STEM Innovation & Disruption: Unlocking the Potential

May 14th – 16th.

Join us for a diverse lineup of speakers who will be covering an array of innovative topics to help you unlock your students’ full potential.

Virtual Sessions: Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Session A: The AI Advantage in Science and STEM Classrooms, Presented by Karle Delo

May 14, 2024,  4:15 PM – 5:30 PM PST

Learn how to use AI as a catalyst to enhance inquiry teaching and learning in science and STEM. In this session, we will explore the transformative potential of large language models like ChatGPT and Google Gemini. You will walk away with prompts you can use tomorrow to brainstorm phenomena, driving questions, claim-evidence-reasoning paragraphs, practice question sets, and more!


  • Use a framework to design effective prompts for Large Language Models
  • Incorporate AI tools into curriculum to save time and enhance inquiry-based learning
Cathleen Beachboard

Karle Delo is an accomplished Curriculum Director, Instructional Coach, and education speaker. With over a decade of experience teaching middle school science and serving as a K-12 instructional coach, Karle understands the needs and challenges faced by K-12 educators across different grade levels. She has a Master of Arts in Educational Technology and was named one of the top 30 K-12 EdTech Influencers to follow in 2023 by EdTech Magazine. Karle offers training on AI tools and classroom technologies through PD and short-form content on social media as @coachkarle.

Session B: Unpacking Math Anxiety: Discovering ways to support our students and lead them to joyful sense making in the mathematics classroom, Presented by Bethany Lockhart Johnson

May 14, 2024,  5:30 PM – 6:45 PM PST

While we may spend a great deal of time crafting our teaching and classroom environment, students experiencing math anxiety often avoid or are unable to engage with math content. In this session we will dive into defining math anxiety and its impacts on teachers, parents, and most importantly our students. We will look at ways to support students in building a positive mathematical disposition focused on sense making. We will also look at ways to make small changes in your classroom routines that can make a big impact for your students’ success.

Cathleen Beachboard

Bethany Lockhart Johnson is an elementary school educator, curriculum design consultant, and author, as well as the co-host of the Math Teacher Lounge podcast. Bethany has served as a Student Achievement Partners California Core Advocate, a member of the Illustrative Mathematics Elementary Curriculum Steering Committee, and is active in national and local mathematics organizations. Bethany is committed to helping students find joy in discovering their identities as mathematicians.

Virtual Sessions: Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Session C: Building Your Anti-Racist Classroom, Presented by Nina Hike

May 15, 2024,  4:15 PM – 5:30 PM PST

This session will focus on understanding the role that educators play in creating more inclusive classrooms and how that stems from deepening an understanding of how racism operates today in society and school environments. Participants will learn about innovative tools to dismantle racism in the classroom as well as how to transform STEM unit(s)/lesson plans to make them more relevant to Black and Brown students.

Cathleen Beachboard

Nina Hike has worked for over 28 years as an APES, AP Capstone, IB, MYP & Honors Biology and Chemistry teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Nina currently teaches at George Westinghouse College Prep and is a 2021 Illinois finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Session D: The Secret Kindness Agents, Presented by Dr. Pearson

May 15, 2024,  5:30 PM – 6:45 PM PST

During this session, participants will learn about how and why the original Secret Kindness Agents created the Project, the journey of where the Project has been, hear what the research says about kindness education and its effects on students, educators, and their contexts, and find out how to recreate the project in their own contexts.

Cathleen Beachboard

Dr. Pearson (Mama Beast) is a mother, activist, author, educator, speaker, poet, comedian, cook, and citizen of the world. As a Kenyan Indian Muslim immigrant queer disabled woman of color, she is passionate about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Kindness. She has received national and local awards for her work, authored two books, and spoken at TEDx Omaha. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Teacher Education department. Her goal is to make sure you know that you are loved and that you are enough.

Virtual Sessions: Thursday, May 16, 2024

Session E: School Math Needs More Problems (And Fewer Exercises), Presented by Fawn Nguyen

May 16, 2024,  4:15 PM – 5:30 PM PST

One of the biggest myths is that mathematics is all about computation. John Allen Paulos wrote in his book Innumeracy, “… mathematics has as much to do with computation as writing has to do with typing.” Yet, school mathematics continues to focus heavily on computation and arithmetic and not nearly enough on critical thinking and problem solving. What the Common Core gets right is the 8 Mathematical Practices, and these competencies depend on instruction and curriculum that expose students to mathematics as a way of thinking and solving problems.

Cathleen Beachboard


Fawn is a Math Teaching and Learning Specialist at Amplify Desmos Math. She was a math coach for a K-8 school district for three years. Before that, Fawn was a middle school teacher for 30 years. Fawn was the 2014 Ventura County Teacher of the Year. In 2009, she was awarded the Math Teacher Hero from Raytheon. In 2005, she was awarded the Sarah D. Barder Fellowship from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

Fawn blogs about her lessons and classroom teaching at She also authors three other websites for teachers:,, and

Session F: Unleashing Creativity in STEM: Experience-Based Learning Through Dynamic Critique, Presented by Andrew Marcus

May 16, 2024,  5:30 PM – 6:45 PM PST

Experience-Based Learning (EBL) is transforming STEM education by empowering educators to revolutionize their teaching methodologies. It redefines teaching as a dynamic and creative profession, leveraging the power of critique to not only engage but also inspire deep student involvement and foster a profound understanding of complex concepts. Through EBL, educators are equipped to turn classrooms into vibrant hubs of innovation and creativity, where students actively participate in shaping their learning experiences. This approach encourages a richer, more connected understanding of STEM, making every lesson a journey of discovery and practical application.

  1. Explore classroom environments that mimic real-world STEM challenges and promote collaborative learning.
  2. Practice using critique as a methodology to enhance student participation and engagement.
  3. Leave with strategies to create more dynamic and connected learning experiences, fundamentally shifting how students perceive and interact with STEM subjects
Cathleen Beachboard


Andrew Todd Marcus is an innovative educator and leader with over twenty years dedicated to integrating design, technology, and educational methods to revolutionize learning. As Director of Learning Design at Citizen Schools and former Chief Academic Officer at NuVu Studio, he has developed interdisciplinary programs that challenge traditional educational models and promote creative critical thinking. With a background in architecture, including research at Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, and visual arts, Andrew offers a distinct perspective to STEM education. His approach emphasizes critique and design-based learning to prepare students to impact the future actively. An advocate for community-based learning, Andrew’s initiatives focus on experiential learning and developing social-emotional skills in diverse educational settings. Holding a BA from Oberlin College, an M.Arch from MIT, and a Fulbright Fellowship, his passionate teaching continues to inspire a deeper engagement with STEM, making education a powerful tool for innovation and inclusivity.