Who We Are

Make It STEM is a team of experienced and passionate teachers committed to ground-breaking, on-site, in-person Professional Development. We serve schools and teachers interested in blending STEM/STEAM further into their daily curriculum. Our projects and lessons have been crafted and classroom-tested with hundreds of students. Meet the team:

Ken Hawthorn


Ken Hawthorn is a mechanical engineer turned math and mechatronics teacher and comes with 16 years consulting experience working with inventors and startups on everything from telepresence robots in healthcare to LSPR machines. He holds a patent for a high torque CVT.

During the last two years Ken has built the mechatronics program at St. Raymond School in Menlo Park. Students in the course learn to pick up coding, Arduino/Raspberry Pi, 3D design and rapid prototyping as tools to become empowered Makers. The course has a strong thread of “why” should we build this not just “what” should we build.

He’s interested in getting involved further in PD for teachers new to the Maker scene.

Peter Farrell


Peter has over ten years of experience teaching math and computer science and currently teaches innovative, tech-savvy Math courses in Oakland, CA. His goal is to make learning math relevant, meaningful and rewarding through programming and creating interactive art. To help in this endeavor, he published the book Hacking Math Class with Python, available on Amazon.

Peter loves that programming makes some traditional math tasks simple, but it creates many more new, fun and challenging tasks.

Alba Cardenas


Alba is an after-school program instructor and student adviser. She likes to help the students discover on their own, and build their problem solving skills. As a STEM instructor and adviser, she strives to be well informed in technical subject matter to aid the students while still learning herself. She understands that while some subject matter will be difficult to understand, not trying it is out of the question. Her technical and instructional skills helped her students’ mechatronics team reach the California State Finals last year.

Sven Gasser


Sven is a math and woodshop teacher in Half Moon Bay, California. He has a passion for connecting hands on learning to core subjects with a creative flair. He is currently building a sailboat of his own design!

Keshav Saharia

Keshav is a software developer and entrepreneur. He started TechLab Education 4 years ago to bring modern computer science and technology education to students in Silicon Valley. He is the developer of Pythonroom, a coding education platform used in CS classrooms around the world. On weekends you will likely find Keshav riding longboards, surfboards, and snowboards.