48 Hours to Bridge the Gap

October 17-19, 2013

  • Learn

  • Jam

  • Connect


The Scoop


Thursday, October 17, 6:30 – 10 pm

Friday, October 18, 9:00 am- 10 pm

Saturday, October  19, 9:00 am – 7:30 pm


Prototype Presentations Party

(open to the public, donations welcome)

Saturday, October 19, 5:30 pm

 Minnesota has the nation’s worst on-time graduation rates for Latino and American Indian students and is among the worst for black and Asian students.  What can you do to close this achievement gap?  Participate in EdJam and you can be part of the solution now.

EdJam will be a gathering of people who want to take immediate action to improve K-12 public education by addressing the gap in new and creative ways. Like a Hackathon or Service Jam, EdJam will be a fun and enriching 48-hour event where we will work in teams of teachers, non-profit leaders, school board members, parents, students designers, and developers to turn ideas into action.  By employing design thinking to develop working prototypes, we will take meaningful steps to create equal access to education for all students.

From October 17-19, like minds will come together to jam on how the achievement gap can be bridged here in the Twin Cities and beyond.   Be a part of envisioning and creating what is possible in the future of education for all students.

This isn’t about talking; it’s about DOING!


SoMakers: South Minneapolis Maker Space

a DevJam Production

818 West 46th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55416

Fun Stuff From the Jam

What's a Jam


A “Jam” is a  global, face-to-face event where people of various backgrounds voluntarily spend 48 hours designing new services, learning new skills and new attitudes, meeting new collaborators, and having a great time!

The Global Service Jam and its sister events are non-profit volunteer activities organized by an informal network of service design aficionados who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience. The Jam has a staff of none and a budget of nearly nothing.

The Global Service Jam, founded in 2011 by Adam Lawrence and Markus Hormess (pictured right), was recently awarded a Core 77 Design Award in the newly established “Services” category.

The Judges


Crystal Brakke, Executive Director Teach for America TC

Crystal Brakke, a Minnesota native, began her career with Teach For America in 1999 as a corps member in Eastern North Carolina where she taught 8th grade language arts.

Her motivation to become a teacher stemmed from her experiences in public schools throughout the Twin Cities, as a student and volunteer, and she is thrilled to be working in her home town to ensure all children in the Twin Cities have the opportunities and education they deserve. As a teacher, her students earned the highest reading comprehension results of any class in the county. Determined to ensure students like hers continued to have excellent teachers, she has led recruitment and training programs across the organization. Most recently, she was a vice president of teacher preparation, support, and development, and was responsible for the summer training for more than 2,000 teachers per year.

Crystal is a 1999 graduate of Colby College and received an Ed. M. in education policy and management in 2006 from Harvard University, where she was awarded one of two Leadership in Education awards.

Co-Founder of Kidblog

Co-Founder of Kidblog

Dan Flies has worked around the US and Europe as an IT professional for KPMG, General Mills and Lawson Software. Dan received his B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Dan co-founded Kidblog as a service for teachers to create safe and secure blogging environment for their students.

Beth Hawkins, MInnPost

Beth Hawkins, MinnPost

Beth Hawkins writes Learning Curve, a blog about education, for MinnPost and also covers a variety of other public policy topics. She loves writing for an audience that’s hungry for context and analysis and willing to indulge her many curiosities. Hawkins is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards, including several first-place Society of Professional Journalists Page One awards for investigative reporting and feature writing. Her work has appeared in More, Mother Jones, Minnesota Monthly and many other publications.


Lisa Helminiak
CEO, Azul 7 / Board Vice-Chair, Achieve MPLS

Lisa leads Azul 7’s new business development. She also applies her research and strategy expertise to help new clients assess their current business situation, digging below surface challenges to identify and articulate the bigger issue that Azul 7 can help solve.

As the strategic nonprofit partner of the Minneapolis Public Schools, AchieveMPLS mobilizes a wide web of community support to ensure academic achievement, equitable opportunities and career and college readiness for all students. We believe that preparing our young people to succeed in school, work and life is the best investment we can make in our city’s health and vitality.


Sponsors & Partners

Simplicity Metrics
Five Friends Food
EcoStatic Inc
Girls in Tech Minneapolis
Joia All Natural Soda
Azul 7
Rêve Consulting
Young Education Professionals – Twin Cities
DevJam Studios

Want to be a part of Ed Jam Twin Cities?

We’re looking for sponsors and partners to help make this the best Jam it can be. Please email us at edjamtc@gmail.com for more information about getting involved as a sponsor.


Organizing Team

Tory Peterson
Theater Arts Instructor
Michelle Tran
Manager, Digital Content & Strategy, American Academy of Neurology
Dan Wick
Associate, Charter School Partners
Caitlin Rogers
Communications Director, Simplicity Metrics
Stuart Wainstock
Front-End Web Designer
Elisa Poquette
User Experience Designer, The Nerdery
Laura Andersen
Customer Experience Designer
Taylor Larson
Strategy Consultant, Rêve Consulting