We design learning experiences for adults that shift mindsets towards creativity, purpose and joy.
The original Room 402 was Christina’s social studies classroom at the NYC iSchool in 2010, but it was also a screen printing studio, a design workshop and a creative practice that she shared with hundreds of young people.
We launched Room 402 as a non-traditional consulting practice to bring together our teaching experience with what we love to do most: Design ridiculously fun opportunities for folks to expand their thinking in brand new ways.
we’re creative humans.
We’ve made music videos, improvised entire plays, practiced letterpress, wrote and performed a one-woman musical, produced a multi-season podcast, screen printed t-shirts for the women’s march, and taught ourselves how to sew so we could make custom tote bags with 32 family faces on them.
We never stop learning. We know how to activate curiosity, take creative risks, and collaborate to tackle new challenges – and we can do it with your team, too. (The tattoo is from Girls Garage!)
We get folks to think differently.
Our approach is based on a conviction that professional development should feel like a cooking class or a camping trip: In the real world, learning is organic and autonomous and sits just slightly outside of our comfort zone.
We’re oriented towards shifting mindsets by leading experiences that are grounded in learning new skills and exploring new contexts. We don’t pull anything “out of the box” – we have a set of workshops that we customize for each client’s story.
Christina Jenkins, founder
Christina is an educator and designer. She taught for a decade in New York City public schools, where she led a classroom that sparked curiosity, inspired creative confidence and launched civic projects. Today, she designs learning experiences for adults that shift mindsets towards creativity, purpose and joy.
Christina is an alum of Teach for America, and has worked with Relay Graduate School of Education, TNTP and Project H Design, a non-profit that teaches young people how to use design and architecture to transform their communities.
She earned an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons, a Masters in Teaching from Pace University, and a BA in History and Urban Studies from UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles, where she recently retired from rowing and currently practices printmaking.
The original Room 402 was her home at the NYC iSchool, where she developed more than a dozen unique classes ranging from cartography to global feminism.
Jana Schmieding, Partner
Jana is an educator, writer and performer living in Los Angeles. Throughout her decade-long teaching career in the Bronx, Jana charted creative and engaging pathways to learning for her middle and high school students with disabilities by creating film projects that amplified her students’ experiences. She now works with collaborating teams in education, media and the arts designing projects and facilitating creative brainstorming.
Jana has experience as a classroom teacher, an instructional designer and an educational coach, but her true passion is in theater arts and comedy, using her platforms to amplify underrepresented voices. Jana is a Lakota Native and aims to push the needle of Indigenous representation in education, the arts and popular culture.
Jana has an M.Ed from Mercy College in New York and BA in theater arts from the University of Oregon. She performs regularly in theaters across LA and New York and in her spare time, she practices the traditional art of beading.
creative classes, project planning and unique field trips
Is your team looking for a creative jump start, a new challenge, or a fresh perspective?
We offer creative classes, project planning and unique field trips.
We work with educators (at schools and non-profits) and folks who work in other industries that are seeking a creative shakeup. You can mix our services to match your needs. For example, you might choose a day-long workshop that begins with a hands-on activity to spark creative collaboration, followed by a brainstorming blitz to translate that mindset into daily practice. Or, we can design a district-wide fellowship featuring a mix of field trips and project planning support for teachers over the course of a school year.
We know that creativity and unique learning experiences transform the way folks approach problem-solving and strategy. Investing in creative professional development will inspire your team to take creative risks, to collaborate with colleagues, and to rediscover joy in their professional practice. Tell us your story.
We teach hands-on classes – like screen printing, intro to improv comedy, and music video production – to activate a beginner’s mindset, reconnect with the thrill of making work quickly, and create a space to break down (and reflect on) the barriers to creative productivity.
Our classes model joyful, engaged learning, and prepare participants to jump start powerful, hands-on work in their own classrooms or workspaces.
We specialize in helping teachers design and implement engaging contemporary projects with a public purpose. Imagine students producing short films about the refugee experience in their community, or publishing a podcast about mental health.
Depending on the length of our engagement, we can support teachers at any stage of their project-planning journey. (We even designed a popular card game called Dinner Party to help!)
Unique Field Trips
We take teams outside to find inspiration beyond the classroom, cubicle or studio. We customize field trips to inspiring locations that ignite conversations about learning in new contexts.
For example, we might investigate different forms of professional collaboration by attending a symphony rehearsal, learning how to row with 7 other teammates, or observing a live newsroom in action.
A project-planning game for creative teachers
Dinner Party is a card game for teachers who want to invent creative projects that bring joy to their classrooms.
Players match compelling topics with powerful projects to generate dozens of contemporary combinations. A mini-golf course about human rights? A memorial for extinct species? The possibilities are endless.
The 54 topic cards are grounded in academic disciplines ranging from physics to gender studies, and can be made accessible to students of all ages. The topics are connected to contemporary problems and big questions about how we live today.
The 54 project cards are tactics for changing the world. Writers, artists, scientists, activists and others use these objects and experiences to make an impact beyond the classroom.
Teachers will generate dozens of new ideas after only a few minutes of playing, but the opportunities for ongoing engagement are endless. Perfect for Monday afternoon PD or Sunday evening lesson planning marathons, Dinner Party sparks unexpected conversations about what’s worth knowing – and what we ask our students to do with that knowledge.
Take a peek at our favorite titles.
We've built a deep collection of books, films, games, posters and maps that span fields ranging from game design and comics to cartography and cooking. The Room 402 library reflects our approach to teaching: non-disciplinary, hands-on and intellectual – but not too serious.
We'd love to know what brought you here.
We're based in Los Angeles, but we travel widely to bring our workshops to folks everywhere. (If you are a school leader who wants to use Dinner Party with your faculty, we can send you a complimentary copy.) Get in touch!