Cultivating the Power of Curiosity with STEM and PBL

Included in this strand are topics exploring science, technology, engineering, and math content areas using hands-on and experiential learning.

A Student-Centered Approach: Bring Problem-Based Learning to your Program

April Nilsen, Washington Alliance for Better Schools

Problem-based learning (PBL) is quickly gaining notoriety for its ability to engage students at a variety of skill levels and backgrounds. This session will cover the basics of what PBL is, how to start a PBL unit in your program, and tips for keeping momentum with staff.

Grades K-8


Beauty and the Beats – Using Music Technology to Drive Academic Success

Chris Woods, Artportunity Knocks, Inc.

This workshop dives into the power that Music Technology has on the minds of the rising teen generation. We will discuss application of Music Technology as a means to achieving academic success, as well as teach you how to make a beat from scratch which you will use to write a song and tackle a couple of middle school’s most challenging subjects: Math and ELA.

Grades 4-12


Books, Bubbles, & Breakers – Science the Quirkles and Fuddlebrook Way!

Terri Johnson, Creative 3, LLC Publishing

Want to be the educator who makes the dinner table conversation? Want kids to look forward to your program all day? Want to channel some of that pent up energy that builds up after a full day of school? It’s easy! Join us and learn new ideas on how to integrate fun storytelling with hands-on science. Yes, eggs will fly, balloon rockets will zoom, and water will disappear, all while making science relevant to the real world. You don’t want to miss this session! Come prepared to participate in small groups, laugh, and connect! You might even get a little messy! We can’t wait to see you!

Grades K-5


CSI Creative Science Investigations

Debby Venable, Mud Pie Science

Have you ever wondered what happens when your fingerprint is found on a piece of glass? How about what you would do to solve a mystery? During this session, you will explore the hands-on world of creative science investigations. Participants will get down and dirty with experiments and mysterious substances while attempting to solve crimes and mysteries. This session will investigate the ways that creative science is able to connect clues from evidence left behind to what actually happened at a certain place at a certain time. Participants will leave this session with knowledge of materials and the “recipes” that make for a good CSI experience.

Grades K-12


Easy Peazy – The Magic of Open-Ended Challenges

Kenneth Scheel, KEVA Planks Education

A workshop teaching simple, fun, engaging hands-on activities that stimulate the imagination, inspire problem solving, start conversations, teach history, art, and STEM – all at the same time. This session will cover the highlights of top rated workshops conducted for science museum educators, art teachers, STEM educators, gifted teachers, and art therapists. Using high precision KEVA planks, learn how to use open-ended challenges to engage your students and simplify your programming for differentiated learning. Learn easy two-minute games, instant challenges and activities you can implement tomorrow. Come play with a purpose.

Grades K-12


Engaging High School Youth as Peer Leaders and STEM Educators in Out-of-School Time (OST) Settings

Laurie Jo Wallace and Lisa Aslan, Health Resources in Action

This workshop focuses on how to use peer leadership models and youth development to engage high school students as peer leaders and STEM educators in OST programs. This near peer education model promotes STEM learning among elementary school students while also building high school students’ STEM knowledge and social emotional skills.

Grades K-12


Entrepreneurship – The Innovative Vehicle for PBL

Jeannine Schloss and Theodore Thompson, NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship)

Education’s focus across the globe is rapidly changing from stressing accountability around math and English skills to an emphasis on developing mindsets that create productive, engaged citizens. Entrepreneurship is a project-based learning model that engages youth, critical to fostering business creation and developing a stronger, more engaged workforce.

Grades K-12


Even More Stories and STEM: Expanding your Literacy-Based STEM Lesson Library

Meredith Fraysure, Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County

Offering more titles and activities, this follow-up session to the original Stories and STEM will align even more books to hands-on activities that are fun and easy to use at your site. Additionally, the use of chapter books and poetry for older students to introduce lessons will be explored. As always, giveaways, book lists and lesson plans will be provided.

Grades K-5


Extreme Ninja Bot Warriors

Johanna Friedel and Tim Vangeloff, Greenville ISD

What’s better than a highly trained athlete and a kickin’ obstacle course? Robots that you navigate in an engineered course right here at BSH. You will create your own “Ninja Event” using robots and engineering principles. No cash prize, but amazing ideas that will attract and work for your students.

Grades K-12


Full STEAM Ahead! An Arts Forward Approach to Science

Mizgon Darby and Jason Pittman, Art in Action

Educators find difficulty in fitting art/innovation into their curriculum due to the prioritization of competing subjects. But what if you could teach core subjects through art? This workshop will explore how educators can use art to teach Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM). Art forward STEAM education instills creative thinking, innovation, problem solving, and collaboration skills while saving educators from having to choose between teaching art and expanding their STEM programming. Join us and learn how to design your own art forward science activity and experience the possibilities of learning STEM through Art.

Grades K-8


Fusing is the Future: Using STEM to Create Strong Social Emotional Skills

Gwynette Williams, Collective for Youth

Discover the crucial role OST programs play in developing youth skills around team work, problem-solving, resilience, self-confidence, communication, and leadership by using STEM education. The objective of this fun, hands-on session is to explore the connections between social emotional learning and STEM, then fuse them together. Fusing our efforts will save staff time, be more logical and more effective for youth. OST programs can help youth handle any opportunities, challenges and decisions that come their way.

Grades 4-8


Math, No Problem!

Mary Curry, MANGO Math Group

Problem-solving is key in math, science, and socially. It allows students to use the Four Cs – key components like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity that industry leaders have identified as the skills students need to succeed in the 21st Century. Participants will learn and play several problem-solving games that can be used by students in afterschool to master the math skills they need to succeed while using the Four Cs.

Grades K-8


PBL: Youth Taking the Lead in Their Learning

Sirocus Barnes and Shameka Williams, Horizons at Georgia Tech

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered way of instructing that allows youth to learn by investigating and responding to complex questions, challenges, and real world problems. This session will highlight how Horizons at Georgia Tech allowed Horizons youth to take the lead in their learning through PBL. Attendees will be provided with examples of successful projects that have been completed at Horizons at Georgia Tech and begin to plan their own PBL unit using the eight key elements of gold standard project based learning.

Grades K-12


STEM is FUNdamental in Afterschool

Scott Halpern and Heather Norton, Orlando Science Center

Engineering design challenges are the best way to engage youth in STEM during afterschool programs. They bring life to what students learn in school and allow them to apply their knowledge to solve a real world problem. Experience a challenge and gain strategies that can be implemented with your students!

Grades K-8


STEM on a Shoestring

Debby Venable, Mud Pie Science

Would you like to be able to play with cool science activities? Discover why objects are able to change states of matter? Or learn how simple everyday components can be used to create fun learning experiences? These and other questions will be addressed in this exciting workshop on inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Find out how to use every day inexpensive items to create fun science activities. Participants will be required to get their hands into the activities and will be challenged to work on solving problems, making concoctions, exploring hands-on activities, and examining the wide range of possibilities that exist in integrating STEM subjects as well as language arts, social studies, and creative arts. If that sounds intriguing to you, this workshop will be a soaring experience.

Grades K-12


STEM, Creativity, and Innovation – Proven Pathway to a Well-Rounded Education

Britt Magneson, National Inventors Hall of Fame

Experience how today’s inventors and hands-on STEM learning brings science to life for all children. Engage in inventor-based explorations. Learn how to inspire and motivate children in Pre-K through middle school to use creative and critical problem-solving while immersed in real life science investigations.

Grades K-5


Stories and STEM: Integrating Literature and STEM into Afterschool

Meredith Fraysure, Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County

The hands-on nature of this workshop will allow attendees to learn how powerful it can be to connect literature and STEM education. Everyone in the room will complete at least one experiment or activity for each letter in STEM that is fun, inexpensive, and easily reproducible in the afterschool setting. Complete lesson plans and book lists will be provided.

Grades K-5


The Affordances of Engineering in Out-of-School Time: Creating a Generation of Problem Solvers

Katy Hutchinson, Museum of Science – Boston

Come learn why the out-of-school time setting is the perfect arena for youth to harness their creativity by engaging in a hands-on engineering challenge that highlights the benefits of youth-driven exploration. Learn how engineering can inspire students in grades 6-8 to think like engineers through globally-relevant design challenges that build on their 21st century skills.

Grades 6-8


The After School Escape Room II

Lauri Celli and Shawn Petty, Westat

Did you miss the After School Escape Room last year? Don’t fret as our Master Trainers are back to help you experience a new version of the After School Escape Room that delves into coding. Discover how you can bring this hot trend to your program!

Grades K-12


The Do’s and Don’ts of Project-Based Learning

Brittany Miller and LaQuanda Hammons, YouthQuest-Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce

Studies show that students demonstrate a deeper understanding and higher achievement levels when using projects to learn about math, science, and technology. This is one example in support of using project-based learning in classrooms, after school enrichment programs, and even service learning opportunities. This session will provide resources and methods, that when implemented, will lend the opportunity to have successful and productive experiences with youth. Join us and learn innovative activities that will help pull the productive side out of your students!

Grades K-12


The Laws of Motion: Integrating STEM with Physical Activity!

Jess Wadleigh, Skillastics

Numerous studies have shown that children who are active and healthy have a lower risk of juvenile behavior, an increase in academic achievement, and tend to have a much better self-image. This workshop integrates STEM and Physical Activity in a unique format that helps develop healthier, more productive children. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind workshop!

Grades K-12


The MATH PARTY: Sing! Dance! Exercise! Learn!

Stephanie Pasley, The Math and Reading Party: Bethune-Cookman University

In this session, participants will sing, dance, exercise, and most importantly, learn! This session encompasses songs, chants, raps, exercises, and dance movements that invigorate existing math curricula!. Participants will learn math concepts that are aligned with the NCTM Standards, which include Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis, and Probability. While emphasizing mathematical vocabulary, concepts and procedures through chants and raps, participants will dance and exercise with the presenter to aide in remembering steps to solving equations.

Grades K-8



Eric Holland, Christopher Columbus Charter School

Many educators shy away from STEAM education because of a lack of personal experience in the field of science, especially engineering and electronics. Join us to discover practical ideas for project-based learning using recycled and repurposed tinkering materials in individual and small group settings. Learn how to build and improve your STEAM program using easily obtained tools and supplies.

Grades K-12


Three Act Math

Jessica Tilli, School District of Philadelphia

Tired of teaching the same old boring math lessons? Want an incredibly engaging way to provide students the space for discovery and curiosity? Want something easy to implement that requires little to no preparation? You’ve come to the right place because Three Act Math is fun for everyone and incredibly easy to use! Your kids will be questioning and discovering in no time with this amazing activity!

Grades K-12


Train the Trainer – Culinary Skills + Lessons for your Youth Cooking Program

Ann Butler and Chef Quincy Jackson, Edible Education

Do you already have a cooking program? Thinking about starting one? In this very fast-paced experiential cooking workshop, former White House Chef Quincy Jackson and Edible Education founder Chef Ann Butler will show you how to chop, cook, and bake your way to culinary success. From how you greet your kids, to how you flip an omelet, the chefs will guide you through knife safety, sanitation basics, setting up your program, and how to prepare a few classroom favorites. Learn why cooking is a favorite program in the afterschool setting. This is a chef demo presentation with a few “volunteer” guest chefs. Yes, you will eat awesome food. Yes, there are handouts on starting your own program. Yes, we have tons of recipes.

Grades K-12