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avatar for Joel Gordon

Joel Gordon

Steam Rocket Engine LLC
Bentonville, Arkansas
Joel Gordon’s experiences over a lifetime are diverse and they have shaped his philosophy on learning and our need to Make. “As humans, we are all tool users and we are gratified by what we create and accomplish. Making is learning made visual. Simply said, we are all Makers”. His training in electronics, coding, sculpture, and mechanics has led to an exciting career that has taken him around the world and back again. Joel has been an artist, designer, and fabricator. He was a scenic lead and engineer at the world-renowned Chicago Scenic Studios. He has created special effects and properties for theatre, television, and film and designed and created exhibits for world-class museums of art and science. As an entrepreneur and business owner, Joel consults and assists in diverse product development, prototyping, and testing. He works with cities around the nation on issues of placemaking, talent retention, and innovative economic development. Following an invitation to attend a Maker-focused reception in Washington D.C., Joel was asked to participate in the efforts to create the “Nation of Makers”. The Nation of Makers (or NOM) is a 501c3 created to support the Maker Movement in the U.S.. he represents NOM for the State of Arkansas. This experience shaped his unique approach to workforce development and his passion for micromanufacturing. An Arkansas native, he was the Co-founder and Executive Director of Arkansas’ first Makerspace, The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, and is the founder of Steam Rocket Engine where his title is “Creator” Joel has always worked with three essential tools; his heart, his mind, and his hands.
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