Coco Kaleel

Coco Kaleel, a 9th grader from California, supports and inspires technology novices and enthusiasts with her website Embracing 3D printing, coding, design software and even drones, Coco hopes to encourage her peers to make technology, not just consume it. With kit reviews and making tips, Coco tries to simplify the process for her audience to make it more accessible, whether simple blinky-lights or a full 3D printer kit. Coco had the honor to co-write the foreward to the recently published book The New Shop Class: Getting Started with 3D Printing, Arduino, and Wearable Tech from Apress Publishing. Coco’s appeared as a panelist on topics such as “Arduino Grassroots Revolution” and “Women in STEM” at Loscon40, did a poster presentation at 3D Printer World Expo, gave her talk “Girls and Robots” at the Texas Linux Fest in Austin, and recently delivered the conference warm-up and taught a soldering class to educators at the Design and Maker Class Colloquium. MAKE Magazine posted a blog about Coco and one of her mentors entitled “Soldering a Connection – The Start of a Mentoring Relationship” which was then translated for MAKE: Japan. Coco also enjoys fencing; field hockey; her school 3D printing, robotics, math, and Latin clubs; playing the oboe; and helping puppy-raise for Guide Dogs of America.

Making a Low-Temperature Differential Stirling Engine
Can the heat that rises from your morning coffee cup be harnessed? Can you imagine the possibilities of engines that use small temperature differentials like a bucket of ice or heat on the pavement? Could these engines help pump water in remote locations where fossil fuels aren’t readily available? What if you could make these engines inexpensively in your own garage? Coco Kaleel, a 9th grader from Los Angeles, will explore these questions and more in her discussion. Coco was honored to be a keynote speaker during last year’s conference with the topic “Making Makers: A Drill Press is a Girl’s Best Friend – A Boy’s, Too.” The Low-Temperature Differential Stirling Engine is a natural extension of that topic, putting to use the tools Coco discussed and demonstrating an actual project made with them. Coco Kaleel set out to make a Low-Temperature Differential Stirling Engine as her school science project. She will outline step-by-step instructions (photographs, too) for building one. She will also troubleshoot glitches in the making process for those interested in fabricating their own Stirling engines. This is a great project for demonstrating and learning about basic thermodynamics and for improving machining skills necessary for engineering careers. For students with access to maker spaces or innovation laboratories, Coco will outline the tools she used during each step of her making process including creating her own hot wire nichrome foam cutter and lathe dog in order to complete the project. Coco credits her inspiration to James R. Senft’s book “Introduction to Low-Temperature Differential Stirling Engines.”

Robert Hernandez
USC Annenberg

Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. He is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” and specializes in “MacGyvering” Web journalism solutions. He connects dots and people. He has worked for,,, La Prensa Gráfica, among others. Hernandez is also the co-founder of #wjchat and co-creator of the Diversify Journalism Project. His most recent work includes Augmented Reality, Wearables/Google Glass and Virtual Reality — he and his students produce VR experiences under their brand: JOVRNALISM. Their work can be seen in The New York Times, NPR and in their own iOS/Android app. He is the recipient of SPJ’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He has made it to imgur’s front page more than once.

Evan Wesley
Thirst Project

Evan is the Director of student activation for Thirst Project. He spends his time traveling around the United States, speaking to middle school, high school, and college students about the global water crisis. In 3 years, Evan has spoken to over 75,000 students as a Keynote speaker, working and speaking to groups including United Nations, UNICEF, Student Council, Key Club International, KIWANIS, HOSA, WordLink Peace and Justice, and Millennium Campus Network.

STEM + Entrepreneurship


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