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Conference Strands

NOTE:  Click on the Strand link to see the conference presentations associated with the strand.

Strand 1: Integrating & Innovating STEM across the Curriculum:

Connect STEM practices to core curriculum content and instruction

Focus on the technology, resources, and core content standards for your own professional development as an effective teacher, coach, mentor, leader, or administrator of STEM curriculum.  Under this theme, proposals will be accepted in the following strand areas:

  1. Teaching & Learning: PreK – K, 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12
  2. Standards & Connections: Connecting state and national standards to classroom practice.
  3. NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) & STEM: Exploring the standards, Implementation of, Rationale and latest information on these standards as they connect to STEM classroom practices.
  4. Lesson Planning: Curriculum mapping and design, STEM integrated lessons across the curriculum, Objectives for student learning, Strategies to check for student understanding.
  5. Instructional Practices: How do we decide which instructional practices are best focused on to obtain student achievement goals? Student goals and feedback, Students creating hypotheses and testing for outcomes, Non-linguistic representations (mind maps), homework, notetaking and lecture strategies, etc.
  6. Modeling of STEM activities: Innovative approaches well grounded in problem-solving, applying principles of math and science, and using technology to create solutions to real-world problems.
  7. Integrating Technology: From simple to complex, how to infuse technology into curriculum units, lesson plans, classroom daily routine, and homework. BYOD and 1:1 showcase opportunities, as well as how to use what you already have.

Strand 2: Making the Case for STEM:

How to implement a STEM approach and ensure effectiveness

  1. Validate instructor and school competency based on national and state standards, improve effectiveness of staff, communicate with your constituents – parents, community partners, and local businesses, and impact policy and research.  These are essential areas of education in today’s political environment when advocating for best use of class time and education expenditures.  Under this theme, proposals will be accepted in the following strand areas:
  2. Leadership – School/ District / Non-Profit: Accreditation, funding, teacher retention, student growth and retention, leadership development for STEM professionals.
  3. Advocacy/ Legislative action: Local/state/ national political arena, knowing who best to contact, top issues, and how it affects my students/ school community.
  4. Effectiveness of STEM/ Metrics: Learn how to analyze your STEM program for effectiveness, measure progress, celebrate effectiveness, convey data to stakeholders and community leaders.
  5. Research: Trends and topics for STEM classroom and policy research today.
  6. Policies: Federal, state, and local policies around STEM education – how to apply to my students/ school community.
  7. Resources: Evidence-based, evidence-informed and best practices for STEM programs – and ways to advocate for long-term adoption and implementation.
  8. How to transition into STEM
  9. Underrepresented populations and STEM

 Strand 3: STEM Pipeline:  Preparing the Workforce for Tomorrow:

The importance of preparing students for STEM professions

  1. Advance students from PreK to College with a mindset of building capacity in our communities for jobs in STEM areas.  The pipeline of STEM graduates from high school into college programs must increase to meet current and future demand.  STEM job holders face half the unemployment rate of those in non-STEM jobs.  STEM employees have 1/4 higher earning power than non-STEM employees.  Women and minorities today will become almost 2/3 of the workforce by 2017.  Under this theme, proposals will be accepted in the following strand areas:
  2. Business/ Industry Connection: Who are your local community stakeholders? Public/Private partnerships can contribute as experts, as mentors, as leaders.
  3. Economic benefit to attracting STEM companies: Why should we work with our local/state/national government to bring STEM companies to our school/district/community? What  expectations to STEM companies have for education?
  4. Mentoring Programs: Coaching and mentoring at the school/district/ state and regional levels. How does mentoring raise student achievement in STEM? How does mentoring improve teacher efficacy and retention in STEM content areas?
  5. Tech organizations/ Associations/ Museums: Available resources for professional development, student and family activities, extending classroom learning experiences, and flipped classrooms.  What is locally available to you in your community and online?
  6. Higher Education Support:  What are the enrollment expectations from our 2 and 4-year institutions? Student characteristics, achievement levels, and career goals for attending an institution of higher education or pursuing a technical education – what is needed and what should be our student/parent goals to enter the higher education learning path? Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Reggio, Montessori, and concurrent enrollment models explored as advantageous PreK-12 pathways.
  7. Community Service and STEM: Out of class learning time is optimum for building STEM interests in students.  What internships and community service opportunities are available to students, teachers, and multi-generational families interested in growing STEM expertise outside the PreK-16 classroom?  How can service build our professional and personal goals?
  8. Informal STEM opportunities (field trips): Public/private partnerships to help students, teachers, and families grow in STEM knowledge is essential.  From Boy Scouts USA/ Girl Scouts USA to local museums, nature preserves, farmers’ markets, public works, military bases, businesses, and non-profits, what is available in your community? Integrate activities into PreK-16 curriculum, flip the classroom, offer as out-of-school learning (long weekends, spring/winter breaks, summer vacation). 

Strand 4: STEM Student Showcase:

STEM in action – showcasing of effective projects/ programs

Share what is happening in your community! Highlight projects and programs currently implemented in your classroom/ school/ district/ state/ region.  Include research or model programs and evidence illuminating student engagement and student achievement.  Under this theme, proposals will be accepted in the following strand areas:

  1. Showcase of STEM Classrooms: PreK – K, 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12, 2 and 4 year institutions of higher education
  2. Showcase of STEM Schools:  PreK – K, 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12, 2 and 4 year institutions of higher education – public, charter, private, vocational.  Administration and educational leaders (coaches, mentors).
  3. Showcase of STEM Clubs: Parent, Elementary, Middle School, High School and College clubs and student associations connected to national organizations
  4. Panel Discussions: a combination of a variety of stakeholders from a classroom or school (teacher/parent/student/administrator/coach),or a variety of experts around a specific STEM area (student/business, student/non-profit, content area specific student speakers/ education leaders).

 Cathy Poplin or Sara Torres at  az.stem.conference@gmail.com or (602) 899-5813.