• Pre-conference workshop Unconference on Making Liberatory Spaces - 8 am to 8 pm    (TICKETS SOLD OUT)

  • Welcoming Reception at FUSE Makerspace in Albuquerque - 4 pm to 7 pm

  • Welcoming Event at Santa Fe Railyard - 7 pm to 10 pm


  • Opening Keynote and NOMCON sessions - 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

  • Evening Receptions - 7 pm to 9 pm


  • NOMCON Sessions to Closing Keynote - 8:30 am to 3:30 pm


The theme for the NOMCON 2018 is Intentional Inclusion. As a community, we have a rich tradition and diversity that is often not as visibly called "maker". We recognize that, in addition to elevating examples and telling untold histories, there is a need for us as a community to be self-reflective, to document and share best practices, and support each other in deliberately becoming more inclusive. For all of these reasons, we are committed for this gathering to add meaningfully to the maker movement conversation nationally.


The following tracks are focus areas for the conference with specific programming (Ignite Talks, working sessions, and panels) that will be selected to advance the conversation and "level up" the community. For every sessions, we will be asking presenters and facilitators to weave the conference theme of "Intentional Inclusion" throughout. Additionally, each session will be tagged if it is specifically designed for or presented from the point of a view of an EVENT, SPACE, or ORGANIZATION.

Making Local (highlighting the regional impacts of the Maker movement with a spotlight on the efforts in New Mexico)

Making Sustainable (exploring ways that makers make money, sustain their efforts and or source sustainable to survive and thrive)

Making Makers (exploring the ways that educational efforts in formal K-12, higher Ed, informal, career and technical, and adult learning environments are being advanced through making)

Making History (celebrating the inclusive past and predicting the potential future impact of the maker movement)

Making a Difference as a Maker Community (documenting the impact of the social and global change efforts elicited by the maker movement locally and around the globe)


The conference will conclude with project planning sessions, in which new and scaleable efforts can be proposed and developed, allowing conference participants to leave with a plan for collective action - implementable next steps, committed project partners, a clear research agenda, and what we hope will be a sustainable roadmap to future success.


Our theme this year is INTENTIONAL INCLUSION - celebrating the diverse community of makers across our country that represent a multitude of backgrounds, geographies, and perspectives. Creating a culture of inclusion requires a community to be intentional about being open, and to create practices and environments that are welcoming to all.

INTENTIONAL INCLUSION will be woven throughout the each of the five tracks. Each track features a series of eight ignite talks, designed to spark discussion, as well as a working session beyond the ignite talk session, where participants can discuss and ideate "next steps" forward with the ignite session presenters. In addition to the the ignite sessions, the agenda features additional facilitated working sessions for deeper dives into content across and within sectors. Each session will be tagged as recommended for those who run spaces, who are event organizations, or who represent organizations (for-profit, non-profit, educational, government, or institutional). Finally, our final session of the conference is slated to be a project planning session, where new and scaleable efforts can be discussed, and implementable actions and next steps can be identified, allowing the conference participants to leave with a clear vision of next steps, committed project partners, and what we hope will be a sustainable roadmap to future success. 

    Opening Keynote


    Rep. Ben Luján

    Maria Town

    Adam Masters, April Lewis, Jen Schachter




    Adam Savage

    Christine Getman

    Ryan Weimer



    Ruthe Farmer

    Kipp Bradford





    Dale Dougherty

    Dorothy Jones-Davis


    Please RSVP at

    Session 1 (Saturday, 10am to 10:45am)

    IGNITE SESSION (Making Local)

    Making a Maker Education Promise - Maria Romero & Josh Weisgrau

    • In 2016, Digital Promise and the Maker Education Initiative launched an initiative to support more than 1,400 schools, representing almost 1 million students from all 50 states who signed the Maker Promise and committed to supporting a (1) dedicating a space for making; (2) designating a champion for making; and (3) hosting a public showcase of what the students made. Come learn about how the project was launched, lessons learned through the process, and where it is going from here.

    Making Liberatory Spaces Unconference Summary - Adam Masters & Lisa McNair

    • In this session, we will share the learnings and outcomes from Friday's Unconference with the larger NOMCON community. The Unconference brought together representatives from diverse, inclusive, liberatory maker spaces around the country to share their organizations’ stories and exchange best practices regarding inclusion of diverse populations in maker spaces. The goals of the unconference were two-fold: (1) Build and strengthen a network of diverse maker spaces who can share information and practices, build relationships, and serve as a resource to others seeking to form maker spaces that are liberatory, and (2) Identify practices and artifacts that can be adopted by both community and campus spaces in order to ensure broader participation among members from underrepresented groups. The Unconference was made possible by a partnership between Nation of Makers and an NSF-funded research team with members from Virginia Tech's Department of Engineering Education and Purdue's School of Engineering Education.

    DELEGATIONS Meetup - Dan Schneiderman

    • A meetup specifically for all of those who have come as part of a city delegation. Come connect with those from other cities and states to explore ways to build local ecosystems, efforts, and relationships. Share and brainstorm a toolkit of activities for community-building locally.

    The 5 Stages of Grant Writing - Andrew Coy

    • The 5 Stages of Grant Writing are like the 5 Stages of Grief, but just for grant writing. Developing coping mechanism and tools for churning through as many grant applications as possible is key to growing your organization's financial well-being.

    Sandbox Tools for Education - Sara Bolduc, Kevin Jarrett, Jackie Gerstein, & Zack Dowell

    • Tools for educators making in and out of the classroom.

    Making with Museums & Science Centers - Pete Prodoehl & Amy Greene

    • Museums and science centers have been at the heart of the growth of the maker movement since its beginning. As the work continues to grow, what new opportunities, ideas, and collaborations could take this work to the next level? Come explore what is happening and what more is possible in this space as the movement continues to grow and mature.

    Humanitarian Efforts at Home & Abroad - Dara Dotz Christopher Breedlove, & Sherry Lassiter

    • Makers have stepped up to help in humanitarian efforts. Explore best practices and common misconceptions as well as connect with leaders in this space to better coordinate your own desire to help in whatever crisis we face next.         

    Session 2 (Saturday, 11am to 11:45am)

    IGNITE SESSION (Making Sustainable)

    The Making of Meow Wolf - Mirabelle Jones)

    • Meow Wolf is an immersive experience that has to be seen to be appreciated. Get a behind-the-scenes look into the history of how it came to exist, stories from the build-out, and a view into where it is going from here.

    Making Liberatory Spaces: Voices from the Unconference - Adam Masters & Lisa McNair

    • Attendees from the Unconference on Making Liberatory Spaces (held on Friday, June 8) will engage in conversation and share their expertise. Specific topics and speakers to be determined during the Unconference. The Unconference was made possible by a partnership between Nation of Makers and an NSF-funded research team with members from Virginia Tech's Department of Engineering Education and Purdue's School of Engineering Education.

    LOCAL IGNITE Follow-Up Session

    Moving to a new location (event/space/org) - Ladeana Dockery, Ian Cole, Tanju Bayramoglu

    • A number of spaces and events that have recently move could discuss the challenges of moving and perhaps we could have a guild come out of the discussion as to what things are critical when moving. 

    Certification for Maker Educators - Danielle Martin, Kevin Jarrett, & Jerry Valadez

    • Grassroots interest in maker education has not kept pace with opportunities for educators to certify expertise. Developing opportunities for certifications show promise but are not yet widespread. Documenting what does exist and connecting more to these opportunities is a critical first step that this session will help as well as map out a future potential for where maker education-related certification should go.

    Interacting with the the Press and Media - Eric Harness

    • How do you interact with the media? The good the bad the ugly.....recient events have put makerspaces in the spotlight for the same tools that can be used for good can also be used for harm. Learn how to handle the attention and tell your story while someone else might be telling it wrong.

    Making Assistive Technology - Chad Leaman, Bill Binko, & Brady Fulton

    • People with disabilities often have unique needs for access to aids to daily living and technology access. Makers are unique equipped to support people and to do so in a collaborative and individualized way.

    LUNCH (Saturday, 11:45Pm to 1Pm)


    Session 3 (Saturday, 1Pm to 1:45Pm)

    IGNITE SESSION (Making Makers)

    Maker Therapy/Maker Nurse & Hospital Makers - Anna Young & Gokul Krishnan

    • Maker Therapy/Maker Nurse & Hospital Makers - Maker efforts in hospitals around the country are making a real difference in lots of ways. Learn about a variety of efforts that are engaging patients, nurses, doctors, and the health community at large. Join the work to spread these efforts to a hospital near you!

    Designing for Accessibility - Tome Wilson & Mike  Wright

    • Would you intentionally make something that can't be used? Most people would say "no," but are you truly including your entire audience in your designs? What about your websites and makerspaces? This presentation will help you uncover new ways to approach your work so you reach the largest audience possible.

    Rural Making - Beverly Eichenlaub, Jerry Valadez, & Jose Sandoval

    • Rural communities have long histories of resourcefulness in making things and also fixing things to “make do”. Come discuss current trends in Rural Making related to agriculture + the local food movement, the arts, environmental consciousness + energy independence, innovation + entrepreneurship, locally sourced materials + identity, and the potential impact of global internet access on rural communities. Together let’s map out the future of how and where these efforts can expand even further.

    SUSTAINABLE IGNITE Follow-Up Session

    Impact Research - Nan Braun

    • Trying to measure the impact of your event, your space, or your organization? Quantifying this can be tough but there are best practices, tools, calculators, and a community of others who are trying to do the same thing. Advancing our community's ability to quantify our impact is a critical piece to advocating for more formal support and funding for our efforts. Join with others to work towards more robust maker impact research.

    Making Like a Girl - Sara Bolduc & Sierra Seabrease

    • What does it mean to be a woman or girl in the maker mvoement? How can making become even more of a tool for empowerment? How can it teaches more people that it's ok to fail and that mastery doesn't require perfection? Explore ways that women and girls are leading efforts, can take on increasing prominent roles, and how to provide more of an outlet for expression and activism, all while creating career pathways in industries historically dominated by men.

    Responding to Natural Disasters - Christopher Breedlove, Joey Ficklin, Dara Dotz

    • When disasters have hit over the past year, maker skills and resources have provided critical supports and help in coordinating efforts, creating rapid-response signage, and field-based manufacturing. Where does it go from here though? And how do these efforts learn from previous work to become even more distributed and effective?

    Session 4 (Saturday, 2Pm to 2:45Pm)

    IGNITE SESSION (Making History)

    Local Adventures in Entrepreneurship - Zane Fischer

    • Come learn from MAKE Santa Fe's experience in pre-apprenticeship with disconnected youth, with insights into the key parnterships and funding that are making it possible as well as the national recognition received from the US Conference of Mayors award.

    Cultivating a Culture of Inclusivity - Katrina Mendoza & Anaid Garcia

    • Cultivating a Culture of Inclusivity - A humerous look at the sterotypes of makerspaces and the challenges of building a culture of inclusivity

    Adventures in Bringing Making to Non-Traditional Maker Events - Dan Schneiderman

    • In order to introduce more folks about what the maker movement is, we need to attend events that have wider audiences that have most likely never heard of the moment before. Events could include State & County Fairs,

    Get $10k a Month in Free Marketing Plus Other Tips - Ian Cole & Jonathan Prozzi

    • Get someone from the Google AdGrant program to NOMCON to help 501(c)3 orgs get started and get effective with adwords. This has a direct financial benefit to the orgs that participate and could provide a compelling

    EDUCATION IGNITE Follow-Up Session

    Growing From One to Many - Sherry Lassiter

    • Questions to ask and resources to reference when considering of growing From one to many. 

    Maker-(space/event/org) Burnout Talk Strategy Session - Tanju Bayramoglu

    • Burnout is a real thing. This session will source ways to listen, address, and respond to burnout in a healthy and productive way.                            

    Session 5 (Saturday, 3Pm to 3:45Pm)

    Lessons Learned for Spaces+Events Engaging w/ Schools - Josh Weisgrau & Maria Romero

    • Thousands of schools have benefited from connecting with their local maker event, spaces, or organization. Digital Promise, with experience with challenge based and dynamic learning, educator micro-credentials and adult learning, education innovation clusters (and the League of Innovative Schools) as well as the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, has been engaging with more than 1,500 schools integrating maker education into their schoolday experience. Come learn from a collection of these experiences and develop ideas for potential future work with this growing network.

    The Inclusive Makerspace: Key Insights Into How Open Works is Authentically Growing a Diverse Maker Community - April Lewis & Jen Schachter

    • Open Works Membership Manager, April Danielle Lewis shares some of the successes and challenges encountered while growing their maker community in their first year. Lewis reveals some of the strategies Open Works is implementing to intentionally make space for everyone. 

    State Ambassador Meetup - Jeanette Breton & Dan Schneiderman

    • A meetup for all of the Nation of Makers State Ambassadors to provide an updated on current projects, make plans for the coming year, and map out ways to expand these efforts to connect communities in every state.

    Connect with the National Laboratories - Randy Flores, Dave Forester, & Katrina Wagner

    • Are you located near one of the 17 National Laboratories? These spaces are full of people, resources, and potential all dedicated to advancing science and technology. If you aren't connected to yours yet, you should be. Come learn more about how they are structured, best practices for engaging with them, and build a network of others who are exploring relationships with their local laboratories.

    Creating an open accreditation ecosystem for the Maker Movement - Nathan Parker

    • Makers lack a system to track and prove their skills that they acquire, and find work based on the skills that they have. This system needs to be free, open source, respecting of privacy, globally scalable, and support the maker movement as a whole. We are building a system to do this as part of a makerspace management platform, and we would love to engage you on how we can solve these problems together.

    HISTORY IGNITE Follow-Up Session

    Supporting Youth to Make and Invent with Impact - Kyle Cornforth & David Coronado

    • This hands-on workshop educators will explore the use of tools and materials to enable and support rigorous making experiences in the classroom, including tips and tricks for teachers to use in the facilitation of maker-centered learning and how it can be used as an on-ramp to invention.

    BIRDS OF A FEATHER (Saturday, 5:30Pm)

    Opportunity to gather with folks of a similar interest. Coordination will be done via a board on site and via conversation on Slack.



    Please RSVP for which reception you will be planning on attending at

    • hosted by Descartes Labs at CASA ESPANA (2 blocks away, approximately 5-minute walk)
    • hosted by Meow Wolf at MEOW WOLF (4.5 miles, approximately 15 min drive).
      • We will have a shuttle bus that will do a few loops originating at the convention center between 6pm and 9pm. If you are going to Meow Wolf, please note that to go beyond the foyer reception and into the exhibit, there is a cost (your name badge will get you a 50% discount).


    Session 6 (SUNDAY, 10Am to 10:45Am)

    IGNITE SESSION (Making Community)

    Unintended Consequences of Dual-Use Technology in Biospaces - Eric Harness, Todd Kuiken, David Kong, & Kari Mcinturff

    • This panel will explore issues of biosecurity and biosafety in the growing number of biospaces around the country and world with lessons that apply across spaces of all kinds as technology's potential meets the downside risk of intentional or unintentional consequences.

    Inclusion Toolkit: From Pledge to Action (Pt 1) - Robin Baskin McNulty & Madalene Fetsch

    • Are you interested on making your makerspace more inclusive? Do you have successful strategies or challenges to share about that process? Join this working session to help us collect feedback and hone a set of tools we can share with the NOM community. Our work will be published as a set of crowd-sourced action cards customized for makerspaces, events, and organizations.

    Makerspaces, their Role in Economic Development - Joel Gordon

    • Makerspaces have become anchor facilities in under represented and under resourced communities. Makerspaces take advantage of low rent/no rent opportunities and, often, become the hub of new development, jobs creation,

    Funding for Arts & Creativity - Jenice Gharib

    • The National Endowment for the Arts is dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, to bringing the arts to all Americans, and to providing leadership in arts education. Since they were founded in 1965, they have made more than 128,000 grants totaling more than $5 billion. Coupled with local arts funding opportunities, there more dollars out there to support community builds for public art than are currently being utilized by the maker community. Learn how to better connect to these opportunities and collaboratively build a resource guide documenting specific grant opportunities.

    Connecting the CSforALL + Maker Movement - Ruthe Farmer

    • The CSforALL movement has mobilized hundreds of millions of students through thousands of organizations and school districts to create opportunities to learn computational thinking, programming, and computer science. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed and are being spent to further these efforts in every state in the country. The structures, supports, and systems that have been built and are growing to support computer science education have lessons learned and best practices that can and should be integrated into the work of building a maker community. Meet some of the leaders behind the CSforALL work and explore ways to build up the Nation of Makers.

    Invention + Entrepreneurship - Stephanie  Couch

    • Invention and entrepreneurship hold untapped potential for the maker community. Building a community of practice that better connects grassroots with national efforts and opportunities is key to creating long-term sustainability. Connect with others who are interested in the potential of making as it relates to the power of invention and entrepreneurship.

    Realities of Makerspaces as a Business - Adam Stein & Dan Rasure

    • A discussion about the world of spaces, the different types, pitfalls, benefits, the realities of sustainability and much more. Review the more popular types, the successes and failures, and what i really takes.

    Session 7 (SUNDAY, 11Am to 11:45Am)

    National Science Foundation Funding - Bob Russell, Micah Lande, & Alan Cheville

    • The National Science Foundation supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. With an annual budget of about US$7.0 billion, the NSF funds approximately a quarter of all federally supported basic research conducted by the United States' colleges and universities. Come learn what opportunities exist for research dollars related to all things maker.

    Inclusion Toolkit: From Pledge to Action (Pt 2) - Robin Baskin McNulty & Madalene Fetsch

    • Are you interested on making your makerspace more inclusive? Do you have successful strategies or challenges to share about that process? Join this working session to help us collect feedback and hone a set of tools we can share with the NOM community. Our work will be published as a set of crowd-sourced action cards customized for makerspaces, events, and organizations.

    Maker City - Marcia Kadanoff & Peter Hirshberg

    • The Maker Cities effort is working nationall to identify leaders, tell stories, connect efforts, codify best practices, and measure results of local maker ecosystems. Come learn about the work and connect your efforts to this national conversation driving a lot of awareness to the movement.

    Public Library Makerspaces and Open Access Making - Sara Bolduc, Mya Stark, & Janet Hollingsworth

    • Public libraries have been leaders at embracing and creating Open Access Making opportunities. What are the best pracitces for these spaces? How are they different from other spaces (and how can these differences be better leveraged)? What unanswered questions exist that need more research? What are some examples of exciting collaborations in this space? Come help document the state of this work and shape collaborations that could further advance the work.

    Transferable Micro-Credentials - Douglas Webster

    • Community spaces and national organizations alike are creating credentialing platform where micro-credentials articulate to a cadre of programs including professional certifications, college certificate programs. Join this session to contribute to the body of knowledge, best practices, and help set the research agenda for these and similar efforts.

    COMMUNITY IGNITE Follow-Up Session


    Session 8 (SUNDAY, 1Pm to 1:45Pm)

    Project Planning Session

    • NOMCON is only as successful as there are projects and collaborations that come out of the new connections, ideas, and proposals from our time together. This session is designed to help plan next steps for ideas proposed throughout the weekend on large idea boards.