Hundreds of Cross-Sector Professionals Will Convene on March 4-5 in San Diego for 2nd Annual STEAMConnect Ascend Conference

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Conference highlights include interactive sessions, workshops, spotlight booths, STEAM Awards with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and NewSchool of Architecture & Design installation

2015 STEAMConnect Ascend Conference

STEAMConnect is focused on how to more thoughtfully combine arts, design and creativity with STEM knowledge to support our growth and innovation in the 21st century.

STEAMConnect’s 2nd Annual Ascend Conference will bring together more than 500 educators, school administrators, nonprofits, parents, business leaders, funders and policymakers from around the U.S. who share a common interest in bridging the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in education – two often siloed worlds.

On Wednesday, March 4th 5:30-8:00 p.m. attendees, speakers, sponsors and community members will gather for a welcome reception to celebrate the start of STEAMConnect 2015 at SILO in Makers Quarter™, a neighborhood in the Upper East Village anchored by artists, makers and entrepreneurs (753 15th St, San Diego, CA). On Thursday, March 5th from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall (5775 Morehouse Dr., San Diego, CA) attendees of the main conference will hear from 19 speakers, visit 11 spotlight booths featuring STEAM activities and resources, and have the chance to experience three different hands-on workshops. Tickets are available to the public at http://www.STEAMConnect.org.

Under this year’s theme “Moving from Dialogue to Action,” conference attendees will share practices and new ideas about the impact of the STEAM movement on education policy, funding, industry innovation and the community. A selection of speakers from the welcome reception and main conference follows. The full conference agenda is available at http://steamconnect.org/2015-sessions-booths-workshops/.

  •     San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer presenting 1st Annual STEAM Awards
  •     Yvonne Spicer, Museum of Science Boston
  •     Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts
  •     Craig Watson, California Arts Council
  •     Chris Roe, California STEM Learning Network
  •     Dr. Elena Pacenti, Domus Academy School of Design at NewSchool of Architecture & Design
  •     Stacey Pennington, Urban Planner, Makers Quarter
  •     Steve Clemons, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Labs, Inc.
  •     Navrina Singh, director, product management, Qualcomm Labs, Inc.

“There is an important window of opportunity in education right now to make real, substantive change,” said Kim Richards, co-founder of STEAMConnect and founder of KDR PR, a public relations firm serving the education community. “The change we’re focused on is how we can more thoughtfully combine arts, design and creativity with STEM knowledge to support our growth and innovation in the 21st century. The STEAMConnect conference provides a forum to hear from thought leaders, explore what’s working, share promising practices and make new connections.”

Topics covered during the conference will include the latest policy efforts nationally and in California, case studies from pre-K-12 schools, researchers and post-secondary programs, cross-sector collaborations between business, school districts, higher education and nonprofits, as well as perspectives from the funding community. The San Diego County Office of Education will offer two professional development workshops, and the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ will be open for exploration throughout the day. Spotlight booths include:

  •     Academy of Our Lady of Peace
  •     Big Brothers Big Sisters
  •     Emerald STEAM Magnet School
  •     EUREKUS with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  •     El Trompo Interactivo Tijuana Science Museum
  •     Feaster Charter School
  •     Mobile Art Academy
  •     NewSchool of Architecture & Design
  •     San Diego STEM Collaboratory - San Diego Science Alliance & San Diego Workforce Partnership
  •     University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences
  •     U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit

In addition to the 1st Annual STEAM Awards, STEAMConnect in partnership with NewSchool of Architecture & Design will unveil a student-designed pavilion as a focal point of the welcome reception that will become an annual student design competition. There will also be performances, local food and drinks and networking.

Qualcomm Incorporated returns this year as the conference site sponsor along with additional sponsors Boeing, Classroom of the Future Foundation, UCSD Extension, University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences, Academy of Our Lady of Peace and NewSchool of Architecture & Design. Generous in-kind support is coming from Sketch for Schools and PGK Dance Project.

About STEAMConnect
STEAMConnect is bridging the arts and STEM communities, providing space for connection and cross-sector collaboration through an annual conference, quarterly networking events and strategic partnerships. We share resources and best practices to our network of educators, nonprofits, business leaders and policymakers to support and further the STEM and STEAM movements nationwide. STEAMConnect was co-founded in 2012 by KDR PR and UCSD Extension and is a fiscally sponsored project of Mission Edge San Diego. http://www.steamconnect.org

Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Thinkabit Lab is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated.

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Stephanie Rubino
KDR PR
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Kim Richards
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