WHO ARE OUR PRESENTERS?

Our presenters include national board-certified teachers, STEM professionals, subject matter specialists, professors, authors, and more. Each presenter is carefully chosen for their real-world experience, relevancy, and high-quality content that is also useful and practical in the classroom

2023 Presenters List

Friday, April 14th

Day 1: Live Presenters

Steve Spangler

Steve Spangler

Author, STEM Educator, and Business Leader

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 1,800 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. He is known as the modern-day Mr. Wizard, inspiring other science communicators and online scientists with his charismatic style of making science fun. Steve’s catalog of videos featured on social media has more than 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. In 2022, Spangler joined High Point University as their STEM Educator in Residence where he works with students and faculty on outreach and mentorship opportunities. He’s not only a science educator, but also the founder of two companies – Steve Spangler Science and Be Amazing Toys, a manufacturer of science-based toys and kits sold around the globe. He’s the guy who is responsible for Diet Coke stains on millions of kitchen ceilings around the world. Learn more about Steve on your favorite social media – @stevespangler.

Dr. Shaun Woodly

Dr. Shaun woodly

K-12 & University Educator and Author, Ph. D

Dr. Shaun Woodly has dedicated his professional career to education. He is a decorated K-12 teacher, university professor and author whose deep passion and research have allowed him great success as an educator and entrepreneur. He is the architect behind the educator movement “Teach Hustle Inspire” and has written the best-selling book “MC Means Move the Class: How to Spark Engagement and Motivation in Urban and Culturally Diverse Classrooms”. In both education and life, Dr. Woodly believes in having fun! He educates with love, enthusiasm, motivation and hustle! For more information, you can learn more about Dr. Woodly here.

Charmayne Lonergan

Charmayne Lonergan

Materials Scientist

Charmayne Lonergan is a materials scientist who focuses on glassy materials. She has a Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering and currently works at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Her work focuses on glass formation in support of waste vitrification and understanding how light interacts with a variety of materials. She also works as a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ambassador with PNNL’s Office of STEM Education, where she can engage the community and students in learning more about materials science. When she is not at work, Charmayne is spending time with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

Natalie Currie

Natalie Currie

Solar Operations Manager

Natalie Currie is a Solar Operations Manager at EDP Renewables North America. In her role, she oversees the operations of two solar parks in Arizona and Nevada. Natalie established her career in the renewable energy sector in 2014 at a wind farm in Washington State. Since then, she has been actively involved in local and national projects promoting renewables. These opportunities have taken her to Washington, D.C., to meet with state representatives and all the way up to Canada, to inspire students to explore renewable energy. She has led various activities in many KidWind events. Natalie has also been involved in other aspects of the business. Being an avid supporter of education, Natalie enjoys working with children and watching their creativity blossom.

Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Power Systems Engineer

Sarah Davis is a Power Systems Engineer with 10+ years in the Electricity Sector. She currently works for Apex Clean Energy as a Transmission Manager leading studies to locate best places to build and connect large wind and solar farms to the U.S. power grid. She’s a published subject matter expert in renewable integration, bulk grid modeling, power system resilience against extreme events, and smart grid technologies. Sarah is a licensed Professional Engineer, with a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. She’s involved in various non-profits that promote STEM careers to youth, including being a Judge Coordinator for the Future City Competition, as well as Expanding Your Horizons for which she developed a board game called “Power the People”. Learn more about Sarah on LinkedIn.

Amanda Polematidis

Amanda Polematidis

Energy Services Engineer & Educator

Amanda Polematidis is an Energy Services Engineer at TLC Engineering Solutions in Jacksonville, FL. She is a LEED AP and Green Classroom Professional Faculty. She holds a BS in Biological Engineering from the University of Florida and an MA in Science Education from the University of Central Florida. Prior to her current position at TLC, she taught as a secondary science teacher for 7 years to +1000 students. Her current responsibilities include LEED and WELL consulting, building systems commissioning and energy auditing, and mechanical design. Areas of expertise include K-12 education, curriculum development and assessment, design and construction for MEP systems, and sustainability rating systems.

Tatiana Stein

Tatiana Stein

Senior Project Manager

Tatiana Stein has served as Senior Project Manager for Energy Vault since January 2022, focusing on battery energy storage project deployment. Tatiana brings over five years of previous development and community engagement experience in the renewables space. She began her career at EDPR, where she led development and execution of a 250MW wind project in the MISO market. Prior to this she served as a Project Manager of Development at Orsted, tasked with fast-tracking the company’s onshore renewable projects. While at Orsted, Tatiana developed a portfolio of 1GW of wind and solar projects across the ERCOT market, all of which are currently under construction or in active operation. She also has early career experience in the Oil & Gas sector with TechnipFMC. Tatiana holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration, both from Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Downtown.

Erin Twamley

Erin Twamley

Author & Educator, M.Ed

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author and educator (M.Ed.). Through her educational consulting group STEM Superheroes™ Erin leads hands-on encounters for kids and writes publications focused on the topics of science, technology, engineering, or math referred to as STEM. She aims to share the careers, stories, and superpowers of women in STEM to spark interest and build girls’ confidence in STEM. She is the co-author of the award-winning children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes, published by Wise Ink and project-based books by Nomad Press. Twamley leads global encounters for USA Girl Scouts Overseas, libraries, museums and classrooms. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has lived on 3 continents. You will find Twamley in Belgium imagining and writing her next book. Visit Erin’s website to learn more about her.

Steve Spangler

Steve Spangler

Author, STEM Educator, and Business Leader

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 1,800 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. He is known as the modern-day Mr. Wizard, inspiring other science communicators and online scientists with his charismatic style of making science fun. Steve’s catalog of videos featured on social media has more than 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. In 2022, Spangler joined High Point University as their STEM Educator in Residence where he works with students and faculty on outreach and mentorship opportunities. He’s not only a science educator, but also the founder of two companies – Steve Spangler Science and Be Amazing Toys, a manufacturer of science-based toys and kits sold around the globe. He’s the guy who is responsible for Diet Coke stains on millions of kitchen ceilings around the world. Learn more about Steve on your favorite social media – @stevespangler.

Dr. Shaun Woodly

Dr. Shaun woodly

K-12 & University Educator and Author, Ph. D

Dr. Shaun Woodly has dedicated his professional career to education. He is a decorated K-12 teacher, university professor and author whose deep passion and research have allowed him great success as an educator and entrepreneur. He is the architect behind the educator movement “Teach Hustle Inspire” and has written the best-selling book “MC Means Move the Class: How to Spark Engagement and Motivation in Urban and Culturally Diverse Classrooms”. In both education and life, Dr. Woodly believes in having fun! He educates with love, enthusiasm, motivation and hustle! For more information, you can learn more about Dr. Woodly here.

Charmayne Lonergan

Charmayne Lonergan

Materials Scientist

Charmayne Lonergan is a materials scientist who focuses on glassy materials. She has a Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering and currently works at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Her work focuses on glass formation in support of waste vitrification and understanding how light interacts with a variety of materials. She also works as a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) ambassador with PNNL’s Office of STEM Education, where she can engage the community and students in learning more about materials science. When she is not at work, Charmayne is spending time with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

Natalie Currie

Natalie Currie

Solar Operations Manager

Natalie Currie is a Solar Operations Manager at EDP Renewables North America. In her role, she oversees the operations of two solar parks in Arizona and Nevada. Natalie established her career in the renewable energy sector in 2014 at a wind farm in Washington State. Since then, she has been actively involved in local and national projects promoting renewables. These opportunities have taken her to Washington, D.C., to meet with state representatives and all the way up to Canada, to inspire students to explore renewable energy. She has led various activities in many KidWind events. Natalie has also been involved in other aspects of the business. Being an avid supporter of education, Natalie enjoys working with children and watching their creativity blossom.

Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

Power Systems Engineer

Sarah Davis is a Power Systems Engineer with 10+ years in the Electricity Sector. She currently works for Apex Clean Energy as a Transmission Manager leading studies to locate best places to build and connect large wind and solar farms to the U.S. power grid. She’s a published subject matter expert in renewable integration, bulk grid modeling, power system resilience against extreme events, and smart grid technologies. Sarah is a licensed Professional Engineer, with a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington. She’s involved in various non-profits that promote STEM careers to youth, including being a Judge Coordinator for the Future City Competition, as well as Expanding Your Horizons for which she developed a board game called “Power the People”. Learn more about Sarah on LinkedIn.

Amanda Polematidis

Amanda Polematidis

Energy Services Engineer & Educator

Amanda Polematidis is an Energy Services Engineer at TLC Engineering Solutions in Jacksonville, FL. She is a LEED AP and Green Classroom Professional Faculty. She holds a BS in Biological Engineering from the University of Florida and an MA in Science Education from the University of Central Florida. Prior to her current position at TLC, she taught as a secondary science teacher for 7 years to +1000 students. Her current responsibilities include LEED and WELL consulting, building systems commissioning and energy auditing, and mechanical design. Areas of expertise include K-12 education, curriculum development and assessment, design and construction for MEP systems, and sustainability rating systems.

Tatiana Stein

Tatiana Stein

Senior Project Manager

Tatiana Stein has served as Senior Project Manager for Energy Vault since January 2022, focusing on battery energy storage project deployment. Tatiana brings over five years of previous development and community engagement experience in the renewables space. She began her career at EDPR, where she led development and execution of a 250MW wind project in the MISO market. Prior to this she served as a Project Manager of Development at Orsted, tasked with fast-tracking the company’s onshore renewable projects. While at Orsted, Tatiana developed a portfolio of 1GW of wind and solar projects across the ERCOT market, all of which are currently under construction or in active operation. She also has early career experience in the Oil & Gas sector with TechnipFMC. Tatiana holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration, both from Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Downtown.

Erin Twamley

Erin Twamley

Author & Educator, M.Ed

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author and educator (M.Ed.). Through her educational consulting group STEM Superheroes™ Erin leads hands-on encounters for kids and writes publications focused on the topics of science, technology, engineering, or math referred to as STEM. She aims to share the careers, stories, and superpowers of women in STEM to spark interest and build girls’ confidence in STEM. She is the co-author of the award-winning children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes, published by Wise Ink and project-based books by Nomad Press. Twamley leads global encounters for USA Girl Scouts Overseas, libraries, museums and classrooms. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has lived on 3 continents. You will find Twamley in Belgium imagining and writing her next book. Visit Erin’s website to learn more about her.

Day 1: Pre-Recorded Presenters

Pam Alba

Pamela Alba

Technology Teacher

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open. Check her socials at @happysonrisateacher.

Dia Charley

Dia Charley

Educator

Dia, the face behind Elementary Edventure, is an educator with over 17 years of experience working with elementary students. She is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is culturally responsive and supportive of STEM Literacy practices. When she is not teaching students, Dia enjoys connecting with educators and providing professional development on ways to engage students through multidisciplinary and integrated STEM learning.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Educator & STEAM Director

Caitlin Arakawa 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-curricular 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.

Carrie Willis is the Technology & STEAM Director at Valley Preparatory School, a private school for students in preschool through eighth grade, in Redlands, CA. 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, digital storytelling, engineering and design, and all things STEAM and EdTech, through social media, webinars, and through presentations at local and national conferences.

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Vivify STEM

Natasha Wilkerson & Claire Meschkat

Co-Founders of Vivify

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.

Loren Thorpe

Loren Thorpe

Educator

Loren Thorpe has experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom. She 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 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 and engaging learning environments for their students. 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.

Renee Heinrich

Renee Heinrich

Educator

As a 31-year veteran teacher, Renee continues to grow as an educator. She creates science and STEM resources and help teachers across the globe find ways to add science and STEM into their classrooms. Renee teaches full time and integrates STEM into her math, reading, social studies, and science lessons. She uses her creatively and love of teaching to continue to inspire her students!

Dr. Heather Kaiser

Dr. Heather Kaiser

Professor and National Board Generalist

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 25 years in Cumberland County Schools. While serving as a STEM specialist, she received the coveted Burroughs Welcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. Dr. Kaiser is also an adjunct professor of education at Methodist University. 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 – 2022 and Whole Teacher EclecticCON 2021. Learn more about Heather on her website.

Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor

Educator in STEM

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 and has been awarded the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Lisa has 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 purchase her resources on TPT.

Tammy DeShaw

tammy DeShaw

Owner of The Owl Teacher

Tammy DeShaw is the author of The Owl Teacher. After teaching in the upper elementary classroom for 10+ years, she turned her attention toward helping overworked teachers take back their lesson planning time. Tammy creates hands-on, engaging resources for teachers in math and science. Using her classroom experience, researching best practices, and her bachelor’s degree in science, Tammy delivers powerful and rigorous activities for students. She has a passion for sparking interest in both students and teachers toward math and science through inquiry.

Erin Twamley

erin Twamley

Author & Educator, M.Ed

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author and educator (M.Ed.). Through her educational consulting group STEM Superheroes™ Erin leads hands-on encounters for kids and writes publications focused on the topics of science, technology, engineering, or math referred to as STEM. She aims to share the careers, stories, and superpowers of women in STEM to spark interest and build girls’ confidence in STEM. She is the co-author of the award-winning children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes, published by Wise Ink and project-based books by Nomad Press. Twamley leads global encounters for USA Girl Scouts Overseas, libraries, museums and classrooms. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has lived on 3 continents. You will find Twamley in Belgium imagining and writing her next book. Visit Erin’s website to learn more about her.

Godwyn Morris

Godwyn Morris

Director and Inventor

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, easy 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.

Brian Lopez

brian Lopez

Educator

Brian Lopez is an out of this world teacher from Southern California, who’s been working in education for 20 years, both inside and outside the classroom. This is his 6th year as an English Language Development & Intervention Teacher for students in grades K-6th. Brian’s passion revolves around finding ways to seamlessly immerse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. It is Brian’s belief that every student has a voice, and it is his mission to help each and every student! You can connect with Brian here!

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is the CEO at Qi Learning Research Group and the author of “Rebel Teaching: How to Disrupt Education by Repurposing the Machine.” With over 21 years of teaching people from all ages and abilities, Dr. Yen has spent the last decade researching how we learn and how we can make teaching easier, fun, and more meaningful. Her Why is to give everyone the skills and tools that they need to fulfill their destinies. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, is an award-winning speaker, and certified in program evaluation, and online instructional design. Her hobbies include troublemaking and encouraging others to cause good trouble, gardening, raising chickens, and beating her sons at video games so that she can write “Your Mama” on the scoreboards.

Pam Alba

Pamela Alba

Technology Teacher

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open. Check her socials at @happysonrisateacher.

Dia Charley

Dia Charley

Educator

Dia, the face behind Elementary Edventure, is an educator with over 17 years of experience working with elementary students. She is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is culturally responsive and supportive of STEM Literacy practices. When she is not teaching students, Dia enjoys connecting with educators and providing professional development on ways to engage students through multidisciplinary and integrated STEM learning.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Educator & STEAM Director

Caitlin Arakawa 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-curricular 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.

Carrie Willis is the Technology & STEAM Director at Valley Preparatory School, a private school for students in preschool through eighth grade, in Redlands, CA. 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, digital storytelling, engineering and design, and all things STEAM and EdTech, through social media, webinars, and through presentations at local and national conferences.

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Vivify STEM

Natasha Wilkerson & Claire Meschkat

Co-Founder of Vivify

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.

Loren Thorpe

Loren Thorpe

Educator

Loren Thorpe has experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom. She 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 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 and engaging learning environments for their students. 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.

Renee Heinrich

Renee Heinrich

Educator

As a 31-year veteran teacher, Renee continues to grow as an educator. She creates science and STEM resources and help teachers across the globe find ways to add science and STEM into their classrooms. Renee teaches full time and integrates STEM into her math, reading, social studies, and science lessons. She uses her creatively and love of teaching to continue to inspire her students!

Dr. Heather Kaiser

Dr. Heather Kaiser

Professor and National Board Generalist

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 25 years in Cumberland County Schools. While serving as a STEM specialist, she received the coveted Burroughs Welcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. Dr. Kaiser is also an adjunct professor of education at Methodist University. 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 – 2022 and Whole Teacher EclecticCON 2021. Learn more about Heather on her website.

Lisa Taylor

Lisa Taylor

Educator in STEM

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 and has been awarded the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Lisa has 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 purchase her resources on TPT.

Tammy DeShaw

tammy DeShaw

Owner of The Owl Teacher

Tammy DeShaw is the author of The Owl Teacher. After teaching in the upper elementary classroom for 10+ years, she turned her attention toward helping overworked teachers take back their lesson planning time. Tammy creates hands-on, engaging resources for teachers in math and science. Using her classroom experience, researching best practices, and her bachelor’s degree in science, Tammy delivers powerful and rigorous activities for students. She has a passion for sparking interest in both students and teachers toward math and science through inquiry.

Erin Twamley

erin Twamley

Author & Educator, M.Ed

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author and educator (M.Ed.). Through her educational consulting group STEM Superheroes™ Erin leads hands-on encounters for kids and writes publications focused on the topics of science, technology, engineering, or math referred to as STEM. She aims to share the careers, stories, and superpowers of women in STEM to spark interest and build girls’ confidence in STEM. She is the co-author of the award-winning children’s book series, Everyday Superheroes, published by Wise Ink and project-based books by Nomad Press. Twamley leads global encounters for USA Girl Scouts Overseas, libraries, museums and classrooms. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and has lived on 3 continents. You will find Twamley in Belgium imagining and writing her next book. Visit Erin’s website to learn more about her.

Godwyn Morris

Godwyn Morris

Director and Inventor

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, easy 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.

Brian Lopez

brian Lopez

Educator

Brian Lopez is an out of this world teacher from Southern California, who’s been working in education for 20 years, both inside and outside the classroom. This is his 6th year as an English Language Development & Intervention Teacher for students in grades K-6th. Brian’s passion revolves around finding ways to seamlessly immerse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. It is Brian’s belief that every student has a voice, and it is his mission to help each and every student! You can connect with Brian here!

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is the CEO at Qi Learning Research Group and the author of “Rebel Teaching: How to Disrupt Education by Repurposing the Machine.” With over 21 years of teaching people from all ages and abilities, Dr. Yen has spent the last decade researching how we learn and how we can make teaching easier, fun, and more meaningful. Her Why is to give everyone the skills and tools that they need to fulfill their destinies. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, is an award-winning speaker, and certified in program evaluation, and online instructional design. Her hobbies include troublemaking and encouraging others to cause good trouble, gardening, raising chickens, and beating her sons at video games so that she can write “Your Mama” on the scoreboards.

Saturday, April 15th

Day 2: Live Presenters

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is the CEO at Qi Learning Research Group and the author of “Rebel Teaching: How to Disrupt Education by Repurposing the Machine.” With over 21 years of teaching people from all ages and abilities, Dr. Yen has spent the last decade researching how we learn and how we can make teaching easier, fun, and more meaningful. Her Why is to give everyone the skills and tools that they need to fulfill their destinies. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, is an award-winning speaker, and certified in program evaluation, and online instructional design. Her hobbies include troublemaking and encouraging others to cause good trouble, gardening, raising chickens, and beating her sons at video games so that she can write “Your Mama” on the scoreboards.

Dr. Gray

Dr. Gray

Research Professor, Author, & Founder

Peter Gray is a research professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. He is an author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook (Psychology, Worth Publishers, now in its 8th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today Magazine. He is one of the founders of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education and of the nonprofit Let Grow, the mission of which is to renew children’s freedom to play and explore independently of adult control. You can follow him on Facebook.

Josh Funk

Josh Funk

Software Engineer & Author

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 ​It’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.

Christine Taylor-Butler

Christine Taylor-Butler

Author

Christine Taylor-Butler is the author of more than 95 books for children including the Save The… (Animals) series with Chelsea Clinton, and the Lost Tribes series, a STEM-based MG action and adventure. A graduate of MIT, she holds degrees in both Civil Engineering and Art & Design. Originally from Ohio, she comes from a long line of family nerds, so she grew up constantly immersed in problem solving, science experiments and art. Now she embeds those concepts in her books to help young people learn how to synthesize solutions to problems. Her goal? Foster life-long learners with inquisitive minds. Christine now lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn more about Christine on her website here.

Vicky Fang

Vicky Fang

Product Designer, Author, & Illustrator

Vicky Fang is a product designer who spent 5 years designing kids’ technology experiences for both Google and Intel, often to inspire and empower kids in coding and technology. She started writing to support the growing need for early coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. She is the author and sometimes illustrator of nineteen new and upcoming books for kids, including Layla and the Bots, Invent-a-Pet, I Can Code, Friendbots, and the forthcoming Ava Lin, Sniff and Scratch, AlphaBot, and The Boo Crew Needs You. Find out more about Vicky by following her on Twitter at @fangmous or on her website.

Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle

Author

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, memoirs, and picture books, including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, and Dancing Hands. Awards include a Newbery Honor, Pura Belpré, Golden Kite, Walter, Jane Addams, PEN U.S.A., and NSK Neustadt, among others. Margarita served as the national 2017- 2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate. She is a three-time U.S. nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Book Award. Her most recent books are Your Heart, My Sky, A Song of Frutas, Light for All, Rima’s Rebellion, and Singing With Elephants. Her next young adult verse novel is Wings in the Wild, and her next picture books are Destiny Finds Her Way, and Water Day. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives on the island. She studied agronomy and botany along with creative writing, and now lives in central California with her husband.

Laurie Wallmark

laurie Wallmark

Co-Founder and Educator

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as fiction. Her books have earned five starred trade reviews and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Best STEM Book, and Mathical Honor Book. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and is a former software engineer and computer science professor. You can find Laurie on the Web or on her socials @lauriewallmark.

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

Dr. Yen Verhoeven

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is the CEO at Qi Learning Research Group and the author of “Rebel Teaching: How to Disrupt Education by Repurposing the Machine.” With over 21 years of teaching people from all ages and abilities, Dr. Yen has spent the last decade researching how we learn and how we can make teaching easier, fun, and more meaningful. Her Why is to give everyone the skills and tools that they need to fulfill their destinies. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, is an award-winning speaker, and certified in program evaluation, and online instructional design. Her hobbies include troublemaking and encouraging others to cause good trouble, gardening, raising chickens, and beating her sons at video games so that she can write “Your Mama” on the scoreboards.

Dr. Gray

Dr. Gray

Research Professor, Author, & Founder

Peter Gray is a research professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Boston College who has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. He is an author of an internationally acclaimed introductory psychology textbook (Psychology, Worth Publishers, now in its 8th edition), which views all of psychology from an evolutionary perspective. His recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. He also authors a regular blog called Freedom to Learn, for Psychology Today Magazine. He is one of the founders of the nonprofit Alliance for Self-Directed Education and of the nonprofit Let Grow, the mission of which is to renew children’s freedom to play and explore independently of adult control. You can follow him on Facebook.

Josh Funk

Josh Funk

Software Engineer & Author

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 ​It’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.

Christine Taylor-Butler

Christine Taylor-Butler

Author

Christine Taylor-Butler is the author of more than 95 books for children including the Save The… (Animals) series with Chelsea Clinton, and the Lost Tribes series, a STEM-based MG action and adventure. A graduate of MIT, she holds degrees in both Civil Engineering and Art & Design. Originally from Ohio, she comes from a long line of family nerds, so she grew up constantly immersed in problem solving, science experiments and art. Now she embeds those concepts in her books to help young people learn how to synthesize solutions to problems. Her goal? Foster life-long learners with inquisitive minds. Christine now lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn more about Christine on her website here.

Vicky Fang

Vicky Fang

Product Designer, Author, & Illustrator

Vicky Fang is a product designer who spent 5 years designing kids’ technology experiences for both Google and Intel, often to inspire and empower kids in coding and technology. She started writing to support the growing need for early coding education, particularly for girls and kids of color. She is the author and sometimes illustrator of nineteen new and upcoming books for kids, including Layla and the Bots, Invent-a-Pet, I Can Code, Friendbots, and the forthcoming Ava Lin, Sniff and Scratch, AlphaBot, and The Boo Crew Needs You. Find out more about Vicky by following her on Twitter at @fangmous or on her website.

Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle

Author

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, memoirs, and picture books, including The Surrender Tree, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, and Dancing Hands. Awards include a Newbery Honor, Pura Belpré, Golden Kite, Walter, Jane Addams, PEN U.S.A., and NSK Neustadt, among others. Margarita served as the national 2017- 2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate. She is a three-time U.S. nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Book Award. Her most recent books are Your Heart, My Sky, A Song of Frutas, Light for All, Rima’s Rebellion, and Singing With Elephants. Her next young adult verse novel is Wings in the Wild, and her next picture books are Destiny Finds Her Way, and Water Day. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives on the island. She studied agronomy and botany along with creative writing, and now lives in central California with her husband.

Laurie Wallmark

laurie Wallmark

Co-Founder and Educator

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) as well as fiction. Her books have earned five starred trade reviews and received awards such as Outstanding Science Trade Book, Best STEM Book, and Mathical Honor Book. Laurie has an MFA in Writing from VCFA and is a former software engineer and computer science professor. You can find Laurie on the Web or on her socials @lauriewallmark.

Day 2: Pre-Recorded Presenters

April Lara

april Lara

Author and CEO

April Lara is on a mission to ignite teacher’s passion! As the CEO of a high-risk youth program in Chicago Public Schools, April saw the positive transformation in students once they were taught meaningful life skills typically missing from traditional school curriculum. Frustrated by the lack of tools and training available for educators and students, she wrote a book: Becoming Awesome! Life Lessons from the World’s Greatest Leaders. As a speaker, April inspires others to open up to miracles that are happening all around them. Reigniting a Teacher’s passion is an uplifting reminder for educators to remember and celebrate their unique contribution to making a difference with our youth. April holds a BSBA degree from Aquinas College. A lifelong Cubs fan, April lives in Chicago – just a mile away from Wrigley Field with her family. Learn more about April here.

Wittney Swyers

Wittney Swyers

STEM Educator

Wittney Swyers is an experienced early childhood educator and STEM enthusiast. Driven by her desire to see children learn more 21st century skills, she takes pride in providing the best education possible to her class of little learners. This includes as much STEM integration as possible. Ms. Swyers holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as a graduate degree in STEM Integration K-12.

Carrie Willis & Caitlin Arakawa

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Educator & STEAM Director

Caitlin Arakawa 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-curricular 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.

Carrie Willis is the Technology & STEAM Director at Valley Preparatory School, a private school for students in preschool through eighth grade, in Redlands, CA. 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, digital storytelling, engineering and design, and all things STEAM and EdTech, through social media, webinars, and through presentations at local and national conferences.

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in educational leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Nicole Hewes

Nicole hewes

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Nicole Hewes is a PreK-8th grade STEM educator and an informal learning coordinator for her curious toddler. As the teacherpreneur behind Playful STEM, Nicole is passionate about helping other educators infuse STEM learning with exploration, play, and creative autonomy. In her ten years in education, Nicole has facilitated learning experiences for students from PreK through college, always with an emphasis on making learning creative and joyful. Nicole holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is an alumni of the MIT Science and Education Program for Teachers (SEPT), and has previously presented at several conferences in her home state of Maine. Check her out on here for more information.

Monica & Tyler Aiello

Monica & Tyler aiello

Co-Founders and Educators

Monica & Tyler Aiello are award-winning artists and educators based in Denver, CO. As pioneers of STEAM and Maker Education, the couple has designed innovative discovery experiences for NASA, K-12 schools, libraries, colleges, and museums for over 20 years. From K–12 workshops to dynamic PD, they also mentor thousands of students and teachers annually to empower creative and holistic learning opportunities. Through their education initiative EUREKUS, they champion arts-integrated STEM learning for diverse learners, leaders, and communities globally. As practicing visual artists, their work is exhibited and collected internationally, and their educational efforts have been celebrated in NSTA’s Science & Children, McREL’s Changing Schools, Ed Week and PBS. In 2015, they were honored at the White House as a US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Finalist. You can find more information here.

Godwyn Morris

Godwyn Morris

Director and Inventor

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, easy 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.

Renee Heinrich

Renee Heinrich

Educator

As a 31-year veteran teacher, Renee continues to grow as an educator. She creates science and STEM resources and help teachers across the globe find ways to add science and STEM into their classrooms. Renee teaches full time and integrates STEM into her math, reading, social studies, and science lessons. She uses her creatively and love of teaching to continue to inspire her students!

Pamela Alba & Alejandra Escovar

Pamela Alba & Alejandra Escovar

STEM Educators

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Alejandra Escovar, also known as Mrs. A, is a dedicated teacher with more than 20 years of experience inside the classroom. She has been teaching STEAM for the last four years and intends to take this approach to the public and private education sectors in her home country, Dominican Republic. She has a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in the same area with a focus on STEM education. A member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Mrs. A makes learning fun by building relationships and creating environments where students feel welcome and seen. Learn more about Mrs. A on any of her social media platforms.

Jaclyn Farley

Jaclyn Farley

STEM Educator

Jaclyn Farley holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Administration and Supervision. Jaclyn is traveling through her 15th year of teaching. She brings her knowledge of science and love of STEM to her current PreK – 8th grade STEM students. Jaclyn encourages her students to look at their surroundings and nature to solve problems. She is always looking for new ways to challenge her students and help them become great thinkers! Jaclyn also works to collaborate with fellow teachers encouraging the use of STEM activities in the classroom. Jaclyn’s goal is to work with her students as a team to help them accomplish their goals. She does this by creating a welcoming and fun learning environment for all her students through encouragement and sharing her love of learning new things!

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Engineer, STEM Educators, M.Ed

Shonali Ditz is an engineer and educator in Chicago. She is the co-founder and co-director of SparkShop, a Chicago non-profit that brings engineering into 4th and 5th grade classrooms. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering. After working in the automotive and motorsports industry, she and her co-founder launched SparkShop to make engineering more accessible to Chicago students. For five years, their team has built engineering confidence, knowledge, and identity in students historically excluded from STEM on the basis of race, gender, and SES. To date, they have reached over 5000 students!

Stephanie Spezza is the Curriculum Development Specialist at SparkShop, a STEM education nonprofit. She builds 4th and 5th grade curriculum and manages the teacher professional development program. She has 10 years of experience as a middle school science educator. Throughout these years, she has been fortunate to serve students that hold diverse gender, racial, and ethnic identities, as well as varying SES. This experience has developed her skill set for adapting science curricula to be culturally responsive, engaging, and accessible. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education Biology, an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership, and is working towards a Ph.D. in Science Education where her research focus centers equity, social justice, and identity as essential considerations to teaching and learning.

Vivify STEM

natasha Wilkerson & Claire Meschkat

Co-Founders

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 by clicking here!

Kerry Tracy

Kerry Tracy

Founder and Educator

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 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.

Nathalie Roy

Nathalie Roy

Educator

Nathalie Roy teaches Roman Technology, Myth Makers, and Latin at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, where she enjoys introducing the classical world to students through hands-on history, STEM labs, experimental archaeology, and maker education. A National Board-certified teacher, she studied Classics at Louisiana State University. In 2021, Nathalie was named the Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, an experience that lead her to the White House to meet President Biden and the First Lady. Her classes blend humanities and STEM in lessons about the daily life of the ancient Romans. Currently, her Roman Technologists are building a Roman road through their school’s campus. Learn more about Nathalie’s work on her Linktree.

Gracie Ermi

Gracie Ermi

Computer Scientist

Gracie Ermi is a Computer Scientist in Northwest Washington whose career has centered around building technology to study and protect the planet. She works at Impact Observatory, where she trains AI to analyze satellite images of the entire globe in order to determine how land use is changing over time. Gracie is also a science communicator and an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador who has shared her work and her STEM story with audiences around the world. Gracie holds both a B.S. and a M.S. in computer science from Western Washington University, and in her free time, she loves knitting, thrift shopping, taking care of her plants, and getting outside in the incredible Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Industrial Hygienist, Professor, Ph.D

Yasmine Daniels has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and currently works as an Industrial Hygienist in the US government. She is very passionate about reaching out to the youth outside of work; sharing science through a social media platform dedicated to delivering entertaining and engaging science content which she hopes will bring more awareness to the STEM field. She wrote a best-selling children’s book, Building My Self-eSTEAM in Science, which motivates youth to pursue STEAM. Yasmine has founded a youth mentoring program, Pigtails and Pajamas, which provides support and educational resources to young black and brown girls. Yasmine shares many passions outside of science, including being a full-time mom and wife, part-time Chemistry Professor, and volleyball coach. Visit her website to learn more and to connect with her.

April Lara

april Lara

Author and CEO

April Lara is on a mission to ignite teacher’s passion! As the CEO of a high-risk youth program in Chicago Public Schools, April saw the positive transformation in students once they were taught meaningful life skills typically missing from traditional school curriculum. Frustrated by the lack of tools and training available for educators and students, she wrote a book: Becoming Awesome! Life Lessons from the World’s Greatest Leaders. As a speaker, April inspires others to open up to miracles that are happening all around them. Reigniting a Teacher’s passion is an uplifting reminder for educators to remember and celebrate their unique contribution to making a difference with our youth. April holds a BSBA degree from Aquinas College. A lifelong Cubs fan, April lives in Chicago – just a mile away from Wrigley Field with her family. Learn more about April here.

Wittney Swyers

Wittney Swyers

STEM Educator

Wittney Swyers is an experienced early childhood educator and STEM enthusiast. Driven by her desire to see children learn more 21st century skills, she takes pride in providing the best education possible to her class of little learners. This includes as much STEM integration as possible. Ms. Swyers holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as a graduate degree in STEM Integration K-12.

Carrie Willis & Caitlin Arakawa

Caitlin Arakawa & Carrie Willis

Educator & STEAM Director

Caitlin Arakawa 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-curricular 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.

Carrie Willis is the Technology & STEAM Director at Valley Preparatory School, a private school for students in preschool through eighth grade, in Redlands, CA. 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, digital storytelling, engineering and design, and all things STEAM and EdTech, through social media, webinars, and through presentations at local and national conferences.

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in educational leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Nicole Hewes

Nicole hewes

CEO & Author, Ph.D

Nicole Hewes is a PreK-8th grade STEM educator and an informal learning coordinator for her curious toddler. As the teacherpreneur behind Playful STEM, Nicole is passionate about helping other educators infuse STEM learning with exploration, play, and creative autonomy. In her ten years in education, Nicole has facilitated learning experiences for students from PreK through college, always with an emphasis on making learning creative and joyful. Nicole holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is an alumni of the MIT Science and Education Program for Teachers (SEPT), and has previously presented at several conferences in her home state of Maine. Check her out on here for more information.

Monica & Tyler Aiello

Monica & Tyler aiello

Co-Founders and Educators

Monica & Tyler Aiello are award-winning artists and educators based in Denver, CO. As pioneers of STEAM and Maker Education, the couple has designed innovative discovery experiences for NASA, K-12 schools, libraries, colleges, and museums for over 20 years. From K–12 workshops to dynamic PD, they also mentor thousands of students and teachers annually to empower creative and holistic learning opportunities. Through their education initiative EUREKUS, they champion arts-integrated STEM learning for diverse learners, leaders, and communities globally. As practicing visual artists, their work is exhibited and collected internationally, and their educational efforts have been celebrated in NSTA’s Science & Children, McREL’s Changing Schools, Ed Week and PBS. In 2015, they were honored at the White House as a US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Finalist. You can find more information here.

Godwyn Morris

Godwyn Morris

Director and Inventor

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, easy 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.

Renee Heinrich

Renee Heinrich

Educator

As a 31-year veteran teacher, Renee continues to grow as an educator. She creates science and STEM resources and help teachers across the globe find ways to add science and STEM into their classrooms. Renee teaches full time and integrates STEM into her math, reading, social studies, and science lessons. She uses her creatively and love of teaching to continue to inspire her students!

Pamela Alba & Alejandra Escovar

Pamela Alba & Alejandra Escovar

STEM Educators

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Alejandra Escovar, also known as Mrs. A, is a dedicated teacher with more than 20 years of experience inside the classroom. She has been teaching STEAM for the last four years and intends to take this approach to the public and private education sectors in her home country, Dominican Republic. She has a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in the same area with a focus on STEM education. A member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Mrs. A makes learning fun by building relationships and creating environments where students feel welcome and seen. Learn more about Mrs. A on any of her social media platforms.

Jaclyn Farley

Jaclyn Farley

STEM Educator

Jaclyn Farley holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s in Administration and Supervision. Jaclyn is traveling through her 15th year of teaching. She brings her knowledge of science and love of STEM to her current PreK – 8th grade STEM students. Jaclyn encourages her students to look at their surroundings and nature to solve problems. She is always looking for new ways to challenge her students and help them become great thinkers! Jaclyn also works to collaborate with fellow teachers encouraging the use of STEM activities in the classroom. Jaclyn’s goal is to work with her students as a team to help them accomplish their goals. She does this by creating a welcoming and fun learning environment for all her students through encouragement and sharing her love of learning new things!

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Engineer, STEM Educators, M.Ed

Shonali Ditz is an engineer and educator in Chicago. She is the co-founder and co-director of SparkShop, a Chicago non-profit that brings engineering into 4th and 5th grade classrooms. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering. After working in the automotive and motorsports industry, she and her co-founder launched SparkShop to make engineering more accessible to Chicago students. For five years, their team has built engineering confidence, knowledge, and identity in students historically excluded from STEM on the basis of race, gender, and SES. To date, they have reached over 5000 students!

Stephanie Spezza is the Curriculum Development Specialist at SparkShop, a STEM education nonprofit. She builds 4th and 5th grade curriculum and manages the teacher professional development program. She has 10 years of experience as a middle school science educator. Throughout these years, she has been fortunate to serve students that hold diverse gender, racial, and ethnic identities, as well as varying SES. This experience has developed her skill set for adapting science curricula to be culturally responsive, engaging, and accessible. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education Biology, an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership, and is working towards a Ph.D. in Science Education where her research focus centers equity, social justice, and identity as essential considerations to teaching and learning.

Vivify STEM

natasha Wilkerson & Claire Meschkat

Co-Founders

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 by clicking here!

Kerry Tracy

Kerry Tracy

Founder and Educator

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 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.

Nathalie Roy

Nathalie Roy

Educator

Nathalie Roy teaches Roman Technology, Myth Makers, and Latin at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, where she enjoys introducing the classical world to students through hands-on history, STEM labs, experimental archaeology, and maker education. A National Board-certified teacher, she studied Classics at Louisiana State University. In 2021, Nathalie was named the Louisiana State Teacher of the Year, an experience that lead her to the White House to meet President Biden and the First Lady. Her classes blend humanities and STEM in lessons about the daily life of the ancient Romans. Currently, her Roman Technologists are building a Roman road through their school’s campus. Learn more about Nathalie’s work on her Linktree.

Gracie Ermi

Gracie Ermi

Computer Scientist

Gracie Ermi is a Computer Scientist in Northwest Washington whose career has centered around building technology to study and protect the planet. She works at Impact Observatory, where she trains AI to analyze satellite images of the entire globe in order to determine how land use is changing over time. Gracie is also a science communicator and an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador who has shared her work and her STEM story with audiences around the world. Gracie holds both a B.S. and a M.S. in computer science from Western Washington University, and in her free time, she loves knitting, thrift shopping, taking care of her plants, and getting outside in the incredible Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Dr. Yasmine Daniels

Industrial Hygienist, Professor, Ph.D

Yasmine Daniels has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and currently works as an Industrial Hygienist in the US government. She is very passionate about reaching out to the youth outside of work; sharing science through a social media platform dedicated to delivering entertaining and engaging science content which she hopes will bring more awareness to the STEM field. She wrote a best-selling children’s book, Building My Self-eSTEAM in Science, which motivates youth to pursue STEAM. Yasmine has founded a youth mentoring program, Pigtails and Pajamas, which provides support and educational resources to young black and brown girls. Yasmine shares many passions outside of science, including being a full-time mom and wife, part-time Chemistry Professor, and volleyball coach. Visit her website to learn more and to connect with her.

Sunday, April 16th

Day 3: Live Presenters

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins

Founder & Host, Ph. D

Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D., is the Founder of the Leading Equity Center. Dr. Eakins is also the host of The Art of Advocacy Livestream and the Leading Equity Podcast. Furthermore, Dr. Eakins is the author of Leading Equity: Becoming an Advocate for All Students. With over 15 years in education, he has served as a teacher, school principal, adjunct professor, and Director of Special Education. Sheldon Eakins is passionate about helping educators accomplish equitable practices in their schools. He has earned a B.S. degree in Social Science Education, an M.S. degree in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in K-12 Education.

Stijin De Mil

stijin De Mil

Founder

While being a lecturer in computer science and multimedia Stijn discovered the maker community in 2010. As a result of that, he founded the Brussels Fablab in 2011 at the Erasmus University College of Brussels and saw the fantastic opportunities not only for his students, but also for children, people from the neighbourhood, makers, hackers, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs. As a result, Stijn founded FabLab Factory in 2015. FabLab Factory provides equipment, coaching and maintenance for educational institutions that want to set up their own maker space. In 2022 Stijn also founded MakerStudio. This company creates design and fabrication software so that making things with laser cutters, vinyl cutters and embroidery machines becomes a reality for everyone..

Heather Montgomery

Heather Montgomery

Educator & Publisher

My interest in nature led to a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Education. I developed and directed the McDowell Environmental Center. After leaving the center, I taught in the classroom, directed summer camps, and finally discovered writing! I’ve published 17 books for young people and owe much of my publishing knowledge to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, particularly the Southern Breeze Region. My work is represented by Rubin Pfeffer. One of my favorite things is to stand knee-deep in a stream and catch bugs with kids. I still do that, occasionally, when I’m not writing, speaking to students, or leading teacher workshops. I live in beautiful Alabama with my husband, 5 cats and a forest full of wildlife. During my free time, I climb trees, collect fossils, stand under waterfalls, nature journal, explore the Sipsey Wilderness or lay in a hammock and read a good book!

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in educational leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Dia Charley

Dia Charley

Educator

Dia, the face behind Elementary Edventure, is an educator with over 17 years of experience working with elementary students. She is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is culturally responsive and supportive of STEM Literacy practices. When she is not teaching students, Dia enjoys connecting with educators and providing professional development on ways to engage students through multidisciplinary and integrated STEM learning.

Claire Meschkat

Claire Meschkat

Co-Founder of Vivify

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. 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.

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open.

Kerry Tracy

Kerry Tracy

Founder and Educator

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 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.

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins

Dr. Sheldon L. Eakins

Founder & Host, Ph. D

Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D., is the Founder of the Leading Equity Center. Dr. Eakins is also the host of The Art of Advocacy Livestream and the Leading Equity Podcast. Furthermore, Dr. Eakins is the author of Leading Equity: Becoming an Advocate for All Students. With over 15 years in education, he has served as a teacher, school principal, adjunct professor, and Director of Special Education. Sheldon Eakins is passionate about helping educators accomplish equitable practices in their schools. He has earned a B.S. degree in Social Science Education, an M.S. degree in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in K-12 Education.

Stijin De Mil

stijin De Mil

Founder

While being a lecturer in computer science and multimedia Stijn discovered the maker community in 2010. As a result of that, he founded the Brussels Fablab in 2011 at the Erasmus University College of Brussels and saw the fantastic opportunities not only for his students, but also for children, people from the neighbourhood, makers, hackers, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs. As a result, Stijn founded FabLab Factory in 2015. FabLab Factory provides equipment, coaching and maintenance for educational institutions that want to set up their own maker space. In 2022 Stijn also founded MakerStudio. This company creates design and fabrication software so that making things with laser cutters, vinyl cutters and embroidery machines becomes a reality for everyone..

Heather Montgomery

Heather Montgomery

Educator & Publisher

My interest in nature led to a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Education. I developed and directed the McDowell Environmental Center. After leaving the center, I taught in the classroom, directed summer camps, and finally discovered writing! I’ve published 17 books for young people and owe much of my publishing knowledge to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, particularly the Southern Breeze Region. My work is represented by Rubin Pfeffer. One of my favorite things is to stand knee-deep in a stream and catch bugs with kids. I still do that, occasionally, when I’m not writing, speaking to students, or leading teacher workshops. I live in beautiful Alabama with my husband, 5 cats and a forest full of wildlife. During my free time, I climb trees, collect fossils, stand under waterfalls, nature journal, explore the Sipsey Wilderness or lay in a hammock and read a good book!

Brooke Brown

Brooke Brown

Gifted Resource Coordinator, Owner, and Product Developer

Brooke Brown is a National Board-Certified Early Childhood Teacher with 19 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 master’s degree in educational leadership. She creates innovative 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.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Dia Charley

Dia Charley

Educator

Dia, the face behind Elementary Edventure, is an educator with over 17 years of experience working with elementary students. She is passionate about creating a classroom environment that is culturally responsive and supportive of STEM Literacy practices. When she is not teaching students, Dia enjoys connecting with educators and providing professional development on ways to engage students through multidisciplinary and integrated STEM learning.

Claire Meschkat

Claire Meschkat

Co-Founder of Vivify

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. 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.

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open.

Kerry Tracy

Kerry Tracy

Founder and Educator

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 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.

Day 3: Pre-Recorded Presenters

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open.

Pamela Alba

Pamela Alba

Technology Teacher

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Catherine Cheng

Catherine Cheng

STEM and Technology Teacher

Catherine Cheng is a K-5 STEM and Technology teacher. She leads a 5th grade Robotics Club and an Elementary School Chess Club. She loves spending time with family and friends, reading, playing games, and biking. Her husband proposed while biking and they own a tandem. National Parks revive her soul, although Big Bend is awfully hot in June, where she, her husband, and three children hiked The Lost Mine Trail in 120 degree weather. She writes Christmas plays with her twin sister, is an average cook and a less-than-average gardener. She doesn’t help take care of her daughter’s blue-tongued skink at all. She is an ENFJ and an enneagram 3. She loves watching movie previews but can’t stay awake for a whole movie. Catherine is full of ideas and is currently working on a girls’ and women’s leadership conference for her school community.

Emily Gentile

Emily Gentile

Elementary STEM Teacher and Founder of iTeachSTEM

Emily Gentile is an elementary STEM teacher and the founder of iTeachSTEM. Emily always knew she wanted to be a teacher. However, she would have never thought she would leave the general education classroom and become a STEM teacher. Now, Emily gets to create awesome learning opportunities for students through STEM. Making the transition from the classroom to STEM was an exciting but taunting task. She was saving posts on Pinterest like her life depended on it and filling her cart on Amazon like she had won the lottery. Emily quickly came to realize, that it wasn’t a sustainable way to teach STEM. She developed a passion for creating STEM lessons that were low-prep and low-cost. That is when she created, iTeachSTEM. I Teach STEM’s mission is to provide teachers with resources and lessons that promote high engagement… on a budget. Check out her website for more information.

Brian Lopez

brian Lopez

Educator

Brian Lopez is an out of this world teacher from Southern California, who’s been working in education for 20 years, both inside and outside the classroom. This is his 6th year as an English Language Development & Intervention Teacher for students in grades K-6th. Brian’s passion revolves around finding ways to seamlessly immerse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. It is Brian’s belief that every student has a voice, and it is his mission to help each and every student! You can connect with Brian here!

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Monica & Tyler Aiello

Monica & Tyler aiello

Co-Founders and Educators

Monica & Tyler Aiello are award-winning artists and educators based in Denver, CO. As pioneers of STEAM and Maker Education, the couple has designed innovative discovery experiences for NASA, K-12 schools, libraries, colleges, and museums for over 20 years. From K–12 workshops to dynamic PD, they also mentor thousands of students and teachers annually to empower creative and holistic learning opportunities. Through their education initiative EUREKUS, they champion arts-integrated STEM learning for diverse learners, leaders, and communities globally. As practicing visual artists, their work is exhibited and collected internationally, and their educational efforts have been celebrated in NSTA’s Science & Children, McREL’s Changing Schools, Ed Week and PBS. In 2015, they were honored at the White House as a US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Finalist. You can find more information here.

Anita Godwin

Anita Godwin

STEAM Educator

Anita Goodwin, also know as Goodwinnovate, is a k-6 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 a variety of apps and web-based programs and how they can use these tools in the classroom by presenting online and in person. She specializes in Green Screen and STEAM and is also a master of making creative Instagram Stories. Learn more about her on her blog!

Loren Thorpe

Loren Thorpe

Educator

Loren Thorpe has experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom. She 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 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 and engaging learning environments for their students. 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.

Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown

STEM Educator

Michelle Brown is a professional educator, presenter, and former elementary science coach who has devoted over 40 years to instruction and curriculum development. Michelle graduated from Texas Tech and holds a master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan College. She is a National Certified STEM Teacher and was awarded STAT’s Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2009. Michelle has spent the past four years developing a STEAM focused school for her school district, as well as, designing engineering challenges for the TEKS in science. She is also an expert in fifth grade science curriculum and intervention strategies.

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Engineer, STEM Educators, M.Ed

Shonali Ditz is an engineer and educator in Chicago. She is the co-founder and co-director of SparkShop, a Chicago non-profit that brings engineering into 4th and 5th grade classrooms. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering. After working in the automotive and motorsports industry, she and her co-founder launched SparkShop to make engineering more accessible to Chicago students. For five years, their team has built engineering confidence, knowledge, and identity in students historically excluded from STEM on the basis of race, gender, and SES. To date, they have reached over 5000 students!

Stephanie Spezza is the Curriculum Development Specialist at SparkShop, a STEM education nonprofit. She builds 4th and 5th grade curriculum and manages the teacher professional development program. She has 10 years of experience as a middle school science educator. Throughout these years, she has been fortunate to serve students that hold diverse gender, racial, and ethnic identities, as well as varying SES. This experience has developed her skill set for adapting science curricula to be culturally responsive, engaging, and accessible. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education Biology, an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership, and is working towards a Ph.D. in Science Education where her research focus centers equity, social justice, and identity as essential considerations to teaching and learning.

Marijo McBeth

Marijo McBeth

Educator

Marijo has been in education for ten years, serving in a wide variety of roles. She has extensive experience in teaching and tutoring all areas and ages, primary middle school science, and STEAM. Currently, she serves as a course developer for online courses. With most of her experience in informal education settings, Marijo loves to come up with fun, hands-on activities to get her students engaged and let their creativity flow. You can learn more about Marijo on her website.

Brittany Culjan

Brittany Culjan

STEAM Educator

Brittany Culjan is a mother of 3, who makes up half of the STEAM team at Waltham Elementary in Utica, Illinois. She graduated from Monmouth University in Monmouth, Illinois. Although she graduated from, and completed her student teaching in Illinois, she took her first teaching position in Society Hill, South Carolina. After accepting the opportunity to present at STEMCON in 2022, she has since presented to the RSAC, IASA, as well as the IASB conferences. In her free time, she enjoys patronizing the local farmers market, small businesses, and the rest of the Illinois valley with her family.

Canissa Grant

Canissa Grant

Reading Specialist

Canissa Grant is a veteran teacher 10+ years of experience in the classroom. She has been working as a special education teacher in a self-contained and inclusion setting. She currently works as a reading specialist in urban public school and has absolutely found her passion for teaching literacy. She has led professional learning communities at her school and taught teachers how to leverage data to improve their instruction for student mastery. Canissa is also passionate about using technology to support neurodiversity and differentiation. She shares her expertise on data-driven instruction and differentiation on her website.

Vy Hoang

vy Hoang

Plurilingual Service Curriculum Specialist

Vy Hoang is currently a Teacher on Special Assignment for the Anaheim Union High School District as the Plurilingual Services Curriculum Specialist. Vy’s job is to support EL and world language teachers. She is in the process of obtaining an administrative credential and Master of Education on Educational Leadership and Administration. Previously, Vy was a teacher and coordinator of the Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Academy Program at Magnolia High School and Anaheim Union High; the first and only program of its kind in the United States. Vy has 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher. She has mainly taught various levels of Mathematics and Vietnamese but also other subjects such as ELD, 7th Science & Health, Career & College Readiness, and Computer Science. Vy holds the following credentials: 1) Single Subject Vietnamese, 2) CTE Arts, Media, and Entertainment, 3) Single Subject Mathematics, 4) K-8 Multiple Subjects, 5) CTE Information and Communication Technologies, 6) BCLAD Vietnamese, 7) CTE Education, Child Development, and Family Serviced. Vy holds a Master of Arts in Education with a Focus on Math and Science Teaching. Vy feels that there is a crucial need to pass on heritage language and culture to future generations of young Americans. The future starts now, and we must all work together hand in hand to preserve students’ home language and cultures.

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Cristina de Vega Benavides

Spanish Teacher

Cristina is a Spanish full-time primary teacher specialized in upper-elementary. She teaches Literacy, Social Studies, and Art following a British Council and Spanish Education Ministry curriculum. She has over 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. Helping her students collaborate and maintaining engagement during their projects is key for reflection. Reflection leads to meaningful learning. Cristina uses creativity in her class not only for teaching her content but also teaching English to non-English speakers. Cristina wants her class to be a safe space where everyone is respected. Her classroom door is always open.

Pamela Alba

Pamela Alba

Technology Teacher

Pamela Alba, also known as Mrs. Pam, started as an English teacher from home. She taught students as young as 4 years old all the way up to adults. She became a technology teacher and integrated her newfound knowledge in the classroom. She has a certification in STEM and a 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 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 @mrspamalba.

Trina Deboree

Trina Deboree

Educator and Digital Creator

Trina Deboree, from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning, and the Podcasts One Tired Teacher, is a content creator, media specialist, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher. Trina has been in education for 26 years. She loves motivating and supporting both students and teachers alike. Trina is passionate about supporting teachers in their journey to create 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 STEM Con 2020, 2021, and 2022, and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Catherine Cheng

Catherine Cheng

STEM and Technology Teacher

Catherine Cheng is a K-5 STEM and Technology teacher. She leads a 5th grade Robotics Club and an Elementary School Chess Club. She loves spending time with family and friends, reading, playing games, and biking. Her husband proposed while biking and they own a tandem. National Parks revive her soul, although Big Bend is awfully hot in June, where she, her husband, and three children hiked The Lost Mine Trail in 120 degree weather. She writes Christmas plays with her twin sister, is an average cook and a less-than-average gardener. She doesn’t help take care of her daughter’s blue-tongued skink at all. She is an ENFJ and an enneagram 3. She loves watching movie previews but can’t stay awake for a whole movie. Catherine is full of ideas and is currently working on a girls’ and women’s leadership conference for her school community.

Emily Gentile

Emily Gentile

Elementary STEM Teacher and Founder of iTeachSTEM

Emily Gentile is an elementary STEM teacher and the founder of iTeachSTEM. Emily always knew she wanted to be a teacher. However, she would have never thought she would leave the general education classroom and become a STEM teacher. Now, Emily gets to create awesome learning opportunities for students through STEM. Making the transition from the classroom to STEM was an exciting but taunting task. She was saving posts on Pinterest like her life depended on it and filling her cart on Amazon like she had won the lottery. Emily quickly came to realize, that it wasn’t a sustainable way to teach STEM. She developed a passion for creating STEM lessons that were low-prep and low-cost. That is when she created, iTeachSTEM. I Teach STEM’s mission is to provide teachers with resources and lessons that promote high engagement… on a budget. Check out her website for more information.

Brian Lopez

brian Lopez

Educator

Brian Lopez is an out of this world teacher from Southern California, who’s been working in education for 20 years, both inside and outside the classroom. This is his 6th year as an English Language Development & Intervention Teacher for students in grades K-6th. Brian’s passion revolves around finding ways to seamlessly immerse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. It is Brian’s belief that every student has a voice, and it is his mission to help each and every student! You can connect with Brian here!

Emily Starr

Emily Starr

CEO of StarrMatica

Emily Starr is a former teacher on a mission to help her colleagues become science rock stars! For nearly two decades, she has worked with experts, authors, and educators to develop innovative resources as CEO of StarrMatica. Her current projects include: 1) helping teachers build a solid foundation in science pedagogy through her award-winning Virtual Science Coach and 2) helping all students learn the same content with leveled texts through her StarrMatica Texts: Science and Social Studies Your Way. When not presenting, Emily can be found working on her “Think Like a Scientist” picture book series, exploring nature with her two boys, or scuba diving with her husband. Emily has received five highly competitive SBIR grants, the Prometheus Award, and the Iowa Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Learn more about Emily’s work here!

Monica & Tyler Aiello

Monica & Tyler aiello

Co-Founder and Educator

Monica & Tyler Aiello are award-winning artists and educators based in Denver, CO. As pioneers of STEAM and Maker Education, the couple has designed innovative discovery experiences for NASA, K-12 schools, libraries, colleges, and museums for over 20 years. From K–12 workshops to dynamic PD, they also mentor thousands of students and teachers annually to empower creative and holistic learning opportunities. Through their education initiative EUREKUS, they champion arts-integrated STEM learning for diverse learners, leaders, and communities globally. As practicing visual artists, their work is exhibited and collected internationally, and their educational efforts have been celebrated in NSTA’s Science & Children, McREL’s Changing Schools, Ed Week and PBS. In 2015, they were honored at the White House as a US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Finalist. You can find more information here.

Anita Godwin

Anita Godwin

STEAM Educator

Anita Goodwin, also know as Goodwinnovate, is a k-6 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 a variety of apps and web-based programs and how they can use these tools in the classroom by presenting online and in person. She specializes in Green Screen and STEAM and is also a master of making creative Instagram Stories. Learn more about her on her blog!

Loren Thorpe

Loren Thorpe

Educator

Loren Thorpe has experience as a tutor, substitute teacher, full-time classroom teacher, and mom. She 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 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 and engaging learning environments for their students. 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.

Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown

STEM Educator

Michelle Brown is a professional educator, presenter, and former elementary science coach who has devoted over 40 years to instruction and curriculum development. Michelle graduated from Texas Tech and holds a master’s degree from Texas Wesleyan College. She is a National Certified STEM Teacher and was awarded STAT’s Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2009. Michelle has spent the past four years developing a STEAM focused school for her school district, as well as, designing engineering challenges for the TEKS in science. She is also an expert in fifth grade science curriculum and intervention strategies.

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Shonali Ditz & Stephanie Batres Spezza

Engineer, STEM Educators, M.Ed

Shonali Ditz is an engineer and educator in Chicago. She is the co-founder and co-director of SparkShop, a Chicago non-profit that brings engineering into 4th and 5th grade classrooms. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering. After working in the automotive and motorsports industry, she and her co-founder launched SparkShop to make engineering more accessible to Chicago students. For five years, their team has built engineering confidence, knowledge, and identity in students historically excluded from STEM on the basis of race, gender, and SES. To date, they have reached over 5000 students!

Stephanie Spezza is the Curriculum Development Specialist at SparkShop, a STEM education nonprofit. She builds 4th and 5th grade curriculum and manages the teacher professional development program. She has 10 years of experience as a middle school science educator. Throughout these years, she has been fortunate to serve students that hold diverse gender, racial, and ethnic identities, as well as varying SES. This experience has developed her skill set for adapting science curricula to be culturally responsive, engaging, and accessible. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education Biology, an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership, and is working towards a Ph.D. in Science Education where her research focus centers equity, social justice, and identity as essential considerations to teaching and learning.

Marijo McBeth

Marijo McBeth

Educator

Marijo has been in education for ten years, serving in a wide variety of roles. She has extensive experience in teaching and tutoring all areas and ages, primary middle school science, and STEAM. Currently, she serves as a course developer for online courses. With most of her experience in informal education settings, Marijo loves to come up with fun, hands-on activities to get her students engaged and let their creativity flow. You can learn more about Marijo on her website.

Brittany Culjan

Brittany Culjan

STEAM Educator

Brittany Culjan is a mother of 3, who makes up half of the STEAM team at Waltham Elementary in Utica, Illinois. She graduated from Monmouth University in Monmouth, Illinois. Although she graduated from, and completed her student teaching in Illinois, she took her first teaching position in Society Hill, South Carolina. After accepting the opportunity to present at STEMCON in 2022, she has since presented to the RSAC, IASA, as well as the IASB conferences. In her free time, she enjoys patronizing the local farmers market, small businesses, and the rest of the Illinois valley with her family.

Canissa Grant

Canissa Grant

Reading Specialist

Canissa Grant is a veteran teacher 10+ years of experience in the classroom. She has been working as a special education teacher in a self-contained and inclusion setting. She currently works as a reading specialist in urban public school and has absolutely found her passion for teaching literacy. She has led professional learning communities at her school and taught teachers how to leverage data to improve their instruction for student mastery. Canissa is also passionate about using technology to support neurodiversity and differentiation. She shares her expertise on data-driven instruction and differentiation on her website.

Vy Hoang

vy Hoang

Plurilingual Service Curriculum Specialist

Vy Hoang is currently a Teacher on Special Assignment for the Anaheim Union High School District as the Plurilingual Services Curriculum Specialist. Vy’s job is to support EL and world language teachers. She is in the process of obtaining an administrative credential and Master of Education on Educational Leadership and Administration. Previously, Vy was a teacher and coordinator of the Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Academy Program at Magnolia High School and Anaheim Union High; the first and only program of its kind in the United States. Vy has 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher. She has mainly taught various levels of Mathematics and Vietnamese but also other subjects such as ELD, 7th Science & Health, Career & College Readiness, and Computer Science. Vy holds the following credentials: 1) Single Subject Vietnamese, 2) CTE Arts, Media, and Entertainment, 3) Single Subject Mathematics, 4) K-8 Multiple Subjects, 5) CTE Information and Communication Technologies, 6) BCLAD Vietnamese, 7) CTE Education, Child Development, and Family Serviced. Vy holds a Master of Arts in Education with a Focus on Math and Science Teaching. Vy feels that there is a crucial need to pass on heritage language and culture to future generations of young Americans. The future starts now, and we must all work together hand in hand to preserve students’ home language and cultures.

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