Mother, philanthropist, marketing and technology consultant, manager, “get things done”
Matt’s Maker Space has been a labor of love for us. Matt, who died at the age of 12, would have been a maker today. He loved to tinker and build. He was artistic and mathematical – a problem solver. I am thrilled to use Matt’s Maker Space to help create a generation of tinkers who can collaborate, innovate and think outside the box. With my background in the humanities and technology, I feel like children who are encouraged to learn in a STEAM environment may be able to achieve dreams they never thought were possible. Matt’s Maker Space is for them.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Chief Technologist, Mechanical Products for ANSYS, Inc., the global leader in engineering simulation
Matt’s Father, Software Engineer. ANSYS enables making for the world of engineering. Maker spaces will make better engineers someday!
I have always loved science, math, technology and the arts. I would have loved learning in a place like Matt’s Maker Space when I was a kid! Losing my brother was and is not easy, but I am thankful that children will now have a space to do some of the things he loved – tinker, create, build and “make” things. Matthew would be so proud of our parents for all they have done in his memory, and I am too.
Matt’s sister, student in Cyber Forensics and Information Security at Robert Morris University, giver, hard worker
My interest in Matt’s Maker Space started when I realized that I didn’t get to grow up building and making. Being able to see my parents create this organization in memory of my brother has shown me how to be grateful for everything that I have and makes me want to give back.
I’ve been a maker since I was in elementary school. I make things, like jewelry, herb planters, and dresses out of t-shirts. I make music, I make Indian food and I make my family dance on Friday nights. Every making endeavor channels a creativity that I sometimes forget I have. This is why I’m honored to be part of an organization that gives so many people the opportunity to discover their inner maker and embrace where making takes them.
Director of Marketing & Outreach, Handmade Arcade, Arts + Events Editor, NEXT pittburgh, Musician, The Garment District
I am connected to Matt through my family in Mt. Lebanon, including my aunt, my cousins and my brothers.
Jennifer Baron is co-coordinator and director of marketing for the award-winning Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. A writer with NEXTpittburgh, Jennifer is co-editor of the award-winning photography book, Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania (Carnegie Mellon Press, 2010). Jennifer has also coordinated public programs for Mount Lebanon Public Library, and serves an Advisory Board Member for The Hollywood Theater in Dormont. Jennifer is founder of the Pittsburgh-based band, The Garment District, and was a member of Brooklyn’s The Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records).
As a crafter, musician and writer, I look forward to helping advance the mission of Matt’s Maker Space, and helping the organization increase its visibility and strengthen its connections to Pittsburgh’s thriving and innovative maker, arts and learning communities.
Librarian, Teacher at Foster Elementary, Matt’s former elementary school.
I strive to help students to become makers, learners and creative thinkers in memory of Matt.
Matt’s Favorite at home nurse, Retired Registered Nurse
Helping to further what would be of interest and value to Matt. Keeping his memory alive means a great deal to me.
Friend of Matt’s and the Conover family, Freelance Writer, Climate Reality Leader and Community Volunteer
As a long time advocate for creative problem-solving and hands-on learning, I am proud to help keep Matt’s memory alive by serving on the board of Matt’s Maker Space.
Children’s Librarian at Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Neighbor to the Conover family. I want all kids to have an opportunity to be makers.
English Teacher and Writing Specialist at The Ellis School
I never knew Matt personally, but the Conovers first became my neighbors about five years ago. Their strength, capacity to love, and commitment to education and our community drew me to Matt’s Maker Space from the first time Noelle told me about Matt and how they plan to honor his memory.
Principal, Howe Elementary School, MTLSD
Grateful advocate for Matt’s Maker Spaces in MTLSD! Although I did not have the privilege of knowing Matt, I believe he was a very special little boy to inspire such an amazing philanthropic effort to benefits so many children!
MICHELLE L. MURRAY, Ed.D.
6th Grade Teacher, Upper St. Clair School District.
As a former Mt. Lebanon teacher, I had been fortunate to offer creative thinking lessons to hundreds of students in Matt's Maker Spaces. Knowing how these spaces bring to life open-ended thinking and a safe place for trial and error learning, I am proud to serve on a board that works to create an engaging learning environment for elementary students and honors the life of a brilliant young man.
5th Grade Teacher, Mt. Lebanon School District. Teacher of Matt’s peers
It is my goal to provide creative, collaborative, problem solving experiences to all learning for all students in Mt. Lebanon. Matt’s Maker Space is the springboard needed to achieve that goal at the elementary level.