Director of Programs
Katie Krummeck is an educational designer and a national thought leader in leveraging the power of design to drive change in the K12 system. She is also in expert in using the design process and maker-based instruction to create student-centered learning experiences that develop students’ creative confidence, optimism, and problem-solving skills. Katie has lead design teams to tackle diverse projects such as reimagining a PreK-12 school schedule and the use of time as an instructional tool and redesigning the accreditation process to yield deeper insights into the state of schools in relation to their strategic plan and mission. Katie has also coached school leaders, educators, non-profit leaders and corporate executives to develop their design mindsets and the capacity to leverage design to drive innovation.
Katie comes to us from the SMU Maker Education Project at the Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University where she is the director. She brings a strong background in strategic thinking, program development, human-centered design and maker-based education.
Katie is an educator by training, a maker by trial and error, a learning experience designer and a steadfast believer in the power of empathy to bring compassionate solutions to the messiest of human problems. She believes that creative confidence is the key to success in the 21st century and that making is an excellent way to build those mindsets. Katie believes that making is about inhabiting the posture that almost any problem is solvable with a little perseverance, a little focus, a little tinkering, &, probably, a little help from your fellow makers. Making, like any true learning, activates an insatiable curiosity and a deeply intrinsic motivation to see a project through. This self-motivated desire to learn helps students overcome challenges, solve problems and persevere in the face of ambiguity and confusion.
Katie began her career as a secondary teacher and co-founder of a small, experimental independent school, where students collaborated across age groups to engage in project-based, interdisciplinary learning. She has since transitioned from school-based work to an education non-profit start-up to, most recently, the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design at Stanford University (“the d.school”). Katie draws from her experiences in a wide array of settings to develop and scale educational programming that matches her deep belief in the power of hands-on, real-world learning to inspire students to solve complex problems and feel empowered to make the world a better place.
At the d.school, Katie worked to re-imagine and grow SparkTruck, an innovative mobile maker lab for elementary-school students, pivoting the project to create more lasting change by inspiring and supporting teachers
to integrate creativity and hands-on learning into their classrooms. Her work also focused on designing and implementing broader professional development experiences for educators and school leaders, to encourage and support them to be innovators in their school contexts and create positive change in education.
In 2015, Katie moved to Dallas, Texas, and began directing the Deason Innovation Gym, a collegiate makerspace at Southern Methodist University. During her time leading that space, Katie developed innovative, immersive learning experiences to support the development of the mindsets and working styles needed in the 21st century.