ESD 112’s STEM Initiatives team hosted the first-ever STEM-tastic Summer Science Symposium this summer. 192 science teachers from 27 different school districts gathered to learn about dozens of science topics, like solar energy, populations and ecosystems, and phenology at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.

The event was offered at no cost to participants, and gave teachers the opportunity to earn all of the STEM clock hours they need for the entire year in just three days.

Pranjali Upadhyay, who writes and develops STEM curriculum units for ESD 112, led several workshops at the Symposium that gave teachers the chance to familiarize themselves with the curriculum and maximize student learning opportunities within the units.

“It was a great opportunity to meet and support our dedicated teachers from across the region,” she said. “Whether in a training about new curriculum that we’ve developed or a ‘hot topic’ session about research-based teaching strategies, I appreciated the opportunity to build connections and partnerships with teachers. Staying deeply connected to teacher-leaders and their classrooms brings so much meaning to what we do on the STEM Initiatives team,” she added.

The ESD 112 STEM Initiatives Team continues to promote STEM literacy and career awareness for students and teachers throughout the ESD 112 region. Another example is nPower Girls, which is beginning the school year with an expanded focus and a new name. Now called nPower Teachers in STEM, participants partner with local business and industry professionals and mentors who support teachers in embedding STEM career awareness directly into their curriculum.