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Presenters, Panelists
& Special Guests

(reverse alphabetical, by first name)

Dr. Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair, Associate Dean, and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Prior to Oregon, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the International Academy of Education. Yong Zhao has received numerous awards including the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, Outstanding Public Educator from Horace Mann League of USA, and Distinguished Achievement Award in Professional Development from the Association of Education Publishers. He has been recognized as one of the most influential education scholars. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success (2019), What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education (2018), Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children (2018), Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes (2016), Never Send a Human to Do a Machine’s Job: Correcting Top 5 Ed Tech Mistakes (2015), Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World (2014), Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization (2009) and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students (2012). Zhao was born in China’s Sichuan Province. He received his B.A. in English Language Education from Sichuan Institute of Foreign Languages in Chongqing, China in 1986. After teaching English in China for six years, he came to Linfield College as a visiting scholar in 1992. He then began his graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He received his masters in Education in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1996. He joined the faculty at MSU in 1996 after working as the Language Center Coordinator at Willamette University and a language specialist at Hamilton College.

Session: 
  • Students as Owners of Learning and Partners of Educational Change
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Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is a learning theorist and an award-winning speaker with over twenty years of experience teaching science and education to thousands of people from all ages. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, and is a certified online instructional designer and program evaluator. Dr. Yen is also the interim co-chair for the Iowa Governor's Creativity and Innovation Task Force and serves on the Iowa Governor's STEM Regional Advisory board. Prior to becoming the founder and CEO of Qi Learning Research Group, Dr. Yen was a college biotechnology department chair and pharmacy technology co-chair, a high school science teacher, and a lab manager. In 2018, Qi Learning Research Group received a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - MiSK Foundation Grand Challenges Grant to develop an elementary STEM professional development platform for teachers. Their Fierce and Fearless STEAM Teacher professional development course is a 2021 Iowa STEM Scale-Up program. Learn more about Qi Learning.

 Sessions:
  • Finding Strategic Funding for Your Program
  • Embedding 21st Century Skills and Career Readiness into Your STEAM
  • Make Transcurricular Ties to Your STEM Challenges
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Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Yasmine Daniels has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and currently works full time as an Industrial Hygienist in the US government where she provides scientific and technical expertise to address industrial hazards. When she is not researching and interpreting science, she is a full-time mom and wife, part-time Chemistry Adjunct Professor, volleyball coach, mentor and champion of STEM+Art (or STEAM) outreach. Her bestselling children’s book, Building My Self-eSTEAM in Science, helps to motivate youth to pursue STEAM. She also founded a youth mentoring program, Pigtails and Pajamas, which provides support and educational resources to young black and brown girls. She has a special interest in creating resources for youth that allow them to bridge the gap between school and home-based science assignments. Visit her website to learn more.

Session: 
  • Beyond the Classroom: Simple Home-Based STEM for a Continued Learning Experience
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Vivify STEM

Vivify is a STEM education company that is co-founded by Natasha Wilkerson and Claire Meschkat; two aerospace engineers turned educators who live in Texas. Natasha previously worked launching satellites and testing Navy ship radars for the Department of Defense. Claire designed airplanes and worked for the NASA Space Shuttle program. Claire and Natasha now work full-time in STEM education, teaching and developing curriculum. They love to inspire students with the exciting possibilities of STEM! Learn more about  Vivify through their website.

Sessions: 

  • Cultivating Creativity in STEM
  • Student Voice in STEM
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Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning and the podcast One TIred Teacher, is a content creator, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd grade teacher and Media Specialist. Trina has been in education for 25 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to creating engaging and inspiring spaces for kids to think, learn, and dream. Trina has a Master's Degree in Education Technology and Media Design and is a former National Board Certified Early Childhood Teacher. Trina presented at both STEM Con 2020 and 2021 and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.
 
Sessions: 
  • More Meaningful Makerspace Moments in Literature
  • 5 Sensational Ideas for Using Makerspace in the Primary Classroom
  • Planning STEM Units in the Primary Classroom
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Shandalyn McKinley

Shandalyn is a positive and progressive teacher focused on providing students with appropriate learning tools and experiences through STEAM, outdoor ed and facilities of curriculum objectives interspersed with interactive activities which are developed with individual needs in mind. She has sixteen years in the classroom working to encourage students to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, and social growth in order to function successfully in society. She is passionate about the use of technology, the science and collaboration to instill creative and critical thinking and to inspire future generations in the use and care of our natural environment. She has sot after opportunities to pursue outdoor education with Teachers Conservation Institute, the Ft. Worth BRIT Center and obtaining certifications with Project Learning Tree and Project Wild.
 
Session:
  • You Never Know What the Outdoors will STEAM Up!
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Shanda McCloskey

Shanda (rhymes with panda) McCloskey comes from a whole family of different kinds of artists and entrepreneurs! She studied art in Atlanta and New York City. But before writing and illustrating kids books, she taught art to high-schoolers. Shanda now lives in Ball Ground, Georgia with her husband, daughters, and dog. She is a co-creator of the Author Visit Podcast, and her award-winning STEM-friendly picture books (DOLL-E 1.0 and T-BONE THE DRONE) have taken her to wonderful places and people! Learn more about Shanda and her books online.

 Session:

  • Panel:  Illustrating, Designing, and Drawing for STEM
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Selena Scott

Selena Scott has been teaching in Catholic schools for 20 years. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in elementary education including kindergarten and computer technology (K-12) endorsements. Selena works with students ranging in preschool to eighth grade. She became involved in STEM education six years ago and was instrumental in helping her school become an Indiana State STEM certified school in 2018. Along with teaching STEM, she is the STEM and Robotics Director for her school. Selena works with students in and out of the traditional classroom setting. She utilizes Makerspace and a wood shop as part of her curriculum. Selena helps implement STEM by partnering with teachers and aiding them to develop their own STEM focused lessons. Learn more about Selena's classroom on Instagram
 
Session:
  • Full STREAM Ahead in a Faith-Based School 
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Sam Taylor

Sam is a former middle school science teacher and the author of The Coding Workbook. Throughout her five years in the classroom, she was curious about coding so she taught herself to build out websites for her students. Sam then created a web development blog where she posted simple HTML & CSS tutorials to help others learn to code. As she transitioned out of the classroom, she decided she wanted to create a resource for other teachers and students to learn the fundamentals of web development, so The Coding Workbook was born. Sam is passionate about making coding curriculum accessible to all students, regardless of access to computers or technology, which is why she created The Coding Workbook to be 100% offline - all you need is a pencil! Now, Sam works in tech as an Instructional Designer where she still creates educational training content, just for a different audience! You can find more about her work on her website.  

Session: 

  • Build a Website with Just a Pencil!
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Renee Heinrich

Renee is the face behind the Science School Yard. She has over 28 years of teaching experience in all elementary grades! Renee taught 1st-4th grade grade before teaching 17 years at 5th grade. She now teaches K-5th grade science while adding a touch of STEM to each grade level. Renee facilitates a large school garden, and teaches many after school classes that include Makerspace, STEM, Adventure Club, Garden Club, and more. She has found many new and innovative ways to add technology to her virtual Science classroom! 
 
Sessions:
  • STEM with Primary Learners
  • Project Based Learning in Your Classroom
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Pamela Alba

Pamela Alba (her students call her Mrs. Pam) started as an English teacher from home, teaching children from 4 years old to adults. Preparing herself in the latest trends on educational technology, she became a technology teacher and integrated technology in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and master's degree in Educational Technology. She immersed herself into the beautiful world of STEAM / MakerSpace and it has been quite an exciting adventure! Pamela also helps other teachers to fall in love with technology through social media, YouTube videos and workshops. Learn more and connect with her on any of her social media sites, including Instagram

Session:
  • Robotics in the Makerspace
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Padmanabhan Seshaiyer

Padhu Seshaiyer is Professor and Associate Dean at George Mason University as well as the Director of two centers of excellence on campus, including the STEM Accelerator and COMPLETE (Center for Outreach in Mathematics Professional Learning and Educational Technology). During the last decade, Dr. Seshaiyer initiated and directed a variety of educational programs including graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. He is also actively involved in multiple global STEM collaborative projects involving the United National Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030) and training programs that engage students, teachers and faculty from over 20 countries. Learn more about Padhu on his website.
 
Session: 
  • Fostering Inclusive STEM Teaching to Engage ALL Learners
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Michelle Velho

Michelle loves to tinker and enjoys being the STEAM coordinator at Hudson Montessori School for the last 10 years. She teaches Science and Technology to students in grades K-6 and coordinates STEAM initiatives between classroom teachers and specialists. She is a National STEM Certified Educator and a Certified National Geographic Certified Educator. Before becoming a Montessori and STEAM practitioner, Michelle worked as a researcher in an Embryonic STEM cell lab and Quality control executive in a Pharmaceutical company. Her prior work experiences influence her interdisciplinary approach to learning by making real-world connections.

 Sessions: 
  • Full STEAM ahead with the SDGs
  • Let’s Talk Data
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Meredith Anderson

Meredith Anderson is a STEM educator and curriculum developer with over 9 years experience educating her children as a homeschooling parent. She holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and previously designed and developed implantable medical devices like neurostimulators. She is passionate about connecting with and supporting STEM educators with practical, budget-friendly, and literacy-linked STEM ideas in the STEM Teachers Facebook Group.

Session: 

  • Create Your Own Digital Stop Motion Animation
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Marisa Labadini

Marisa is the Growth Marketing Specialist at Unruly Studios. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Studies. For two years, she was a peer advisor, where she guided first-year students through a mentorship program designed to cement the foundation of their college experience. This has sparked her interest in providing students with resources that can lead them to success.
 
Session: 
  • 3 Easy Ways to Increase Engagement with Code & Play
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Marijo McBeth

Marijo – or Miss M as she’s known to her students – majored in biology and then went back to get her master’s in education to start teaching. Over her decade in education, she’s had a variety of experience, mainly in informal education. She has worked as a classroom teacher, at a science museum, and at a learning center, and has taught everyone from pre-k to adults.  Most recently, she served as an education specialist for a STEAM after-school program for students in grades 5 through 8.   Her heart is with after-school, STEM, and middle schoolers (even if she needs all the coffee to keep up with them!). She loves all things science and incorporating fun, hands on learning activities to bring learning to life. If she’s not working, you can probably find her napping. You can follow Marijo online.

 Sessions: 
  • How to Adjust a STEM Activity to Fit Your Students
  • Tips for Adding More Tech for Non-Techy Teachers
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Madeleine Jubilee Saito

Madeleine Jubilee Saito is a cartoonist + illustrator living on Duwamish land in Seattle, Washington. As an artist, she makes intimate, poetic comics about the environment and the sacred, which appeared in the bestselling All We Can Save anthology and were recognized in Best American Comics 2019. She is a Christian and an anti-capitalist, and currently works as the creative director & operations lead at The All We Can Save Project.  For more info, follow Madeline's work on Instagram.

Session: 

  • Panel:  Illustrating, Designing, and Drawing for STEM
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Loren Thorpe

With experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom, Loren Thorpe understands that educators need to be supported in different ways depending on the stage they're in. She shares insightful content and creates purposeful products to assist teachers and parents as they support, motivate, and encourage their children at home, online, or in the classroom. She specializes in elementary ELA and Math and is passionate about helping teachers build inclusive classroom environments where all children feel a sense of belonging. She enjoys the opportunity to connect with other teachers around the world from her home in Australia. You can connect with Loren through her Facebook Page.

 Session: 
  • Cooperation Over Competition: Ways to Promote a More Collaborative STEM Learning Space
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Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor is a full-time fifth grade teacher and a mother of two very active teenage daughters. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, earned a Master's degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on STEM. Lisa loves creating engaging lessons that make even the most disengaged student have fun learning.  You can connect with her on her blog Lisa Taylor Teaching the Stars or on her Facebook page.

Session: 

  • Connecting STEM to Your Content
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Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is the founder of MATCH Studio and Consulting where she teaches private piano lessons and offers educational consulting with a focus in Arts Integration and STEAM. Linda strongly believes that pairing the creative nature of the arts with academic standards promotes equity in education by giving students another access point to learning that is meaningful, relevant, and culturally responsive. Prior to opening up her music studio, Linda worked as a general music and secondary choir music educator for several years in Texas. She completed her Level I and II Arts Integration Certification with the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM where she creates educational content for the Accelerator Program and is currently a Level I Certification Coach. You can learn more about Linda at her website.

Session: 

  • Musical Math - The Staff is a Graph
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Liana Davis

Liana Davis is a Science and STEM Curriculum Designer for upper grade elementary. She is a founding member of an award winning STEM program in a Southern California School District. In her 10 years of teaching K-6, she has fallen in love with inspiring teachers to make science and STEM more accessible for English Language Learners. You can learn more about Liana on her website Love Learning Stem.

 Sessions: 
  • From Inspector to Supplier: Getting Started with Collaborative Groups
  • Get Your English Language Learners Engaged in STEM!
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Kristen Souers

Kristin Souers, MA LMHC is an award-winning author of Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom Environment (ASCD, 2016) and many other publications and articles. She provides critical professional development, consultation, education, and training services to schools, school districts, and organizations throughout the country. She has presented to thousands of audiences, facilitated group learning, supervised internships, directed programs, been an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University in their Masters in Counseling Program, and supported the learning and growth of countless educators, caregiving professionals, and other individuals.

Session: 

  • Regulating and Fostering Resilience in the Midst of Stress
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Kim Smith

Kim Smith is a New York Times bestselling illustrator of numerous children’s books, including the PopClassics picture book adaptations of popular films including Back to the Future, Home Alone, and Elf (Quirk Books), the award-winning informational book Bringing Back the Wolves (Kids Can Press) and her author-illustrator debut, Boxitects (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Harper Collins). Kim lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband and their border terrier, Whisky. When she’s not busy illustrating, you can find her exploring the great outdoors. Find more of Kim's work online.
 
Session: 
  • Panel:  Illustrating, Designing, and Drawing for STEM
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Kerry Tracy

Kerry taught 2nd - 7th grades in public schools for 10 years and holds a master's degree in Design-Based Learning. She is the founder, host and organizer of Elementary STEM CON & Beyond. Through her Feel-Good Teaching sites, Kerry creates resources and experiences for teachers, students, and parents around the world that can best be described as brain-busting work, disguised as fun. Her ultimate goal is to help teachers uncover more feel-good teaching moments in their lives. Learn more about Kerry on Feel-Good Teaching.

Session:
  • STEM in 30 Minutes or Less
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Ken Scheel

Ken Scheel is the founder and Chief Education Officer of KEVA Planks. He is an internationally sought-after trainer and thought leader in hands-on informal education. As a professional toy inventor and education consultant, Ken has a unique combination of skills to create compelling interactive experiences for people of all ages and all skill levels. His groundbreaking teaching methods caused him to be ranked the #1 presenter at SFN Nationwide professional development events. His training is always playful, practical and easy to implement. Educational toys by Ken have earned over ten of the most prestigious awards in the industry including the Disney Family Fun Toy of the Year. As a leading expert in block play, his mission is to help educators make teaching more enjoyable and effective.

 Session: 
  • Full STEAM Ahead for Special Ed
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Kathleen Malooly

Kathleen was a 6th-8th grade honors science teacher for 7 years in Dallas ISD, earning a Master Teacher distinction from the Texas Education Association (awarded to high performing teachers who meet locally established criteria). She also earned the Distinguished Teacher designation from Dallas ISD in 2017 - 2021, achieving the Exemplary Effectiveness Level in the Teachers Excellence Initiative, which accounts for the Top 2% of teachers in the district. Kathleen has a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M, a Masters of Liberal Studies from SMU, and is Highly Qualified by the State of Texas to teach Special Education and General Studies, Grades PK-8th. Kathleen is currently Account Manager at Kesler Science, LLC., where her main focus is supporting the teachers and schools who use Kesler materials. In addition to all things science, Kathleen enjoys traveling, watching Dallas Stars hockey, and delivering Meals on Wheels through VNA Texas. She is mom and life skills coach to three crazy college kids and resides in Dallas, Texas.

Session: 

  • How to Create a STEM Project That Leaves Spaghetti and Marshmallows in the Dust
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Kate Meyerhoeffer

Kate is the Chief Creative Officer and Director of Content & Marketing at KEVA Planks. She was a first-rate second and third grade teacher before joining KEVA planks. You can see her smiling face on the KEVA Planks YouTube channel as she teaches the world KEVA construction secrets. We call her called the Bob Ross of block art. As one of the foremost KEVA builders in the world, she combines her KEVA knowledge with her practical teaching experience to provide groundbreaking teaching methods for educators at all levels.

 Session: 
  • New Ways to Play with Blocks
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Josh Funk

Josh Funk is a software engineer and the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, the How to Code with Pearl and Pascal series, the ‚ÄčIt's Not a Fairy Tale series, the A Story of Patience & Fortitude series, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, the forthcoming My Pet Feet, and more. Since the fall of 2015, Josh has visited (or virtually visited) over 500 schools, classrooms, and libraries and he is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Hudson, MA. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts. For more information about Josh Funk, visit his website and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @joshfunkbooks.
 

Session: 

  • How to Code a Presentation
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Dr. Jaye Gardiner

Dr. Jaye Gardiner is a proud first generation American and college graduate who is passionate about and involved in a variety of science communication (SciComm) efforts to increase access, exposure, and IDEA (inclusivity, diversity equity, and accessibility) in STEM. Though her training is scientific in nature (virology and cancer biology), she communicates her passions through art as a self-taught illustrator and comic artist. When not chasing her dreams, you can find Jaye chasing her two pet bunnies, working out, or playing video games. Learn more about Jaye on her website.

 Session: 
  • Panel: Illustrating, Designing, and Drawing for STEM
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Howard Chan

Howard started his career working as an Engineer for high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Inspired by an education-focused family, he transitioned into education and became a classroom teacher working with students in the STEAM fields. Howard has worked in a variety of roles in K12, from being a classroom teacher, to instructional coach, to Director of Technology, to educational consultant, to STEAM advocate. His educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University, and a multiple subjects teaching credential and M.A. in Cross-Cultural Education from National University. Howard is the Co-Founder of a STEAM product called CORI, and you can learn more about it online
 
Session:
  • Integrating Industry Terminology and Processes into Your STEAM Projects
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Dr. Heather Kaiser

Dr. Heather Kaiser is a National Board certified Middle Childhood Generalist with advanced degrees in educational technology and e-learning. She is fully licensed to teach students in grades K-6th and academically gifted students. Dr. Kaiser has been teaching for 24 years in Cumberland County Schools. While serving as a STEM specialist, she received the coveted Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. She has spoken at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of educational topics. Most recently, she has provided online professional development for teachers through the Cumberland at Home PD, the NC Learns Together initiatives, Elementary STEMCon and Beyond 2021 and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2021. Learn more about Heather on her website.

Session: 

  • The Amazing World of 3D Design & Printing
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Dr. Grace Sanvictores 

Dr. Grace Sanvictores is currently the Middle School Director at Hudson Montessori School in NJ. Prior to this, she was an Educational Technology, Math and Science teacher for middle school students. She holds a master’s degree in Supervision and Administration in Education, is a National STEM Certified Teacher, and is a doctoral graduate from Saint Peter’s University. Her dissertation focused on STEM integration and implementation. Additionally, she was a Lego Robotics coach for many years and competed along with her students in statewide competitions. She is a co-lead STEM educator at the first nationally STEM Certified campus in NJ, a Certified National Geographic Educator. “Dr. Grace” has presented at the NJ Science Convention on the integration of Biochemistry for Kids and at the New Jersey Montessori Association Convention.

 Sessions: 
  • Full STEAM ahead with the SDGs
  • Let’s Talk Data
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Godwyn Morris

Godwyn Morris is the Director of two programs in New York City, Dazzling Discoveries, a STEAM education center for children and Skill Mill NYC a maker space and digital fabrication studio for adults and teens. She is the inventor of Dazzlinks Cardboard Engineering Kits and Engineering with Paper, downloadable projects that require only paper, tape & scissors. Godwyn has been working and creating with educators and children for more than 20 years. She is an advocate of making, mixing, trying, testing and playing, all with the aim of teaching creative thinking and problem solving skills to kids and adults. She works with hundreds of students and teachers every year in classes, camps and professional development workshops. Her expertise is helping educators bridge the gap between teaching content and expanding hands-on explorations.
 
Sessions:
  • Engineering with Paper: Building and Testing Structures
  • How to Run a STEM Night or School Maker Fair
  • Engineering with Paper: Amazing Projects with Simple Supplies
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Get Caught Engineering


Together, Cheryl Nelson and Wendy Goldfein bring a total of over 57 years of teaching experience in kindergarten through seventh grade. Over the years, they have taught gifted and special needs students as well as English Language Learners. Wendy and Cheryl have developed an integrated engineering curriculum encompassing grades K-7th. They have consulted and developed STEM programs for the Smithsonian, the National Building Museum, the Bellevue Art Museum, and schools in the United States and Mexico. Cheryl and Wendy are the recipients of numerous STEM grants and national awards, and regularly present workshops at state and national science and STEM conventions. Their blog and website provides STEM resources and support for the classroom. 
 
 Sessions:
  • No STEM Lab? No Problem!
  • Storybook Connections: Find a Character’s Problem and Discover the STEM
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Erin Twamley

Erin Twamley is working to create a new generation of STEM Superheroes.™ Through her award-winning children's books, Twamley shares the stories and careers of modern diverse women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math). Erin’s publications center around addressing these challenges: as early as 2nd grade, children decide whether they enjoy STEM-based subjects AND 70% of kids, boys and girls, are still drawing a scientist as a man. As a researcher and avid learner herself, she uses books to capture elementary-aged kids' imaginations to build a sustainable planet. You can currently find Erin writing, researching, and zooming with Girl Scouts Overseas. She has lived on three continents and visits classrooms and libraries around the world. Learn more about her and her books on her website
 
Sessions:
  • The Renewable Energy Games
  • STEM Careers: Introducing Elementary Kids to the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How
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Elizabeth Ahlgrim

Elizabeth has been an educator for over 20 years. She has experience from Pre-K to high school in almost every subject, in both faith based and public education. She has a degree from Indiana University in music performance and elementary education. She loves working music into math, English, and other subjects. While raising a family, Elizabeth worked as a contributor to companies that write standardized tests. She began to see the disparity in tests and sought to make improvements that were more inclusive. Her return to the classroom started in Learning Differences, then 5th grade and now 2nd grade. STEM has been part of her teaching career for 6 years. Elizabeth and her colleagues have presented at the local and national level. They are sought after presenters for Catholic programs, beginning programs, and other educators that are looking for collaboration.

Session: 

  • Full STREAM Ahead in a Faith-Based School
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Dia Charley 

Dia Charley has worked as a K-5th classroom teacher in Virginia for 15 years. She is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is culturally responsive and supportive of STEM literacy practices. Dia believes in engaging students through multidisciplinary and integrated STEM learning. She is the author of Elementary Edventure where she shares ideas for integration with educators.

 Session:

  • Plan with Me! Designing Integrated STEM Stations
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Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides is a Spanish full-time primary teacher. She specializes in upper-elementary where she teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has 15 years of experience in teaching primary, secondary, and college level. She is a passionate teacher who loves hands-on learning and GBL for her students. She has a BA and MA in Translation and Interpreting and her Spanish Teacher Training Degree. Since Cristina was a kid, she has loved languages and learning about new cultures. Her passion and efforts have aligned her with both study and work in USA, Canada, France, UK, and Switzerland. Thanks to all those experiences, Cristina has become the teacher she is now and how she shows the world to her “niños” (kids/students). 
 
Sessions:
  • More Augmented Reality
  • Quests... Looking for Answers
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Chelsey Odgers

Chelsey Odgers, better known in the teaching community as Hipster Art Teacher, is a K-2nd STEAM and art teacher in New Jersey who loves all things making. Chelsey graduated from Stockton University in 2012, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications (graphic design) and a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Chelsey is the owner of the Etsy shop Hipster Art Teacher, selling hand lettered products to teachers all over the world! She also sells clip art, fonts, and classroom decor in her Teachers Pay Teachers store. Chelsey's passion is sharing her love of art with students of all ages! You can learn more about Chelsey on her website.

Sessions:

  • Art is ELEMENTary! Teaching the 7 Elements of Art
  • Cultivating a Creative Classroom: Ideas to Inspire Creativity

 

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Carrie Willis

Carrie Willis is the Technology & STEAM Director at Valley Preparatory School, a private school in Redlands, CA, educating students in grades preschool through eighth. During her 20-year teaching and mentoring career, she has developed a love for educational technology and project-based learning. Carrie helps to inspire educators not just on her own campus but also around the world by sharing her love for coding, robotics, movie production, engineering and design, and all things STEAM and EdTech through social media, webinars, and through presentations at local and national conferences.

Sessions: 
  • It Started with a Book...Introducing STEAM through Literature
  • Relevant Robotics: Integrating Creative Coding and Robotics in Your Classroom 
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Carol Davis

Carol Davis has been in the teaching profession for 38+ years. Her teaching experience includes 30 years as a classroom teacher in grades 3rd and 5th, before becoming a STEM Specialist. She spent 7 years teaching grades 3rd-5th in a STEM Lab. Now, she enjoys helping busy teachers find STEM and Science resources that can be adapted for their classrooms. She is the teacher-author for her Teachers Pay Teachers store and her STEM blog, both called Teachers are Terrific.

Sessions:
  • Let's Talk About Math and STEM
  • Tackling STEM with Third Graders
  • 45-Minute STEM
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Dr. Carla Gull

Dr. Carla Gull is an online instructor for beginning courses at the University of Phoenix. She has been in education for over 20 years and hosts the Facebook groups Loose Parts Play and Loose Parts Learning. She also has the podcast Loose Parts Nature Play. She leads professional development and academic research in outdoor classrooms, loose parts, tree climbing, and nature play. She facilitates classes with Tinkergarten, leads local nature and environmental education programming, and consults with Nature Explore. She is coauthor of the book, Loose Parts Learning in K-3 Classrooms. She loves going on adventures with her four boys. Find her at Loose Parts Nature Play.

 
Sessions: 
  • Spools, Boxes, Sticks, and More!—Applying Loose Parts to the STEM Classroom
  • Math, Loose Parts, and Nature, Oh My!
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Caitlin Arakawa

Caitlin is a former Kindergarten and current 3rd grade teacher in Redlands Unified School District in Southern California. She enjoys infusing coding, robotics, and STEAM cross-curricularly while encouraging her students to ask questions, think creatively, problem solve, collaborate, and innovate. She is an enthusiastic and relatable educator who likes to learn, share, and connect with educators from around the world. She shares her passion for STEAM and EdTech at various local, national, and online conferences Caitlin is an Apple Teacher, as well as a teacher ambassador for educational platforms such as Nearpod, Seesaw, and Discovery Education. You can connect with her on Twitter

Sessions: 

  • It Started with a Book...Introducing STEAM through Literature
  • Relevant Robotics: Integrating Creative Coding and Robotics in Your Classroom
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Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown is a National Board Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 18 years of teaching experience in Kindergarten through third grade. She is currently a Gifted Resource Coordinator for early childhood students, teaching Gifted and Talented, math and literacy enrichment, and STEM. Brooke is a former district Teacher of the Year and has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. She creates original teaching resources as the owner of Teach Outside the Box®, is a product developer for hand2mind, and is the inventor of STEM Bins®. Brooke is passionate about STEM, coding and robotics, Makerspaces, hands-on literacy, and purposeful play for elementary students. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband, Andy, and two children, Ellie and Beau. 
 
Sessions:
  • (Even More) Top Read Alouds for STEM
  • Simple STEM for Little Learners
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Brittany Washburn

Brittany Washburn is an Educational Technology Curriculum Designer for grades K-5th. She has taught Technology and STEM Specials as well as teaching at a National Virtual School. Brittany has a Master's Degree in Educational Technology which sparked a passion for teaching tech skills to students and helping teachers integrate more technology into their lessons. Learn more on her website

Session:

  • Tech Toys and Books for Elementary Students
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Brittany Culjan

Brittany is a mother of 3 who jumped back into the education world after a small hiatus , to teach K-8th STEM. Brittany graduated from Monmouth College and continues to live the small town life in rural IL. She likes to make her lessons as real world and hands on as possible so her students get an authentic learning experience.

Session: 
  • Poison Squad
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Brielle Carabetta

Brielle Carabetta, also known by her pen name, Ms.Collaboratory is an elementary STEAM teacher for grades 2nd-5th in New Jersey. In her district, Brielle also coaches three global STEAM completion teams: Bolt Super Senses, Little Bits Super Suit, and Future Problem Solvers. Brielle graduated from Kean University with her Bachelors in Elementary Education, Bachelors in Psychology, and received her Students with Disabilities endorsement. She educates students through a fully immersive, hands-on approach that will peak the interest of every student. Stay up to date with Brielle’s most recent engineering design challenges by following her Instagram.

 Session: 
  • School Wide End-of-the-Year Challenges
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Dr. Arylne Simon

Patented inventor, Dr. Arlyne Simon, is a biomedical engineer and author of the Abby Invents picture book series. A nationally-recognized STEM role model, Arlyne is an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador. As founder of Timouns, she is on a mission to inspire kid inventors, everywhere! Her passion for healthcare has led her to invent diagnostic tests, design syringes and design medical imaging equipment. As an author, Arlyne crafts stories about a girl inventor, Abby, who invents things that don't exist like unbreakable crayons and foldibots

Sessions: 

  • Live kick-off presentation (Title TBA) 
  • Panel: STEM Careers
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Anita Goodwin

Anita Goodwin, also know as Goodwinnovate, is a K-6th Innovation teacher in Berne, Indiana. Over the past 26 years of teaching she has developed a passion for technology and helping students use it to create lots of projects that are integrated into all subject areas. She also loves helping teachers learn about apps and web based programs and how they can use these tools in the classroom by presenting online and in person. She specializes in STEM, Makerspace, and Green Screen. You can learn more about her on her website
 
Sessions:
  • Green Screen in the Elementary Classroom
  • I’m a New STEM/Makerspace Teacher... Now What?
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Ashlyn Ellsworth

Ashlyn Ellsworth is an educational speaker and content creator from Charleston, South Carolina. One of Ashlyn’s passions is to inspire and help educators around the world by providing classroom ideas to build positive and uplifting learning environments for students. In 2006, her teaching career began, however, her love of teaching started way before that when Ashlyn was a young girl. She watched her aunt who taught at the elementary school she attended and admired all that she did for her young students year after year and that’s where Ashlyn’s dream of being a teacher began. Ashlyn has taught 15 years and has experience in grades 1st-4th but her favorite grades to teach are 1st and 2nd which is where most of her experience comes from. In 2012, Ashlyn started The Creative Classroom and began making resources for her own classroom and then started sharing those ideas and resources with teachers around the world. One of her favorite parts of what she does now is connecting with teachers like you! It’s teacher’s passion and love for education that inspires her to continue doing what she loves to do.

 Session: 
  • Makerspace Design on a Dime!
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Angela Towner Mertz

Angela Towner Mertz has a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Information Technology, System Design and Programming. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and works for a small public charter school, Academy Adventures Midtown, that has 35 students enrolled.  She’s worked with this charter schools since it started 12 years ago mainly as the Technology Specialist, Administrator and completing all state reporting and federal grants. She added teaching technology to her duties about 5 years and works with students in K-5. This is the 2nd full year teaching Splats and her students LOVE it! Coding Splats has helped increase her student’s confidence, critical thinking skills and team building skills. Technology is a big focus in the school and students have been able to use the Splats and activities they code in ELA, Math and PE.

 
Session: 
  • 3 Easy Ways to Increase Engagement with Code & Play
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Amy Scheel

Amy is the CEO of KEVA Planks. As one of the first graduates of the Youth and Social Innovation program at the University of Virginia, Amy became passionate about supporting the development of young people through play and entrepreneurship. Her goal is to give children and grown ups opportunities to play, learn, and exercise creativity. She has taught KEVA Planks workshops at education conferences in the US and China. Previously, Amy was the Director of Marketing at a Philadelphia startup. She holds a masters degree from the UVA McIntire School of Business and BS from the UVA Curry School of Education and Human Development. Her practical business skills combined with her passion for hands-on learning give her unique perspectives to share with educators.

 Session:
  • Build the Story - Connecting Literature and STEAM Using KEVA Planks
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Amanda Kramer

Amanda is an IB Certified teacher, instructional designer, and the founder of STEM Tactics on TPT where she is now publishing her teaching resources to help other educators bring purpose-driven activities into their classroom that sparks excitement to take action! Since discovering the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals), she has devoted herself to integrating this powerful movement for sustainability into her curriculum and inspiring other educators to get involved. She has facilitated multiple workshops around the SDGs for educators, entrepreneurs, and children. She is also a lover of Project-Based Learning (PBL), STEAM, and gamification. Learn more about Amanda on her website or on her social media channels like Instagram and Twitter @stemtactics.
 
Sessions:
  • Save the World! Sustainability Based STEAM Resources and Strategies!
  • Innovation Projects: How to Manage, Inspire, and Celebrate PBL for Social Impact
  • Innovation Projects: How to Manage, Inspire, and Celebrate PBL for Social Impact
  • Fun Strategies for Teaching Scientific Writing Skills with CERs (Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning)
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Adua Hernandez

Adua Hernandez is a feminist and avid illustrator whose first works include two murals she painted as a toddler! She has since illustrated more than twenty-five children’s books and five educational textbooks. Hernandez is originally from Venezuela, studied illustration, and loves to paint. Born in Venezuela in 1992, Adua has been painting her entire life. She painted her first murals as a toddler. They weren’t her mother’s favorite, but she grew up and improved her painting skills. Due to her home country’s state, Adua grew up shut-in, allowing her to read a lot of books on how to draw, to paint, and to practice music. She studied illustration and graduated Diseño de Caracas in 2013. See how she shares colors and the swoops of her hand to bring stories to life!

 Session: 
  • Panel: Illustrating, Designing, and Drawing for STEM
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