Careers in STEAM panel / Makerspace kickoff

Join us Sunday, May 6th to celebrate a
future public Makerspace at the Pio Pico Library in Koreatown!

In the past three years, LA Makerspace has worked in concert with both the Los Angeles City and County public library systems to:

• Create Maker opportunities for over 15,000 kids in 78 branches throughout all of Los Angeles County.

• Led 781 public workshops for kids in robotics, coding, e-textiles, and stop-motion animation. Each of these workshops served dual-purpose as training for librarians.

• Trained 160 librarians representing even more branches.

• Over 50% of low-income households in Los Angeles can only access broadband internet at the library. (i.e. they do not have it at home other than mobile, which you can’t do the same stuff on such as homework, job apps etc)

66% of kids we reached were African American and Latino
49% were female
29% were children living in poverty

Our Goal = A STEAM Lab in Pio Pico Library in Koreatown

We believe all kids should have access to guided hands-on opportunities for STEAM learning.

We’re helping future leaders build confidence and love for STEAM so more kids identify themselves as problem solvers, design thinkers, and future engineers–regardless of gender, ethnicity, or economic status.

This Makerspace will serve the surrounding community, and the launch will include training the library staff in STEAM education, and stocking the space with educational materials for three years.

Here’s a flythrough rendering from Two Bit Circus:


We’re bringing together an engaging cross-section of speakers from top companies in technology and creative industries to showcase the surprising range of career applications of STEAM skills.

Daniel Gonzales

Daniel Gonzales was a veteran animator with Walt Disney Animation Studios for nine years and professor of animation at Cal Arts. Gonzales’ animation credits include Disney’s “Moana,” “Zootopia,” “Big Hero 6,” “Frozen,” “Wreck it Ralph” and Pixar’s “Cars 2” and the “Toy Story 3 Promo.” Trained at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland, Gonzales was the youngest intern at Pixar where he got his start in the industry. He has been featured in Pulse Magazine, AnimDesk and the Walt Disney Studios tips portal. Aside from his ongoing teaching role in higher education, Gonzales regularly leads lectures, workshops and speaking engagements at schools and colleges inspiring young people to pursue careers in the arts.


Shannon Towey

Shannon Towey is a Mission Planning & Execution Systems Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Labratory (JPL), where she works on web applications and data processing tools for the Mars2020 rover mission. Towey formerly worked as a Detector Technologist at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland helping calibrated systems for the ATLAS Experiment—one of the four large hydrogen colliders exploring fundamental questions of the universe. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Chicago and was a MURF Undergraduate Research Fellow at JPL. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science at USC.


Lori Shao

Lori Shao is Executive Director of Technology and Life Science at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. A 15 year veteran in Commercial Banking, Shao leads a team specializing in custom payment solutions for companies creating innovation in fintech, marketplaces, global commerce, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Florida.





Shao-Hua Wu, PhD

Born and raised in Taiwan, Shao-Hua (Nick) Wu is Sr. Optical Engineer at Kernel, a team of neuroscientists and engineers working on machine-brain interfaces. Wu is the Founder and CEO of n3xt con, a nonprofit dedicated to programming that advances breakthrough dialogue in technology and entertainment. Wu has twelve publications in scholarly journals, including the recent cover story in “Optica.” Wu holds a Masters and PhD in Electrical Engineering from USC Viterbi.

The Need

Of jobs created in the last 5 years:

Of 50,000 high schoolers taking the Computer Science AP exam:

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