Address: 835 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13204

E-mail:     Phone: (315) 422-2902



Mon-Fri 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Weekends by appointment only!



Kantis-Headshot_Pamphlet.pngFrom Burned Up to Fired Up

Kantis Simmons

46% of new teachers quit within the first five years of joining the profession.

Statistics show that an overwhelming number of teachers and educators battle with stress overwhelm and burnout, but what do YOU do to stay motivated in school all year long?

In this presentation, Kantis Simmons shares:

  • How to free yourself from teacher stress and burnout.
  • How to balance school and life to get more things done.
  • Classroom engagement strategies to connect with your students.
  • How to elevate the culture and morale of your schools staff.



Cultural Diversity in STEM

Marina La Grave

My presentation will expand on awareness, knowledge and skills when integrating cultural and diversity dimensions to STEM curricula. We will explore specific issues and strategies when working with a diverse audience as well as the skills that need to be in place.




Session One

Kantis-Headshot_Pamphlet.pngEducate to Elevate

Kantis Simmons

Dear teacher and educator, how do you define student engagement? How do you get your students more involved?

In it’s simplest form, Kantis Simmons, define it as… “The ability to get students to love school, its activities, and love what they are studying in school.

In this talk you will discover 15 practical ideas on how to better motivate students and engage their students to love school and have fun learning.


Minecraft for Education

Josh Reynolds

Teaching is about creating, innovating and cultivating curiosity. Microsoft STEAM solutions provide resources to empower students to achieve more. This session will focus on Microsoft STEAM offerings, including Minecraft Education Edition, Microsoft Imagine Academy and more!


STEM Education Research Projects in WNY Public Schools

Dr. Alexa Schindel, Dr. Ji-Won Son, Dr. Noemi Waight, Dr. Randy Yerrick

  • Dr. Alexa Schindel and Randy Yerrick “Place based science and the use of civic responsiveness to stimulate sustained engagement in authentic science learning”
  • Dr. Noemi Waight and Xiufeng Liu, “Using Computer-based models to teach Science: The importance of visual literacy”
  • Dr. Ji-Won Son “Findings from the summer math program to improve mathematical reasoning among underrepresented girls“

This session will combine hands on examples of research based classroom best practices with findings from recent outreach campaigns and funded national research projects. The first part of the session will explicitly engage the audience in participatory activities followed by findings and audience Q&A regarding implications of research findings for today’s practicing teachers interested in equity, diversity, and social justice in STEM.


You're Not Alone: Bringing in the Wider Community 

Betty Jones

This is a story of expanding relationships to tap into informal science resources for students and tailoring museum visits to address identified needs with wrap around curriculum including pre-visit vocabulary lists. The session will include some lessons learned when museum staff worked with Goddard scientists and the Onondaga Nation to develop a culturally appropriate Bella Gaia program for First Nation students.


Session Two

Integrating Language and Cultural dimensions to STEM curricula

Marina La Grave

This workshop aims to teach participants the basic components of sheltered English instruction and integration of cultural components to STEM curricula. Participants will learn to use clear, direct, simple English/Spanish and a wide range of scaffolding strategies to communicate meaningful input in the content area to students as well as integrating relevant cultural dimensions to any given lesson plan or activity.



gardella.jpgThe Intersdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP) with Buffalo Public Schools: A STEM Ecosystem for inclusive STEM education

Joseph Gardella

This talk will describe the development of the ISEP project (  over the past 14 years.  The ISEP project has built a model of a STEM Ecosystem structure involving students and their families from the Buffalo Public Schools at middle and high school levels. ISEP comprises teachers professional development and wrap around supports for  students and families, partnering with higher education and informal STEM learning partners to increase participation of under represented and under-served students in STEM fields.



Bring the Story of “Hidden Figures” to Your Classroom

Rudo Kashiri

Bring the excitement of Hidden Figures story to your classroom with the NASA STEM Activities In the sixties, the U.S. was on an ambitious journey to the moon, and Katherine Johnson and her fellow human computers helped get NASA there. This session will engage the “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson. You will walk away with a collection of resources and educational activities for students in grades K-12. Each educational activity and resource includes a brief description, videos, historical references and information about how the activities and lessons align to education standards.


Kantis-Headshot_Pamphlet.pngSTEM is Everywhere

Kantis Simmons

This non-traditional STEM Education talk goes into details on how to help students in your program learn, live and love Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math subjects and careers. With a STEM is everywhere framework,

Kantis Simmons will discuss topics:

  • How to study STEM subjects in fun way
  • 7.25 ways to learn it, live it, and Love STEM subjects
  • How to approach a future career in STEM
  • Creative ways to jump-start your school's STEM program


Session Three

NASA – Nuestra Tierra Dinámica Model

Marina La Grave

The objective of NASA-NTD after-school program was to design, develop, conduct and evaluate a democratic, participatory and bilingual/bicultural program developed to provide an excellent opportunity for diverse students, families, and extended community to engage in active learning about environmental and climate change in their schools, homes and community.

Nuestra Tierra Dinámica program had two signature programs: 1) Green Labs (K-5), and 2) Video Labs (6-12). The programs were evaluated and resulted in some significant deliverables – afterschool curriculum and program models. To date, the NTD program continues to yield a consistent increase in Latino and diverse students, families and community involvement around the nation and in Mexico.


NASA Treasure Hunt

Rudo Kashiri

Preparing next generation of successful scientists, researchers and engineers through NASA resources. The session will provide resources to engage underserved and under-represented students in STEM. Participants will take a Grand Tour through NASA tools that educators can use in the classroom to engage all students in STEM!  This will be a fast paced, high energy presentation full of ideas and activities that you will be able to take back to your classroom and do on Monday morning.



RCole_May_2015.jpgUsing Discipline-Based Education Research to Inform Teaching Strategies and Design of Instructional Materials to Engage Students in STEM

Dr. Renee Cole

The results of discipline-based education research provide a significant resource to inform teaching strategies and the design of instructional materials that can more effectively engage students. This session will briefly describe research that can inform instruction in STEM courses and describe how this research has been used to develop innovative strategies for teaching. The goal is to provide insights for instructors wishing to learn about, adapt, and incorporate research-based materials and teaching strategies into their courses, hopefully with the goal of “doing better things” to create more effective learning environments to promote students achieving a deeper understanding of STEM and developing appropriate science process skills.


David-_website2.jpgNOAA Teacher @ Sea

David Amidon

In the NOAA Teacher @ Sea program, teachers are immersed in research science aboard a working research vessel. Participants in this workshop will learn about David Amidon’s excursion working with the Juvenile Rockfish Survey aboard the NOAA ship Rueben Lasker and the lessons he created to bring this experience into the classroom. Constructed in accordance with the NYS Science Learning Standards and the NGSS, this unit includes activities to learn about overfishing, food webs, and habitat analysis, as well as a design challenge for students to build their own trawl net to gather their data.


Round Table Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Janina Brutt-Griffler

Panel: Dr. Renee Cole, David Amidon, and Betty Jones