Powering the Future in the Windy City

500 STEM educators and administrators share best practices at STEMCON

Nearly 500 STEM teachers, administrators, professionals, and advocates from more than 30 states, including representatives from Canada and China, attended STEMCON 2018 near Chicago, Illinois, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on April 20.

In the keynote address, Shaesta Waiz spoke about her mission to fly solo around the world to encourage children to pursue STEM and aviation education and to “put your challenges, your fears, and everything else behind. The only thing that matters is what carries you through to your future”.

Dr. Jeffrey Vinokur — a.k.a. The Dancing Scientist — captivated attendees during lunch with an exciting, yet scientific, performance. Both Waiz and Vinokur reminded attendees that STEM is at its best when it is integrated into the fabric of everyday life. Waiz supported this idea by stating that “Science, technology, engineering, and math: it’s an every career path.”

Throughout the day, attendees chose from over 60 sessions regarding a variety of topics, including project-based learning, applying STEM principles to elementary picture books, making an aquaterrium, and teaching student safety in cyberspace.

Attendees were challenged with the task of both learning from presentations and exchanging their experiences and best practices with each other. The goal of STEMCON is to provide a platform that allows STEM educators and professionals to learn from each other and bring practical skills and applications back to the workplace.