AnnMarie Thomas, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. She is the founder and director of the Playful Learning Lab, which explores ways to encourage children, of all ages, to embrace playful learning. She and her students created Squishy Circuits. She is the author of “Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation.”
AnnMarie co-founded and co-direct the University of St. Thomas Center for Engineering Education (CEE), which offers engineering courses for P-12 educators and conduct research on engineering at the pre-collegiate level. AnnMarie’s teaching covers classes on topics such as Engineering Graphics and Design, Machine Design, Dynamics (with Circus Lab), Toy Design, Product Design for an Aging Population, Technology Prototyping (for Business majors), Environmental Sustainability/Innovation and Brain Machine Interfaces (seminar).
She served as the Founding Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative, where her team established the national Maker Corps program and laid the groundwork for this nonprofit.
AnnMarie loves collaborations. Some of her past collaboration partners and consulting clients include: Disney Imagicademy, Diavolo, the Works Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, NY Hall of Science, the Alinea Restaurant Group, Sweet Tooth Cake Company, Cantus, Autodesk, and Magic Arms.
AnnMarie lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and two daughters. She is an amateur aerialist, specializing in static and flying trapeze.