Annmarie Thomas Ph.D.

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As a teacher, I work to create engaging, hands-on experiences for my students, with an emphasis on real-world applications of the material we are covering. One of the best parts of being a professor is working on projects with amazing students. Below are some of the students working in the Playful Learning Lab.

 

Dr. AnnMarie Thomas The founder and director of the Playful Learning Lab, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is passionate about creating engaging learning environments for learners and educators.

Dr. AnnMarie Thomas

The founder and director of the Playful Learning Lab, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is passionate about creating engaging learning environments for learners and educators.

Dr. Deb Besser The director of the UST Center for Engineering Education and a research affiliate in the Playful Learning Lab where she directs our educational research efforts.

Dr. Deb Besser

The director of the UST Center for Engineering Education and a research affiliate in the Playful Learning Lab where she directs our educational research efforts.

Jill Jensen With 20+ years in science education, Jensen is now a K-5 Science Specialist at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts & Science, where she works to inspire students, staff and community members to find the joy in science, engineering, art, nature and technology.

Jill Jensen

With 20+ years in science education, Jensen is now a K-5 Science Specialist at Glacier Hills Elementary School of Arts & Science, where she works to inspire students, staff and community members to find the joy in science, engineering, art, nature and technology.

 
Hannah Brodersen (Electrical Engineering and Physics, '18) is on the Code+Chords development team. Currently she is working on developing new and interesting ways to communicate music through visuals.

Hannah Brodersen

(Electrical Engineering and Physics, '18) is on the Code+Chords development team. Currently she is working on developing new and interesting ways to communicate music through visuals.

MC Burke (Mechanical Engineering, '20) A freshman Mechanical Engineering major at the University of St. Thomas, MC is currently working on the Playful Learning Lab's Circus Science project.

MC Burke

(Mechanical Engineering, '20) A freshman Mechanical Engineering major at the University of St. Thomas, MC is currently working on the Playful Learning Lab's Circus Science project.

Paige Huschka (Mechanical Engineering '20) is a member of the Code + Chords Tech Team, creating and teaching a program that explores coding and how it can be incorporated into music.

Paige Huschka

(Mechanical Engineering '20) is a member of the Code + Chords Tech Team, creating and teaching a program that explores coding and how it can be incorporated into music.

 
Abby Jagiela (Mechanical Engineering '19) is a sophomore, Majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Abby is Lead Engineer on the Chord and Chords: Teen Tech Program.

Abby Jagiela

(Mechanical Engineering '19) is a sophomore, Majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Abby is Lead Engineer on the Chord and Chords: Teen Tech Program.

Erin Kern (Mechanical Engineering and French '18) is a member of the Code + Chords team working on incorporating code into musical performances. She also helps with various writing projects for the lab. 

Erin Kern

(Mechanical Engineering and French '18) is a member of the Code + Chords team working on incorporating code into musical performances. She also helps with various writing projects for the lab. 

Alli Lague (Mechanical Engineering and Spanish, '18) works on various projects with the Playful Learning Lab, typically related to engineering education.  She is also one of the lead student employees of the UST MakerSpace.

Alli Lague

(Mechanical Engineering and Spanish, '18) works on various projects with the Playful Learning Lab, typically related to engineering education.  She is also one of the lead student employees of the UST MakerSpace.

 
Jenna Laleman (Elementary Education and STEM, psychology minor '18) is working on projects (including our STEPS program)focusing on developing lessons that encourage hands-on, fun ways for students to engage in engineering activities.

Jenna Laleman

(Elementary Education and STEM, psychology minor '18) is working on projects (including our STEPS program)focusing on developing lessons that encourage hands-on, fun ways for students to engage in engineering activities.

Daniel Mahota (Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Minor '19) is a member of the Code & Chords team.  He is passionate about problem solving, creativity, and exploring artistic expression through technology.

Daniel Mahota

(Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Minor '19) is a member of the Code & Chords team.  He is passionate about problem solving, creativity, and exploring artistic expression through technology.

Emily Meuer (Computer Science '18, Music and Catholic Studies minors) is on the Code+Chords team, where she is bringing together her love for music and computers to build a tool for real-time music visualization.

Emily Meuer

(Computer Science '18, Music and Catholic Studies minors) is on the Code+Chords team, where she is bringing together her love for music and computers to build a tool for real-time music visualization.

 
Anna Miller (Elementary Education and STEM, Engineering Education minor '20)  Anna is an education student helping with the STEPS program this summer, and looks forward to getting involved in additional programs this fall. 

Anna Miller

(Elementary Education and STEM, Engineering Education minor '20)  Anna is an education student helping with the STEPS program this summer, and looks forward to getting involved in additional programs this fall. 

Emma Miller (Mechanical Engineering ’18) is a peer mentor for Engineering Graphics and Design and is helping organize our summer Explore Engineering program.

Emma Miller

(Mechanical Engineering ’18) is a peer mentor for Engineering Graphics and Design and is helping organize our summer Explore Engineering program.

Nicole Muske (Mechanical Engineering 18' and Communications and Journalism, emphasis in Design 13') is working with the Playful Learning Lab Circus Science and Exploration with the Metro Deaf School. She also contributes design experience to the lab.

Nicole Muske

(Mechanical Engineering 18' and Communications and Journalism, emphasis in Design 13') is working with the Playful Learning Lab Circus Science and Exploration with the Metro Deaf School. She also contributes design experience to the lab.

 
Elena Ryan (Computer Science '18) is a member of the Code & Chords team.  She's passionate about solving problems and making beautiful things happen with beautiful code.

Elena Ryan

(Computer Science '18) is a member of the Code & Chords team.  She's passionate about solving problems and making beautiful things happen with beautiful code.

Amanda Tenhoff (Mechanical Engineering '18, Electrical Engineering minor) is a contributor to the Code+Chords project. She also is a student instructor for STEPS camp and a peer mentor for ENGR 171.

Amanda Tenhoff

(Mechanical Engineering '18, Electrical Engineering minor) is a contributor to the Code+Chords project. She also is a student instructor for STEPS camp and a peer mentor for ENGR 171.

 
 

Playful Learning Lab Alumni

Michaela Andrews Following her work on Code+Chords, Michaela entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Name of Jesus on October 23, 2016. Her work is to cradle the needs, joys, wounds, and sorrows of the world in prayer, and to pray especially for priests. More information about the Monastery can be found at holynamecarmel.org

Michaela Andrews

Following her work on Code+Chords, Michaela entered the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Name of Jesus on October 23, 2016. Her work is to cradle the needs, joys, wounds, and sorrows of the world in prayer, and to pray especially for priests. More information about the Monastery can be found at holynamecarmel.org

Lauren Van Beek (Mechanical Engineering '16) does researches engineering education, focusing on learning in introductory engineering courses. She is a peer mentor for ENGR 171.

Lauren Van Beek

(Mechanical Engineering '16) does researches engineering education, focusing on learning in introductory engineering courses. She is a peer mentor for ENGR 171.

William Besser (Mechanical Engineering and Business Management, ’10 Alumnus) conducted research on design processes and how they compare across disciplines when part of the Playful Learning Lab. He is currently a medical device engineer developing medical technologies for the cardiac and peripheral vascular space.

William Besser

(Mechanical Engineering and Business Management, ’10 Alumnus) conducted research on design processes and how they compare across disciplines when part of the Playful Learning Lab. He is currently a medical device engineer developing medical technologies for the cardiac and peripheral vascular space.

 
Jon Erickson (Mechanical Engineering '17) is a 4th year mechanical engineering student at the University of St. Thomas. Jon is the student manager for the school of engineering rapid prototyping lab, and completed his physics minor in 2015.

Jon Erickson

(Mechanical Engineering '17) is a 4th year mechanical engineering student at the University of St. Thomas. Jon is the student manager for the school of engineering rapid prototyping lab, and completed his physics minor in 2015.

Ahmed Eshmawy (Mechanical Engineering Major and Engineering Material Science minor ’17) is a student instructor for STEPS camp, assisting various projects for the playful learning lab, Peer mentor for Engineering Graphics and Design, and the CFO for the Projects and Robotics club. 

Ahmed Eshmawy

(Mechanical Engineering Major and Engineering Material Science minor ’17) is a student instructor for STEPS camp, assisting various projects for the playful learning lab, Peer mentor for Engineering Graphics and Design, and the CFO for the Projects and Robotics club. 

Rachel Gehlhar (Mechanical Engineering '16 Alumnus) is currently attending Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. With interests in computer programming and mechanical motion, she is conducting research in a robotics lab. She has sculpted a number of cakes, seen here.

Rachel Gehlhar

(Mechanical Engineering '16 Alumnus) is currently attending Georgia Institute of Technology to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. With interests in computer programming and mechanical motion, she is conducting research in a robotics lab. She has sculpted a number of cakes, seen here.

 
Brett Gunderson (Mechanical Engineering '17) is the lead student on the Squishy Circuits project. Brett also works on the Engineering Explorations at Metro Deaf School.

Brett Gunderson

(Mechanical Engineering '17) is the lead student on the Squishy Circuits project. Brett also works on the Engineering Explorations at Metro Deaf School.

Allison Haugh Majoring in Elementary and STEM Education and minoring in Engineering Education. Allison is the lead STEPS curriculum constructor. She is also working on after-school engineering clubs at schools near the University.

Allison Haugh

Majoring in Elementary and STEM Education and minoring in Engineering Education. Allison is the lead STEPS curriculum constructor. She is also working on after-school engineering clubs at schools near the University.

Brynn Kasper (Mechanical Engineering '16) leads our Engineering Explorations project at Metro Deaf School. Using her knowledge of American Sign Language and Engineering, Brynn teaches an after-school engineering class for Deaf students.

Brynn Kasper

(Mechanical Engineering '16) leads our Engineering Explorations project at Metro Deaf School. Using her knowledge of American Sign Language and Engineering, Brynn teaches an after-school engineering class for Deaf students.

 
Alexander Kermes (Masters of Art History, 2016) is the Exhibitions Coordinator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art where he manages all the small-to-medium-sized exhibitions as well as moves within the permanent collection.

Alexander Kermes

(Masters of Art History, 2016) is the Exhibitions Coordinator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art where he manages all the small-to-medium-sized exhibitions as well as moves within the permanent collection.

Emma Koller (Electrical Engineering '17) works on e-textiles and is currently collaborating with artist Moxie Lieberman. Emma has helped design and implement e-textile curriculum for middle school students.

Emma Koller

(Electrical Engineering '17) works on e-textiles and is currently collaborating with artist Moxie Lieberman. Emma has helped design and implement e-textile curriculum for middle school students.

Olivia Lang (Elementary and STEM Education '16) worked on engineering education projects in the Playful Learning Lab. Following a year-long fellowship in the Bronx, Olivia looks forward to having her own classroom to implement the joys of STEM education. 

Olivia Lang

(Elementary and STEM Education '16) worked on engineering education projects in the Playful Learning Lab. Following a year-long fellowship in the Bronx, Olivia looks forward to having her own classroom to implement the joys of STEM education. 

 
Joey Nesbitt (Mechanical Engineering ’12) developed Twitter-enabled devices for family communication to bridge the digital divide between generations. He co-founded and maintains DrumLite, which designs and manufactures LED lighting kits for musical instruments

Joey Nesbitt

(Mechanical Engineering ’12) developed Twitter-enabled devices for family communication to bridge the digital divide between generations. He co-founded and maintains DrumLite, which designs and manufactures LED lighting kits for musical instruments

Matthew Schmidtbauer (Electrical Engineering and Physics, 2013) worked on Squishy Circuits with the Playful Learning Lab. Concurrently he founded a company that manufactures and sells Squishy Circuits Kits, Squishy Circuits Store, which he continues to run today.

Matthew Schmidtbauer

(Electrical Engineering and Physics, 2013) worked on Squishy Circuits with the Playful Learning Lab. Concurrently he founded a company that manufactures and sells Squishy Circuits Kits, Squishy Circuits Store, which he continues to run today.

Kate Spangenberg  (Entrepreneurship and Philosophy, '17) works in the UST MakerSpace, developing programming and design opportunities for students. Kate is also one of the founders of the UST Studio of Design For America.

Kate Spangenberg 

(Entrepreneurship and Philosophy, '17) works in the UST MakerSpace, developing programming and design opportunities for students. Kate is also one of the founders of the UST Studio of Design For America.

 

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AnnMarie Thomas, Ph.D.