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Who are the 2024 STEM CON & Beyond Presenters?

We’ll need more than a couple of minutes to brag on our esteemed presenters. Our presenters include:

  • Award-Winning Educators (five of whom have been honored at the White House for their excellence in education)
  • Numerous National Board Certified Teachers
  • STEM / STEAM Specialists, Program Directors, and Coaches
  • Media Specialists
  • Innovators / Inventors
  • STEM Professionals
  • Award-Winning Authors

Use the drop down menus below to learn more about their credentials, roles & honors.

Our presenters include many who have been recognized for their work, including:

  • South Carolina honoree of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching (honored at the White House)
  • 2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Finalist (honored at the White House)
  • Louisiana State Teacher of the Year (honored at the White House)
  • State Finalist South Carolina Teacher of the Year
  • Recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for work in children’s literature
  • NSTA Best STEM Book K-12 List (2023)
  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  • Local award winner for the National Council for Women in Information Technology
  • 2019 honorable mention for the STEM Excellence award from ISTE
  • West Virginia 2020 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Elementary (PAEMST)
  • Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms alumni
  • 2023 West Virginia Elementary Environmental Teacher of the Year

Many of our presenters have earned advanced degrees.

Masters degrees held by our presenters:

  • Design-Based Learning
  • Creativity & Cognition
  • Fine Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum Development
  • Library Science
  • Supervision and Administration in Education
  • Neuropsychology/Brain Learning
  • Special Education
  • Environmental Studies
  • Microbiology
  • Instructional Design and Educational Technology
  • Medical Informatics
  • Education Technology and Media Design
  • Reading Education
  • Environmental Education

In addition, six of our presenters hold PhDs & one holds an MD.

Many of our presenters are working / have worked in STEM fields, including:

  • Pharmacy technician
  • Aerospace engineers
  • Ph.D. Chemist and Certified Industrial Hygienist in the US government
  • Software engineers
  • Pediatrician
  • Director in both Invasive and Non-invasive Cardiology Systems
  • Research scientist
  • Google & Intel Product Designer
  • Senior Manager of STEM Programs at the American Nuclear Society
  • Computer science professor

Our presenters are lifelong-learners who have earned various certifications and leadership roles, including:

  • Numerous National Board Certified Teachers
  • STEM / STEAM Integration & Instructional Coaches
  • School Site Tech & STEAM Director
  • Curriculum & PD Dept. Lead
  • LEGO Education Master Educator
  • Sphero Certified Educator
  • Epic Master Teacher
  • K-6 Innovation teacher
  • Common Sense Certified Educator
  • NISE STEM Teacher
  • Ozobot Certified Educator
  • Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassadors
  • Certified Adapted Physical Educator
  • National Geographic Educators
  • Captain for the New Jersey Google for Educators Group
  • Executive Board Liaison for the WV Science Teachers Association as the Elementary Science Ambassador Representative
  • Team Manager for Destination Imagination, Odyssey of the Mind, First Lego League, and Maryland Engineering Challenges
  • CEO of High-Risk Youth Program in Chicago
  • Middle School Director at a Montessori School
  • Co-lead STEM Educator at the First Nationally STEM Certified Campus in New Jersey
  • Equity Program Manager
  • Lego Robotics Coach
  • Robotics Program Coordinator/Instructor
  • Instructional Technology Coordinator
  • President of the Cosmic Leap Foundation
  • Advisory Board Member for the National Science Teaching Association’s Science & Children Journal

Our presenters include educators with experience teaching in:

  • General education classrooms
  • STEM specials rotations
  • Libraries & makerspaces
  • Public, private, and charter schools, as well as homeschooling environments
  • Rural communities
  • After-school programs

In addition, we have specialists in:

  • Bilingual / ELL
  • SPED
  • Gifted

Live Session Presenter Bios

Session descriptions can be found on the Sessions by Day page.

Play Your "A" Game in STEM

Kantis is a “cool nerd” who was blessed to work as a Research Scientist for companies like Mobil Chemical Company, NASA Langley Research Center, and CIBA Vision (now Alcon). He’s irrationally passionate about inspiring students, parents, and educators to skyrocket their performance in school and life. His mission is to help students:

  • Learn STEM by providing the tools and study skills needed to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Love STEM so deeply that they pursue college degrees and careers in STEM fields funded by scholarships.
  • Live STEM by making a positive impact on the world through careers and jobs that bring happiness and fulfillment.

Learn more about Kantis here.

Hands-on Creativity & Making with STEAM in the Classroom

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.

Wired for Wonder: STEAM Circuit Creations

Caitlin is a former Kindergarten and current 3rd grade teacher in Redlands Unified School District in Southern California. She enjoys infusing coding, robotics, and STEAM cross-curricularly while encouraging her students to embrace curiosity, think creatively, problem solve, collaborate effectively, and innovate. She is an enthusiastic and relatable educator who likes to learn, share, and connect with educators from around the world. Her advocacy for STEAM and EdTech is evident through her regular participation in local, national, and online conferences. Caitlin is a teacher ambassador for educational platforms such as Nearpod, Seesaw, Wonder Workshop, and Discovery Education and is a Common Sense Certified Educator. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Wired for Wonder: STEAM Circuit Creations

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

Poop, Puke and Punny: Sick Science STREAMs Across the Curriculum

Heather’s interest in nature led to a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Education. She developed and directed the McDowell Environmental Center. After leaving the center, Heather taught in the classroom, directed summer camps, and finally discovered writing! She has 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. Her work is represented by Rubin Pfeffer. One of her favorite things is to stand knee-deep in a stream and catch bugs with kids. Shee still dso that, occasionally, when she’s not writing, speaking to students, or leading teacher workshops. During her free time she climbs trees, collects fossils, stands under waterfalls, nature journals, explores the Sipsey Wilderness or lays in a hammock and reads a good book! Learn more her here.

“That's a cool job!” — Leverage Virtual Makerspaces to Help Your Students Experience Real-World STEM Careers Like Never Before

Qweebi is a STEM education company that was co-founded by Vivek Seetharaman, Aman Bansal & Abhishek Avana. They have a background of over two decades building startups, creating engaging games & designing immersive virtual worlds. At Qweebi, they’re building a ‘Virtual Makerspace’ that lets teachers run exciting hands-on STEM projects with their students, completely online. Qweebi has real-world supplies like cardboard, batteries, motors, and much more. It also has tools to cut, glue, and even solder. Enabling students to build & test life-like prototypes that actually work just like in the real world. Qweebi is really about providing equitable access to quality STEM education to every student and teacher in the world. Learn more through their website.

“That's a cool job!” — Leverage Virtual Makerspaces to Help Your Students Experience Real-World STEM Careers Like Never Before

Qweebi is a STEM education company that was co-founded by Vivek Seetharaman, Aman Bansal & Abhishek Avana. They have a background of over two decades building startups, creating engaging games & designing immersive virtual worlds. At Qweebi, they’re building a ‘Virtual Makerspace’ that lets teachers run exciting hands-on STEM projects with their students, completely online. Qweebi has real-world supplies like cardboard, batteries, motors, and much more. It also has tools to cut, glue, and even solder. Enabling students to build & test life-like prototypes that actually work just like in the real world. Qweebi is really about providing equitable access to quality STEM education to every student and teacher in the world. Learn more through their website.

Putting the CreAtivity in STEAM (Live Authors' Panel)

Jed began his EDU career in 2001. He was featured in GQ Magazine as Male Leader of the Year, met President Obama as the SC honoree of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching, & was a finalist for SC Teacher of the Year. In 2015 he began leading professional development across the country, & training the next generation of EDUs through teaching in Higher Ed. He published his 1st book, The Playful Classroom, in 2020 and his 2nd book, The Courageous Classroom, in July 2021. Book number three, The Playful Life, was released in October 2022. Learn more about him here.

Aimee Lucido is the author of Emmy in the Key of Code, Recipe for Disaster, the upcoming Words Apart (Versify, 2024), and her picture book debut, Pasta Pasta Lotsa Pasta (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster). She got her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Hamline University and lives with her husband and dog in Berkeley, CA where she likes to do trivia, run, and write crossword puzzles.

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.

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 six 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. Learn more about Laurie on her website or on her socials @lauriewallmark.

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.

AI & Machine Learning in STEM Classrooms: Opportunities and Challenges (Live Panel)

Andrea Flagiello is a K-4 STEAM educator in sunny southern California. Early in her elementary teaching career, she noticed the impact of using technology in the classroom. It engaged students and helped them to connect with worlds outside of the classroom. When she became a STEAM teacher, she noticed students were often intimidated by technology and were hesitant to reach past their comfort zone. Since then she’s worked with students to push and empower them to try new things, with the goal that technology is simply a tool they can use to showcase their amazingness! When she’s not at school, you can find her at the beach, listening to a new audiobook and catching up with friends and family!

Michelle has been a STEAM educator at Hudson Montessori School’s STEAM for the past 12 years. She is a nationally certified STEM educator, a National Geographic-certified educator, and holds a Master’s Degree in Microbiology. She believes in providing hands-on learning experiences that spark curiosity, foster creativity, and sharpen critical thinking skills. Beyond the classroom, Michelle believes in collaborating with fellow educators on teaching techniques, drawing on education research to keep learning effective, and has presented at several education conferences.

Natasha Wilkerson is an aerospace engineer turned educator who has been working in STEM education for the last 10 years. She is co-founder of Vivify, a STEM education company focused on developing low-prep and classroom-tested K-12 STEM lessons with meaningful learning outcomes. Natasha is also the President of the Cosmic Leap Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers educators to create transformative learning experiences through the lens of space exploration. Natasha holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at Texas A&M University.

Trina Deboree from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning and the Podcast One Tired Teacher is a content creator, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher and Media Specialist. Trina has been in education for 27 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 2020-2023 and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

STEMclusion: Inclusive Practices in STEM Classrooms (Live Panel)

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.

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.

Jaclyn Farley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters 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!

Liz has taught technology and engineering education for over a decade in all types of schools around the world; focusing on helping students learn how to solve problems and understand the human-made world. Since the beginning of her career, Liz has taught STEM project-based learning and design thinking. Now, through her company, WhyMaker, she is on a mission to help teachers teach students in meaningful and authentic ways. Learn more about Whymaker on our website.

Misty Burgueño started her career as a paraprofessional, supporting inclusion in the classroom. As she moved around with her military husband and two kids, her career evolved. She progressed from para pro, to substitute, to teacher and technology liaison. Misty has been teaching ELD students in Tucson, AZ since 2019. Currently, Misty teaches 1st grade ELD and has a passion for STEAM education. She provides technology support to her campus and training within her district. She believes that technology is the way of the world and the best way to understand it, is to explore it. With the right practice, anything is possible. Misty has an Instagram account dedicated to providing ideas and support in the classroom. Follow her on Instagram.

All Things STEM: Ask Us Anything (Live Panel)

Five female panelists pictured

Brooke Brown is a National Board Certified teacher, presenter, and educational resource developer who specializes in STEM, Makerspaces, coding, robotics, and hands-on literacy. With almost 20 years of classroom experience, Brooke has a passion for creating innovative, play-based activities that foster memorable and engaging learning experiences. Brooke is the inventor of STEM Bins® and develops both STEM and literacy products for hand2mind. Learn more about Brooke on her website.

Brittany Culjan is a K-8 STEAM teacher in a rural community. She actively promotes integrating technology and science into traditional learning curriculums. Her initiatives aim to empower young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, breaking down barriers and challenging gender stereotypes. This is Brittany’s third year presenting at STEM-CON as she tries to add new and exciting ideas to share with other educators. Brittany is also a member of the Cosmic Leap Foundation which is constantly changing the way we as well as our students learn about space and the amazing people who are leading the charge. When she is not hanging out with her students, Brittany is outside exploring alongside her three children or reading and working with her hands.

Emily Gentile is a catalyst for curiosity and a champion for hands-on learning. As a dedicated K-6 STEM educator, Emily’s mission is to create boundless opportunities for children to explore the wonders of science, technology, engineering, & math. With years of classroom experience, Emily understands the challenges faced by STEM teachers – the need for diverse materials and the time-intensive task of creating engaging lessons. Fueled by her passion for teaching and desire to make quality education accessible to all, Emily founded “I Teach STEM.” This innovative platform is a haven for educators, offering a wealth of low-cost, low-prep activities that transform ordinary classrooms into hubs of excitement & discovery. Emily’s brainchild, I Teach STEM,  has become a go-to resource for teachers seeking captivating yet budget-friendly teaching materials.

Michelle has been a STEAM educator at Hudson Montessori School’s STEAM for the past 12 years. She is a nationally certified STEM educator, a National Geographic-certified educator, and holds a Master’s Degree in Microbiology. She believes in providing hands-on learning experiences that spark curiosity, foster creativity, and sharpen critical thinking skills. Beyond the classroom, Michelle believes in collaborating with fellow educators on teaching techniques, drawing on education research to keep learning effective, and has presented at several education conferences.

Jill Johnson is a STEM education professional from Orlando, Florida with a passion for inspiring innovation and STEM confidence among young learners. Working as a classroom and STEM resource teacher for over 10 years, she initiated new community partnerships and opportunities, including the establishment of a local Girls Who Code club. Jill earned her master’s degree in instructional design and educational technology from the University of Central Florida. She was named Curriculum Associates Extraordinary Educator 2022 and also co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Learn more about Jill Johnson here

Pre-recorded Presenter Bios

(Alphabetical by first name, with newly-added presenters at the end)
Session descriptions can be found on the Sessions by Day page.

Nurturing Inquiry: Exploring Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Gardens in Early Elementary STEM Education

Alejandra is a passionate STEAM teacher from the Dominican Republic. With a deep love for science and a heart for teaching, she inspires students to explore, question, and learn. Using innovative methods and real-world applications, Alejandra creates a vibrant classroom where curiosity thrives. Her mission? To spark a lifelong love for learning in every student, fostering creativity and critical thinking along the way. With a warm smile and boundless enthusiasm, Alejandra makes education an exciting adventure for all.

Get In Gear For Your Future Career - A Guide For Teaching Career Readiness Through STEAM & PBL!

Allison Baldonado started as an elementary teacher, teaching grades 3-5, before moving into her new role as a STEAM Integration Coach. She believes in a hands-on approach to learning, providing her students with real-world experiences through STEAM and project-based integration. Allison’s commitment to excellence in education is evident in her vision for a future where creativity and critical thinking go hand in hand. At the start of 2023, Allison and a fellow teacher Jen Madden, started A STEM Garden, a STEAM-based collaboration to promote hands-on learning pathways. A STEM Garden aims to expose students to career pathways involving STEAM and connect what is learned in the classroom to the real world.

STEMulating Minds: STEM in the Elementary School Culture

Ms. Chacon, a seasoned educator with 20 years of diverse experience, is currently serving as Carroll Elementary’s librarian. With a BA in English from the University of Houston and a Master of Library Science from Sam Houston State University, she’s well-equipped to nurture young minds. Ms. Chacon holds a range of certifications, including EC-12 Library Resources, 4-12 English/Language Arts, NISE STEM Teacher, and is a Future Ready Librarian: Empowering Students as Creators. Recognized as a LEGO Education Master Educator, Ozobot Certified Educator, Sphero Certified Educator, Epic Master Teacher, and Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador, she envisions the library as a vibrant space where students are inspired to explore their passions and unleash their creativity. For her, #MyLibraryIsNotQuiet! Learn more about her here.

Tinkering with Tinkercad

Amber Hudson, Vice President of Educational Services at 1st Maker Space, INC., leads the curriculum and professional development for 1st Maker Space. Amber spent over 20 years teaching upper elementary in Hamilton Southeastern Schools. During her tenure, she taught a variety of subjects but fell in love with STEM. She created a classroom maker space, at the cusp of the maker movement, that was collaborative, problem-based, and student driven. Her classroom maker projects gained the attention of Mayor Scott Fadness of Fishers, IN, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and Congresswoman Susan Brooks. Amber has an M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and a passion for developing curriculum and designing lessons that incorporate hands-on learning. Amber leads PD opportunities across the United States with a focus on engaging, STEM-related, hands-on content.

Coding and STEAM in the Early Years with Scratch Junior!

Andrea Flagiello is a K-4 STEAM educator in sunny southern California. Early in her elementary teaching career, she noticed the impact of using technology in the classroom. It engaged students and helped them to connect with worlds outside of the classroom. When she became a STEAM teacher, she noticed students were often intimidated by technology and were hesitant to reach past their comfort zone. Since then she’s worked with students to push and empower them to try new things, with the goal that technology is simply a tool they can use to showcase their amazingness! When she’s not at school, you can find her at the beach, listening to a new audiobook and catching up with friends and family!

Green Screen Wizardry: Unveiling Hidden Treasures with Green Objects

Anita Goodwin, also know as Goodwinnovate, is a K-6 Innovation (STEM/Makerspace) teacher in Berne, Indiana who loves to help students grow their creativity, determination, and mindset through building, making, coding, and play. Over the past 28 years of teaching she has helped teachers and students learn how create digital projects using a variety of apps and web based programs. She specializes in Green Screen and STEM.

Self-Awareness and STEM: Getting the Best Out of Your Students

April Lara is on a mission to ignite teachers’ passion! As the CEO of a high-risk youth program in Chicago Public Schools, April saw a positive transformation in students once they were taught meaningful life skills often 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 in our youth. April holds a BSBA degree from Aquinas College. A lifelong Cubs fan, she lives in Chicago, only a mile from Wrigley Field with her family. Learn more about April.

Bringing Real Life Into the STEM Classroom & How to Transform Your STEM Classroom for Diverse Learners

Arial Williams is an entrepreneur, certified pharmacy technician, and lab contractor. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biological and Biomedical Sciences with a pre-pharmacy concentration. Her experience consists of classroom teaching, laboratory work, tutoring, and education-based research. Arial founded her brand, A Gtt of Pretty (pronounced “A drop of pretty”), in December of 2021. It’s mission is to promote fun and diversity in STEM and medicine. She does this by exposing youth to healthcare/science workshops, designing curriculum with engaging themes and diverse characters, and sharing information on social media.

ELL Primary Grades Project: #EdTech that Empowers Student Expression

Brian Lopez is a Bilingual Educator/ELL teacher for grades TK-6th in Southern California. Brian has worked in education for 21 years, both inside and outside the classroom. Brian’s passion revolves around finding ways to seamlessly immerse educational technology into his everyday classroom activities. Connect with Brian on Social Media @hellomrlopez.

STEAM Bingo: How to Control the Chaos


Brielle Carabetta is a fourth year elementary S.T.E.A.M. educator in New Jersey. She is also pursuing her masters degree in educational leadership in hopes of broadening the scope of science and engineering. She has aided her district in creating a cross curricular approach and resources for science and S.T.E.A.M. teachers in her district, while implementing hands on and immersive S.T.E.A.M. challenges in her own classroom. As a new teacher, Brielle has created and revised multiple resources to perfect her class, in which she goes on to share those resources to help other new or existing teachers. A fun fact about Brielle is that she is best known in her district for her class pet, Oswald, the bearded dragon. You can learn more about Brielle on her instagram @ms.collaborartory.

Bridging the Gap: Teaching the Old with the New

Brittany Culjan is a K-8 STEAM teacher in a rural community. She actively promotes integrating technology and science into traditional learning curriculums. Her initiatives aim to empower young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, breaking down barriers and challenging gender stereotypes. This is Brittany’s third year presenting at STEM-CON as she tries to add new and exciting ideas to share with other educators. Brittany is also a member of the Cosmic Leap Foundation which is constantly changing the way we as well as our students learn about space and the amazing people who are leading the charge. When she is not hanging out with her students, Brittany is outside exploring alongside her three children or reading and working with her hands.

Top Read Alouds for STEM & Ready for Robots!

Brooke Brown is a National Board Certified teacher, presenter, and educational resource developer who specializes in STEM, Makerspaces, coding, robotics, and hands-on literacy. With almost 20 years of classroom experience, Brooke has a passion for creating innovative, play-based activities that foster memorable and engaging learning experiences. Brooke is the inventor of STEM Bins® and develops both STEM and literacy products for hand2mind. Learn more about Brooke on her website.

Mathematics in Motion: Exploring Elementary Mathematics Through Coding and Robotic Adventures

Caitlin is a former Kindergarten and current 3rd grade teacher in Redlands Unified School District in Southern California. She enjoys infusing coding, robotics, and STEAM cross-curricularly while encouraging her students to embrace curiosity, think creatively, problem solve, collaborate effectively, and innovate. She is an enthusiastic and relatable educator who likes to learn, share, and connect with educators from around the world. Her advocacy for STEAM and EdTech is evident through her regular participation in local, national, and online conferences. Caitlin is a teacher ambassador for educational platforms such as Nearpod, Seesaw, Wonder Workshop, and Discovery Education and is a Common Sense Certified Educator. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Mathematics in Motion: Exploring Elementary Mathematics Through Coding and Robotic Adventures

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

Building Minds Brick by Brick: Boosting Creativity and Learning with Building Bricks in the Classroom

Claire Meschkat is an aerospace engineer turned educator and co-founder of Vivify, a STEM education company focused on developing low-prep and classroom-tested K-12 STEM lessons with meaningful learning outcomes. She previously designed airplanes and worked for the NASA Space Shuttle program. She is now a PreK – 8th grade STEM teacher and program coordinator at a Texas private school. Claire holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a master’s degree in Creativity & Cognition at Texas A&M University.

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

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.

Observation + Writing: Learning from the Field Notebooks of 14 Smithsonian Scientists

Children’s book author and indie publisher Darcy Pattison writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Five books have received starred PW, Kirkus, or BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, three Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book (CA Reading Assn.), two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, an Arkansiana Award, and the Susannah DeBlack Arkansas Children’s History Book award. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature. Her books have been translated into ten languages. See her books here.

CAUTION! Move Slow + Think Human: Helping Students Consider the Pros, Cons, and Ethics of Technology Design and Use

Elaine Kachala is the award-winning author of Superpower? The Wearable-Tech Revolution. It is an NSTA/CBC Best STEM Book for K-12 (2023), a Finalist for the Middle Grades AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books (2024), and for the Red Cedar Book Awards (2023-24). Superpower? was also featured on best new title lists such as Children’s Literature, TEACH Magazine, Tinlids, and Top Grade CanLit for the Classroom. Elaine is also a health policy advisor who has led the research and writing of health reports for governments and agencies for over twenty-five years. She has degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Toronto and a Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University. Elaine is also a member of The Writer’s Union of Canada. She lives with her family in Toronto.

STEM Classroom Must-Haves

Emily Gentile is a catalyst for curiosity and a champion for hands-on learning. As a dedicated K-6 STEM educator, Emily’s mission is to create boundless opportunities for children to explore the wonders of science, technology, engineering, & math. With years of classroom experience, Emily understands the challenges faced by STEM teachers – the need for diverse materials and the time-intensive task of creating engaging lessons. Fueled by her passion for teaching and desire to make quality education accessible to all, Emily founded “I Teach STEM.” This innovative platform is a haven for educators, offering a wealth of low-cost, low-prep activities that transform ordinary classrooms into hubs of excitement & discovery. Emily’s brainchild, I Teach STEM,  has become a go-to resource for teachers seeking captivating yet budget-friendly teaching materials.

A Tough Conversation – How to Know Whether to Invest in a Resource & Science and Engineering Everyday? Yes! Hooray!

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.

Leading the Spirit of STEM/Making in Your Multilingual Classroom

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author and educator (M.Ed.). Erin is an interactive storyteller combining her love of teaching and writing in childrens’ books. Her book series features the stories and superpowers of women in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) careers. Erin Twamley is a unique author who blends her educational background and experience with non-fiction children’s book writing to spark interest and build girls’ confidence in STEM. Most recently, she designed and now operates a Makerspace at an International Library. Through this work, she continues to serve multilingual kids and encourage their participation in STEM and Making learning opportunities. Learn more about her work.

Making Mazes - Physical and Digital

Godwyn Morris is the Director of Dazzling Discoveries STEM Education Center in NYC and Skill Mill NYC, maker space style facilities in New York City. Her mission is to empower educators and students through hands-on creative experiences. She is the inventor of DazzLinks Cardboard Building Kits, co-creator of Engineering with Paper packets; projects that can be made with just paper, tape and scissors. Several of her projects have been published in the New York Times. Learn more about her work on her website.

Creating Circular Makerspaces

Dr. Grace Sanvictores, currently the Middle School Director at Hudson Montessori School in NJ, previously served as a middle school Educational Technology, Math, & Science teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in Supervision & Administration in Education, is a National STEM-certified teacher, & earned her doctorate from Saint Peter’s University, focusing her dissertation research on STEM integration. As a Lego Robotics coach, she led students to compete successfully in statewide competitions. A co-lead STEM educator at the first nationally STEM Certified campus in NJ, she is also a certified National Geographic Educator and a Captain for the NJ Google for Educators Group. Dr. Sanvictores has presented at the NJ Science Convention on Biochemistry for Kids, the NJ Montessori Association Convention, and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Little Engineers: STEAM in the Primary Grades

Hattie Strickland has been incorporating STEAM into her classroom for the past 11 years. Her teaching experiences include teaching kindergarten and third grade, teaching STEAM as a special across K-5, and being an instructional coach and STEAM coordinator. She is now back in the classroom teaching kindergarten, which she loves. Hattie has helped grow the STEAM program at her school from her singular classroom to a schoolwide model where STEAM takes place in every classroom every day. She has a passion for STEAM and believes every child should have access to STEAM education daily. She enjoys sharing practical STEAM ideas and tips from her classroom through Instagram! Hattie lives in Denver, Colorado and enjoys all that the mountains have to offer. Gain STEAM ideas and connect with Hattie through her Instagram.

Spotlight on a Strategy: Broadcast News Team

Dr. Heather Kaiser is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist with advanced degrees in educational technology & e-learning. She is fully licensed to teach students in grades K-6th and academically gifted students. Dr. Kaiser has been teaching for 26 years in Cumberland County Schools. As a STEM specialist, she received the coveted Burroughs Welcome Career Award for Science & 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 2021–2023, and Whole Teacher EclecticCON 2021. Learn more about her on her website

Cardboard Chaos

Jaclyn Farley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters 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!

Creative Thinking 101

Jed began his EDU career in 2001. He was featured in GQ Magazine as Male Leader of the Year, met President Obama as the SC honoree of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching, & was a finalist for SC Teacher of the Year. In 2015 he began leading professional development across the country, & training the next generation of EDUs through teaching in Higher Ed. He published his 1st book, The Playful Classroom, in 2020 and his 2nd book, The Courageous Classroom, in July 2021. Book number three, The Playful Life, was released in October 2022. Learn more about him here.

Get In Gear For Your Future Career - A Guide For Teaching Career Readiness Through STEAM & PBL!

Jen Madden is a dedicated educator whose passion lies in project-based learning and STEAM education. With a firm belief in preparing students for the technologically advanced real world, she strives to instill the necessary skills for success. Known for her creativity and room transformations, she fosters an innovative and engaging learning environment and believes in the importance of encouraging problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. At the start of 2023, Jen and fellow teacher Allison Baldonado started A STEM Garden, a STEAM-based collaboration to promote hands-on learning pathways. A STEM Garden aims to expose students to career pathways involving STEAM and connect what is learned in the classroom to the real world.

STREAM Thinking: Applying Scientific Process to Student Writing

An autistic mom of three autistic kids, Jen Malia is the author of The Infinity Rainbow Club series and Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism. She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing Coordinator at Norfolk State University. She has written for or appeared on the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Parents, Glamour, Woman’s Day, and others. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California and is pursuing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Originally from Pittsburgh, she currently lives with her husband and three kids in Virginia Beach. You can find her on her website.

Getting Creative with Digital STEM Activities & STEAMing Up your Classroom

Jennifer Swanson is the author of 45+ nonfiction books for kids. She is the creator and cohost of the Solve It! For Kids podcast which received a Platinum dotComm award for excellence in kids and family podcast series. Her passion for science and technology resonates in all of her books but especially, Brain Games, named one of the 50 Best Science Books Ever by ThePlanets.org, Astronaut-Aquanaut, and Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner, Save the Crash-test Dummies. Her books have received starred reviews, won a Kirkus Best Books Award, a Green Earth Book Honor Award, three Florida Book Awards, California Reading Association awards, and NSTA BEST STEM awards. Jennifer is an accomplished speaker at events and schools around the country, including the National NSTA conferences, the World Science Festival in NYC, and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival.

Not So Scary Robotics in Informal and Traditional Classroom

Jessica Linkletter is a 5th-8th grade robotics teacher in a traditional ‘specials’ classroom and robotics program coordinator/instructor for ages 5-14 at the Greensboro Science Center in informal classrooms. She was first introduced to robotics in 2017 through an education internship and has continued to explore robotics and STEM education in traditional and informal spaces. Jessica is passionate about demystifying coding and robotics for students and adults alike by starting with unplugged coding and moving to word-based blocks for a guided release as confidence increases. Jessica spends her year planning and teaching: homeschool, after school, girl scout badge, traditional classroom, and summer camp lesson plans for robotics, engineering, and science topics.

I Can't Code! How to Teach Coding without Knowing How to Code & Building Brick Innovation for ELLs: Bridging Language Gaps in Elementary Science & Beyond

Jill Johnson is a STEM education professional from Orlando, Florida with a passion for inspiring innovation and STEM confidence among young learners. Working as a classroom and STEM resource teacher for over 10 years, she initiated new community partnerships and opportunities, including the establishment of a local Girls Who Code club. Jill earned her master’s degree in instructional design and educational technology from the University of Central Florida. She was named Curriculum Associates Extraordinary Educator 2022 and also co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Learn more about Jill Johnson here

The STREAM Evolution that EMPARTS Scientific Learning through Fun Movement Activities

Dr. Joanne Margaret Hynes-Hunter was the youngest student, at 28, to receive her doctorate in Kinesiology at Columbia University. She received her EdM in Neuropsychology/Brain Learning from Columbia, M.S. in Special Education, and B.S. in P.E. & Health degrees from Queens College, NY. Currently a Certified Adapted Physical Educator, Dr. Hunter has taught at prek-12 public and private schools, over 40 courses at 2-4 year institutions on the east/west coasts, and for graduate programs. Joanne has presented at over 220 conferences & trainings, has 30+ peer-reviewed articles in research/trade journals, 16 books, and 16 book chapters. She has won 15 awards for her cutting-edge use of technology, her contribution to the profession as a researcher and teacher, and her service. Learn more about Joanne on her website.

Make the Plan the Point

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.

STREAM Thinking: Applying Scientific Process to Student Writing

Kirsten W. Larson used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. Kirsten is the author of the STEM picture books Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane, illustrated by Tracy Subisak (Calkins Creek, 2020), and The Fire of Stars: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Chronicle, 2023). Her other books include A True Wonder: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything, illustrated by Katy Wu (Clarion, 2021), and 30 nonfiction books for the school and library market. Learn more and connect with Kirsten on her website.

STEAMing Up Your Classroom

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 six 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. Learn more about Laurie on her website or on her socials @lauriewallmark.

Unplugged Coding In The Classroom - Yes Please!

Lesley is a Toronto based educator with more than 22 years of teaching experience. She has taught all grades from Kindergarten to Grade 6, Special Education and worked centrally as a Math Coach for 5 years. Lesley enjoys mentoring in-service and beginning teachers and helping them grow into wonderful educators. Lesley has presented several times at provincial conferences such as OAME. Lesley is one-half of the duo who make up LMNOP Resources, who create lessons for teachers to use in their classroom involving unplugged coding. In her free time Lesley enjoys travelling and eating at fun places. You can follow Lesley on Twitter @TeachMsPike or on Instagram: @TeachMsPike and @lmnop_resources.

Montessori Meets STEM: Hands-On Strategies for 21st Century Classrooms

Letty and Zoe Rising are a mother-daughter team devoted to Montessori education and science. Letty is a Montessori consultant, trainer, speaker, and content creator with an AMI diploma for ages 6-12, an M.Ed from Loyola University. She’s held diverse roles such as Elementary Teacher, Education Coordinator, and Principal. Her expertise spans public, private, and charter schools, as well as homeschooling environments. Zoe, the Co-Founder of Montessori Laboratory, is dedicated to elevating science education using the Montessori approach. She holds a B.S. in Biology from UCLA and started her Montessori journey by conducting experiments at home as a child. She has since become a vital resource for science education within Montessori classrooms. Learn more about them and their work on their website.

From STEM to Physical Education: Get Them Learning and Moving

Liana Davis is the owner and creator of Love Learning Stem and a Lead STEM teacher in the San Ysidro School District. She was one of the founding teachers of the STEM program, and since its creation 7 years ago, the school district plans and hosts annual community STEM Fairs with 2000+ people in attendance. She has earned her masters in Education and also has her Administrative Credential. As an immigrant to the US with difficulties in learning, she loves creating engaging lessons that meet the needs of all of her students and sharing her love for STEM with other educators. You can connect with her on her website.

STREAM Thinking: Applying Scientific Process to Student Writing

Lindsay H. Metcalf is a journalist-turned-award-winning author of children’s nonfiction and poetry. Her titles include Beatrix Potter, Scientist, a Mighty Girl Best Book of 2020; Farmers Unite!, a Kansas Notable Book, NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and Junior Library Guild selection; and No Voice Too Small, a Kirkus and Chicago Public Library Best Book, Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and NCTE Notable Poetry Book. Her 2023 book, No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change, is a poetry anthology from the team behind No Voice Too Small. Forthcoming in spring 2024, Outdoor Farm, Indoor Farm, written by Lindsay and illus. by Xin Li, looks at similarities and differences between two farms. Lindsay lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of pets. Learn more at lindsayhmetcalf.com.

Adding STEM to Your Already Full Plate: Finding Ways to Integrate STEM Naturally into Your Curriculum

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, received Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 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.

Educators' Guide to Design Thinking

Liz has taught technology and engineering education for over a decade in all types of schools around the world; focusing on helping students learn how to solve problems and understand the human-made world. Since the beginning of her career, Liz has taught STEM project-based learning and design thinking. Now, through her company, WhyMaker, she is on a mission to help teachers teach students in meaningful and authentic ways. Learn more about Whymaker on our website.

The Global Goals Game: No-Tech Coding Project that Inspires all Learners

Marci Klein M.D. is a clinical and academic pediatrician with over 25 years of experience in early childhood development, education, and social-emotional health. She transitioned into education with a goal to create more engaging, deeper, and authentic learning opportunities that support all learners. Dr. Klein creates a wide range of project-based learning resources based on her extensive knowledge of childhood development, diversity of learning styles, and social-emotional needs. Her curricula focus on real-world problem solving through community-centered design challenges, blending hands-on creative play, the arts, culture, and environmental awareness with traditional STEM education. Dr. Klein’s resources inspire the next generation of innovators to work together and create a sustainable and equitable future for all. Learn more.

Tips and Tricks for Holding Fantastic STEM & STEAM Festivals and Family Nights

Mauree Haage was a science and computer science teacher for the past 10 years and now is the North Central Iowa STEM Region Manager. She has presented on various STEM topics at state and national conferences in addition to facilitating hands-on workshops for practicing teachers who want to learn more about STEM teaching methods throughout the Midwest and other states. She is passionate about introducing students and teachers to the world of STEM and firmly believes all students should have access to quality science education and opportunities. In addition to her teaching background, Mauree has worked on several state workgroups advocating and providing recommendations for STEM, computer science education, and computer science standards for the youth of Iowa. Connect with Mauree on LinkednIn.

Unplugged Coding In The Classroom - Yes Please!

Melissa Seco (BA, BEd, Math Diploma, ECE Diploma, Math and Reading Specialist, MEd) has been a Toronto-based educator for 17 years. She has been both a primary and junior teacher and an Instructional Leader in Mathematics/Numeracy (K-8) and Early Years (K-2). Her graduate research focused on gender equity in mathematics for young children. In addition, Melissa’s main areas of interest include early years, visual arts, mathematics, loose parts, STEAM, coding, and inquiry-based learning. Melissa has presented at various conferences throughout Ontario, both locally and province-wide. To connect with Melissa – Twitter: @MelissaSeco, Instagram: @melissamseco @lmnop_resources

Let's Talk About AI: Going from Unplugged Activities to Machine Learning and Chatbots & Creating Circular Makerspaces

Michelle has been a STEAM educator at Hudson Montessori School’s STEAM for the past 12 years. She is a nationally certified STEM educator, a National Geographic-certified educator, and holds a Master’s Degree in Microbiology. She believes in providing hands-on learning experiences that spark curiosity, foster creativity, and sharpen critical thinking skills. Beyond the classroom, Michelle believes in collaborating with fellow educators on teaching techniques, drawing on education research to keep learning effective, and has presented at several education conferences.

Digital Notes & Posts

Misty Burgueño started her career as a paraprofessional, supporting inclusion in the classroom. As she moved around with her military husband and two kids, her career evolved. She progressed from para pro, to substitute, to teacher and technology liaison. Misty has been teaching ELD students in Tucson, AZ since 2019. Currently, Misty teaches 1st grade ELD and has a passion for STEAM education. She provides technology support to her campus and training within her district. She believes that technology is the way of the world and the best way to understand it, is to explore it. With the right practice, anything is possible. Misty has an Instagram account dedicated to providing ideas and support in the classroom. Follow her on Instagram.

Scratch Making: Spark Engineering Literacy Through Hands-On Invention

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, & museums for over 20 years. From K–12 workshops to dynamic PD, they also mentor thousands of students and teachers annually to empower creative & holistic learning opportunities. Through their education initiative EUREKUS, they champion arts-integrated STEM learning for diverse learners, leaders, and communities globally. As 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. Learn more.

STEAMing Our Way Through Life

Nancy Penchev is a STEM/Design Teacher and Instructional Technology Coordinator. She has led webinars on Uncommon Test Prep for EdWeb.net and Common Sense Media and Teacher Tech for PBS SoCal. She was published in Teaching in the Middle magazine, Association of Middle Level Educators, ISTE point/counterpoint, and PBS SoCal Teacher Blog. Nancy founded Girls Building STEAM and is a local award winner for the National Council for Women in Information Technology and a 2019 honorable mention for the STEM Excellence award from ISTE. She is a 2022-2023 participant of the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Research Program-Vietnam. You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her website.

How to Apply Science Standards In Your STEM Classroom

Natasha Wilkerson is an aerospace engineer turned educator who has been working in STEM education for the last 10 years. She is co-founder of Vivify, a STEM education company focused on developing low-prep and classroom-tested K-12 STEM lessons with meaningful learning outcomes. Natasha is also the President of the Cosmic Leap Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers educators to create transformative learning experiences through the lens of space exploration. Natasha holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at Texas A&M University.

Ancient Roman Dice Towers: A Hands-On History STEM Challenge for Modern Gamers

Nathalie Roy teaches Roman Technology, Myth Makers, and Latin at Glasgow Middle School in Baton Rouge, LA, where she enjoys introducing the classical world to students through hands-on history, STEM challenges, experimental archaeology, and maker education. A National Board-certified teacher, she studied Classics at LA State University. In 2021, the LA Department of Education named Nathalie its State Teacher of the Year, an experience that took her to the White House to meet President Biden and the First Lady. Her classes blend humanities and STEM in lessons about the life of the ancient Romans. Last spring, her students built a Roman road through their school’s campus, and this year, her Myth Makers are weaving large sunshades for their school using ancient Roman warp-weighted looms. Learn more about Nathalie on her LinkTree.

Environmental Stewardship and STEM: Engaging Students in Sustainability & AI-Powered Learning: Revolutionizing STEM Education

Mrs. Pam, whose real name is Pamela Alba, began her career as an at-home English teacher, catering to students ranging from as young as 4 years old to adults. Transitioning into a technology educator, she skillfully incorporated her newly acquired expertise into her classroom. She holds STEM certification and a master’s degree in Educational Technology. Immersing herself in the captivating realm of STEAM/MakerSpace, her journey has been nothing short of thrilling. Pamela is also dedicated to assisting fellow educators in embracing technology, utilizing platforms such as social media, YouTube, and workshops. To learn more about her and connect, you can find her on various social media platforms under the handle @mrspamalba.

STREAM Thinking: Applying Scientific Process to Student Writing

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor winning middle grade novel in verse, Red, White, and Whole. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. Learn more about Rajani and her books at RajaniLaRocca.com and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. She also co-hosts the STEM Women in KidLit Podcast.

STEM with Littles

Renee is a seasoned educator with 32 years of experience, and for the past 18 years, she has been a passionate advocate for STEM education. Her teaching journey as a K-5 science teacher and STEM after-school instructor has been marked by a dedication to integrating STEM seamlessly into her classroom. Renee’s commitment to inspiring young minds goes beyond the traditional curriculum, as she infuses hands-on STEM challenges into every aspect of her students’ daily learning experiences. Her innovative approach has made her a respected figure in the field of education. With her wealth of knowledge and unwavering dedication to STEM, Renee is well-positioned to captivate her audience and convey the transformative power of hands-on STEM education. Join her as she shares how to engage your Pre-K-2nd graders!

Creating Circular Makerspaces

Samantha Gordon is a STEAM Educator of lower elementary at Hudson Montessori School. Her teaching journey began in Hawai’i, where she developed a love for Nature-Based Learning. Ms. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Certificate in Educational Studies from the University of Hawai’i. In addition, she is currently completing her National STEM certified educator program. She is the Lead Coordinator of Hudson Montessori School’s STEAM Elementary Maker Camp and co-advises both Eco Club and Code Club.

Fidgets, Hands & Hearts: 3D Printing for All Your IEP Needs

3D-PT, a 3D printing and education firm founded in 2005 by Stan Baldwin, a dedicated teacher with 10 years of STEM teaching experience. Stan’s journey is one of resilience and self-discovery. From a young age, he sensed a subtle difference within himself that he couldn’t quite define until high school when he received an Autism diagnosis. Embracing this newfound understanding, Stan began leveraging his 3D printers to craft solutions such as fidgets, repairs for broken items, and accommodations for various accessibility needs. Actively engaged with the Autism community since his diagnosis, Stan founded 3D-PT in 2005. Beyond selling 3D-printed fidgets, he provides training for local school districts, offering professional development on 3D printing intricacies, accommodations, and sharing his Autism Spectrum journey. Explore more at 3dpt.club.

STEMpathic Teaching: Cultivating Creativity, Mindfulness and Cultural Awareness in STEM

Tiffany’s remarkable journey epitomizes the integration of technology, healthcare, and holistic healing. Having a BS in computer engineering and an MS in medical informatics allowed her to combine both technology and empathy. She has spent over 16 years in healthcare IT, serving as a director in both Invasive and Non-invasive Cardiology systems. Tiffany’s career embodies a harmonious blend of engineering, healthcare, and empathy allowing her to manage the digital patient and clinician experience in cardiology, through the use of clinical applications. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Metaphysical Science and continues to harness unwavering determination, using art as a potent tool for self-expression and healing, and creating a nurturing and educational environment that bridges STEM and healing disciplines.

Let's Take the Code off the Screen!

Tiffany Pace is a STEAM Specialist at Cross Lanes Elementary in West Virginia. She is the WV 2020 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Elementary (PAEMST), a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms alumni, an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher Ambassador, a National Geographic Certified Teacher, and the 2023 WV Elementary Environmental Teacher of the Year. Tiffany is an author, reviewer, and an Advisory Board member for the National Science Teaching Association’s Science & Children journal as well as a presenter and reviewer for their national conferences. She is an Executive Board liaison for the WV Science Teachers Association as the Elementary Science Ambassador Representative and is a presenter at their yearly conferences. To learn more and connect with her visit @stem_with_tiff.

More STEM Story Stations Inside Your Makerspace & Innovate & Engage: 5 Creative Ways to Integrate ChatGPT in Elementary Education

Trina Deboree from Trina Deboree Teaching and Learning and the Podcast One Tired Teacher is a content creator, podcaster, creator of the digital course Mastering Makerspace, and a former 2nd-grade teacher and Media Specialist. Trina has been in education for 27 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 2020-2023 and Whole Teacher EclecticCon 2020 and 2021.

Navigating Nuclear: The How and Why Behind Effective Nuclear Science Education

As senior manager of STEM programs at the American Nuclear Society, Uchenna Ezibe helps facilitate a suite of K-12 programs focused on nuclear science and engineering. He’s previously worked in private foundation grantmaking for informal STEM organizations, in STEM education non-profit administration, and as a science and French teacher.

STEMpathic Teaching: Cultivating Creativity, Mindfulness and Cultural Awareness in STEM

Yasmine Daniels is a Ph.D. Chemist and Certified Industrial Hygienist in the US government. She also works as an Adjunct Chemistry Professor, Equity Program Manager and STEAM Advocate. She has a passion for ensuring that students are provided with culturally sensitive tools that are inclusive and foster an equitable STEAM learning environment. She believes that educators should understand and cater to this need. After her first children’s book, Building My Self-eSTEAM in Science, became a bestseller, she wrote another children’s book that teaches black and brown youth about self-confidence and self-love. Her book, Black and Brown are Beautiful Crayons Too!, was recently featured on ABC7 News and was a finalist at the National Black Book Festival, receiving the Black Authors Matter Children’s Book Award. Connect with her on social media – @ClassyChemist.

Tips and Tricks for Holding Fantastic STEM & STEAM Festivals and Family Nights

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is the author of the book, REBEL Teaching: How to Repurpose the American Education System. She is a learning theorist and holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and instruction with certifications in online instructional design and program evaluation. Prior to becoming the founder and CEO of Qi Learning Research Group, Dr. Yen was a college biotechnology department chair and pharmacy technology co-chair, a high school science teacher, and a lab manager. In her spare time, Dr. Yen is overthrowing the status quo in education, empowering people, instigating rebellions, and catching Pokemon. She lives with one husband, three children, one dog, twelve chickens, and at least two dozen fish.

Montessori Meets STEM: Hands-On Strategies for 21st Century Classrooms

Zoe’s specialty is transforming science education into entertaining exploration with Learn Libre. She holds a B.S. in Biology from UCLA and enjoys finding innovative ways to share her love of science with others. She started as a young Montessorian scouring the house for scraps of material to conduct her own “personalized” experiments and eventually became the “go-to” for giving science lessons during her time in a Montessori elementary classroom. Her passion for science and the Montessori method inspired her to found Montessori Laboratory, an online science program that teaches children to think like scientists and encourages them to learn independently.

Lesson Plans from Award-Winning Teachers

At the time of her Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) in 2020, Bridget Zahradnik had been teaching for 24 years. She has taught fifth grade Math and Science at Novi Meadows and spent the previous 19 years at Parkview Elementary School, teaching first and third grades. Prior to that, she taught Spanish for a year at Village Oaks and Orchard Hills Elementary Schools, a bilingual first grade at Bennett Elementary School in Detroit, MI, and first grade at both J.S. Slocum Elementary School in Pineville, LA, and McKinley Elementary School in Corona, CA.

Bridget’s teaching style is one of project-based learning and subject matter integration with emphases on design thinking and student leadership forming its foundation.

As the co-chairperson for the Invention Convention at her school, she supports young inventors in state and national competitions and has transitioned students and their families away from the traditional science fair to one of design and innovation. She incorporates a weekly makerspace into her classroom, emphasizing the design thinking process. She also managed a project for an outdoor learning space so that learning could transcend the four walls of the school.

As her district’s elementary Science Content Area Leader, she has provided professional development, curriculum review, and support during a transition to NGSS. She values professional sharing and has published articles on the topics of science instruction, makerspace, project-based learning, and subject matter integration. Bridget has worked as an educational consultant for eight years, providing coaching and facilitation in school leadership, culture, and academics.

Bridget earned a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in curriculum design and teaching, both from Michigan State University. She is certified in mathematics and Spanish.

Lesson Plans from Award-Winning Teachers

Carrie Caldwell, 2016 PAEMST awardee, has been an educator for 22 years and has spent the last four years teaching seventh grade mathematics and English Language Development at Hillside Middle School. She has previously served as a district instructional mathematics coach in addition to teaching first, fourth, and fifth grades.

Carrie strives to make her mathematics classroom culturally relevant and wants all students to have access to the core curriculum regardless of academic level, gender, race, or socioeconomic background. Students discuss and explore mathematics in concrete and authentic ways to build deep understanding. She believes all students can learn mathematics at high levels and wants to help change the structure of the current mathematics pathway.

Carrie continues to seek educational leadership opportunities that effect change and forward the profession. She writes and leads professional learning for her district and state board of education. She advocates for and mentors PAEMST candidates. Carrie also recently completed a two-year teacher fellowship for the state.

Carrie earned a B.A. in psychology and political science and a B.A. in elementary education from the University of Kentucky. She earned an M.Ed., summa cum lade, in urban educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Carrie is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist and holds elementary and level 2 mathematics endorsements. She is currently pursuing National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Mathematics.

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