2017 California STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Symposium. Part 1

On this special edition Episode 382 of The Waves of Tech, we are featuring conversations with organizers and attendees from the 2017 California STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Symposium.  With these conversations you will learn a lot about the symposium from a variety of perspectives, such as the importance of collaborating in the educational tech space and the power of professional development.  We cover a variety of relevant topics in education – preparing the future workforce, shaping lessons around existing real world problems, the power of creativity and imagination, problem solving, the changing landscape of science and accountability standards, and focusing on partnerships to advance education for students.  Enjoy the podcast and continue to ride…The Waves of Tech.

STEAM Symposium Background

The 2017 California STEAM Symposium convened over 3,000 educators from across California for ongoing rigorous, collaborative, and inspiring professional learning and resources to support high-quality science, technology, engineering, art, and math instruction for all students.  Every year, the symposium features world-class keynote speakers, more than 300 presentations, and opportunities to explore the latest in educational technology, hear from leaders in STEAM learning and industry, and meet with fellow educators.  On the 5th anniversary of the symposium, they added Art.  The inclusion of Art recognizes the importance of braiding together Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math learning, so students gain the skills they need to succeed in the future.

Shelly Masur (CEO – Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation) & Blair Blackwell (Manager – Education & Corporate Programs of Chevron), Minutes 3:30-19:30

I was honored to sit down with Shelly and Blair during the symposium.  In speaking with Shelly, we touched on a number of topics – empowering educators, school funding, policy change, accountability standards, and more.  As education is structurally changing and as California is educating 1 in 8 children in the United States, educators and industry leaders are finding ways to change the classroom and usher in a new era of accountability and problem solving.  In speaking with Blair, we focus our conversation on helping students of today become the citizens of tomorrow by engaging them where they live and breathe.  Chevron is playing an important role in helping students become more STEAM literate and understand the role of STEAM plays in our day-to-day lives.  With a focus on engineering and mathematics, Chevron is preparing the workforce of tomorrow by working with education partners, schools, and universities.

Leena Bakshi, Francisco Nieto & Tricia Dennis of Alameda County Office of Education, Minutes 19:45-39:00

In this great four-way conversation, I sit down with Leena, Francisco, and Tricia to get the opinions and thoughts from a Program Director, Program Manager, and teacher/educator, respectively.  Leena and I chatted about a host of topics – integrating STEAM, creating opportunities for educators, improving teacher quality through professional development, capturing the attention of early learners, shaping lessons around real world problems, and concerns surrounding low income and rural students and districts.  Francisco shared the benefits of attending the symposium, how both low-end and high-end technology have their value in the classroom, and the power of networking.  Tricia provided the in-classroom view  by creating a classroom that is fun, exciting, and entertaining by creating a converted makerspace room.  She highlighted attending the symposium has increased her ability to provide content knowledge in her classroom.

Ashlee DeMalade of CSU Bakersfield’s Kern Rural Teacher Residency Program, Minutes 39:00-47:00

It was great to chat with Ashlee and get her perspective as a pre-service credential student in a residency program and a new attendee to the symposium.  We chatted about how attending the symposium is assisting her in preparing and planning for her upcoming STEM-based summer camp.  She shared some lessons learned at the symposium – creating real world problem solving situations in camp, developing camp curriculum with resources gained, and changing the term failure and how its viewed by students.  She attended the symposium with her residency cohort and shares how the cohort is collaborating via Google Slides.

Symposium Keynotes, Minutes 47:00-End

Captain Mark Kelly (famed Navy combat veteran, retired NASA astronaut, Commander of final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, husband to Gabby Giffords) shared his story of growing up in New Jersey, entering the EMS field, and his adventures as a Navy fighter pilot over the skies of Iraq.  Gokul Krishnan of Maker Therapy created a Mobile Makerspace for children’s hospitals for patients with chronic illnesses.  The space gives patients a place to create their own inventions while they’re receiving treatment.  Patients and their siblings are welcome to use the space at any time to let their imaginations run wild.

Resources

STEAM Symposium

Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation

Collaboration in Common

Chevron STEM Partnerships in Education

Alameda County Office of Education

Kern Rural Teacher Residency

Maker Therapy

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