Sofya Zeylikman is a designer/tinkerer/maker maven from New York City by way of Moscow, where she was born.
She recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education under the Technology, Innovation, Education program.
Though she came to the United States at age two, she is highly influenced by the history of her family as Russian Jews. Her decision to study Furniture Design at the Rhode Island School of Design came from her love of helping her father around the house, and the “if it’s broken, try to fix it first before buying it” mentality of her family. While at school, her work focused on interpersonal relationships and the “lives” of objects.
The experience of being able to learn in a hands on way at RISD really left a mark on Sofya. Sofya went on to lead workshops to young students at the local Jewish Day School of Rhode Island that focus on fusing together a science and math education with design thinking. She also worked closely with the teacher of the Design Lab at the Day School as a Design Education Consultant.
After graduation, Sofya was a Design Fellow at Yale University’s Center for Engineering Innovation and Design where she managed an 8,700 square foot makerspace. She lead orientations and trainings, created workshops, assisted in the creation of a brand new course with the Smithsonian Museum, helped students with their projects until midnight, and had a really transformative experience.
She decided to pursue her love of STEAM education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. There she learned about how people learn, what diversity and inclusion really mean, and how she can truly “Learn to Change the World”. She also worked on some research on personalized learning in makerspaces.
To learn more about her work with the STEAM movement, check out her Connected Learning profile