By Christina Carlisle (NTEC) and Jennifer Makins (Parish Episcopal School)
Parish is proud to partner with leaders in the North Texas community to provide a fun, engaging, and hands on introduction to coding and game/application development. Our goal with the event is to expose students to problem solving through coding and design innovation, in a collaborative environment with professionals providing instruction and guidance. As technology continues to pervade our society, it will become more important for students and professionals to have some basic understanding of coding and design. Our hope with hack|ED ntx is that novice coders will leave eager to learn more and those students experienced enough to participate in the competitive track will have had a great time networking with other coders. hack|ED nxt is excited to welcome keynote speakers Kevin Harris founder of the Guild of Software Architects and Lead Wearables Architect Fossil and Gray Garmon, SMU Professor of Design & Innovation.

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The North Texas Enterprise Center, in partnership with Parish Episcopal School, Guild of Software Architects, and iLLUMINATE STEM hope to foster innovation by a traditional hackathon competition – themed, in this case, around the development of applications specifically for iOS and Android wearables. However, what makes hack|ed different is that we intend to include those younger, middle school minds, with little (or no) experience to be able to participate and be challenged to learn how to problem solve, through design thinking and create/build new things using code.

About Jennifer and Christina:

Jenn Makins_Headshot_NEW3Jennifer Makins is the Director of STEM Education at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas, TX where she teaches the 7th & 8th STEM electives. She also coaches the award winning upper school NASA Rover team, manages the school’s Design Den maker spaces, and coordinates the school’s signature STEM program. Prior to joining the faculty at Parish, she was the Education Associate for NASA’s Exploration System Mission Directorate (ESMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she contributed to the strategic management of ESMD’s education portfolio.
Jennifer has presented at numerous education conferences most recently at the National Association of Independent Schools, represented NASA as a panelist at the 12th annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, and her Masters team paper titled “Space Agencies in Low Income Countries: Effects on Development” was selected for presentation at the 60th International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, South Korea. She also is a Master Teacher for the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Beginning Teacher Institute, has serveded on accreditation teams for ISAS and the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools, consults for SMU’s Caruth Engineering Education Institute, and USA TODAY Education. In 2012, she was recognized as one of the Siemen’s Foundation STEM Fellows.
Jennifer holds a M.A. in International Science & Technology Policy, from The George Washington University Space Policy Institute and a B.S. in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include U.S. investment in Human Space Flight, the Teacher in Space Program, and the maker movement and its impact on K12 education. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys running marathons and racing triathlons.
Christina Carlisle is the Director of Programs for the North Texas Enterprise Center (NTEC), a business accelerator located in Frisco, TX. Her background combines a broad knowledge of program management and training with extensive skills in process re-engineering, knowledge / program management, and business operations as well as content development and delivery in enterprise resources planning to create and drive programs that serve and enhance the center’s expanding, dynamic group of member companies.
After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business and Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University, Christina has worked with companies including Verizon Communications, Cadbury Schweppes, DreamWorks SKG, and Freemantle Media, where she developed a unique perspective on innovative technology in the service of business objectives and customer needs.
In her spare time, Christina enjoys attending musical events, loving on animals, and running on the Katy Trail.

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About the Founder & CEO

Dr. Koshi Dhingra has dedicated her career to STEM education and is passionate about having every child live up to their potential. Seeing a lack of girls and other underrepresented youth in STEM programs, she founded talkSTEM in 2015 to address the imbalance. She has a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, has years of experience teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs, and has held leadership roles in universities. She advises and collaborates with a broad range of educational institutions globally. Dr. Dhingra began her career teaching science in middle and high school in New York. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs.


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