The Founders

STEAM Factory was founded by Parker Thomas and staff at Gyroscope Inc. after meeting one inspiring day at a BBQ.  We both work all over the US and want to create a space in our neighborhood that taps into the local community of designers and makers and spreads the innovation to the kids of Oakland.

Parker is a lifelong maker of new products, companies, schools, workshops, airplanes, treehouses, zip lines, drones, boats, pens and lots of other things.   He is a member of the founding team of Urban Montessori Charter School, a k-8 public charter school in Oakland based on arts integration, design thinking and the teachings of Maria Montessori. He is the Managing Director of Maris Labs,  and educational design studio that partners with schools and other learning organizations to create maker cultures and experiences.  

Gyroscope Inc. is a West Oakland based design consultancy. Their mission is to design informal learning environments that provide value for children, families, and communities.  Gyroscope has a mix of knowledge and skills as architects, artists, builders, educators, graphic and exhibit designers. Their design platforms include architecture, planning, exhibition and graphic design for children’s museums, science centers, history museums, learning gardens, libraries and sustainable schools.