The 3rd Annual DC STEM Summit was an exciting event, gathering over 165 local partners to celebrate our city’s successes, explore next year’s STEM education challenges, and learn from local and national best practices in STEM learning! The partners consisted of education, industry, policy, and community leaders committed to increasing access to STEM learning opportunities in the District.

The 3rd Annual DC STEM Summit was hosted by the DC STEM Network at Carnegie Science on November 8, 2017 and ran from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. The DC STEM Network celebrated the first two schools to be recognized as STEM Schools: Kimball Elementary (Emerging STEM School) and Burroughs Elementary (Established STEM School). Throughout the day, participants learned local and national best practices through 12 breakout sessions, and from the keynote speaker, Maya Ajmera who was interviewed by School Without Walls High School student Samantha O’Sullivan.

Participants chose three sessions, that included coding, new technologies, STEM resources, out-of-school (OST) groups, medicine and more! These interactive sessions allowed partners to network with each other while learning innovative ways to increase access to STEM opportunities for students.

Session One

The first session of the day included Society for Science and the Public, who allowed participants to determine the difference between various food products using the scientific method. Participants engaged in their own natural curiosity by asking questions about the texture, taste and origin of food products! Meanwhile, Techbridge Girls provided a session on how to engage girls in STEM and create a lasting interest to encourage the pursuit of STEM careers.

The SUNY STEM Mentoring Project presented through the national STEMx network shared best practices and effective strategies for engaging teachers and students in STEM. Participants enjoyed engaging in discussion about how to increase opportunities within their own communities. The DC STEM Network Working Group introduced how to recognize STEM schools using research-based tools and the Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway.

Session Two

The Tiger Woods Foundation and TGR Learning Lab presented a interactive session on Raspberry Pi, teaching participants the basics of coding software and how to make a circuit! Groups were given their own Rasperry Pi kit to practice on and learn how to use in a classroom setting. The Afterschool Alliance discussed current federal legislation impacting STEM learning opportunities within the District.

During the second session, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) discussed opportunities to connect students and teachers in DC CAN with authentic STEM learning learning experiences. Leaders from local high schools discussed their own experience with DC CAN and how it helped increase STEM career pathways for students! The DC STEM Network Working Group discussed how to connect STEM resources with schools and facilitating local connections.

Session Three

The third session allowed participants to learn how to assist students to pursue medical careers with Mentors in Medicine. Participants in the FutureMakers session were introduced to Cubetto, a wooden programmable robotics platform designed for student PK-4th grade! This fun session allowed partners to learn basic coding to teach young students in the classroom.

The DC STEM Network Working Group discussed how to promote high quality out-of-school time learning opportunities for students in the District. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation presented a session on enabling all student K-12 to have access to Computer Science, and connected partners with local resources.

DC STEM School Recognition








The DC STEM Summit recognized Burroughs Elementary and Kimball Elementary as the first two official DC STEM Schools! Kimball Elementary Principal Johann Lee and Burroughs Elementary Principal LeVar Jenkins accepted the awards for the DC STEM School recognition.

The STEM Schools Working Group works to identify and recognize STEM schools across the District. The STEM school status was verified by the DC STEM Network through classroom observations, teacher and students interviews, and letters of support from partners.

Keynote Speaker Maya Ajmera

Maya Ajmera, the President and CEO of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of its award-winning magazine, Science News discussed her STEM educational experiences at the DC STEM Summit! It was inspiring to hear about the outreach and equity programs Maya Ajmera founded to help increase access to STEM opportunities for undeserved students.

School Without Walls High School student Sam O’Sullivan, who is dedicated to inspiring more girls and minorities to pursue STEM, interviewed Maya Ajmera. The series of interesting questions delved into Maya’s personal STEM background, how to increase STEM equity, and future challenges in increasing access to STEM for all students.

Check out the livestream from the keynote presentation!

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