Why should you attend the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo?

Why should you attend the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo this July?  As Chairperson of this event, I think all STEM educators should join us in Kissimmee, Florida from July 12 – 14, 2017, for this premier, international professional development event. The conference committee and NSTA staff, in collaboration with our program partners, have worked diligently to bring you, our attendees, a world class event that will bring together all stakeholders in STEM education while showcasing cutting edge research and best practices in STEM education and workplace development.

Looking for the most rigorous and relevant information for your established STEM program? Is your institution at the infancy of STEM? Do you need guidance on how to start STEM in your own classroom? The STEM Forum & Expo brings together the top thinkers and organizations in STEM education in one location. This three day event provides you with the latest information on STEM content, teaching strategies, and research to enhance and expand your professional growth. You will be able to select from over 400 strand specific sessions, seminars, and featured panel discussions, while collaborating with leaders in STEM education and national education policy makers. In addition, you are able to network and start collaborations with colleagues from around your area and from around the world through face-to-face interactions, back channel discussions, and social events. It does not matter if you are just starting a STEM program or looking to further develop your present STEM program, the STEM Forum & Expo has learning opportunities for all. 

Through our unique strand approach that is divided up by grade levels, administration, and partnership strands; attendees will be able to easily follow a specific track of sessions and panels to increase their pedagogical knowledge and to become more reflective and effective educators. Below are just a few examples of the programming you will experience when you attend the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo:

  • Hands-on sessions that enhance ongoing development of teachers and school leaders to improve their STEM knowledge, as well as their pedagogical skills used to import the specialized knowledge/content in each of the STEM disciplines.
  • Specialized panels that promote the implementation of teacher and administrator skill and competency development, including data-informed teaching and leading, and the integration of research-based methods into the STEM curriculum.
  • Networking opportunities for administrators to improve and enhance competencies attributable to strong STEM leadership, including, but not limited to, supervising and motivating staff, coordination of STEM curriculum, promoting and sustaining a positive school learning climate, and evaluating student performance in the STEM disciplines.
  • The forum provides project- and research-based activities that tackle issues of real-world relevance. Our programming is driven by the latest research in subject areas as well as best practices for communicating topics in effective and meaningful ways.
  • A STEM specific exhibit hall with the newest tools and resources to assist you with educating our students in STEM.

I am most excited about the new features to this year’s STEM Forum & Expo that brings together new groups under our growing STEM umbrella:                  

  • Inclusiveness and Equity – We are thrilled to have new panel for this year called “Engaging Diverse Learners and Special Needs Students in STEM.” Hosted by Janella Watson, Director of the Providence Children’s Museum, this panel will help us and our diverse learners navigate STEM. This panel will demonstrate how the best STEM teachers believe in the capacity of all of their students to learn and how they carefully utilize a range of pedagogical approaches to ensure this learning occurs.
  • Informal Education in STEM – Another new panel to this year’s STEM Forum is “Shift Makers: How Informal Educators are making a shift to better support STEM and Learner-Centered Science.” Hosted by Karen Hays, Youth Program Manager at the Denver Zoo, this panel will advise attendees on how informal environments are ideal for STEM learning as well learner-centered interests and curiosities in STEM. Come learn about the resources these informal education centers offer to schools and to your classrooms.
  • STEM Magic at the Magic  Kingdom®We are thrilled that the Walt Disney World Resort®  and Disney Youth Education Services is offering a special STEM-tastic post-conference event for 150 of our attendees at the Magic Kingdom Park ® on Saturday, July 15th. The “Energy and Waves” workshop will feature hands-on activities that form the foundation of your exploration of sound and light at work at the Magic Kingdom® Park.
  • Invigorating and High Energy Keynote Speaker – We are overjoyed that Derek Muller will be joining us as this year’s keynote speaker for the STEM Forum. Derek is an engineer, physicist, filmmaker, science educator, and founder of You Tube’s widely popular science channel Veritasium and his new channel  Sciencium.

As you can see there are many reasons why you should attend the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo! On behalf of the steering committee and NSTA, we hope to see you in the Kissimmee, Florida this July! We promise it will be an invigorating, rewarding, energizing, and magical experience for you as we dive deeper into STEM and prepare for a new school year. See you there!

Jennifer Williams is in her eighteenth year of teaching STEM at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. As the Lower School Science department chair and STEM Coordinator, she provides leadership in the development of quality instruction within the Lower School STEM program for grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th.


The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

Future NSTA Conferences

2017 STEM Forum & Expo
Kissimmee/Orlando, July 12–14

2017 Area Conferences

Baltimore, October 5–7
Milwaukee, November 9–11
New Orleans, Nov. 30–Dec. 2


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3 Responses to Why should you attend the 6th Annual STEM Forum & Expo?

  1. Peggy Ashbrook says:

    Early childhood educators, preK-grade 2/3, there are a total of 8 time slots where a session that specifically includes PreK and doesn’t go above elementary level is offered, and 20 of those kinds of sessions offered in total. Session titles include, “The “T” and “S” in STEM and Early Childhood: Helping Young Children Explore Their World,” “Beyond the Block Center: Inquiry-Based Engineering in Early Childhood,” and “Young Engineers in the Woods: Bringing Engineering Design Challenge to the Outdoor Classroom,” among those 20 sessions.

  2. Robert J. Trembley says:

    I would LOVE to give a lecture at this conference about what my science teacher wife and I (both volunteer volunteer NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors) did this year in the Endeavour Space Academy; we taught basic astronomy, space history, and rocket science. It was one of the most popular clubs at her school!
    I had a lab with over a dozen PCs loaded with Kerbal Space Program, NASA Eyes on the Solar System, Universe Sandbox, Stellarium, and other space visualization apps. The students LOVED it. If I had the computing resources available, I could set the same thing up at the conference.
    We’re going to be giving lectures on basic astronomy at Penguicon 2017 this weekend – these lectures would also be good for this conference. We’re also setting up a 100 foot-long scale model of the solar system; we did this last year, and the convention attendees loved it!
    In mid-May, I’m going to be running a Kerbal Space Lab at the STARBASE One open house at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
    Here’s an article I wrote about my motivations for creating the club: http://www.vofoundation.org/blog/endeavour-space-academy/

  3. Marjanne W Baker says:

    I am interested in STEM for African girls and wish to attend to learn more about integrating STEM as an out of school time program. Please update me with information on international STEM programs.
    Our organization participated in Technovation Global Challenge and represented Liberia.

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