Skip navigation
All Places > STEM Summit > Blog

STEM Summit

9 posts

STEM Solutions: Promise & Progress

 

We’re gearing up for another exciting STEM Summit year, and have some big changes to announce. This year’s summit will be in Austin, TX—the incubator city for groundbreaking education technology. 

 

And, as usual, we have a stellar line up of world-class STEM leaders who are getting ready to answer all your questions on current trends that will impact and transform the future of education.

 

But before you join us in Austin, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know our presenters and take a peek at what they’re working on.  

 

Janet Auer - @janetauer

Advisor, Education and Corporate Programs, Chevron

Janet Auer is a senior advisor in education and corporate programs for global investment at Chevron Corporation and has 30 years of experience working in various facets of the company. She is focused on education because she believes that students across all geographic areas should have access to programs that enhance rigorous project-based learning to prepare them for college and career.

 

JoJo Bahnam - @jojobahnam  

Vice President of Advancement and Strategic Relations, XPRIZE

Marie-José (JoJo) Bahnam is the vice president of advancement and strategic relations at XPRIZE. With over 15 years of experience in developing business strategy and leading teams in management consulting and education, Ms. Bahnam oversees fundraising, account management, strategic partnerships, board relations, and XPRIZE's Annual Visioneering Summit. In her spare time, Ms. Bahnam advises leaders of education-focused nonprofit organizations on various business strategies.

 

Dr. Kate Biberdorf - @FunWithChem

(Kate the Chemist), Associate Professor of Instruction, University of Texas

Once described as a cross between Wonder Woman and the next Bill Nye, Dr. Kate Biberdorf will attempt to break a world record at this year’s Summit. She is currently employed as both a lecturer and the director of demonstrations and outreach for The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Biberdorf is also a general chemistry instructor and is well known for her explosive demonstrations. Fun fact: Her ultimate dream is to headline an explosive science show in Las Vegas.

 

Tyler DeWitt - @tyleradewitt

Science Educator and Digital Content Creator

Tyler DeWitt is a digital content author and presenter, research scientist, and instructor. He is the creator of a popular educational channel on YouTube and serves as video coordinator for Interactive General Chemistry published by Macmillan Learning. He also lectures frequently on how to engage students in STEM subjects.

 

Tom Dubick - @thomasd538

Director, Charlotte Latin Fab Lab

Tom is an experienced STEM educator with over 28 years of experience as a teacher. He also happens to be the director of Charlotte Latin Fab Lab. He thinks the new rapid prototyping technologies including 3D printing, laser cutters and Arduino/Raspberry Pi will change the nature of the classroom from passive learning to active creativity.

 

Dr. Carol Fletcher - @drfletcher88

Deputy Director, Center for STEM Education, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Carol Fletcher has been elected to five terms on the Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees, serving as board president for five years. She currently works as the deputy director of the center for STEM education at the University of Texas at Austin where she manages the day-to-day operations of a statewide professional development program for science, math, and technology teachers.

 

Dr. Sylvester Gates Jr. - @Dr_JimGates

Theoretical Physicist, Presidential Scholars Program, Brown University

The author of more than 200 research papers and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Gates has been featured in dozens of video documentaries, including five in 2015. For his contribution to science and research, he received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2013. Gates serves on the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the National Commission on Forensic Science, and the Maryland State Board of Education.

 

Kristi Grigsby - @KristiGrigsby

Founder, STEM Girls Books

Kristi Grigsby has spent 20+ years as a marketing executive telling stories for the companies she represents. Along the way, she has earned 16 prestigious awards for excellence in print, web, and video marketing. Kristi is also 'Mom' to two STEM girls. Seeing the lack of resources for young girls with a strong aptitude for STEM, she was inspired one day to do something about it. Six days later, the business plan was done, ten interviews were conducted, the first four stories were written, and STEM Girls Books was launched in January 2017.

 

Anna Kuchment - @akuchment

Science Writer, The Dallas Morning News and Contributing Editor, Scientific American

Anna Kuchment is a staff science writer at The Dallas Morning News and a contributing editor at Scientific American. Previously, she spent 14 years as a reporter, writer, and editor at Newsweek magazine. Her work has been recognized by the National Association of Science Writers, the Society for Features Journalism and the American Geophysical Union and is included in the 2018 volume of "The Best American Newspaper Narratives."

 

Dr. Mark Milliron - @markmilliron

Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Civitas Learning

Dr. Mark David Milliron is co-founder and chief learning officer of Civitas Learning, an organization committed to helping education bring together the best of emerging technology, data science, and design thinking to help students learn well and finish strong on education pathways. An award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, he has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world.

 

Kiara Nirghin

Google Science Fair Winner 2016

As a 16-year-old high school student, Kiara Nirghin won the renowned Google Science Fair with her "fighting drought with fruit" submission. Her work was inspired by the devastating droughts in South Africa. Using orange peel and avocado skins, Kiara created a super absorbent polymer (SAP) capable of storing reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight, forming reservoirs that would allow farmers to maintain their crops at minimal cost. Now a freshman at Stanford University, Ms. Nirghin is eager to improve the world via health sciences and engineering.

 

Hank Nourse

VP, Learning, New York Academy of Sciences

Hank Nourse leads instructional design and program development for the Global STEM Alliance, the New York Academy of Science's bold initiative to advance STEM education worldwide. He provides strategic consulting and thought leadership to commercial and nonprofit education agencies, and is a member of IBE-UNESCO's technical working group on Future Competencies and the Future of Curriculum.

 

Dr. Becca Peixotto - @BeccaPeixotto

Director and Research Scientist, Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Currently director and research scientist at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science's new Center for the Exploration of the Human Journey, Dr. Becca Peixotto remembers as a child finding artifacts around her grandparents' old farmhouse in Vermont and keeping them in a "museum" on shelves in the garage. However, it wasn't until she went back to graduate school after a career as an outdoor educator that her passion for archaeology flourished. She earned her BA from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an MA from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and an MA in public anthropology and her Ph.D. at American University in Washington, DC, where she later served as Archaeologist in Residence. In between, she taught at outdoor science schools, managed high ropes courses, led wilderness expeditions in mountain and desert environments for youth and adults, and enjoyed many personal adventures in the United States and abroad.

 

Angie Prindle

Series Producer, SciGirls

Angie Prindle is Series Producer of SciGirls. She joined Twin Cities PBS in 2008 on the series DragonflyTV, and was part of the original creative team who developed SciGirls  for television. Formerly based in San Francisco, Angie produced hundreds of episodes for popular HGTV series. Angie has also produced for Travel Channel's hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, BASE Productions, and Target Corporation. Other recent projects include the arts and cultural local series Minnesota Original, and the PBS Emmy Award-winning documentary film, Kevin Kling: Lost & Found.

 

Ron Reed

Founder and Executive Producer of SXSWedu Founder and executive producer of SXSWedu, Ron Reed has been involved in educational publishing and technology throughout his career. He has participated in the startup and management teams of several educational technology companies and the experience led him to launch the SXSWedu Conference & Festival in 2011. SXSWedu has quickly emerged as one of the world's leading education events that celebrates innovations in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social impact.

 

Anna Rothschild - @Anna_Rothschild

On-Air Host, Science, The Washington Post

Anna joined The Washington Post from NOVA, where she is the creator and host of Gross Science, a YouTube series from NOVA and PBS Digital Studios. She directs, shoots, edits, animates, narrates, and hosts her series, which has garnered more than 183,000 subscribers on YouTube. Anna's ability to bring her storytelling skills to science journalism has earned her numerous awards, including the 2016 AAAS Kavli Gold Award for Children's Science News and American Institute of Physics' 2012 Science Communication Award for New Media, and their 2015 award for Broadcast/New Media.

 

Dr. Daniel Russell

Uber Tech Lead, Search Quality & User Happiness, Google

Dr. Daniel Russell is a computer scientist who works as a senior research scientist at Google. Dan's research focus has been human experience with search engines and in large, complex collections of information. He aims to design comprehensible and intuitive ways for users to engage with information effectively.

 

Roosevelt Weeks - @rxweeks

Director, Austin Public Library

Roosevelt Weeks is the Director of the Austin Public Library where he leads a dynamic team and library system. His responsibility includes overseeing 20 branch locations, the History Center, and a new Central Library. Weeks joined the Austin Public Library team in September of 2017. He is passionate about improving technology, literacy and education, both inside and outside of the library. He also works directly with community leaders to agree upon shared values, vision, and measures of success.

 

 

Get ready to connect with these trailblazers in Austin

Be sure to follow @MacmillanLearn and @SciAm on social media to receive valuable information and content that will impact the future of education! Join the STEM Summit conversation online with #STEMEducation. You can also view a live stream of the event here.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

What was once a far-fetched possibility only seen in science fiction novels is now a reality—and it’s one that’s rapidly becoming a part of everyday life. We’re talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s here, and it’s already shaking up the world as we know it—and that includes the classroom.

In fact, education is a natural incubator for AI capabilities. From adaptive learning to personal assistants, educators can now take full advantage of the power of AI and use it to benefit their students. This is just one of the many reasons why we decided to dedicate Day 1 of this year’s STEM Summit 5.0 to artificial intelligence. We’ve gathered leading experts in the field to come and share their invaluable insight and perspectives with our attendees.

A brief history of AI

The basic concept of artificial intelligence has been around for centuries. Of course, the earlier concepts were a bit more rudimentary—Chinese and Egyptian engineers built automatons, while the ancient Greeks dreamed up myths about robots. It wasn’t until 1956 when the modern concept of AI—and its term—were developed at a Dartmouth College conference.

While the modern concept of AI was a hot topic for many years in the tech space, it eventually went cold, for the most part, from 1974 to the mid-nineties. Then, IBM’s Deep Blue brought back AI with a vengeance and put the multinational technology company at the forefront of AI advancement. Fast forward to today, and IBM’s Watson is known for beating reigning Jeopardy champions and powering a variety of programs and devices.  

AI in education today

While AI’s adoption is more readily accepted throughout various business sectors, the technology is making its way into the education space.  We’re at the tipping point with this new technology, and we’re eager to see where the latest trends will lead.  A few currently developing areas to keep an eye on include:

    • Adaptive learning: Twenty years ago, an instructor wouldn’t find out if students were struggling with their homework until after it was due. With the potential of today’s AI adaptive learning programs, instructors AND students could have a much better learning experience . Using advanced predictive algorithms that adapt to specific learning styles, assignments can change to cater to students needs as they surface. This ensures that students are actually learning, at the right pace and at the right level.

    • Voice activated technology: Siri, Alexa, and Google are all ready and waiting to help you out with anything you need—and this includes in the classroom. If you’re stumped on a specific question in the middle of class, just ask Alexa. Don’t know what your schedule looks like for office hours? Siri can help you with that.  How will these “assistant” technologies ultimately pair up and play with pedagogy to be most beneficial to students? We’ll ask our panel of presenters at the conference.

 

    • Customized content: Not all content is created equally—and the same goes for student’s learning preferences, too. AI can be used to match students preferred learning modalities to popular and effective content. Think of this as similar to the way in which Netflix recommends movies it thinks users will love. Can AI find a way to re-engage students into learning with more effective content that is tailored to their interests?

 

The future of AI and education

While many aspects of the future remain uncertain, we do know that AI will continue to impact and transform the classroom. We expect the current trends listed above to evolve in terms of sophistication and adoption. In fact, one of our STEM Summit 5.0 speakers, Ashok Goel, created an AI teaching assistant that is powered by IBM’s Watson. Imagine a course where an AI voice-activated teaching assistant is the norm? That means less time grading papers, answering emails, and scheduling appointments and more time spent focusing on student success.

And, of course, there are a host of issues that come along with these powerful advancements. As a society, we will have to decide how to deal with issues surrounding student privacy, what it means to lead an inclusive classroom in an AI world, and what will the future roles of teacher and student look like?

Macmillan plans to be on all of these front lines of AI development in education. This is one of the many reasons why we’ve dedicated a portion of STEM Summit 5.0 to AI. It’s a great time to become a part of our Summit community. For those who are unable to join in person, you can tune into our live stream.  You’ll be able to watch the leading AI experts present from wherever you happen to be.

Bring your curiosity and join the conversation.

Susan 

We’re gearing up for another exciting STEM Summit this year, and our presenters are getting ready to answer all your questions on current trends in technology will impact and transform the future of education. Throughout this two-day summit, we’ll be discussing artificial intelligence (AI), consumer engagement around STEM education, and practical, actionable strategies for engaging students in STEM courses.

 

We wanted to give you a chance to get to know our presenters and take a peek at what they’re working on at the moment.  

 

Sean M. Arnold - @seanmarnold

As special educator and STEM coach for New York City’s District 75 citywide special needs program, Sean M. Arnold is passionate about making learning accessible to everyone. He believes in the value of technology instruction and game-based learning, and is also a NYCDOE Excellence in School Technology Award winner, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Educator, and more.

 

Dr. Randall Bass - @RandyBassGU

As vice provost for education and professor of English at Georgetown University, Randall Bass has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for twenty years. This includes his work as director and principal investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project, a five-year scholarship of teaching and learning project involving 70 faculty on 21 university and college campuses.

Dr. Vince Bertram - @vincebertram

Education has been and central theme in Dr. Vince Bertam’s life. This bestselling author and president and CEO of Project Lead The Way has served as a principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district. His leadership has earned him several appointments and awards over the years, including (but not limited to) education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program, member of the Indiana State Board of Education, and the “Intellectual Contributions and Faculty Tribute” award at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf - @FunWithChem

Once described as a cross between Wonder Woman and the next Bill Nye, Dr. Kate Biberdorf brings a fresh energy and approach to today’s scientific community. She is a lecturer and director of demonstrations and outreach for The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Biberdorf is also a general chemistry instructor and is well known for her explosive demonstrations that excite her undergraduate chemistry students.


Blair Blackwell - @blairblackwell

Another STEM Summit veteran, Blair Blackwell is the manager of education and corporate programs at Chevron, where she also heads up U.S. education-focused social invest initiatives for the company. Overall, Blackwell believes learning and education is a vital to prosperity. Throughout her career she has done work on education reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina and worked with students in Kazakhstan.

 

Dr. Emily Musil Church - @emilymusilchrch

As director of education for XPRIZE—a non-profit organization that designs competitions intended to encourage technology advancements that could benefit humanity—Dr. Emily Church brings more than 12 years of experience in both higher education and non-profit organizations to her work. Dr. Church served as a college professor at Lafayette College, Trinity College, and American University and she has also been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship.

Dr. Bryan Dewsbury - @BMDewsbury

As a professor at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Bryan Dewsbury teaches biology and focuses his research program on broader social and equity questions related to discipline-based education research. He is specifically interested in how students (especially those in underrepresented groups) develop perceptions of the world and others, and how these perceptions might affect their engagement with science content, career choices, and academic performance.

 

Grace Clawater Doramus - @100Kin10

As director of strategic initiatives at 100Kin10—a company dedicated to bringing 100,000 excellent STEM teachers to American classrooms by 2021—Grace Clawater Doramus is dedicated to promoting systemic change against the challenges facing STEM education. She is a former STEM teacher herself, and is passionate about encouraging students to explore the countless opportunities a STEM education can offer.

 

Dr. Ashok Goel

Professor of computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology, and editor-in-chief at AAAI’s AI Magazine, Ashok Goel conducts research into human-centered computing, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science with a focus on computational design, modeling, and creativity. His LinkedIn article Using AI to teach AI would be a good one to check out before the Summit.

Carson Kahn - @carsonkahn

Founder and CTO of Volley.com, Carson Kahn, has worked at the frontiers of learning technology, data science, and design for nearly a decade. His company is a Silicon Valley artificial intelligence business with $5.3 million in disclosed seed financing from Zuckerberg Ventures; AI EdTech investors TAL Group (NYSE: XRS) and Reach Capital; and executives from Apple, Facebook, and Goldman Sachs.

Karina Linch - @mslinch

As SVP of product at BrainPOP—a company that creates animated, curricular resources that engage students, support teachers, and bolsters achievement—Karina Linch brings a unique perspective to this year’s summit with her colleague, Sean Arnold, STEM Coach. She leads a stellar team of writers, animators, educators, professional development trainers, project managers, researchers, assessment experts, data scientists, game designers, and UX specialists.

Dr. Russell Shilling - @Russ_Shilling

As Senior Innovation Fellow at The Digital Promise, which is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Russell Shilling will be joining us again for this year’s summit. He is an early pioneer in the educational games movement and has been busy ensuring students from pre-K and beyond are engaged in STEM.

Dr. Beverly Park Woolf

As a research professor for the computer science department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and director of the Center for Knowledge Communication, Dr. Beverly Park Woolf is responsible for the three-dimensional graphics and multimedia classes at the University of Massachusetts. These courses offer students the opportunity to expand both intellectual and practical skills.

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman - @mrzphd

We’re happy to have Dr. Michelle Zimmerman joining us again for this year’s STEM Summit. This Microsoft MVP and award-winning educator will lend her fresh perspective to our stellar-list of presenters. Over the course of her impressive career, Michelle Zimmerman, Ph.D., has taught grades from pre-K to 10th, been assistant principal, lead teacher, and she is also a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

 

Be sure to follow these leaders on their social accounts where they share valuable information and content that will impact the future of education. You can also follow the STEM Summit 5.0 conversation as we stream it live.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

One of our attendees, Jovana Grbic, wrote a very detailed summary of the STEM Summit. She's graciously agreed to let us share her thoughts here on the community site. You can find Jovana's ScriptPhD work here: http://scriptphd.com

--

Thoughts/summary/resources from the @SciAm/@MacmillanLearn #STEMsummit on Education:

The meeting, gathering leaders in science communication, educators, and leaders from private, non-profit and public sectors, focused on how to best use the power of data to achieve quality education and lasting passion for STEM.

WHY STEM? This was the underlying theme of the October 15 conference, at NYC’s Academy of Sciences. The overarching goal by promoting STEM to younger students is better-informed citizens with tools for scientific engagement in public discourse. There are basic foundations that studying STEM builds, such as driving curiosity, asking questions, assessing evidence, building hypotheses, and then testing them under complex conditions, even changing your mind when the evidence calls for it. These are essential fundamentals to approaching a complex world, both in terms of career choices and civic engagement.

Secondly, STEM-related careers are anticipated to greatly proliferate in the 21st Century (even as there is a consistent skills gap in the complimentary workforce) as urgency grows to deal with major world issues (that all require a technological solution), such as feeding the population, providing global education, energy and housing by 2050, which have been elucidated as the Grand Challenges by the National Academy of Engineering.

WHY STEM IN EARLY EDUCATION? The challenges outlined above are systemic, and require a large-scale educated, competent population. Kids are in school every day for a large chunk of the day. They’re young, they’re impressionable, and teachers have access to them, so it’s a natural starting point. Despite such a perfect opportunity to use data and tech in classrooms as teaching tools and to drive STEM knowledge, there remains a tremendous schism between students in terms of technology tools for STEM, innovation and tools for the eventual workplace between students in variable populations. Compounding this problem, noted by Dr. Russ Shilling, the executive director of STEM initiatives in the US Department of Education, is that there is urgency within the US government to accomplish a lot on the federal level in very little time because of tremendous government personnel turnover in the US political system. This is true of education reform of Ideally, a holistic approach, teaching all STEM fields together, ubiquitously, across all school environments in the nations. This is the major goal of 100Kin10 (https://100kin10.org), a not-for-profit organization that aims to train and disseminate 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021.

WHY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM? Whether we like it or not, digital and social media are irreversibly here. Kids are learning interactively from them, making digital skills an essential toolkit for students to develop. The question is what are they learning and how are they learning it? Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, suggested that using the internet and tools such as Twitter, Snapchat and live videos as vectors for communication and “publication” of data learned real-time in a classroom can actually buoy a student’s experience.

Use of integrated technology can improve spatial learning, but not at the expense of traditional learning. For example, augmented virtual reality/artificial intelligence tools, such as VR headsets, can help bring 3D learning to biology, chemistry and space exploration, which visually supplement traditional classroom instruction. “Big Data” technology, such as IBM’s Watson, will be personalized an intimate within the next 25 years, from genomics to health care to daily life, so we have to be smarter to keep up and ahead of how to utilize that technology, which starts with early education.

HOW DO WE FORM STEM CONNECTIONS WITH STUDENTS? Leaving the enormous task of K-12 STEM education to teachers alone is ineffective and impractical. As technology is integrated into learning, there is an enormous responsibility for science communicators to engage on social media, forming a worldwide connection between teachers, students, and scientists – ultimately building a portfolio of learning to a young age. Indeed, professional scientists and engineers make some of the best STEM teachers – they bring passion, expertise and persistence to students. With 250,000 STEM graduates in the US every year, they MUST be key outreach vectors, brick by brick, to schools in local communities. (Side note: I was involved in a science outreach program for underprivileged elementary school kids in the Chicago area as an undergraduate student at Northwestern, and cannot underscore how true and valuable this guidance is, particularly for kids that get no science instruction in the classroom.) The New York Academy of Sciences is fostering mentorship programs and global social partnerships for advancing science education – access them here: http://www.nyas.org/WhatWeDo/ScienceEd.aspx

Several speakers reiterated the importance of “hands on” science and experimentation, including a lab initiative at Renton Prep School. By mimicking science environments on a micro (read: classroom) level, including experiments, publishing of data, exhibits and getting hands-on, kids learn risk-taking, connect with the world, failing and re-learning. When their experiments and learning have “stakes,” such as being seen by adults and other companies, kids put more effort into their projects and retain more long-term. Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, of the Sesame Workshop (makers of PBS’s “Sesame Street”) pointed out that it’s a shame that kindergartens and preschools have much science instruction, when in fact, these are pivotal years to cement curiosity and passion for STEM, as well as laying the groundwork for skills and the desire to learn more. Kids are natural “scientists” – they want to explore, find out how things work and are super curious. This makes the adults in their lives essential and indispensable. They are the children’s link to science. Scientific American has partnered with Sesame Workshop on an initiative called Bring Science Home, with lots of resources for adults to do fun experiments and ask questions with children: https://www.scientificamerican.com/educ…/bring-science-home/

WHY REFORM EDUCATION? There have been many articles written about Finland’s education system as the best in the world – both unorthodox and remarkably effective. Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator and author of the “Finnish Lessons” book series, offered a few suggestions that could help integrate more effective STEM programs. US schools over-rely on “Big Data,” the tests that measure correlation between material and learning, which is what our policy (and curriculums) is largely based on. However, we often don’t know the causes behind these test assessments and learning is variable based on a student’s circumstances. Indeed, depending on where kids live, teacher quality comprises only 1-14% of the most important factors to learning. Small data is much more significant – the clues that teachers get in real time for what does/doesn’t work in their classroom and how individual students learn. STEM in K-12 would benefit from a balance between a focus on standardized testing and classroom assessments. Secondly, while learning is deeply personal, technology is fragmented and heterogeneous. Integrating technology into learning spaces will require a perfect “sweet spot” solution.
Education reform will also improve inclusiveness, diversity in STEM education and barriers to learning and pursuing STEM-related careers. Alarmingly, there has been no progress on women’s economic participation and global equality over the last few decades, and very little data on gender disparity in learning – this extends to STEM jobs. We need more data to prepare disaffected groups and improve their education experience at earlier stages. This will require more than government action (as stated above); it’s a collective expertise meld between non-government organizations, private companies, not for profits, and academic institutions.

 

To join the conversation, ask questions and access resources discussed during the summit, visit the Macmillan community page:

https://community.macmillan.com/community/stemsummit

 

For information and innovative tools (as well as reviews) on digital literacy and technology access for young students, visit the non-profit organization Common Sense Media:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org

 

Several media pieces came highly recommended from panelists and contributors, including the acclaimed education reform documentary (and book) “Most Likely to Succeed” (http://www.mltsfilm.org), Pasi Sahlberg’s revolutionary “Finnish Lessons” book series on education change in Finland, and “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends” by Martin Lindstrom.

The 4th Annual Macmillan Learning/Scientific American STEM Summit features a distinguished roster of speakers! Our speakers are leaders in education, policy, technology, and business. Learn more about this year's speakers here. In addition to being thought leaders, many of this year's speakers have also written books. Click the links below to learn more about the books written by our speakers.

 

Paul Krugman

Dr. Pasi Sahlberg

Dr. Rosemarie Truglio

Dr. Margaret Honey

 

And don't forget to check the STEM Summit Community for links to videos from the sessions. We'll upload the videos soon! In the meantime, keep the conversation going with #STEMeducation on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, instructor at Renton Prep and Microsoft Innovative Education Expert, spoke at this year's STEM Summit in New York City. As a tribute to her awesomeness, Michelle create a Microsoft 'mix' from the Summit. Click here to view Michelle's mix!

Data plays a major role in the science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) subjects. Whether students are collecting information on a science project or analyzing trends on their stats homework, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data is vital for every student to know and understand. In fact, according to this Forbes article, “The Hiring Scale is 73 for jobs that require Big Data skills with 13 candidates per job opening as of November 16, 2015.” The demand for data jobs is on the rise and a STEM education can help students develop the skills they need to capitalize on this trend.

But this isn’t the only way in which data impacts STEM classrooms. As our world becomes increasingly digital, data is being used to improve every facet of education. Twenty years ago, getting text alerts about student performance via an app on our smartphones was too alien of a concept to even fathom. Today, we have the ability to check in via mobile on overall class analytics and can monitor where and when individuals are struggling or need intervention—in real time. This is essential when it comes to the intense nature of learning new subjects, where correct assessment and tailored remediation can mean the difference between failing and succeeding. The big data influence on education has new insights into learning and complexity.

Improving STEM education with Big Data

Our society’s current capability to capture massive amounts of information—in both our everyday lives and academia—is overwhelming. The collection, analysis, storing, and communication of all this information amounts to what we refer to as Big Data—or data so massive and complex that we can’t process it by traditional data processing means.

In the education field, schools amass information on everything from day-to-day attendance to student’s performance on standardized tests. This information compiles into national averages, where we’re able to study trends and make educated predictions.

In higher education, professors can use Big Data to see if attendance is slipping; if students have stopped logging into online assignments; and, in some cases, even pull up a heat map of students’ current involvement in homework assignments. There are cases where college campuses use data to track when students visit the student center or library and offer incentives based on this information.

Insight into these Big Data trends can change everything from how institutions offer financial assistance, to how we measure curriculum success.  

How Small Data might be the next big thing in education

While Big Data is important to pushing education forward, it turns out that it might be only one piece of the puzzle. Big Data equals big picture and when we only look at the big picture, we fail to see the individual (and often more interesting) reasons behind the results.

According to our STEM Summit 4.0 presenter Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, “These [big] data sets…often don’t spark insight about teaching and learning in classrooms; they are based on analytics and statistics, not on emotions and relationships that drive learning in schools. They also report outputs and outcomes, not the impacts of learning on the lives and minds of learners.”

Overall, Big Data fails to report on some of the insights and emotions behind the results. A professor may be able to look at test results and see that 90% of their students passed the final exam, but did they retain that information? Do their students feel that the information they learned will help them succeed in the real world? This type of Small Data analysis is as important to the evolution of education as Big Data is.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to data and STEM education, both Big and Small Data have their place in any successful classroom. Educators should have access to overall, big-picture trends, but they should also have the flexibility to make choices based on their own personal insight into their classrooms. By analyzing both Big and Small Data, you can ensure your students are learning to the best of their ability.

We’ll be hosting a deeper dive into the power of data at our upcoming STEM Summit 4.0, where we have a stellar lineup of presenters.  

In the meantime, please join the conversation on our STEM Summit 4.0 community site and get the data discussion started!

We’re gearing up for another exciting STEM Summit this year, and our presenters are getting ready to answer all your questions on how data—both big and small—can impact the classroom. As we consider the implications of how data analytics can transform education, we’ll hear from some of the greatest minds and experts at this year’s event.

Here’s your chance to get to know the faces of this year’s summit and take a peek at what they’re working on at the moment.  

Dr. Paul Krugman - @paulkrugman

Nobel Laureate economist, educator, and bestselling author Paul Krugman is our keynote speaker this year and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on board. Krugman also writes a New York Times column where he discusses his thoughts on macroeconomics, politics, social policy, and more. It’s a fascinating read into the mind of one of our generation’s greatest economics leaders.

Dr. Pasi Sahlberg - @pasi_sahlberg

The success of Finnish schools is the envy of nearly every country on the map—which is why we’re thrilled to have educator, scholar, and bestselling author Dr. Pasi Sahlberg joining us for this summit. Sahlberg’s stance on data and STEM education is original and refreshing. During the summit he’ll be discussing what he considers to be the next big thing in education: small data.  

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman - @mrzphd

Over the course of her impressive career, Michelle Zimmerman, PhD, has taught grades from pre-K to 10th. In addition to being an assistant principal and lead teacher, she is also a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. In this role, Zimmerman advises Microsoft and educational institutions on integrating technology in pedagogically sound ways, and helps them build educator capacity for using tech to improve learning.

Dr. Russ Shilling - @Russ_Shilling

The Executive Director of STEM Initiatives for U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Russ Shilling, will be providing us with updates from the frontlines of STEM. As an early pioneer in the educational games movement, Shilling has been busy ensuring students from pre-K and beyond are engaged in STEM.

Blair Blackwell - @blairblackwell

As manager of Education and Corporate Programs at Chevron, Blair Blackwell heads up U.S. education-focused social invest initiatives for the company. According to this Huffington Post Q&A article, “Blackwell views education as a fundamental cornerstone of prosperity and has been involved in many facets of education throughout her career, ranging from working on education reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina to working with students in Kazakhstan.”

Terri McCullough - @mterrim

“The truth is that women hold around one in four of all STEM jobs despite making up half of the population,” Terri McCullough, director of Clinton Foundation initiative No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, stated in a recent article. McCullough and the Clinton Foundation are working to change these numbers, which is outlined in McCullough’s Fortune article The Myth Women in Tech Need to Stop Believing.

Talia Milgrom-Elcott

As executive director and co-founder of 100Kin10, Talia Milgrom-Elcott is leading the organization to unite the nation’s top academic institutions to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. Milgrom-Elcott’s article in The Hechinger Report offers useful advice and tips on how to recruit and train more STEM teachers.

Jason Osborne - @PaleoExplorer

Chief Innovation Officer of Ector County Independent School District and Co-Founder of PaleoQuest, Jason Osborne is currently working on the launch of PICK Education, which is aimed at bringing the curriculum to life.

Dr. Adam Black - @adamrsblack

Our new Chief Learning Officer here at Macmillan Learning, Adam Black, will also be joining us at this year’s summit. Black has a passion for building transformational digital learning products, and for the past 25 years, this passion has driven him to pursue leadership roles in efficacy, learning science, learning analytics, impact evaluation, digital innovation, and technology for a wide variety of education disciplines, sectors and countries.

Dr. Rosemarie Truglio

Dr. Rosemarie Truglio is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop—a position she has held since 2013. Prior to that, she was Sesame Street’s Senior Vice President of Education and Research for 16 years. She currently oversees Sesame Street’s interdisciplinary curriculum and the content development across television, toys, publishing, home video, and theme parks. She will discuss how we can support and influence more STEM educators in early childhood education.

Gary Knell - @garyknell

"We find it imperative that we fill in the gaps in students' global and geographical knowledge, so that we equip them to succeed in an increasingly global workplace," president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, Gary Knell, stated in response to a recent survey commissioned by the Society and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Knell oversees the Society's nonprofit activities on a global scale and his career in media spans more than three decades—including 22 years at Sesame Workshop.

Be sure to follow these leaders on their social accounts where they share valuable information and content as the STEM curriculum continues to evolve and change. You can also follow the STEM Summit 4.0 conversation live on social via #STEMEducation throughout the event.

If you’d like to interact with our speakers, visit our community site. As part of the community, you can ask Paul Krugman a question prior to the summit that he will then address during his keynote speech.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

image001.pngCheck out my reflections on the Summit in News at Macmillan Learning:

Reflections on STEM Summit 3.0