Cultural Making Around the World

Project Dates: 2020-Present

This project works with Fellows from the Third FabLearn Fellows cohort. The Fellows represent a vast array of maker educators who are making a difference in children’s lives worldwide, and they come from schools and organizations serving communities in the Brazil, Denmark, Kenya, India, and Togo. They are newcomers and veterans devoted to the idea of empowering learners, immersing them in rich learning environments, and connecting educational spaces and communities. The Fellows create deep, impactful learning experiences for children and participate in research aimed to increase authentic learning opportunities for youth worldwide.

Research findings to date include the diversity of re-use practices (and motivations for such practices) around the world and the emancipatory uses of Making in the Global South.

Ridhi Aggarwal – India

Ridhi is the co-founder of Swatantra Talim, a non-profit working in alternative education in the interior villages of Uttar Pradesh, India, since ​​July 2013.The organisation’s vision is co-create every village as a “”Center of Innovation”” and every child as an “”Innovator”” facilitating social change. The children are in the age group of 6 to 1​6 years with whom efforts are made to enhance their scientific temper through hands-on and contextual pedagogy,

Ridhi’s focus points in the organisation are strategy, curriculum, and training. A graduate from Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University), Ridhi is a post-graduate in education and commerce from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and Delhi School of Economics.

Passionate about working with children and devise engagement tools that co-create a learning environment for their joyful experience, Ridhi is also an avid storyteller and origami lover. She has been instrumental in co-creating maker-spaces in public, private schools and non-formal learning centres.

Before Swatantra Talim, she worked for six years in corporates, NGOs, and schools like Times of India, Edelweiss Capital, Nalanda (Lucknow), and Sahyadri School (Krishnamurthi Foundation India). She has been a Wipro Seeding Fellow since 2017.

Ousia A. Foli-Bebe – Togo

Ousia A. Foli-Bebe is a Togolese innovator and founder of #EcoTecLab MakerSpace where he empowers youth through tinkering and S.T.E.A.M Education. He designed The Molab (, a S.T.E.A.M education Mobile MakerSpace with which he shares his passion and sparks genius in kids village to village all over his country. He have also contributed to the design and implementation of the “Miadé net” local network (, a unique Raspberry PI project through which rural communities without internet access can produce and access useful and educational contents.

Débora Garofalo – Brazil

Débora Garofalo is a public school teacher in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2015, she started the Robotics with Scrap (Robótica com Sucata) project to teach robotics and computational thinking to children and young people in the city of São Paulo using recycled materials and trash from their neighborhoods. Since 2015, over 2000 students have been directly involved in this project and today the work became a public policy of the State of São Paulo which impacts 2.5 million students.

Débora is currently Coordinator of the São Paulo Basic Education Innovation Center (CIEBP) at the State Secretary of Education, which aims to democratize access to innovation, maker culture, programming, robotics and digital fabrication for over 3.5 million students. She studied Literature and Pedagogy, with specialization in Portuguese Language at Unicamp, and earned a Master’s in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

Due to her work in Public Education, Débora has received several important awards, including: Teachers of Brazil 2018, MIT Creative Learning Challenge 2019, UN Peacekeeper Medal 2019 and considered one of the 10 best Teachers in the World by the Global Teacher Prize 2019 considered the Nobel of Education.

Lars Beck Johannsen – Denmark

Lars Beck Johannsen is a Fablab manager at Fablab Skanderborg, where he facilitates workshops for schools, runs after-school programs, educates fellow teachers and runs a weekly openlab. He has a background as a K-12 teacher, teaching math, arts and music from 2003 – 2018. In 2014 he discovered maker-technologies through the fablab@school project in Denmark, and they became an integrated part of the subjects he taught. At the moment he is engaged in establishing new makerspaces in local schools, and developing an after-school project around the concept of Escape Rooms. Further he works closely with researchers from University of South Denmark (SDU) around different areas of investigation e.g. the use of tangible objects as a mediatings means for Computational Thinking and problem-solving.

Michael Mumbo – Kenya

Michael Mumbo is a STEAM educator with a background in Mathematics and IT. He is also a Co-founder at Edutab Africa, an education social enterprise based in Kenya that specializes in STEAM educational fabrications. He facilitates and designs the programming/coding, fun mathematical activities, and learning resources for STEAM education courses and resources at Edutab Africa.

Michael has a special interest in constructionist learning especially in Maths maker learning not because he is a nerd, NO. It’s because he strongly believes that the treasures of math are within everyone’s reach. Discovery strengthens, instruction weakens, for this, he is a lead facilitator of various virtual Maths Circles at The Global Maths Circle, USA.

Over the past 5 years, he has been involved in organizing and facilitating The Kenya Annual Maths Camp for secondary school students and teachers. Furthermore, he has been working with students in introducing them to robotics and programming though virtual and face to face.

Michael is passionate about using the prevailing technology and skills to reduce the negative perception towards mathematical sciences through fun mathematical activities that unlock students’ potentials. He is currently discovering new connections through mountaineering.

Brenda Nyakoa – Kenya

Brenda Nyakoa is a Program Associate at Global Minimum Inc, a non-profit that implements innovative hands-on programs for youth in Africa to help them become better creative problem solvers in their communities. Brenda designs and facilitates workshops around Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics(STEM) education and Human-centered design. She has worked with over 400 high school youth in Kenya through innovation boot camps and maker workshops to help them create innovative solutions to challenges in their communities. She holds a BSC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Nairobi.

Besides her daily work, Brenda enjoys volunteering her time to mentor youth. She has previously mentored for Technovation, Upeo Discovery and Precious Sisters, all based in Kenya implementing new pedagogies that support learners to become better leaders. She also loves reading, listening to music, and occasionally cooking.

Martin Oloo – Kenya

Martin Oloo is the founder and managing Director of Fablab Winam and co-founder of  mSafari Analytics Ltd and Lake Basin Innovation and Investment Week (LBIIW). He currently serves as the Treasurer to Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs. He previously served Arc Kenya as the Board of Directors Chairman and has also served as Executive Board of Directors member representing interest of youths in Mindhine Polytechnic.

Among other programs run by Fablab Winam in collaboration with other technical institutions, Martin runs Fabkids activities which gives children opportunities to learn by doing hands-on skills on STEAM (crafts, robotics and digital fabrication). This is done in collaboration with Fab Lat Kids where annual Global Kids Day (GKD) focusing on a given culture is hosted. He has been leading the Kids Hackathon by LBIIW, local Fabkids at Korando Educational Centre and the GKDs.

Martin is a Social Worker, maker, Entrepreneur and an enabler with the background in Digital Fabrication, Social Work and currently a student of Project Management.
Martin is passionate about finding local solutions by engaging local people to build their own solutions to local challenges by advocating for local manufacturing.

Charles Pimentel – Brazil

Charles is a math teacher at Polo Educacional Sesc in Rio de Janeiro, an institution that delivers high quality education, free of charge, to students from all over Brazil. M.Sc. in Informatics and Post Graduate in IT in Education from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ, his work focuses on the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence teaching in K-12 Education through Educational Robotics.

In 2019, he developed the Maker Math course, which aims at introducing robotics, automation, physical computing, digital fabrication and AI to high schools. The course explores the mathematical skills and competences involved in the process of building automated prototypes and programming, with the purpose of creating solutions to real-world problems through STEM approach projects. He believes mathematics and computational thinking are fabulous resources to promote the organization and structuring of learning processes so that students can generate solutions to improve the quality of life and the environment in which they live.

He is a D.Sc. student in Informatics at UFRJ, focusing on Semantic Web and Machine Learning. As a member of the research group GRECO – Knowledge Engineering Group – he is applying his research on a Citizen Science project for the Pantanal wetlands.


Paulo Blikstein

Sylvia Libow Martinez

Renato Russo

Yipu Zheng



For more information, please contact Paulo Blikstein (