Our Team

The Global Alliance of Community Workshops is made up of a network of passionate individuals.  Four officers lead the board of directors:

Manuel Hernandez

He/ Him/ His

Raised in the heart of East Los Angeles, Manuel discovered early in his childhood how to connect with people and pursue his natural curiosity, always approaching life with the request: “Show me how that works!” He attended East Los Angeles City College, where he fell into his electrical trade and was recruited by the first minority program cohort to attend Humboldt State. A life-changing introduction to Dan Sudran (Founder, Mission Science Workshop) linked his motivation for serving underprivileged students to the hard sciences and rooted a mentorship that would help blossom his lifelong passion for tinkering and making. This led him to open Fresno’s first Community Science Workshop and several other science centers in Fresno County, which have been recognized for their success as a national model by the National Science Foundation and National Science Teachers Association. His pedagogy is “My classroom has no walls, which quenches my thirst for the outdoors!”

Curt Gabrielson

He/ Him/ His

After learning the most useful things in life growing up on a hog farm, Curt learned physics at MIT and education at the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. He taught science from junk in China, Timor-Leste, India and California.  He worked at Mission Science Workshop for 2 years, started and ran the Watsonville CSW for 11, worked beside José Sánchez at the Greenfield CSW for 3, and started his current CSW in Salinas in 2021. His partner and 2 kids are his most successful science project, and he’s penned a few books. He thinks the world would work better if every kid had access to a shop and a farm.

Darren Gertler

He/ Him/ His

Darren Gertler is a former director of the City of Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop. He came to this position after working as a classroom science teacher and environmental educator. A coastal native, he taught ocean ecology from the deck of the O’Neill Sea Odyssey catamaran and is an avid fisher and surfboard maker.  In addition to his day job, he holds the elected position of commissioner for the Santa Cruz Port District.  Darren is a firm believer in letting his students be creative with any and all materials that are available to them, especially if those materials are cheap and messy. 

Erik Herman

He/ Him/ His

Lifelong physics enthusiast and tinkerer, revels in creating–especially with junk–things that elucidate obscure physics phenomena. Visionary of the Physics Bus. Committed to science education reform and the proliferation of Community Science Workshops.