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Plus can't-miss live presenters & panelists!

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Presenters, Panelists
& Special Guests

(alphabetical by first name)

Amy Pratt

Mrs. Amy Pratt holds an MBA, an MAT, and teaches 4th grade math and science in North Lawndale, Chicago. Prior to teaching, Mrs. Pratt was a social entrepreneur, starting and running new companies. With teaching, Mrs. Pratt discovered her calling and is forever changed - the joy and laughter she receives each day pays dividends. More recently, she and her friend Wendy Barnett, developed what they called a Builders Club - based on many of their own building adventures, and focused on materials that are recyclable. It is this Builders Club which will be shared with you today.
 
Session:
  • Builder's Club
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Anita Goodwin

Anita Goodwin, also know as Goodwinnovate, is a second grade teacher in Berne, Indiana. She loves helping teachers learn about apps and web-based programs, and how they can use these tools in the classroom. She specializes in Green Screen and STEAM. The past two years she has enjoyed co-teaching an after school STEAM club for 5th graders and helping organize and set up the school Innovation Lab for K-5 students. Learn more about Anita on her website
 
Session:
  • Green Screen Project from Start to Finish
  • 3 Simple Green Screen and Brick Projects
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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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Brittany Washburn

Brittany Washburn is an Educational Technology Curriculum Designer for grades K-5. 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.

Sessions:

  • Using a Flipped Classroom Model for STEM
  • Using Virtual Manipulatives for STEM Challenges
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Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown is a National Board Certified Gifted Resource Coordinator for K-2nd Grade in Norman, Oklahoma. She specializes in STEM and Makerspaces and is the creator of STEM Bins®.  Brooke is a national presenter and loves to bring hands-on engagement and play-based learning experiences to all subject areas.  Learn more about Brooke on her website, Teach Outside the Box .
 
Sessions:
  • STEM: Start to Finish
  • Robotics Centers for Literacy and Math
  • (More) Top Read-Alouds for STEM
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Canissa Grant

Canissa is a career educator dedicated to improving the teacher education for students with disabilities. She has two master's degrees in education and is currently working on a doctorate degree in curriculum, instruction, and leadership. Canissa also is a full-time middle school special education teacher and math teacher coach. In addition to teaching, Canissa runs an executive functioning skills professional development program for educators of students with disabilities, and is the owner of middle school math intervention business. Learn more about Canissa and all of her other accomplishments on her website.
 
Session:
  • How to Teach Executive Functioning Skills with STEM Projects
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Carol Davis

Carol Davis is a STEM Specialist for grades 3-5. Her teaching experience includes 30 years as a classroom teacher in grades 3 and 5. Carol is the teacher-author for her Teachers Pay Teachers store and her STEM blog, both called Teachers are Terrific.  

Sessions:
  • Connecting Experiment & Design
  • Having a Blast with Newton's Laws 
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Carrie Willis

Carrie Willis is the technology director and STEAM coordinator at Valley Preparatory School, a private school in Redlands, CA, educating students in grades preschool through eight. She was responsible for designing and implementing her school’s recent STEAM lab addition, which was established in 2016. During her 20-year teaching 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.

 
Session: 
  • My First Coding Lesson
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Chelsey Odgers

Chelsey Odgers, known in the teaching community as Hipster Art Teacher, is a K-2 STEAM and art teacher in New Jersey. 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. Her passion is sharing her love of art with students of all ages! You can learn more about Chelsey on her website.

Session:

  • Builders Gonna Build!
  • The ART of Making

 

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Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen has been writing and illustrating children’s picture books for over twenty years. His first book, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee (published by Chronicle Books) was released in 2000. Since then, he has authored and illustrated ten picture books and illustrated an additional fifteen books for other authors, including the bestselling Mercy Watson series and its spinoff series, Tales from Deckawoo Drive written by Kate DiCamillo. His latest book, If I Built a School debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Learn more about Chris by visiting his website.


Sessions: 

  • Panel: Authors on Creativity
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Dr. Christian J. Anderson, Sr.

Dr. Christian J. Anderson is an assistant professor at Morgan State University in the School of Education and Urban Studies - Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development. Dr. Anderson is a mathematics educator with over 25 years of teaching and administrative experience in the K-20 arena. Prior to Dr. Anderson’s arrival to Morgan State, he served as a school-based and central office administrator in several school systems in the State of Maryland. Dr. Anderson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, his Master’s Degree in Leadership in Teaching, and his Doctorate Degree in Mathematics Education.

Session:
  • What the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Told Us about STEM Education: Implications for Middle School Educators
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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 made her 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:
  • Augmented Reality Apps
  • Construction Games in the ELA Class
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Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a professor of practice at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Professor Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter (a popular citizen science portal and research platform connecting millions of people to real science they can do), founder of Science Cheerleaders (a non profit organization comprised of current and former NFL, NBA and college cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers), and cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, an advisor and Fellow at National Geographic, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology and she was recently appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee.  She is the co-editor of "The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science," author of "The Science of Cheerleading,"  and co-author of the Field Guide to Citizen Science (Timber Press, Jan 2020). 

 
Session: 
  • Citizen Science- Real World Science You Can Do!
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David Glenn

Dave Glenn is a District STEM Educator in Wilmington, NC where he lives with his wife and two children. A Kenan Fellow in 2014, he has worked on curriculum resources and development with local museums and organizations. His passion is creating unique learning opportunities and experiences for students and supporting classroom teachers as they conquer the challenges of teaching science. Dave is pursuing his Masters in Science Education and enjoys playing and coaching soccer in his free time.
 
Session: 
  • Virtual Science Fair Takeaways
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Dia Charley 

Dia Charley has worked as a K-5 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:

  • Culturally Responsive STEM Literacy Practices
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Eric Magers

As a teacher and experiential education trainer for over 30 years, Eric has been on the cutting edge of efforts to engage young people in STEM and sustainability. His passion is to motivate others through inventive project-based learning to join the crucial work of caring for our planet. When we create environments in our schools and communities that promote and value responsible action, youth are encouraged to become leaders in this work.

Eric's work has garnered many state and national awards, and he have been recognized at the White House twice for his work in education. He was gratified to be nominated as Science Educator of the Year for developing Green Scholars, a curriculum that grew from one school into a national program for training students to be environmental leaders in their communities.

Since leaving his position as a public school teacher, he has founded and is now director of two organizations, Seaside Sustainability and the National STEM Honor Society. Both have the ultimate goal of infusing more STEM and sustainability into education systems all over the globe.

In addition to two Master’s degrees in education, Eric holds a Project-Based Learning Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania, a Leading Sustainable Innovation Professional Certificate from the University of Vermont, and a Sustainability Graduate Certificate from Harvard University.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: STEM Careers
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Erin Twamley

Erin Twamley is working to create a new generation of STEM Superheroes. As an author and educator, her hands-on STEM encounters and nonfiction children’s books, engage the next generation of learners in protecting and creating a sustainable planet. She strives to provide publications featuring diverse STEM role models and careers.

Her latest book, Capturing Cow Farts and Burps, highlights her ability to cultivate curiosity and the asking of questions while blending science concepts. You will find her writing her latest book that features Unicorns in Huntsville, AL.

ErinEDU Mission:
Empower kids to imagine and say, “I want to be an animator, a dendrochronologist or a scientist,” just as often as they say, :actress, doctor, or singer."
 
To learn more about her, visit ErinEDU .
 
Session:
  • Burps, Farts & Greenhouse Gases
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Get Caught Engineering


Together, Cheryl Nelson and Wendy Goldfein bring a total of over 55 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-7. They have consulted and developed STEM programs for the Smithsonian, the National Building Museum, the Bellevue Art Museum, and schools throughout the United States. Cheryl and Wendy are the recipients of numerous STEM grants and awards, and regularly present workshops at state and national science and STEM conventions. Their blog and website provides STEM resources and support.
 
 Sessions:
  • Enchanted Engineering: Discover the STEM in Fairy Tales
  • Classics and STEM: Exploring Children's Literature through a STEM Lens
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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 grade school age children and Skill Mill NYC, a maker space and digital fabrication studio for adults and teens. She is also the inventor of Dazzlinks Cardboard Engineering kits and Engineering with Paper, downloadable packets. 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 exploration. Learn more about Godwyn on her website.
 
Session:
  • Engineering with Paper: Amazingly Versatile STEAM Activities Using only Paper, Tape & Scissors
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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-6 and academically gifted students. Dr. Kaiser has been teaching for 23 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 and NC Learns Together initiatives. 


Session: 

  • Virtual Science Fair Takeaways
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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 fields of science, math, engineering. and technology. 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, and now the co-founder of Cori. 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 Teaching from National University.
 
Session:
  • Engineering Design Process in the Real World
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Dr. Janie Avant

Dr. Janie Avant is a former special education teacher, retired in June 2019 with 40 years of experience in the classroom. She has been recognized by a variety of organizations for her outstanding work with children with disabilities in the classroom and in the community. Among many other honors, she is a three-time teacher of the year and a recipient of the Special U.S. Congressional Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community. Dr. Avant received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Loyola University Maryland, a Masters in Education with a concentration in Multiple Disabilities, and a Ph.D. in Special Education with a concentration in Physical and Health Disabilities, from Georgia State University. She now works as an Inclusion Specialist with The Nora Project, and as an Early Intervention Specialist with children birth to three with multiple disabilities.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: SPED & STEM
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Dr. Jeffrey Bennett

Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. in Biophysics from the University of California at San Diego and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He specializes in mathematics and science education, writing for and speaking to audiences ranging from elementary school children to college faculty. His current projects include the Story Time From Space program, which features his six children’s books being read by astronauts from the International Space Station (see www.BigKidScience.com), the free Totality app that will help you and your students get ready for the upcoming solar eclipses in 2023 and 2024, and a free online textbook for middle school Earth & Space Science. Learn more about Jeffrey on his personal website.


Sessions: 

  • Panel: Science in the Real World
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Jen Collins

Jen is Manager of Ocean Education, leads education efforts in paleobiology and mineral sciences at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. She is responsible for the development and implementation of programs and resources that inspire, inform, and empower connection to the natural history and works on exhibit teams aimed at fostering human connections to nature.  Jennifer also oversees the Science Liaison program, which bridges the science and education communities at the museum, and is a member of the Smithsonian Conservation Commons team focused on Earth Optimism. Jennifer grew up in California where she spent countless hours running through forests and exploring the ocean. In fourth grade, a visit to see the Coelacanth at the California Academy of Sciences prompted a lifetime passion for scientific discovery. A decade later, an invitation to tutor at-risk youth fueled her passion for education. Jennifer has since spent her career in science education, both as a middle and high school science teacher and as an informal educator, contributing to the development of resources such as Understanding Evolution and Understanding Science, and working with amazing scientists and educators to inspire scientific understanding and appreciation for a wide range of audiences.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: Science in the Real World
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Jennifer George

Fashion Designer Jennifer George is Rube Goldberg's granddaughter and oversees all aspects of her grandfather's estate.   There are books, toys, museum shows and a movie in the works, but for 32 years the cornerstone of the Rube Goldberg IP has been the Machine Contests that bear his name.  Jennifer inherited the mantle of running Rube from her father and is focused on keeping the IP thriving for generations to come. 
 

Session: 

  • TBA
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Juan Edgar Gonzalez, Jr.

Juan Edgar Gonzalez Jr. is an elementary public school teacher in Texas. With over ten years of classroom experience in first, second, and third grade, he has learned that educators are most successful when they listen to what students need and who they are.

 In the last few years, Juan has used social media to share his ideas and love for literacy with other educators. This platform has given Juan opportunities to travel around the world to visit schools, blog for publishing media giant Scholastic Inc., and speak at various education conferences. His mission through this work is to spotlight the great work all educators are doing in classrooms and to inspire everyone to read more books.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: Diverse & Inclusive Reads
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Katey Howes

Katey Howes is an author, literacy advocate, Makerspace enthusiast, former physical therapist, and crafty mom. She loves combining STEM and literacy topics and empowering kids to recognize themselves as innovators, makers, and agents of change. Katey’s picture books include Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe and Be A Maker, which was named the #1 Makerspace Read Aloud of 2019 and awarded the 2020 ILA Social Justice Literacy Award. You can find Katey at kateyhowes.com, on Twitter @kateywrites. Her YouTube channel features maker challenges kids can do at home with materials they have on hand.


Sessions: 

  • Panel: Authors on Creativity
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Katy Fattaleh

Katy Fattaleh is a former elementary school teacher, Technology Coach, and Instructional Coach who is now the Senior Program Director for the non-profit organization, The Nora Project. She has a passion for curriculum writing and professional development, and her focus at The Nora Project is on helping students and teachers build inclusive classroom environments where all students feel a sense of belonging and pride in who they are.

 
Session: 
  • Applying Universal Design to STEM Activities
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Ken Scheel

Ken is the CEO of KEVA Education and an internationally sought after trainer for educators, science centers and children's museums. He specializes in developing hands-on learning experiences that are so much fun, kids forget they are learning. Ken helps teachers supplement lessons with physically active challenges that help learning stick. He was ranked the #2 presenter at the Young Child Conference & Expo in New York City. Ken is the founder of the KEVA planks company and a professional toy inventor. His invention experience brings real world credibility to his talks. Educational toys by Ken have earned some of the most prestigious awards in the industry including the Disney Family Fun Toy of the Year. Ken lives in Virginia and plays with his wife because his three daughters are grown and usually playing with someone else. Learn more about Ken at KEVAplanks.com.

 
Session: 
  • Distance Learning and Mini-Challenges with KEVA Planks: How to Make Remote Teaching Hands-On
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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 creates teaching resources and delivers professional development to teachers and parents around the world to help them uncover more feel-good teaching moments in their lives, with brain-busting work disguised as fun (AKA: STEM Challenges).  You can learn more about Kerry on her website: Feel-Good Teaching

Sessions:
  • If You Want Successful Students, Let Them Fail
  • After the Build: When Deep Learning Begins
  • Virtual Science Fair Takeaways
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Kobi Yamada

Kobi Yamada is a multiple New York Times bestselling author including the award-winning picture books:  What Do You Do With An Idea?What Do You Do With A Problem?What Do You Do With A Chance?, Maybe, Trying and Because I Had A Teacher. His books have sold millions of copies, inspired a dance performance, a symphony performance, a musical theater performance and an upcoming animated film. His titles have been translated into over two dozen languages. Kobi also serves as the President/CEO of Compendium, Incorporated, an inspiring gift and publishing company.  Learn more about Kobi’s books at www.live-inspired.com.

 


Session: 

  • Panel: Authors on Creativity
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Kyle Hamstra

Kyle Hamstra is the husband of Leann and the father of Myals. Kyle is a STEM Specialist at Davis Drive Elementary School in Cary, NC. He has served in several leadership roles, including Fifth Grade Teacher, After School Director, and Edcamp Organizer. An aspiring administrator and author, Kyle enjoys presenting at conferences like ISTE, NSTA, and ASCD. As an edtech enthusiast, Kyle serves several companies as an ambassador, while also creating #HamstraHighlights, #Hashtag180, and #GridPlans. He’s passionate about all things leadership, curriculum design, and STEM. Kyle loves to learn from his professional learning network daily. Connect with Kyle on his website. 

 
Session: 
  • Virtual Science Fair Takeaways
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Dr. Leah Hanes

Dr. Leah Hanes has led Two Bit Circus Foundation (2BCF) since 2013, when she joined their predecessor, T4T.org. During her tenure, first as Executive Director and then CEO, 2BCF has grown into a strong voice in STEAM Education discourse.

 
Session: 
  • TBA
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Linda Johnson

Linda Johnson is an Arts Integration Specialist, Consultant, and Fine Arts educator with over 20 years of teaching experience in all grade levels. She is a Certification Coach and Content Producer for the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM, and teaches private piano lessons in her music studio. Linda strongly believes in using the arts as a meaningful, relevant, and culturally responsive approach to learning, and is equally passionate about providing teachers with the right tools to change routine education with artistic thinking and expression. Learn more about Linda on her website.

Session: 

  • The "A" in STEAM: Artsy or Authentic?
  • Strategies for Inserting an Authentic "A" into STEM
  • Strategies for Using the Arts in STEAM as a Vehicle for Culturally Responsive Teaching
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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: 

  • Creative Thinking in an Elementary STEM Classroom
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Dr. Lisa D. White

Dr. Lisa D. White is Director of Education at the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. Past positions held during a 22 year career at San Francisco State University include Professor of Geosciences, Geosciences Department Chair, Associate Dean of the Graduate Division, and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering. Dr. White has extensive experience with science education programs for underrepresented students and she leads multiple efforts to increase diversity in the geosciences. A micropaleontologist by training and Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Geological Society of America, Dr. White was the inaugural recipient of the GSA Bromery Award for Minorities, an honor bestowed upon a geoscientist who has been instrumental in opening the geoscience field to diverse communities. As Chair of the American Geophysical Union Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Dr. White works to create a culture that embraces diversity and inclusiveness in the Earth and space sciences. As the education director at the UC Museum of Paleontology, she develops and disseminates learning materials on evolution and the fossil record, virtual geological field trip experiences, and the nature and process of science. Dr. White holds degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A. in Geology) and the University of California at Santa Cruz (Ph.D. in Earth Sciences).

 
Session: 
  • Panel: Science in the Real World
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Meredith Anderson

Meredith Anderson is a STEM educator and curriculum developer with over 9 years educating as a homeschooling parent. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in mechanical engineering, and previously designed and developed implantable neurostimulators. She is passionate about connecting with and supporting STEM educators in the STEM Teachers Facebook group, adores YA dystopian novels, and enjoys nature walks.

Session: 

  • How to Spot Impostor STEM (and Give It a New Identity!)
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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 serves on several prominent local and national organizations including the National Math Alliance; the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition; Council on Undergraduate Research and; the US National Commission for Mathematics Instruction by the National Academy of Sciences.
 
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: 
  • Redesigning Pedagogy for Enhanced STEM Learning
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Praba Soundararajan

Growing up in India, Praba was a reluctant reader during his childhood and much of his earlier part of adulthood. After moving to North America to pursue an education in Neuroscience, he discovered his reason for being a reluctant reader. Praba was a visual learner. He started reading short stories, science, and engineering books that were pictorial. He then began to write stories for children with the hope of inspiring young reluctant readers.

Praba created Pumpus the Pumpkin and his pals to teach STEM through storytelling using characters relatable to children. If there was one thing Praba wished, it would be a time machine to travel back and give his younger self the Pumpus adventure books. Then, he could have enjoyed reading as a child and
gotten inspired! Until he figures that out, he’ll just continue to inspire kids by writing Pumpus adventure books. Learn more about Praba on his website
 
Session:
  • Making STEM Concepts Approachable for Children
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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:
  • Simple STEM For Virtual or Independent Learning
  • Setting Up and Utilizing Flipgrid to Empower All Students
  • How to Integrate STEM in Your Science Classroom
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Shana Keller

Shana Keller is an author who spends a lot of her time learning about the past. After her first publication, she had the honor of participating in a design challenge program that supported the Maker Movement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Motivated by these young inventors, Shana is excited to continue to write and share stories about diverse scientists throughout history. Her first book, Ticktock Banneker’s Clock, Best STEM Book, Children’s Book Council 2017 (published by Sleeping Bear Press) illustrated by David C. Gardner, was released in 2016. Since then, she has written several picture books including Barnes & Noble 2020 Earth Day Selection, Fly, Firefly! (published by Sleeping Bear Press) illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki. Learn more about Shana on her website.


Session: 

  • Panel: Authors on Creativity
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Shari Haug

Shari Haug is the Elementary Director for Science Olympiad.  After teaching K-8 for over 20 years, she came to work for Science Olympiad in order to bring hands-on science opportunities to children and to make teachers comfortable with teaching science at the elementary level.  Shari enjoys putting catapults in the hands of anyone of any age so they can fling gummy bears and other fun objects.

 
Session: 
  • Applying Universal Design to STEM Activities
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Stephanie DeLussey

 

Stephanie is a dual-certified special education teacher, Master IEP Coach®, children's book author, and teacher mentor, currently residing in Florida. She has a passion for creating engaging, adapted resources for teachers and students with special needs, and is a self-proclaimed #datanerd. You can connect with her at Mrs. D's Corner.

Stephanie is also a huge mental health advocate, sharing her experiences and struggles to let others know that you can survive the dark seasons and thrive in life and teaching with a mental illness.

 

Sessions:

  • How to Differentiate or Accommodate STEM Learning in a Special Needs Classroom
  • Toys that Promote STEM in Special Ed.
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Steve Spangler

He’s a best-selling author, STEM educator and business leader branded by TIME Magazine as one of their “most influential people of the year” because of his passion to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. With more than 1,500 television appearances and multiple Emmy awards to his credit, Steve is also a regular guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she dubbed him America’s Science Teacher. Steve’s catalog of videos featured on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and now TikTok have close to 1 billion views, and his books and online experiments are widely used by parents and educators to increase student engagement and inspire young scientists to learn more about STEM-based careers.
 
Session: 
  • Virtual Science Fair Takeaways
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Toby Ratcliffe Bothel

Toby Ratcliffe Bothel, an early pioneer for women in engineering, retired after 35 years as a naval architect from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division. She is an endorsed professional development provider for the Engineering is Elementary Curriculum (Museum of Science, Boston). Toby has conducted hundreds of workshops for teachers and students, judged US and International robotic competitions and introduced thousands of K-12 students to the wonders of STEM. She holds a BA Degree in Physics and a MS Degree in Marine and Ocean Engineering. Toby currently serves as the Director of Engineering, Design and Digital Fabrication for the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES).


Sessions: 

  • Panel: Science in the Real World
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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, digital course creator, and Media Specialist. Trina has been in education for 22 years. She loves motivating and inspiring both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to creating engaging and inspiring spaces and lessons 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 STEM Con 2020 and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020.
 
Sessions: 
  • Social and Emotional Learning with Makerspace
  • Collaboration in Virtual and Social Distance Classrooms
  • Makerspace Moments in Literature
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Vanessa Brantley Newton

Vanessa Brantley Newton attended both SVA and FIT of New York, where she studied fashion and children’s illustration. An artist swathed in retro chic, she loves all things vintage – especially books and clothes from the 40s through the 60’s – and it shines through in her designs, which run the gamut of fun and whimsical to stylish and sophisticated. She loves to add unique touches to her work, including mixed media accents, collage, and hand lettering.

Vanessa was born during the Civil Rights movement, and attended school in Newark, NJ. Being part of a diverse, tight-knit community during such turbulent times, Vanessa learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment in shaping a young person’s life. When she read Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, it was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, she includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader.

Vanessa celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures through her work, and hopes to inspire young readers to find their own voices. She first learned to express herself as a little girl through song. Growing up in a musical family, Vanessa’s parents taught her how to sing to help overcome her stuttering. Each night the family would gather to make music together, with her mom on piano, her dad on guitar, and Vanessa and her sister, Coy, singing the blues, gospel, spirituals, and jazz.  Now whenever she illustrates, music fills the air and finds its way into her art. The children she draws can be seen dancing, wiggling, and moving freely across the page in an expression of happiness. Music is a constant celebration, no matter the occasion, and Vanessa hopes her illustrations bring joy to others, with the same magic of a beautiful melody.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: Diverse & Inclusive Reads
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Vera Ahiyya

Vera Ahiyya was born in Germany and raised in El Paso, TX with her wonderful mother and amazing grandparents. Originally a pre-med student, Vera realized her calling as an educator at Austin College in Sherman, TX, where she majored in History and Psychology and earned her MA in Education. Vera has taught Kindergarten and first grade for the last 15 years in Austin, Boston, and Brooklyn. Vera’s online presence is dedicated to influencing other educators by spreading her vast knowledge and love of diverse children’s books. Vera’s unwavering commitment to social justice and diversity is also the focal point of her professional development presentations for other educators. Vera lives in Brooklyn with her husband Lonnell and her dog, Mozi.

 
Session: 
  • Panel: Diverse & Inclusive Reads
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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: 

  • Teaching STEM through the Lens of Space Exploration
  • Take STEM to the Next level with a Long Term Project
  • Hosting a Family STEM Night
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Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Dr. Daniels is an Analytical Chemist who currently works in Science Policy within the US Federal Government. Working both as a science communicator and educator, she provides technical and fundamental information not only to agencies and organizations, but to students as well. Dr. Daniels mentors youth and teaches STEM + Art (STEAM) to students at the kindergarten level all the way up to the college level, through a combination of virtual mentoring, STEAM outreach and during her Organic Chemistry courses. She recently published a children’s book, Building My Self e-STEAM in Science which teaches youth about the importance of friendship and confidence through an education in STEAM. Learn more on her website.

 
Sessions: 
  • Live Interview
  • Panel: STEM Careers
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Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is a rebel teacher, a learning theorist, and a STEAM educator. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and is a certified online instructional designer and program evaluator. Prior to becoming the founder and CEO of Qi Learning Research Group and the STEAM Café, 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 received a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - MiSK Foundation Grand Challenges Grant to develop an elementary STEM professional development platform for teachers. Dr. Yen has a serious coffee addiction and in her spare time, she plays Beat Saber with her sons. Click to learn more about Qi Learning.
 
Sessions:
  • Cross-Curricular STEAM that Hits All the Standards
  • The Scientific Method is Dead: Going Beyond the 5E Model in the NGSS
  • 21st Century Bingo: Gamifying 21st Century Skill Building
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