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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!