December 9th-10th, Search Associates (SEARCH) Chief Operating Officer Rajiv Bhat and Bob Imholt joined more than 3,000 participants from all over California at the 7th annual conference for the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (CA STEAM). Held at the Anaheim Convention Center North, the event offered practical strategies, new ideas, classroom resources and curriculum, opportunities for networking, and, as the program promised, “inspiration to reinvigorate your practice.”
In addition to mostly hour-long sessions offered all day, participants could drop in at exploratory stations for all or part of the day. Examples of these: Community Science Workshop Ideas for School & Community Makerspaces; the Circuit Arcade; Make, Launch and Take Home a Paper and Tape Rocket; and Engineering Design Challenge: Building Earthquake Resistant Structures.
CA STEAM Symposium featured four, mightily impressive keynote speakers: former professional basketball player, political activist, author, and journalist, Kareem Abdul Jabar; Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who has created initiatives focused on closing the achievement gap for California’s most vulnerable students; Dr. Christopher Emdin, author and Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University—and honored as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House under President Obama; and Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman ever to go into space and the second female Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Because STEM/STEAM is a priority subject area in California State, with a great deal of resources invested at both the state and national level, opportunities abound for CA STEAM teachers.
Nevertheless, Bob and Rajiv spoke to a significant number of attendees, who stopped by the SEARCH table to learn about opportunities available abroad. Both SEARCH representatives stopped by numerous other stalls and lectures and found it truly fascinating to see how STEM/STEAM teaching is exploding at schools. Indeed, this is happening at international schools too!