visual music, ever since he saw 2001: A Space Odyssey as a kid. So he studied music, art, animation, and computers: the key, he believes, in bringing music and art together can be found in developing aesthetically sensitive algorithms.

After attending the graduate experimental animation program at CalArts, Aleksi worked as a Senior FX animator and technical director on many movies including The Matrix, Star Wars Episode II, and Gnomeo and Juliet. His own visual music animations have been performed in live concert settings. Recently he has also begun a career as a fine-art photographer, winning awards for his landscape and conceptual works.

Both a creative and technical problem-solver, Aleksi believes that the best way to learn is to teach. That’s one of the reasons he’s excited to be a part of The Maker Garden: it’s a great opportunity for him to share in the joy of playful discovery with others.

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