Puzzle School Advisors

We are actively connecting with prominent and innovative educators, designers, business people, scientists, etc. in the Cambridge area to advise the design of The Puzzle School. Our current advisors include:

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Tina Grotzer

Tina Grotzer is a member of the faculty of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Principal Research Scientist at Project Zero, and a faculty member at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health. Tina directs the “Causal Learning in a Complex World Research Unit”. Prior to her work at HGSE, Grotzer was a program coordinator and teacher in public and private schools for 14 years.

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Andrew Frishman

Andrew Frishman is the Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning; he completed his Doctorate of Education Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Big Picture Learning includes a growing network of schools with over 65 currently in the US, and many more around the world, all focused on putting students at the center of their own learning. Andrew has one child currently in Cambridge Public Schools and his other will enter Jr. Kindergarten in CPS next year.

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Natalie Kuldell

Natalie Kuldell is the the Executive Director of BioBuilder and the President of the BioBuilder Educational Foundation that aims to convert current research into teachable forms. She is also an instructor at MIT in the Department of Biological Engineering focusing on developing discovery-based curricula drawn from current literature. She completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, and taught at Wellesley College before joining the faculty at MIT.

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Khemenec Patin

Khemenec Pantin is an adjunct lecturer at Boston College focused on developing advocacy and critical analysis of social welfare policy through a class and racial lens. He also served as an Education Analyst for the NYC Department of Education and as a Senior Policy Advisor for Intergovernmental Affairs as a part of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative under the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning. Khemenec has two children who are students in Cambridge Public Schools.

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Ela Ben-Ur

Ela Ben-Ur is the inventor of the Innovator's Compass, a simplified process for Design Thinking, and an adjunct assistant professor at Olin College. Ela worked for 13 years at renowned innovation firm IDEO where she co-founded of IDEO’s Leadership Studio. Ela has also offered workshops through her alma mater, MIT (BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering), Sloan, Babson, Dartmouth and Harvard. Ela’s daughter is a student in Cambridge Public Schools.

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Travis Bristol

Dr. Travis J. Bristol, a former high school English teacher in New York City public schools and teacher educator with the Boston Teacher Residency program, is an Assistant Professor at Boston University where his research focuses on supporting and retaining teachers of color and the intersection of race and gender in schools. He holds an M.A. in the Teaching of English from Stanford University; a Ph.D. in Education Policy from Columbia University. Travis has two children in the Cambridge Public Schools.

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Rob Riordan

Rob Riordan, Ed.D., is a co-founder of High Tech High and President Emeritus of the HTH Graduate School of Education. A teacher, trainer, and program developer for over 45 years, he has worked with teams to develop 14 new K-12 schools. Rob taught at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, served as K-12 Language Arts Coordinator for Cambridge Public Schools, and was a part-time faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Beth O'Sullivan

Beth co-founded the Science Club for Girls: a program that brings hands-on science clubs to 600 girls in the Boston area, working to close the socioeconomic and gender gaps in science. She also founded and directs the Mathemagics Workshop, which has created a series of games & activities designed to bring playful mathematics back into childrens’ experience of math.

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Alec Resnick

Alec Resnick is the co-founder of Powderhouse Studios, a new innovation school in Somerville, MA, and recent winner of the nationwide XQ prize. Powderhouse Studios grew out of the work of sprout & co, a science education non-profit based in Somerville which has designed and run in- and afterschool programs with youth and evening programs with adults since 2009. Before sprout & co, Alec worked developing educational tools and toys and studied mathematics at MIT.

“So this was the big secret historians keep to themselves: historical research is wildly seductive and fun. There's a thrill in the process of digging, then piecing together details like a puzzle.”

~ Nancy Horan

“As a kid, I was into music, played guitar in a band. Then I started acting in plays in junior high school and just got lost in the puzzle of acting, the magic of it. I think it was an escape for me.”

~ Michael J. Fox

“When you write non-fiction, you sit down at your desk with a pile of notebooks, newspaper clippings, and books and you research and put a book together the way you would a jigsaw puzzle.”

~ Janine di Giovanni

“I tell people all the time, as I was going through my process of being a comedian or being an actor and a writer at 'SNL,' I tell people that everything you do is all a piece of your puzzle to determine where you're going to end up at.”

~ J. B. Smoove

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