Project Invent is made up of educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, professors, students, parents, and more who are passionate about young people changing the world through design thinking, engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Founder & director
Connie is a mechanical engineer from MIT, passionate educator, and founder of Project Invent. She most recently taught design thinking & engineering at The Nueva School, one of the first K12 design thinking programs in the country. Now, she runs Project Invent to inspire high school students nationwide to invent technologies that make a difference. She is also an engineer and inventor herself, focused on designing assistive technologies to empower those with disabilities.
Catherine is a visual designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works at Replicon Software as a Graphic Designer, creating print and web visuals as well as marketing collateral. She was previously the Design & Media Manager of SkyDeck, UC Berkeley's startup accelerator. From the logo to the curriculum to the slide decks, she makes everything Project Invent does beautiful!
Director of strategy
Evan is an MIT senior studying physics and computer science at MIT. He loves learning anything, from history to organic chemistry to astrophotography, and sharing this with others through programs like MIT ESP's Splash! When not coding or looking up at the stars, he also enjoys playing piano, practicing soccer, and eating food.
Our ambassadors have feet on the ground and are the ones sharing about Project Invent far and wide!
Students are the core of our work. That's why we incorporate their insights into everything we do. They co-design the curriculum, share input for decisions, spearhead community partnerships, and more.
Design & outreach
Justin is an aspiring mechanical engineer at The Nueva School. Co-founding Nueva's Project Invent and working on team Stria allowed him to discover the power of developing human-centered products that address real-world problems. He hopes to help more people learn about design thinking and encourage them to become powerful changemakers.
social media manager
Maya is a high school sophomore. When not spending time solving real world problems with design engineering, Maya can be found running cross country or track, playing the piano, or with her nose in a really good book. This year, Maya is a Project Invent lead for a team building technologies to help ESL youth learn English.
Curriculum & strategy
Madeline is a high school junior. She enjoys being a varsity runner, a member of the Physics research team, and a member of her school’s science podcast club, Project 80. She is also the co-captain of Nueva’s design engineering for social impact club and member of the team working on blindness, Stria.
Video & Media
Tyler is a high school junior. As a filmmaker, Tyler has produced dozens of promotional and commercial videos for companies, from small nonprofit theatre companies to Stanford Medical School. He also has a passion for biology and is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association.
Suranga is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. He founded the Augmented Human Lab which creates ways to enable human-computer interfaces as natural extensions of our body, mind and behavior. Suranga has been recognized as young inventor under 35 (TR35 award) by the MIT TechReview, Ten Outstanding Young Professionals by JCI Sri Lanka, and INK Fellow 2016.
Maria Yang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT, and is founder and director of the Ideation Lab (ideation.mit.edu) and Faculty Academic Director for the MIT D-Lab. Her work in design, focuses on the key role of design representation in driving the early stages of the design process, from consumer products to complex, large scale systems.
Maureen is the Founder of Lime Design and a lecturer at Stanford’s d.school where she co-teaches Hacking Your Innovation Mindset. She was also the director of Stanford University's REDlab, which conducts research on design thinking and learning. She has worked with schools, businesses and non-profit organizations around the globe building capacity for innovative cultures.
Sergio J. Monsalve is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is also an investor at Norwest Venture Partners and is on the board of various education companies, including Udemy, Adaptive Insights (Sold to Workday), Alma Campus, Motif, and Kahoot! Monsalve has also held various leadership roles in high-growth technology companies like eBay, Paypal, and Portal Software (IPO during tenure).
Michelle is active in the InventEd community, and most recently worked as Director of Communications for The STEMIE Coalition. Her and her teenage daughter, inventor Alexis Lewis, advocate for invention education across the US and have been featured in the Smithsonian Magazine and more.
Scott is former Assistant Director of the Nueva I-Lab, was an award-winning educator at High Tech High, and is now founder of Make Safe Tools. He also runs a project-based learning consultancy called GRITLab and was the feature of the documentary films Most Likely to Succeed and Beyond Measure.