Chief Science Officers Program – Regional Conversations
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The mission of the SciTech Institute is focused on cultivating an ecosystem of conscious STEM communities through awareness, connections and empowerment. The SciTech Institute is dedicated to promoting and enhancing STEM engagements for everyone in the community by developing and implementing programs, fairs, bowls, projects and festivals that highlight a variety of STEM careers and awareness.
Strong connections with non-profits, industry and academia allows SciTech Institute to serve as the catalyst to align assets, grants, resources and support for building a world-class community with an understanding of STEM. Imagine building tomorrow’s global leaders by empowering individuals today.
Imagine working directly with industry and community leaders to envision the future workforce and address the lack of qualified workers. Then imagine the impact we can leverage in a two-way communication pipeline for sharing knowledge and engaging others. Finally, imagine the results of millions of people around the world collaboratively addressing some of society’s toughest challenges. Together, we can make it happen!
Dr. Jeremy Babendure is the Executive Director of the SciTech Institute, the Annual Arizona SciTech Festival, Associate Professor of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University and a research fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation. The annual AZ SciTech festival includes over 800 collaborators, 2000 events and draws over 500,000 participants.
Most recently Jeremy launched the Chief Science Officers Initiative, transforming student voice in the conversation about STEM and education in Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia, Mexico, Kuwait and soon to be Florida and New York. In addition, through his work with the national STEM Ecosystems project he helped launch a local Arizona STEM School Community of Practice bringing together 40+ diverse schools teams focused on STEM.
Prior to his work in Arizona, Jeremy received his doctorate in in the lab of the late Nobel Laureate, Dr. Roger Tsien at the University of California, San Diego developing molecular sensors for the detection of RNA. Following this work, he and Roger launched the ScienceBridge program as mechanism to bring current science to the San Diego schools annually impacting ~200 teachers, ~20,000 students, and ~60,000 community members and attaining 12M+ in national grants.
Chief Science Officers elevate the student voice by bringing their peers and community leaders together to ignite new opportunities in STEM and innovation. The CSO program gives students a seat at the table as it empowers student voice to make a difference in STEM education.
Teacher, Army Cavalry Scout, Writer, Marketing Director, fire fighter, and medical first responder have all led up to Jake Lounsbury becoming the Director of Global Partnerships for Chief Science Officers International.
Traveling around the globe to make connections, build partnerships and support active programs, Jake works to ensure the success of the program as it Global foot print expands. But even with all the adventure of travel, Jake stays focused on the mission of amplifying student voice and increasing excitement amoungst the future leaders of the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Caillou Pena is a senior at Skyline high school and second year CSO. He has been named as an 18 under 18 recipient by Junior Achievement and the Arizona Republic. Through the CSO program he traveled to Washington DC for the international summit and Hermosillo, Sonora, MX to attend Arizona-Mexico Commission’s governor’s signing.
He is passionate about the program because it teaches that any one can do anything, all one has to do is take the initiative. Before Caillou attends Carnegie Mellon University in the fall he will intern at the SciTech Institute working on the Chief Science Officer Organization.
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college.
IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs. We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.
Michelle Martínez Vega is IDRA’s technology coordinator with more than 18 years of experience in designing, developing and administering professional development for educators at the state, regional and district levels. Her focus is driven by the desire to improve academic achievement through the use of technology. She strives to develop technology solutions that create equitable and sustainable learning environments for all students and educators.
Ms. Vega will continue to create and deliver professional technology support with the hope of helping others build their technology confidence and capacity. Key areas of Ms. Vega’s work includes designing, developing and training in technology integration, technical writing, and technology coaching and mentoring. She has served at the fourth-largest public school district in Texas, Northside ISD as a training and development technologist.
She led development, implementation and support of a wide variety of district technology initiatives for the district which comprises more than 100,000 students and 8,000 professional staff. Ms. Vega also served as digital resources specialist for the Texas Education Service Center, Region 20, where she was the official representative for multiple statewide programs, including Texas SUCCESS, TexQuest, Learn421 and Digital Knowledge Central (DKC).
She was responsible for all aspects of program implementation, including working with governing bodies to secure program funding and presenting at conventions, regional conferences and training events. Ms. Vega has a bachelor of science in applied science degree and performance improvement from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, with a concentration in human performance and development improvement in the workplace, project management, web design, and digital and business communications. She also has an associate’s degree in digital media, including web and graphic design, interactive media design and instructional design, from the Alamo Colleges, Northwest Vista.
She was a showcased designer at Northwest Vista for excellence in multimedia design for iPad general user interface (GUI). Ms. Vega has led training and presentations on such topics as: augmented reality, flipped classrooms, Google apps, digital storytelling, Google labs add-ons and extensions, and iPad configuration for shared environments. She was recognized by the Teachers Retirement System of Texas and San Antonio Water Systems in their monthly publications for data conversion project successes and acknowledged by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for excellence in program planning. She also was acknowledged by Texas Education Agency for excellence in website design.
Paula Johnson, Ph.D., is the director of the IDRA EAC-South, leading the center’s technical assistance and professional development pertaining to equitable access to quality instruction, diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and disproportional disciplinary actions against students of color.
She holds a bachelor of science in math and a minor in computer science from Prairie View A&M University, a master of arts in education with a concentration in instructional technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a master of science in progress with a concentration in mathematics from Prairie View A&M University. She earned her doctorate in the Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Her research foci include (1) increasing engagement of females and underserved minorities in STEM studies and careers, (2) equity in education, and (3) STEM learner identity. She also is certified in secondary mathematics and has successfully completed the LEAD (Leadership Experiences for Aspiring Deans) program of the Northside Independent School District.
Atlanta Science Festival Inc. is dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. ASF produces an annual two-week science festival, and year-round programming, including the Georgia Chief Science Officers leadership development program for middle/high school students.
After vowing to never work with youth, Eric Knapp became a camp counselor in 2006. He became a full time program director in charge of facilitating team building experiences for youth before receiving a wilderness leadership certificate through Outward Bound.
He then moved to Atlanta to serve as a program director for C5 Georgia, a five-year youth leadership development program for high-potential youth coming from risk-filled environments.
His work with partner schools helped him understand the influence and impact of classroom teachers and he begin a new professional chapter as an 8th grade science teacher at Tucker Middle School. With DeKalb County Schools, he served as the STEM program coordinator for the first state-certified middle school STEM program in Georgia.
He is passionate about bringing classrooms, communities, and corporations together to create innovative and impactful learning experiences for students. As one of 25 teachers in the country selected as a Northrop Grumman Teachers Academy Fellow in 2015, he collaborated with representatives from NGC to develop lessons and teaching strategies to better prepare students for STEM careers. Furthermore, he has written STEM curriculum for schools in India and is on the design team for two STEM academies in China.
He has presented at several conferences including NSTA, ITEEA, GEETA, Georgia STEM Forum, Georgia Leadership Institute and The Georgia STEM Teacher Academy. Eric is now works with the Atlanta Science Festival and as the Regional Lead for the Georgia Chief Science Officer Program by establishing an environment in which students are continually coached to become effective leaders in their schools and communities.
He hopes to see each CSO that place where their giftings, talents, and passions come together to meet the needs of their community. His career has taught him to never underestimate the impact of a young person can make on the next generation.
Jordan Rose is a creative, lifelong learner with a passion for promoting science literacy and building community partnerships.
As co-founder and co-director of Atlanta Science Festival, Jordan is helping to bring together schools, universities, companies, and museums to celebrate Atlanta’s STEAM ecosystem and highlight opportunities for the public to learn and love science.
Previously, Jordan led science education initiatives at the Georgia BioEd Institute and the Emory College Center for Science Education, supporting K-12 teachers and students and facilitating university-community partnerships.
Jordan has a B.S. in neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. He serves on advisory boards for the Atlanta STEAM Learning Ecosystems, Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, Georgia Tech’s GIFT program, and the Georgia BioEd Institute.
Greater Oregon CSO supports 21 CSOs with nine advisers across the eastern region of Oregon. Our CSOs represent rural and remote communities along with small towns.
Abigail Southgate has a degree in education followed by a career of diverse teaching opportunities. She has substituted, taught with the Headstart program and elementary schools.
She has been a naturalist in our National Park Service, homeschooled her three children, and was a Math teacher for her local Community College.
She loves to facilitate others passions, which makes the position a perfect fit for her!
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit is one of 29 Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania. Intermediate units provide special services as needed by the educational community in their service area. Through cooperation and collaboration among schools and community agencies, intermediate units work to provide innovative, responsive and cost-effective programs that save taxpayers millions of dollars annually.
The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit provides a vast array of effective and efficient services that meet the educational and social service needs of Montgomery County’s 200-plus schools, including the 22 public school districts, more than 150 nonpublic schools, four career-technical schools, three charter schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Stephanie Schwab is the STEM Program Administrator for Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and a member of the PA STEM Experience for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem Executive Team. In both of these roles, she works to support school districts in developing and implementing STEM curriculum, assessments and effective instructional practices and to connect and cultivate relationships among school districts and various stakeholder groups working to improve STEM education for all students.
Stephanie’s passion for STEM began at a young age when she realized she wanted to be a mathematics teacher. Over the years that passion has grown as she has advanced throughout her career as a middle and high school mathematics teacher, instructional coach and curriculum supervisor. Her two young children have added to her inspiration to continually improve STEM experiences for all students.
Stephanie is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The Pennsylvania STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] Experiences for Equity and Diversity (PA SEED) Ecosystem is a collaboration of stakeholders committed to engaging its local and global community in connected science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning, thus cultivating a talent-rich workforce prepared to creatively address challenges, leverage opportunities, and fulfill tomorrow’s jobs.
The PA SEED region is home to 2.5 million people, 100 colleges and universities, 200 private schools, 9 career and technical high schools, and 62 school districts comprised of 485 schools and over 300,000 students.
Talent Maker City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Talent, Oregon. Our mission is driving sustained economic development by establishing Talent as a regional hub for cultural and economic innovation.
TMC serves as a community education partner in the Southern Oregon region – providing STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) based education programming and workshops to curious minds of all ages. Chief Science Officers work side by side with TMC staff with out of school STEAM education programming.
Alli French is a long-time educator and maker. She is the Programs Director for Talent Maker City as well as the Youth Voice Regional Lead for the Chief Science Officers with the Southern Oregon STEM Hub.
She has been teaching, mentoring and collaborating with the Ashland, Medford and Phoenix-Talent School Districts for over twenty years. As a maker, she is the proud owner of RefunktionedArt, where she makes new things out of old materials.
Nowicki, K. (2019, May 9). Chief Science Officers Program – Regional Conversations Part 1. Retrieved from https://scitechinstitute.orgbusinessradiox.com/podcast/phoenixbusinessradio/chief-science-officers-program-regional-conversations-part-1/.
Karen, K. (2019, May 9). Chief Science Officers Program – Regional Conversations Part 2. Retrieved from https://scitechinstitute.orgbusinessradiox.com/podcast/phoenixbusinessradio/chief-science-officers-program-regional-conversations-part-2/.
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