Think about it. Eleven hundred people in Massachusetts came together today to talk about science, technology, engineering, and math in education (STEM). A whole day. And there were reportedly several hundred more who wanted to come but there was no room. If the numbers keep growing like this, in a few years, the Massachusetts STEM Summit may fill all of Gillette Stadium.
I snapped this picture while leaving after a long day of talks and workshops. With no responsibilities other than to attend, I spent the day tweeting. What follows are some of my tweets -- not a record of the day, per se, but a record of what I noticed, slightly edited for readability, as I moved from session to session.
Bob Kraft [owner of Gillette Stadium and host for day]: "Eight years ago, there was no Facebook; Twitter was a sound; a cloud meant rain; LinkedIn meant you were in prison; and apps were something you ate before dinner."
Kraft: Announces a new award of $5K for Mass STEM Teacher of Year.
Kraft: "Invites" everyone to come to Gillette Stadium on Sunday to watch Pats defeat Jets.
LtGov Timothy Murray: Announces $650K additonal funding for @Scale STEM Initiative, exemplary STEM projects across Commonwealth.
Lt Gov Murray: Our advantage in Mass is our "innovation economy;" STEM was referenced 16 times in Mass Economic Development Plan
Me: Wondering what ratio is between 1100 people at MA STEM SUMMIT today and total # of educators in state.
Rose Kirk [keynote speaker, president of Verizon Foundation]: "Every $10B invested in broadband creates 500K new jobs;" 30% of Verizon Foundation staff have STEM degrees.
MA Secretary of Education Paul Reville: "This is no longer a conference or a summit; it's a movement"
SecEd Reville: So much STEM stuff going on all around state; have double # of STEM jobs in MA as in nation
SecEd Reville: Massachusetts is developing national models for having pre-K frameworks in STEM
SecEd Reville: "We're on a roll, we've got a movement, and we've got to keep going!"
SecEd Reville: "I recently visited Newton North [High School]'s Innovation Lab" -- Go my hometown, Newton!!!!
SecEd Reville: "We need to close the inspiration gap"
MA Sec Labor & Workforce Dev Joanne Goldstein: Fascinated to watch prez debates w/kids tweeting, reading endless tweets
Sec Goldstein: Challenge to all: how to more effectively join workforce development with K-12, particularly with high school students
Sec Goldstein: Department of Labor gave community colleges $20m to collaborate & figure out work & education needs in Mass
Morning Workshop on Workforce Development
[Governor's STEM Advisory Council Executive Director] David Cedrone: Baby boomer retirements pose challenge to fill STEM jobs; must build talent pipeline by aligning programs
JD Chesloff [Executive Director, MA Business Roundtable]: Raytheon survey of 1K high school students: do you prefer doing your math homework or eating broccoli. 56% preferred broccoli
Gary DiCamillo [Chair, Berkshire Manufactured Products]: youngest tool & diemaker [we have] is 55. No one to hire! VoTech gone!
David Cedrone: STEM programs are capital-investment heavy; need continuous conversations with the business community to insure employment
Me: [It's a] complex system of economics/education/career counseling disconnects [coupled with] poor forecasting + budget cuts that has decimated pipeline for [the] trades
Precision machining company owner from SE Mass is also looking for employees with skills for jobs
Me: Would small business networks like [those formed by] manufacturing companies in '80s & '90s help STEM pipeline problems? See TEAMNET FACTOR https://amzn.to/RHhBGu
Educator from Marlborough, MA: "Soft" skills, e.g., collaboration, [that are] sometimes dismissed, just as important as "hard" skills
MA Sec Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki: Turf issues still holding us back. Are we educating citizens or training a workforce? We need both!
Sec Bialecki: Is mission of K-12 to train people for jobs or educate people to go to college? Again, should be both
Most impressive presentation yet: Janet LaBreck, Commissioner, MA Commission for the Blind, brilliantly delivered all from memory
Janet LaBreck: Technology has been a game changer for the blind, "leveling the playing field" in the 21st century
Commissioner LaBreck: "as a blind person, I never imagined being able to read newspaper - never mind all those apps"
Afternoon keynote by NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman, MIT undergrand, UMass PhD, 3 space missions, last 159 days on space station
Astronaut Coleman, accomplished flutist, played first earth-space duet & read to her child from space
Dr Coleman shows slide of space station and says, "I used to live there."
Coleman: things are *hard* & amazing. Lack of space station now forces NASA to think about what we *really* do.
Coleman: Private companies doing things we used to. They also make decisions like that (snaps fingers) "without a meeting! Imagine!"
Coleman: [There's a] "certain optimism about space" that we need to encourage
Coleman: 8.5 hrs to get into orbit. Showing video from space, not animation. You're not floating in space; you're flying."
Now video of Cady Coleman paying flute duet from space to earth with flutist in Russia in honor of 50th anniv of space flight!
Coleman: INCREDIBLE video from space showing astronaut pitching ball then floating ahead of it to hit it back with bat
Now she's showing how the toilet works in space. Use your imagination, tweet-readers
Coleman: saw Cape Cod from space! Fellow astronaut said, "Oh my god, it looks just like the map."
Coleman: Took 60K pics in space, including Aurora Borealis. Spectacular. Extraordinary. Not enough characters to describeColeman: Get "Be a Martian" app or "SpaceCraft 3D" or "AstroApp"
Coleman: Ending with photos of glass-artist husband who keeps house when she's gone + gorgeous shot of her son (and cat)
MA Sec of Housing & Econ Dev Greg Bialecki: "In Massachusetts, collaboration happens at regional level"
Afternoon Workshop on "Designing Courses Based on Evidence of How People Learn"
Robert Milner, Prof, Neurology, UMass Med School: Demo of memory -- deeper analysis involving affect causes greater retention
Karen Kashmanian Oates, WPI Dean, Arts & Sciences: Learning depends on forming cognitive networks. Lemon>feel>image>taste>smell>lemon law?lemongrass etc
Oates: "Practice consolidates learning and feedback enhances this learning"
Oates: In-depth teaching, not just facts [results in] active collaborative learning; experiences that link theory and practice
Tara Mann: "For mastery, subject matter must be taught in-depth with many examples in which the same concept is at work"
Oates: "Learners must reflect on own learning--metacognition, "knowing about knowing;" asks students to write about it
Oates: Emotional component to learning. Cancer course [is] very different from Cell Biology course; AIDS course is very different from Immunology course
Oates: "Need to move to participatory learning around topics of impact to students." From "Inert" to "Liberating" Literacy
Karen Oates: Let students know why you're doing what you're doing, which motivates directed learning. "Give them voice."
At which point we did an exercise. Everyone got a peanut in a shell. Our job was to write down what it looked like to us. Here's what I wrote:
Ode to the Peanut
First the feeling, the rough shell, dirt still trapped in the crevices, spine after spine that reaches from end to end, the shape of a kidney, not that I know what a kidney looks like and there is a splotch, not just dirt but an indentation, a birthmark, poor little peanut alone out here away from your tree, your mother, your family, likely harvested by someone allergic to you who is now on the verge of death or maybe dead but doesn’t know why which makes me ask whether if the peanut did kill you, do you know it? And I haven’t even cracked the shell, wherein lies the fruit of the woody pellet.
Milner: Learning activity provides closure and should continue beyond class. Think on way home of 2-3 things you've learned today.
Goodbye, MA STEM Summit pic.twitter.com/9jnHtZOk