Numerous educators and industry professionals once again gathered at Alfred State College earlier this week for the sixth New York State STEM Education Collaborative (NYSSEC) STEM Summer Institute to discuss and share best practices for increasing interest in science, technology, engineering, and math careers among young men and women.
This year’s event featured 42 diverse STEM presentations, as well as tours of Alfred State’s Zero Energy Home, forensics labs, and Micro-Nano Fabrication Laboratory. The full conference provided up to 18 hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) certified professional development hours.
One of the keynote speakers for the event was Dr. Clint Ballinger, the founder and CEO of several high-tech companies, most notably SelfArray and Evident Technologies. Ballinger spoke about a number of STEM-related topics, including LEDs, nanotechnology, the importance of listening to customers, the expected abundance of STEM-related jobs in the future, and making STEM relevant to be compelling enough to be studied.
“STEM education is one way to help lead society to breakthroughs that will impact all of us,” Ballinger said.
Also providing keynote remarks were John Kent, vice president of the Worldwide Program Management Office at GlobalFoundries, and Dr. Donald Duggan-Haas, director of Teacher Programming at the Paleontological Research Institute and its Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center in Ithaca.
In addition, several STEM leaders were presented with the 2018 Summer Institute Margaret Ashida STEM Leadership Award, which seeks to honor those who are making significant STEM connections within their community through their time, actions, talents, and dedication.
This year’s honorees included Omer Zengin, a high school math educator at Syracuse Academic of Science Charter School; Aaron Straus, instructional coach for science and technology at the Salamanca City School District; Kathy Southwell, executive director of curriculum, learning and instruction at the East Syracuse Minoa School District; and Dr. Mary Margaret M. Small, the educational partnerships director at Clarkson University.
Craig Clark, PE, PhD, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State, said, “Alfred State is delighted to have once again hosted the New York State STEM Summer Institute for the fourth time. We thank NYSSEC, the speakers, and attendees for coming out and making the conference such an enlightening and productive event for STEM education across the state.”