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Dr. Steve Acquah
The Global Educational Outreach for Science Engineering and Technology (GEOSET) initiative was established by the 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Sir Harold Kroto, Dr. Colin Byfleet, and Dr. Steve Acquah. GEOSET produces a variety of educational content supporting class projects, science research, outreach support for academic funding proposals, and supplements for a digital CV. It also connects to around 50 partner institutions and organizations around the world.
The Digital Media Lab at UMass Amherst provides support for the use of emerging technologies in campus and online courses. Both virtual reality (VR) and 3D printing provide a unique perspective towards engaged learning practices that can foster creativity. As a UMass Innovation Fellow, Dr. Acquah will share some of the strategies employed by GEOSET and the Digital Media Lab for establishing STEM-based literacies and professional development using innovative technologies such as VR and 3D printing.
Heather Lu-Lasky, Founder & CEO, ChampAmerica Inc.
Alan White, Founder and CEO, C3 Alliance LLC
Merit2Work – An Innovative Project on STEM Education and Career Preparation
Two New York City based companies - ChampAmerica and C3 Alliance have joined forces to champion an innovative project - Merit2Work, an on-the-job-based training that provides participants the hands-on job experience, soft skill coaching, and professional connections and mentorship. ChampAmerica, a workforce development company which specializes in coaching and career development, was founded by Heather Lu-Lasky, an International-student-turned-Wall-Streeter; The creative mind behind C3 Alliance, a data science management consulting firm is Alan White, a career data science architect and a life-long data enthusiast who is passionate about closing the gap between education and employment.
Together, C3 Alliance and ChampAmerica have championed several innovative programs (Merit2Work, Innovation Lab, etc.) that aims to promote learning and career development for those students in the STEM field. Most recently, the two companies partnered with a non-profit organization (Institute of Local Innovations) to launch a research competition for high school and early (freshman and sophomore) college students using NASA patented technologies while at the same time incorporating innovative data science/machine learning aspects. The curriculum design focused on promoting critical thinking and problem-solving in a team environment. The result of their training has led to job placement with Fortune 500 companies, complex STEM knowledge delivered to a younger group of students in a relatable format, and development of critical skills that are necessary to the modern workplace.
Alan and Heather will discuss the considerations and challenges of the programs, and how they believe the program could evolve in the future, and their plans going forward. They will also discuss the inspiration that went into initial thinking behind the program focusing on rapidly changing emerging industry needs and the continually expanding skill gaps that today’s students are facing.
Eileen Murphy Buckley, Founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA
The Fiscal ROI of Effective Instruction
As budgets continue to shrink and global economies grow more and more competitive in the information age, it is critical for district leaders to build instructional models that provide strong 21st-century curriculum, offer support for remediation and enrichment at the earliest point possible, and continuously improve their organizations. Learn how districts who are investing in effective instruction are seeing the fiscal ROI.