Who Are We?

Karen Giacopuzzi – Instructor, Owner of Gadget Lab

That’s me teaching at KID Museum

My name is Karen Giacopuzzi and I live in Silver Spring, MD near Blair High School. I have a long history with computers and software, mainly through building my own PCs and working in the software field doing Process Development, Quality Assurance and Usability. I’ve also done database programming and have studied a number of computer languages including Visual Basic, C++, COBOL, HTML/CSS/Javascript and C#.

I’ve taught basic computer skills to adults through a local community center and for the past 3 years have taught WordPress and other web skills in an after school program on behalf of Passion For Learning, a local non-profit. In the Summer of 2013 I taught a Web Skills day camp at Montgomery College and last summer ran my own summer day camp here at the Lab.

I grew up in Los Angeles and  have a BA in Liberal Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in International Affairs from George Washington University.  I love to write and worked as a journalist before making a career change to software. Gadget Lab is the logical result of my passion for writing, gadgets, software and teaching.

GadgetLab now offers workshop for students from age eight to adults.  The world of electricity and gadgets is fascinating and we’re never too old to have fun or too young to learn.


Rustom Meyer, Instructor

MandRRustom Meyer is an engineer, an entrepreneur, an educator, a craftsperson, an inventor, and a relentless optimizer. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Cum Laude, and a Masters of Engineering in Biological and Environmental Engineering (also from Cornell). He holds a Professional Engineer’s license in Environmental Engineering. Rustom has worked in environmental consulting, and presently run his own solar lighting and power business (Yeti Solar) selling kits of his own design and manufacture. For his whole life, Rustom has had a deep and abiding need to work with his hands. Rustom has satisfied that need over the years by making toys, ceramics, jewelry, lamps, solar power systems, and flashlights (among other things). His ‘hands-on’ skills include soldering, welding, laser cutting, 3D printing, circuit diagnostics, screen printing, bicycle maintenance, powder coating, construction, plumbing, and wild plant identification/foraging.

He has taught craft and technology to students of all ages at Techshop DC-Arlington for over a year. Additionally he has taught the same subjects to a younger audience at four summer camps, six Maker Faires and dozens of after school programs


Mary Amato

mary library portrait nj emailSilver Spring’s own Mary Amato is an award-winning author, singer-songwriter, poet, playwright, and theater artist. Her chapter books and novels for children and young adults have been optioned for television and the Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs and have been translated into numerous foreign languages. Her songs have been featured on MPT, WAMU, and in many of her books. She is also a cut-paper puppeteer and the co-founder of Firefly Shadow Theater, now based in MA.


Barrett Jones

Barrett Jones 2015Barrett Jones is a maker educator based in Washington, DC. He is the founder of Beat Club (dcbeatclub.com), a digital music education lab. He also teaches video storytelling at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. Barrett has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Information Science from the University of California – Los Angeles.