Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

CESTEM Hosts STEM Education Conference for Teachers

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

More than 150 teachers participated in a STEM Education Conference at the Watson College on January 4. The full-day event, held annually, brings STEM leaders from business, community organizations and education together to provide professional development for Pre-K–12 teachers and administrators. The theme of the 2019 conference was “STEM for All: It Begins with Teachers.”

CESTEM Director Carmen Sidbury welcomed teachers to the conference with a passionate morning keynote address.

“For me, teaching is one of the highest professions you can have,” Dr. Sidbury said. “And for students, starting their journey with STEM knowledge is a springboard for wherever they want to go. Considering where some of them start when they enter your class, a key challenge is, ‘How can we close the gaps?’ I want you to know you are not in this alone. Reach out to us at CESTEM and let us know how we can help. We don’t have all the answers but we are committed to learning. It’s with the intersections of our knowledge that we can really make an impact.”

During a keynote address at noon, Martin Reardon of East Carolina University shared insights on promoting computational thinking in rural school districts. Dr. Reardon is a principal investigator for a three-year NSF-funded project that integrates computational thinking with music and visual arts in eighth grade classrooms in Sampson, Duplin and Jones Counties.

Over the course of the day, presenters at more than 30 breakout sessions shared strategies and hands-on activities designed to engage students and help build knowledge and skills needed for future STEM careers.

Dr. Sam Houston, president and CEO of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center also spoke at the event. NC SMT is a CESTEM partner and sponsor of CESTEM’s annual STEM Education Conference.

For more information on CESTEM programs and professional development opportunities for teachers, visit the CESTEM website.

CESTEM is a founding member of the STEM Learning Cooperative.