Communications: Sparking a ‘Sputnik Moment’
How do we change the nation’s attitude and show why STEM matters?
OUTCOME: Increase public and political awareness of the expanding skills gap and the devastating effect it is having on the economy as a whole and certain segments of American society in particular.
Cultural, Ethnic and Demographic Strengths in Raising STEM Awareness
Thursday, June 28
10:45 am – 11:45 am
Peter Cunningham, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach, U.S. Department of Education
Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD, President and Founder, The Harris Foundation
Betty A. Shanahan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Society of Women Engineers
Cordell Carter, II, Senior Consultant, Education and Workforce, STEMconnector™ (moderator)
STEM education is a potential way out of poverty for many of the nation’s poorest students, yet too few of them are inspired to take up STEM studies and careers, particularly women and minorities. To prepare these underserved students for the jobs of the future, an understanding of cultural, ethnic, and demographic differences and barriers are vital and carry significant weight in marketing and communicating STEM information and achieving career goals. How can the media better inform and educate women and minority Americans about STEM with the requisite diversity of views and culture? Session experts will examine the best programs, policies, and partnerships—in current or new initiatives—that are advancing STEM visibility and access among the underserved.
STEM Innovators in Arts & Entertainment
Thursday, June 28
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Debbie Adler Myers, EVP and General Manager, Science Channel
Allyson Peerman, Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs, AMD and President, AMD Foundation
Susan Polgar, Director of SPICE and Head Coach of Chess Team, Webster University
Captain Russell D. Shilling, PhD, USN, Program Manager, Information Innovations Office, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
Joseph Piro, PhD, Curriculum & Instruction, Long Island University, CW Post Campus, School of Education (moderator)
As the STEM education movement gains momentum, policymakers cannot continue with the mentality that jobs and a vibrant economy move forward on math and science alone. This session will explore how professionals working in television, videogame design, and other entertainment platforms are advancing STEM education and forging new approaches in marketing and communicating STEM value.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: The Need for STEM Mentors
Thursday, June 28
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Jon W. Dudas, President, FIRST
Norman L. Fortenberry, ScD, Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education
Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012
Stephan Turnipseed, President, Lego® Education, North America
Melissa Gregson, Managing Director, STEM Initiative, Teach for America (moderator)
STEM mentorship—participation and retention of individuals who might not otherwise have access or considered STEM careers—is uniquely challenging with different criteria and characteristics. This session explores facets of STEM mentoring, including access to mentors and cultivating relationships between individuals of different gender, generations, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. “The parent trap”—parents’ lack of skills and education in contributing to mentoring goals during critical stages of college and career development—will also be deliberated, along with practical ways mentors can raise understanding and increase value in STEM engagement.
Building the STEM Brand
Friday, June 29
9:45 am – 10:45 am
Marina Stenos, Vice President, Widmeyer Communications
Judah Schiller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aiko
Robert W. Wrubel, Chief Innovation Officer, Apollo Group, Inc.
Tanya Van Court, Senior Vice President, Partner Development, Discovery Education
While Americans increasingly recognize the transformation of the global economy toward hightech industries, there is considerable confusion on how, where, and when the general public can best get involved, get connected, and take action to advance STEM skills. How can we build the STEM brand to increase understanding, awareness, and support for STEM education and its real-world applications? Is there always clear communication and consistent application of the term “STEM” or should there be an official “STEM” designation? How can we increase visibility of STEM through social media and other tools? This session will explore how can we engage—and educate—non-education stakeholders to spark a STEM “Sputnik moment” in every American and to better communicate that STEM skills are required to be successful.