The 2017, 2nd Biennial Joint Conference of SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool was a great success.
Here is a recap of some of the conference highlights – 2017 Conference Summary.
Deb Morrison was a Keynote Speaker for the Fall 2017 Conference
Presentation: Equity Research in Practice: Exploring Options for Closing Opportunity Gaps in STEM Learning
University of Washington Professor Deb Morrison was a keynote speaker at the Capturing Imaginations Building Skills conference. Morrison focused on closing equity gaps in STEM education. Improving equity within STEM teaching and learning is a central goal of recent policy conversations and reform. Both K-12 and informal STEM educators in Minnesota and nationally have long worked towards closing the STEM learning experience opportunity gaps that exist between students with varied lived experiences. In this presentation, Dr. Morrison defined the inequities found in our current terrain and explored research on practical solutions both informal and formal educators can use to disrupt cycles of inequity. A central focus of her work at the Institute of Science and Math Education is the way in which STEM instruction integrates students’ interests and supports expansions of identity development. Dr. Morrison addressed generalized approaches used across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as highlighted some specific to science learning. You can learn more about Morrison’s work here.
Myah Walker was another amazing Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Conference
Presentation: Creating a Path for our Youth: It Takes a Village
How did a young black girl from suburban Minnesota become an auditor of poultry farms in rural America? Exposure, expectations, encouragement and exploration. These are 4 key concepts in the formula for Ms. Walker’s success in the field of agriculture, but she didn’t get there alone. In this presentation, Ms. Walker shared her experiences taking you on her non-traditional STEM career journey to becoming a quality manager for a poultry company. Ms. Walker also addressed how exposure, expectations, encouragement and exploration, initiated by many individuals along her path, helped her to get to where she is today.
2017 STEM Day at the Fair
STEM Day 2017 was another great success. Over 13,000 Fair goers came through Dan Patch Park throughout the day. There they experimented with building design, learned to code, played with robots, explored energy from citrus fruit, and marveled at just what can be done with science, engineering, technology, and math. Governor Dayton proclaimed the day STEM Day at the Fair day in Minnesota, and Senator Franken stopped by to meet exhibitors and Fair goers.
WCCO brought turned many young people into meteorologist with their green screen, while the Raptor Center brought their magnificent birds. We honored the states Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching nominees, watched the University of Minnesota’s Physics Force do amazing things with 55 gallon drums, and laughed at Real Sciences jokes.
Many thanks to our sponsors for making STEM Day at the Fair happen. Platinum: 3M, Boston Scientific, and Smiths Medical. Silver: Seagate Technology and Orbital ATK. T-shirt sponsor: MTS Systems, tote bags sponsored by MnDOT. Planning for next years STEM Day at the Fair will begin after the new year.