Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

STEAM 2011

Saturday, May 21st, 2011


UBMS@NEIU hosted its first Science Technology Engineering Art/Architecture/Agriculture and Math (STEAM) Conference today. I taught how to make a maze videogame using Scratch (in an hour!) to about 40 middle and high school students. The kids were great. One kid who came in the morning session wanted to come back and make the game again. Another kid who could not have been more than 11 asked me, “What is this place?” When I told him it was a university, he said, “Can I go here one day?” and I was like, “TOTALLY,” and he was like “AWESOME!” That’s what it’s all about: Exposing first-generation college-bound students to math and science and the opportunity to go to college and getting them excited about it. Solid.

NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop

Sunday, February 20th, 2011


I have just returned from the NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop in sunny Orlando, Florida. I’ve returned with a horrible, horrible cold (happens every time I get on a plane, I swear). I’ve also returned wondering how I could get it to be more sunny in Chicago. Finally, I’ve returned with some interesting information on the GEAR UP RFP process and how things are changing at the federal level. I was super happy to see the emphasis being placed on STEM, and was thrilled to see congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) speak, as he played a huge role in making these opportunities available for our students. I plan on attending the NCCEP conference in San Francisco in July, and meeting more fellow GEAR UPers.

Google Geo Institute

Friday, July 23rd, 2010


My annual pilgrimage to Northern California began this year with a trip to the Google Geo Institute. Aside from seeing the awesomeness that is the Google campus (Google bicycles to get you around! Google umbrellas everywhere in case it starts to rain! Great food as far as the eye can see! Tyrannosaurus Rex!), we were given an overview of Google Earth, Maps, Sky, SketchUp and much more! We also had an opportunity to see how teachers use the tools in interesting ways, Google Lit Trips being the obvious example.

Finally, the event was finished off with a Geography Bee hosted by none other than Alex Trebek (NSFW)! You can’t beat that! It was his 70th birthday, so we sang him happy birthday. He looks great for 70. (Though, I really wish he would grow back his mustache.)

GLS 6.0

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

On Saturday, I drove up to Madison with my colleague, Wendy Thomas, and had the good fortune to attend the 2nd annual Games + Learning + Society Conference Educator Symposium. Although GLS has been around for 6 years, the Educator Symposium is still pretty new. And for only doing this once before, I had to say I was impressed. In one day, they packed in a great panel of educators using innovative technologies, a roundtable with researchers, and a hands-on workshop.