Program instructors are from Montgomery County's Center Program for the Highly Gifted and Excel Beyond the Bell, Montgomery County’s after school enrichment program.


Julie Philips

Julie is an artist and fifth grade teacher. She employs a child-centered approach to instruction. Campers drive the buzz of the studio by applying their own interests, asking questions,  and solving problems inventively. Makers explore materials and techniques and are given time and guidance to develop their ideas. 

Julie teaches in Montgomery County’s Center Program for the Highly Gifted at Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School. She taught math and art at the MCPS middle school art magnet in Silver Spring. She has directed summer art programs in NY and MD since 1995. A resident artist and instructor at Rockville’s VisArts Center, Julie is a graduate of the Yale College School of Art and Bank Street College of Education.


Margot Michels

Margot Michels, an artist and educator, has worked with Big Learning Science & Engineering, a local educational non-profit, for the past three years. She developed, managed, and implemented the Designing Futures program for Montgomery County’s Excel Beyond the Bell after-school enrichment program at Neelsville, Argyle, Colonel E. Brooke Lee and Loiderman Middle Schools. As lead instructor, she introduces middle school students to careers in engineering and design through a STEAM based curriculum. Her education includes a BA in History with a Minor in Middle East Studies from University of Maryland and coursework at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. She completed Montgomery County’s Collaboration Council’s Advancing Youth Development Training (AYD) in the Fall of 2011.

Monica Tinker

Monica  is a multimedia artist who enjoys the journey of co-discovery with students. Her philosophy of art and maker work with children emerges from the discovery of interrelationships between the natural and built world. She shares both her open-ended art process and her knowledge of workshop tools with students with enthusiasm and energy.