Chief Science Officers Program – Regional Conversations Part 1
The mission of the SciTech Institute is focused on cultivating an ecosystem of conscious STEM communities through awareness, connections and empowerment. The SciTech Institute is dedicated to promoting and enhancing STEM engagements for everyone in the community by developing and implementing programs, fairs, bowls, projects and festivals that highlight a variety of STEM careers and awareness.
Strong connections with non-profits, industry and academia allows SciTech Institute to serve as the catalyst to align assets, grants, resources and support for building a world-class community with an understanding of STEM. Imagine building tomorrow’s global leaders by empowering individuals today.
Imagine working directly with industry and community leaders to envision the future workforce and address the lack of qualified workers. Then imagine the impact we can leverage in a two-way communication pipeline for sharing knowledge and engaging others. Finally, imagine the results of millions of people around the world collaboratively addressing some of society’s toughest challenges. Together, we can make it happen!
Dr. Jeremy Babendure is the Executive Director of the SciTech Institute, the Annual Arizona SciTech Festival, Associate Professor of Molecular Sciences at Arizona State University and a research fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation. The annual AZ SciTech festival includes over 800 collaborators, 2000 events and draws over 500,000 participants.
Most recently Jeremy launched the Chief Science Officers Initiative, transforming student voice in the conversation about STEM and education in Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia, Mexico, Kuwait and soon to be Florida and New York. In addition, through his work with the national STEM Ecosystems project he helped launch a local Arizona STEM School Community of Practice bringing together 40+ diverse schools teams focused on STEM.
Prior to his work in Arizona, Jeremy received his doctorate in in the lab of the late Nobel Laureate, Dr. Roger Tsien at the University of California, San Diego developing molecular sensors for the detection of RNA. Following this work, he and Roger launched the ScienceBridge program as mechanism to bring current science to the San Diego schools annually impacting ~200 teachers, ~20,000 students, and ~60,000 community members and attaining 12M+ in national grants.
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit is one of 29 Intermediate Units in Pennsylvania. Intermediate units provide special services as needed by the educational community in their service area. Through cooperation and collaboration among schools and community agencies, intermediate units work to provide innovative, responsive and cost-effective programs that save taxpayers millions of dollars annually.
The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit provides a vast array of effective and efficient services that meet the educational and social service needs of Montgomery County’s 200-plus schools, including the 22 public school districts, more than 150 nonpublic schools, four career-technical schools, three charter schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Stephanie Schwab is the STEM Program Administrator for Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and a member of the PA STEM Experience for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem Executive Team. In both of these roles, she works to support school districts in developing and implementing STEM curriculum, assessments and effective instructional practices and to connect and cultivate relationships among school districts and various stakeholder groups working to improve STEM education for all students.
Stephanie’s passion for STEM began at a young age when she realized she wanted to be a mathematics teacher. Over the years that passion has grown as she has advanced throughout her career as a middle and high school mathematics teacher, instructional coach and curriculum supervisor. Her two young children have added to her inspiration to continually improve STEM experiences for all students.
Stephanie is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The Pennsylvania STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] Experiences for Equity and Diversity (PA SEED) Ecosystem is a collaboration of stakeholders committed to engaging its local and global community in connected science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning, thus cultivating a talent-rich workforce prepared to creatively address challenges, leverage opportunities, and fulfill tomorrow’s jobs.
The PA SEED region is home to 2.5 million people, 100 colleges and universities, 200 private schools, 9 career and technical high schools, and 62 school districts comprised of 485 schools and over 300,000 students.
Atlanta Science Festival Inc. is dedicated to bringing people together through the wonder of science. ASF produces an annual two-week science festival, and year-round programming, including the Georgia Chief Science Officers leadership development program for middle/high school students.
The program is part of the International CSO consortium, launched in 2015 in Arizona. Georgia CSOs are joining more than 800 other CSOs in Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, New York, Delaware, Florida, Mexico, Kuwait, Kenya, and Colombia.
Jordan Rose is a creative, lifelong learner with a passion for promoting science literacy and building community partnerships.
As co-founder and co-director of Atlanta Science Festival, Jordan is helping to bring together schools, universities, companies, and museums to celebrate Atlanta’s STEAM ecosystem and highlight opportunities for the public to learn and love science.
Previously, Jordan led science education initiatives at the Georgia BioEd Institute and the Emory College Center for Science Education, supporting K-12 teachers and students and facilitating university-community partnerships.
Jordan has a B.S. in neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University. He serves on advisory boards for the Atlanta STEAM Learning Ecosystems, Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, Georgia Tech’s GIFT program, and the Georgia BioEd Institute.
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college.
IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs. We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.
Paula Johnson, Ph.D., is the director of the IDRA EAC-South, leading the center’s technical assistance and professional development pertaining to equitable access to quality instruction, diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and disproportional disciplinary actions against students of color.
She holds a bachelor of science in math and a minor in computer science from Prairie View A&M University, a master of arts in education with a concentration in instructional technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a master of science in progress with a concentration in mathematics from Prairie View A&M University. She earned her doctorate in the Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Her research foci include (1) increasing engagement of females and underserved minorities in STEM studies and careers, (2) equity in education, and (3) STEM learner identity. She also is certified in secondary mathematics and has successfully completed the LEAD (Leadership Experiences for Aspiring Deans) program of the Northside Independent School District.
Talent Maker City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Talent, Oregon. Our mission is driving sustained economic development by establishing Talent as a regional hub for cultural and economic innovation.
TMC serves as a community education partner in the Southern Oregon region – providing STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) based education programming and workshops to curious minds of all ages. Chief Science Officers work side by side with TMC staff with out of school STEAM education programming.
Alli French is a long-time educator and maker. She is the Programs Director for Talent Maker City as well as the Youth Voice Regional Lead for the Chief Science Officers with the Southern Oregon STEM Hub.
She has been teaching, mentoring and collaborating with the Ashland, Medford and Phoenix-Talent School Districts for over twenty years. As a maker, she is the proud owner of RefunktionedArt, where she makes new things out of old materials.