Northwestern hosts STEM summit for K-12 educators

Nearly 300 educators and administrators will tackle engineering and design challenges as part of the sixth annual statewide STEM Summit today at Northwestern University in Evanston.

The day-long event focuses on innovation and collaboration in K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Hosted this year by Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships, the summit features School of Education and Social Policy Professor Brian Reiser, who will deliver the keynote speech.

Reiser, a professor of learning sciences, was a member of the National Research Council (NRC) committee that developed research-based recommendations for improving elementary and middle school science education, called Framework for K-12 Science Education. These recommendations shaped the design of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were then released in 2013.

A leading learning sciences researcher, Reiser explores new ways to make scientific practices meaningful and effective for teachers and students. “The new standards offer an opportunity to rethink the state of professional development and preservice education for teachers,” said Reiser.

In the general session, STEM leaders from the Chicago area will discuss promising three-way partnerships among K-12 education, universities and industry.
Another panel, titled "Student Voices on Authentic Research" will highlight innovative research by high school student students and hold design sessions for teachers in the Segal Design Institute.

Breakout sessions will feature topics including:

•    Inquiry and problem-based teaching and learning in STEM
•    STEM learning focused on research and design programs and projects with students
•    Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core implementation
•    Integrating 21st-century skills with STEM content
•    Partnerships in STEM education
•    Leadership in STEM education