Central PA STEM Regional Conference

Milton, Pennsylvania
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Central PA STEM Regional Conference

Breakout Session One

Turn Students onto STEM by Building Cardboard Robots and Machines
Mr. William Bien, Technology Education Teacher, Milton Area School District
Description:  This program began in 2001 and has been used successfully with students in grades 8 through 12.  Students work in teams to solve technical problems by designing and constructing tethered robots, autonomous robots, and automated sorting machines using cardboard as the primary building material.  Attendees will see robots from past challenges and learn how to teach STEM using recycled materials.
Audience:  K-12 Educators

Inquiry in the Classroom
Mrs. Melissa Webb, Science Teacher, Mifflinburg Area School District
As a participant in the “Inquiry to Science” grant through the CSIU for the past two years, I will share my experiences in science inquiry with other educators. I will explain what “inquiry” is and how it can be used to
promote STEM. I will also explain how integrating inquiry in the classroom can be used to differentiate material for students. Examples of activities will be provided that have been transformed into inquiry activities.  Samples of “cook-book” labs will be provided with discussion on how participants can transform them into inquiry based labs.

Audience:  K-12 Educators

Education by Design – Autodesk’s Digital STEAM Curriculum
Mr. Tim Varner, Autodesk Education Representative, Synergis Technologies
Description:  The Design Process is fundamental to all STEAM disciplines.  Autodesk’s Programs for Education provide teachers with the 3D engineering, design, and visualization software tools, curricula, and training to successfully implement middle and high school courses in rapidly evolving fields like Mechanical Design, Architecture, Civil Design, Green Building, and Robotics; and rapidly emerging fields like Design Visualization, Digital Art, Computer Animation, and Video Gaming.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, Higher Education, Workforce Development

Mars - Dead or Alive
Ms. Beth Robbins, Instructional Coach, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
Description:  This activity relates to the design and construction of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER's).  Students discuss the plan to land twin robots on Mars while describing some of the challenges the design team faces when robots must land by themselves in cold, dusty environments in areas without canyons or too many rocks.  Through planning and team effort, participants will investigate variables that affect a parachute's rate of descent and then design a parachute that will descend as slowly as possible onto the surface of Mars.
Audience:  K-12 Educators

Marcellus Shale and Educational Implications
Dr. Jeannette Carter, Director of K-12 Outreach, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Description:  This overview presentation will discuss energy and where natural gas fits into energy forecasts, will explain the production process of unconventional shale gas and oil (and will answer the mystery question of why is it called unconventional), and provide information about education and workforce needs of the industry.  Career information for students of all interests and educational levels will be addressed.  Finally, you will be provided with the current status of educational materials that are either available or soon to be available to you and your students.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Workforce Development

Careers Never Imagined
Ms. Elizabeth Biddle, K-12 Project Manager, Outreach for K-12, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Description:  Do you have low enrollment for certain Perkins indicators?  Have you had trouble trying to get more female students enrolled in your welding, automotive, or similar programs?  How about increasing the male student enrollment of your health, childcare, or other similar programs?  Come learn about how a partnership with Pennsylvania College of Technology and local career and technology centers and high schools are taking steps to over this challenge, using data-driven strategies and measuring results.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Higher Education

Frameworks, Standards and Common Core - oh My!
Dr. Christine Royce, Associate Professor, Shippensburg University
Description:  This session will provide an overview of the Framework for K-12 Science Education document that was released almost a year ago, as well as currently available information related to the Next Generation Science Standards.  The purpose of this session will be to examine the Frameworks and NGSS in order to answer questions and address apprehensions to the extent possible.  In addition to an overview of the dimensions of the frameworks and standards, a comparison to the structure of the Common Core will be addressed.  Intersections for overlapping areas in the elementary and middle level grades will be discussed.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators

STEM Education with focus on the T & E
Mr. Bill Bertrand, Technology Education Advisor, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Description:  "Integrative STEM Education" refers to technological/engineering design-based learning approaches that intentionally integrate content and process of science and/or mathematics education with content and process of technology and/or engineering education.  Integrative STEM education may be enhanced through further integration with other school subjects, such as language arts, social studies, art, etc.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Business, Industry, Workforce Development

 Breakout Session Two

Energy Education Exhibits
Mr. Jack Farster, Director of Environmental Education, Department of Environmental Protection
Description:  Participants will learn about DEP’s development and use of hands-on exhibits as learning tools.  Standards-based curriculum modules, individual classroom activities and CFL light bulbs will be handed out.  Topics covered include:  energy conservation, alternative electric generation technologies and transportation fuels.  Participants will also learn how DEP’s EE Grants Program can provide funding to support a variety of educational initiatives, including exhibit development and instructional materials. 
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Higher Education

ROCK & ROLL:  Connecting University Students to the K-12 Community
Dr. Edward Zovinka, Professor of Chemistry, Saint Francis University
Description:  The Saint Francis University Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids (R.O.C.K.) program involves Saint Francis University science students in the local community through hands-on science activities.  The program has grown from 6 events during the 1995-96 academic year, to coordinating 157 events, involving 4006 youth from grades K-12, during the 2010-11 academic year.  By using trained student leaders, we focus the program on the student, whether it is a university or K-12 student.  While the SFU chemistry faculty provide the continuity in the program, each student ROCK director or ROCK leadership team, sets the tone and the level of activity each academic year.  Upon invitation, ROCK visits are scheduled with the teachers and coordinated by the student leaders.  During a ROCK visit, SFU students lead the events in small groups as where there is more opportunity for personal interaction in the classroom with SFU students.  During the session, the development and operation of the SFU ROCK program will be presented.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Higher Education, Business, Industry

A 4-year Degree Isn’t the Only Pathway to a Better Life
Mr. Shawn Kaufman, Director of Human Resources, Riggs Industries
Description:  Not going to college does not mean not continuing your education beyond high school.  Explore the disconnect between what we are teaching our students and where the job opportunities really are.  Demographic trends are converging to create unprecedented opportunities in the skilled trades.  These aren’t your grandfather’s construction and manufacturing jobs.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Higher Education, Business, Industry, Workforce Development

Bridge Building
Mr. Thomas Gill, Physics Teacher, Central Columbia High School
Description:  Bridge building is a familiar activity to many students.  Often toothpicks or wooden sticks are used to create interesting looking bridges, but what is often missing is an understanding of the forces present and how that relates to the materials used and the geometry of the bridge.  This presentation will focus on a STEM activity in which students not only build bridges, but also measure and compute the forces present in the parts of a bridge to understand how to optimize a bridge’s design.
Audience:  K-12 Educators

What does the Framework for K-12 Science Education mean for us?
Dr. Deb Smith, Assistant Professor and Framework committee member
Description:  The Framework for K-12 Science Education, recently released by the National Research Council, has implications for teaching, learning, curriculum development, assessment and policy making.  I will engage the audience in a discussion of the key features of the Framework and what they mean for classrooms; for curriculum development, selection and uses; for teacher education; for assessment development and uses; and for short and long term policies to support these changes.  I encourage the audience to download the free pdf of the Framework from the National Academies Press website, prior to the conference, so that we can talk about specific features and implications.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators

Today's STEM Workforce
Ms. Kim DeLellis, Workforce Development Manager, Center for Workforce Information & Analysis
Description:  Labor market information can be used to analyze the importance of the STEM workforce in today's economy as well as the future of Pennsylvania.  Existing jobs and emerging sectors, like manufacturing and Marcellus Shale, have increased needs for workers with a strong STEM skill set.  This session will explore some of the information and tools available to determine the need for STEM skills in your local economy.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators, Higher Education, Business, Industry, Workforce Development

Student Conducted Research and STEM
Dr. Laura Fisanick, State Director, educator, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS)
Description:  PJAS is a statewide organization promoting participation in science and math activities for the youth of Pennsylvania.  This volunteer, non-profit organization encourages student research in science and math and provides students a competitive venue to share their research at a Regional and then State level.  This presentation will discuss the role PJAS can play in the current STEM initiatives in Pennsylvania schools.
Audience:  K-12 Educators, K-12 Administrators


Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Registration has been closed.   A refund of $20 will be provided for registration cancellations made prior to May 1, 2012.  Cancellations after May 1, 2012 will not be refunded.

    Conference attendees can pay by credit card or check.  Credit cards can only be accepted at the time of registration on this site.  Payment will not be accepted at the conference.

    Conference sponsorships and exhibitors must pay by check.

    If paying by check, include a copy of your registration with your check to ensure proper processing.

    Make checks payable to Saint Francis University and mail to:
    Central PA STEM Regional Conference
    c/o SFU Science Outreach Center
    PO Box 600
    Loretto, PA  15940
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