STEM Educators Summit

Teachers Investigating Phenomena

Our STEM Educators Summits were an annual conference for Educators get together to share knowledge and insight on methods, technologies and philosophies they use to inspire students and bring STEM into the classroom. Due to Covid-19, we have been unable to host a Summit, but hope to do so in the near future.

  • Educators Summit
    We need you!

    Do you have an interesting new lab, project idea, demonstration, or anything to share with other teachers? Contribute to our Share-a-Thon in the afternoon. Have you or your students made a neat poster? Bring it and we'll display it throughout the day!

  • Educators Summit Workshop
    We need you!

    Do you have an interesting new lab, project idea, demonstration, or anything to share with other teachers? Contribute to our Share-a-Thon in the afternoon. Have you or your students made a neat poster? Bring it and we'll display it throughout the day!

Past Summits

The 2019 STEM Educators' Summit was held on January 26, 2019 on the Durham campus

Thank you for helping make our STEM Summit a great day! Please let us know if you have not received your certificate of participation.

Calling all K-12 teachers! For $30, enjoy a day of STEM professional development and a tour of UNH's new Olson Manufacturing Center. Your registration fee includes workshops, lunch, and parking. 

Consider giving a lightning talk - let other attendees know about the cool things you're doing in your classroom in 5 minutes or less.

Before you leave, check if you need your laptop on the agenda for the day. Please bring a water bottle to reduce plastic waste. 

Link to Dr. Bers' slides!

Marina Umaschi Bers is a professor and chair at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University, where she heads the interdisciplinary Developmental Technologies (DevTech) research group. She also developed and serves as director of the graduate certificate program on Early Childhood Technology at Tufts University. Her research involves the design and study of innovative learning technologies to promote children’s positive development, most specifically in early childhood. She co-designed the ScratchJr programming language  and she developed the KIBO robot kit for children 4 to 7 year old, that can be programmed with wooden blocks without using keyboards or screens old. Marina received a MEd from Boston University and an MS and PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory working with Seymour Papert. Marina’s philosophy, pedagogical and theoretical approach  can be found in her latest book “Coding as Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom” (Routledge, 2018).

Workshop List

Morning Workshops:

Are You Serving Dessert or the Main Course? More about Project-Based Learning 

Carmela Amato-Wierda and Frances Meffen

Grades targeted: K-12

Come dive into project-based learning (PBL) and bring ideas back to your classroom. Teachers will practice the essential design elements of PBL in this workshop with challenges that originate from emerging technologies in science and technology e.g. nanomedicine, sustainability, alternative energy.   Project-based learning (PBL) engages students in authentic real-world inquiry that crosswalks with the NGSS and science practices. Through PBL students develop deeper learning and apply STEM content knowledge. The leaders of this workshop have designed and implemented a new course for teachers in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UNH, TECH 820: Emerging Technologies and Project-Based Learning for Teachers. 

Laptop needed? Nice, but not required

Exploring Nature with Young Children

Mary Goodyear and Judy Silverberg

Grades targeted: preK-2

Growing Up WILD:  Exploring Nature with Young Children and Project Learning Tree's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood are supplementary educational programs for young learners designed to connect children ages 3 -7 with nature and wildlife.  Participants will sample activities from both programs that foster critical early childhood skill development and tap into children's sense of wonder about nature and the wildlife around them. Integrate art, music, science, reading, math and more in nature-base activities.

Laptop needed? No

Green Chemistry in the Classroom

Sarah Prescott

Grades targeted: 7-12

Come learn about the principles and practice of Green Chemistry along with a demonstration of an activity that you can adapt/adopt for your physical science, general science, or chemistry course. No prior knowledge of Green Chemistry needed. No special equipment needed.

Laptop needed? Nice, but not required                     

Introduction to Arduino Microcontrollers

Scott Goelzer, Joanne Goelzer

Grades targeted: 3-12

This workshop is intended for teachers who have seen and heard the hype about micro-controllers and are curious try one out. During the workshop, we will explore what micro-controllers are and what they can do. Participants will wire some basic circuits using the Sparkfun Inventors Kit and program the Arduino using a laptop. There will be discussion of how the Arduino can fit into the STEM classroom experience. No electronics experience is expected. Please download and install the free software from the website below before the workshop. Note that this is not a make and take; the kits will be on loan for the day.

Laptop needed? Yes

"Journeys in Film" Brings Science and Math to the Classroom

Barry Rock and Mike Handwork      

Grades targeted: 6-12

The "Journeys in Film" project brings feature films and documentaries (Hidden Figures, River of Gold, One Strange Rock, and many others) and curriculum-based, educational support activities to your classroom. This workshop focuses on the soon to be released documentary "River of Gold" which highlights tropical deforestation and illegal gold mining activities in the Peruvian jungles of the Amazon Basin. Participants will be shown film clips (the Trailer) from the movie and learn how to use Google Earth Pro to monitor and quantify the areas of mining using multi-date Earth-orbiting satellite data and an area-measuring tool to document the areas of forest lost between 2008 and 2017. This workshop will allow your students to do authentic hands-on science and mathematics used by NASA scientists to address a wide range of biological, social and environmental issues associated with tropical deforestation and illegal gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.   

Laptop needed? Yes

Math meets science in the K-4 classroom with Elementary GLOBE

Haley Wicklein, Jennifer Bourgeault

Grades targeted: K-4

Experience how elementary students can utilize math skills while learning science concepts. In this workshop, we will explore a variety of Elementary GLOBE hands-on science activities that feature math concepts, such as estimating and measuring, comparing objects, and making simple bar graphs.  All activities are correlated to NGSS and CCSS Math Content Standards.

Laptop needed? No

Afternoon Workshops:

Actively Engaged in Word Problems

Brandie Bolduc          

Grades targeted? PreK-5

This workshop with help identify math embedded in active, student-centered STEM. We will explore math word problems and the many ways we can engage learners in more meaningful work. To support our learning, bring a math word problem and/or a STEM activity you are currently using.

Laptop needed? Nice, but not required

Bringing the Engineering Design Process to Your Classroom with Project Based Learning

Brooks Payette, Connor Burton & Madison Wood   

Grades targeted: 4-6

The goal of this workshop is to provide educators with the experience and knowledge to bring low cost project-based activities to their classroom that focus on the Engineering Design Process and follow Next Generation Science Standards. The workshop is facilitated by the UNH STEMbassadors program, which strives to inspire the next generation of students, serve as role models and deliver hands-on STEM experiences to thousands of students each year. Participants will run through one of our activities and then be given our Student Activity handouts, Teacher’s Edition facilitator sheets and materials to run additional activities in their classrooms that follow a similar format.

Laptop needed? No

Hands-on Experiments with Machine Learning

Karen Jin

Grades targeted: 6-12

Participants will work on some simple experiments that make it easy to start exploring machine learning through pictures, drawings, music, and more.  No prior programming experience required.

Laptop needed? Yes


Making Sense of the World Through Observation and Measurement: Analyzing & 

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions

Jennifer Bourgeault, Haley Wicklein

Grades targeted: K-12

Learn a simple but powerful strategy from the Right Question Institute to teach students to ask their own questions and build off their peers' questions. You will experience the question formulation technique, get implementation ideas for your classroom, and tips on effective prompts. This critical thinking skill can be used not just in STEM, but across the curriculum.         

Laptop needed? No

UNH Science Sleuths: Creative Science for Pre-K and Kindergarten Students           

Lauren Kordonowy

Grades targeted: preK-2

This workshop will describe a successful science outreach program targeted at pre-K and early elementary-aged students. UNH Science Sleuths has been providing free creative science education for this early childhood age group at UNH for four years. This program allows UNH graduate students to teach scientific concepts across many fields in a creative context encouraging young children to be inquisitive scientists. Our 45-minute programing sessions are specifically designed to provide hands-on science and to inspire children to increase their scientific understanding in a fun and creative environment.

PreK-2 Laptop needed? Nice, but not required

The 2017 STEM Educators Summit was held May 6, 2017, at the UNH School of Law in Concord, NH
Chris Dede


We are excited to host Dr. Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as our keynote speaker this year.

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership.  From 2001-2004, he was Chair of the HGSE department of Teaching and Learning.  In 2007, he was honored by Harvard University as an outstanding teacher, and in 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources.

Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group.  In 2013, he co-convened a NSF workshop on new technology-based models of postsecondary learning; and in 2015 he led two NSF workshops on data-intensive research in the sciences, engineering, and education.  His edited books include: Scaling Up Success: Lessons Learned from Technology-based Educational Improvement, Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student, and Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education.

Workshop List

Diving Into Teaching with the NGSS Science Practices, Grades K-12

Lara Gengarelly and Melissa Lombard

Diving Into Teaching with the NGSS Science Practices is derived from Dive In! and exemplifies what it is really like to plunge into the new world of practice-based science learning and teaching. The instructional approach we term science practice integration (SPI) grew out of a teacher–scientist project at the University of New Hampshire that promoted active learning and using science practices in the classroom. This project yielded detailed examples of how veteran teachers and their students can make the leap required by A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goal of this workshop is to explore the successes, challenges, and strategies of making the instructional shift to SPI. We will feature vignettes and field-tested learning activities that offer authentic teacher perspectives about conducting student investigations and integrating science practices that align with NGSS and illustrate a range of investigations teachers can adopt or adapt, regardless of grade level or science content focus.


Feeling loopy? Let's get it straight on loop-related concepts in programming, Grades K-12

Karen Jin

Loop is a fundamental concept in computational thinking, but also notoriously known as one of the most difficult for novice learners. In block-based environments such as Scratch, misconceptions of loop are still common despite the user-friendly programming syntax.  This workshop will focus on techniques of teaching loop-related concepts beyond a specific programming language or environment.  For anyone who is interested in teaching K-12 programming.


Get students exploring their world using GIS, Grades K-12

Shane Bradt

Online mapping is a powerful method for motivating and enabling students to explore their world, regardless of topic or grade level. Using GIS in the classroom used to require a great deal of computer experience and specialized software, but any school can now get access to free, easy-to-use online mapping which runs on almost any computer or tablet. One such online mapping platform, ArcGIS Online, allows students to easily create maps, collaborate with others, collect data with smartphones or tablets, and share maps with the public. Come join us to discover how ArcGIS Online could be used in your classroom!


Integrating technology into STEM classrooms, Grades K-12

Sameer Honwad

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an introduction to the principles and practices within the field of educational technology design. The course focuses on how to combine theory and practice within the field of educational technology so as to understand the use of technology based learning tools to support learning in and out of the classroom. As a part of this workshop we will critically examine representative educational technology designs, their components, methodologies, theoretical underpinnings, and the types of learning, content, and learners they support. While studying these designs our focus will be on the process through which technologies can be integrated successfully into the classroom. The workshop will combine strategies of learning and technology diffusion so as to explore why certain technologies can be successfully integrated into the classroom, while some other technologies are harder to use in the classroom learning environment.  Finally as a part of the workshop we will also discuss “how to design” a technology based learning environment to support optimal learning among the learners


SEL and STEM: Exploring how to integrate social emotional learning (SEL) with active STEM learning in the early childhood classroom, PreK-Grade 2

Brandie Bolduc

How do we get our students actively involved in exploring without our room evolving into chaos?  How do we take a risk in order to allow our students to take a risk?  The foundational skills of self-management and decision-making are requisite for effective active STEM learning in the EC classroom, this workshop will explore how educators can provide opportunities to establish and support both SEL skills and foundational/discovery skills needed for all aspects of STEM (with an emphasis on early mathematics).


STEM from the START, Grades K-2

Susan Adams, Dennis Klein, Georgia Maguire, NHPTV,,,

Participants will get the chance to work directly with one of the STEM from the START's video lessons and see how they will be able to use these free, web-based materials immediately in their K-2 classrooms.


Elementary GLOBE: Weather Adds up To Climate, Grades K-4

Haley Wicklein

Come experience the Elementary GLOBE program, which introduces primary students to Earth System Science through science-based storybooks and learning activities.  Using the new Climate unit, we will learn a simple way to turn daily weather observations (such as those taken in morning meeting) into a year-long data collection project. Through this, students learn how senses and instruments can be used to describe weather and that long term weather patterns are called climate.  We will also explore other climate learning activities, such as modeling sea level rise, and discuss correlations to NGSS.


Investigating Circuits - An Inquiry Approach, Grades 3-8

Claes Thelemarck

This workshop will explore an inquiry based approach to learning about electrical circuits. We will use batteries, strings of holiday lights and other simple components to stimulate learner curiosity about electrical circuits and to lead them on a path of discovery that includes asking questions, planning and conducting investigations and other NGSS Science Practices.  Teachers will leave with a better sense of how to incorporate NGSS Science practices in their classroom and how to shift a lesson to one that allows more learner responsibility.


STEM Connections to Food Systems Curriculum, Grades 3-8

Sarah Grosvenor

In this workshop we will cover topics related to Food Systems with particular attention on how food systems can contribute to a healthy community through interrelated components, actions and results.  Interwoven will be how to address Food Systems into your classroom with an emphasis on Inquiry Teaching and Next Generation Science Standards and Science Practices.    


STEM, NGSS, and the Floating Lab Grades 5-12

Mark Wiley

An introduction to how the UNH Marine Docent Coastal Floating Lab program can help teachers address NGSS, STEM, and engage students in a unique field-based program. Participants will learn how the program works, what students do, and the NGSS concepts that the program supports. Participants will also discuss ideas for connecting to classroom-based activities and funding ideas.


Integrating Earthquake Science into Middle and High School Classrooms, Grades 6-12

Stephen Hale, Erik Froburg;

This workshop provides an introduction to using a classroom "earthquake machine." The EQ machine is an easily built classroom tool that replicates the slip and release process of several types of earthquakes, and allows students to manipulate variables and collect data related to plate movement. This workshop is a brief introduction to a multi-day earthquake workshop for middle school teachers, to be offered during the 2017-18 academic year, however the activity is also adaptable to other class settings that explore topics such as friction and energy transfer. We will be focusing on the earthquake machine as a lab activity, without presenting any Earth Science background content.


Introduction to Bird Observation in Urban and Suburban Settings, Grades 6-12

Steve Hale

This workshop introduces basics of birding as a mutual-experiential class activity that benefits the teacher and the student. Birdwatching strengthens many science practice skills in the area of observation, description, pattern recognition, scaling, and form/function relationships. Other important biological content on species concepts, evolution/adaptation, ecology, morphology can be supported through birding. Topics covered in this workshop include binocular/scope use, field guide use, and online resources.  Please bring binoculars, your favorite field guide, and laptop if you have them.

Participants should bring binoculars, a favorite field guide, and laptop if they have them.  This workshop will take place outdoors - rain or shine, dress accordingly.


Personal Genomics Education, Grades 6-12

Sarah Prescott

Explore the world of personal genomics and how you can help your students understand what it means and how it will be a part of their lives.  A brief introduction to various personal genomics consumer tests currently available and a range of data you can explore will be presented, as well as how it can be incorporated into classroom activities.  If you bring your laptop you will be able to explore real data from the presenter’s genome test results!  An overview of a novel personal genomics course offered at UNH will also be included in the discussion of resources and expertise available for future work.


STEM+C, Grades 7-12

David Benedetto

In this workshop, we will discuss how computing impacts the STEM disciplines, and explore intersections and opportunities for integration among science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.