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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Track: Computer Science & Tech

1Extracurricular Coding ClubsOffering tangible, real world best practices, this round table discussion covers how to engage both student and school in a thriving, sustainable coding and computer science club. Weve brought together educators, parents and community leaders to share what has worked and how they have worked through hurdles to build their coding clubs. Every participant will walk away with action items developed to help them get started and succeed! 


  • Facilitator: Laura Cummings, Parent, How to Connect to Your School
  • Table 1 – Preschool/Kindergarten: Terry Lawler, Educator, Burton Barr Library
  • Table 2- Elementary/Middle School: Larry Cummings, Parent / Community Leader
  • Table 3 – Middle/High School/No School Connection: Kelly Smith, Parent / Community Leader
  • Table 4 – High School/College: Kathryn Scott, Educator
  • Table 5 – Adult Extracurricular: Brad Westfall, Educator 


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: STEM School Best Practices 

Math helps students describe, understand, and challenge the world around them. How do we equip students to apply math in real-life situations? STEM – real-life, integrated, challenging learning opportunities! Join us as we examine practical ways for embedding mathematics into your STEM classroom with an emphasis on measurement and data analysis. We’ll examine some of the most common student misconceptions, experiment with teaching techniques, and examine student experiences that bring bring relevance to the math our kids need to know and apply.



  • Kimberly Rimbey, Ph.D., National Board Certified Teacher, Executive Board Member, AATM 
  • Jane Guan, K-12 Mathematics Coordinator, Flagstaff Unified School District

(Seen Above: Kimberly Rimbey) 

Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: STEM School Best Practices 


To help teachers implement our courses for all grades, Code.org offers high-quality, 1-day workshops for educators and content-area teachers (librarians, tech-ed specialists, etc.). These workshops are led by experienced Code.org facilitators. Attendees learn how to use Code.org’s courses to introduce computer science basics in a format that’s fun and accessible to the youngest learners (grades K-5). Attendees also receive all the supplies they need to teach—at no cost. 



  • Janice Mak, Developing Leaders for 21st Century Science Education at Arizona Science Teachers Association 
  • Linda Coyle, Director of Education, Science Foundation Arizona 

  Linda Coyle 

(Seen Above: Janice Mak, Linda Coyle) 


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: Computer Science & Tech 

CaptureSTEM and Computer Science need not be confined to one class or classroom. These educators and students are using it to their advantage in their classrooms and talking about how using and developing technology allows them to expand their understanding of traditional subjects and prepare them for a rapidly changing world. Topics covered will range from using tech in a traditional classroom to developing new approaches to teaching that utilize technology.



  • Betsy Hargrove, Avondale School District 
  • Seth Beute, Phoenix Coding Academy 
  • Caitlin Derr, TEALS 
  • Teachers from Phoenix Coding Academy 
  • Teachers from SySTEM schools 
  • Anjelica Cruz 
  • Darrell Kidd 


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: Student Voice 

This track will take a look at how students see the future of technology. What are their impressions? How do they see the future of STEM? Hear from the kid experts themselves.  


  • Moderator, Geoff Notkin, Host of TV’s “Meteorite Men” and “STEM Journals,” film and TV producer, award-winning author, meteorite specialist, public speaker and spaceflight advocate 
  • Chief Science Officers


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: Technology in Our Communities 

Pictured Above: Catalyst Collective

Emergence is an immersive performance about the study of life on Earth and other planets. The show was developed by the artist group Catalyst Collective and their residency with the Emergence Laboratory at ASU. Emergence asks and explores the questions: What exactly is life? How do we look for it in the universe? And how do we all plan on living it? After the 20 minute performance, Phil Weaver-Stoesz, Creative Director of Catalyst, will discuss how Catalyst devised a performance with both artists and scientists, as well as virtues and methods of good STEAM collaborations. 


  • Phil Weaver-Stoesz: Theatre Director, MFA Candidate in Theatre Directing
  • Catalyst Collective Artist Group 


Phil Weaver-StoeszDirector Phil Weaver-Stoesz is an MFA candidate at the Herberger Institute in Tempe, Arizona. In his first year, he devised and directed an immersive experience in an art museum ([De/As]cending). He was also awarded the Creation Grant for his research in creative computing (BIOS: Alpha), designed an alternate reality urban adventure (The Anthem Project), and worked with play development at Phoenix Theatre (on display). Phil originally hails from Goshen, Indiana, where he arranged and directed several original works including a mix of sonnets and indie-punk (Sonnet Soundscape) and a reimagining of the lovers in Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chemical Imbalance). Find Phil online at his website PhilWS.com, his personal blog ahandfulofair.wordpress.com or on twitter @Dear_Godot.



Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: School STEM Best Practices 

We all know that scientific research is done in sterile labs by nerds in white lab coats, the results of which eventually makes its way to the public through government agencies or megacorporations who own the ‘science’.  If you’ve not paid your dues in academia to get the appropriate science degrees, your capacity to participate in science is limited to the baking soda and vinegar volcano that you show off to your kids when it’s their Science Fair.

Wrong; and wrong.

Citizen Science may be the most widespread and important outsourcing enterprise ever attempted, and chances are you haven’t heard of it. Or if you have, you don’t know what’s out there or how you can get involved.  We’d like to change that by introducing you to two prominent Citizen Science programs that encourage and facilitate participation in real scientific research projects.

SciStarter aims to facilitate citizen participation in formal and informal research projects and events around the world (and beyond!), allowing regular people to contribute needed and meaningful data towards scientific progress, and to see the results of their efforts.  Science Cheerleader is a program made up of professional cheerleaders pursuing science careers who inspire young women to challenge stereotypes and consider Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) careers.  Both programs were founded by Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. 

Please consider attending this Panel Discussion as Ms. Cavalier is joined by Kaitlin Vortherms, a PhD student in Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University and Miss Phoenix 2015, and worked with Science Cheerleaders on NASA’s Soil Moisture and Active Passive (SMAP) global warming Citizen Science Project.  Rounding out the panel are René Tanner, Life Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University (and former Environmental Planner), and Dan Stanton, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University (and Past-President of the Arizona Library Association).  Find out how we can move Citizen Science forward together.



  • Darlene Cavalier, Professor of Practice, Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, Founder of SciStarter, Founder of Science Cheerleader, CoFounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology 

  • Rene Tanner, Librarian, Life Sciences, Arizona State University  

  • Dan Stanton, Librarian, Humanities and Social Sciences, Arizona State University 

  • Kaitlin Vortherms, PhD student, Sustainable Engineering, Arizona State University 


Darlene Cavalier headshotDarlene Cavalier is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter, founder of Science Cheerleader, and cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology. She is a founding Board Member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and co-editor/author of the book, The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (June 2016) and The Science of Cheerleading ebook, supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

ReneTannerRene Tanner is a Life Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University. She has contributed articles to American Libraries and College and Research Libraries News as well as authored book chapters in “Focus on Educating for Sustainability: Toolkit for Academic Libraries” and “Computer-Mediated Communication: Issues and Approaches in Education.” She is a frequent presenter in the classroom and at conferences and has earned certificates in public involvement from the International Association for Public Participation. 

StantonDan Stanton is a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian at ASU, responsible for the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre, and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Dan was previously a Government Information Librarian for sixteen years, and is still recognized in certain circles as Dan – The Gov Docs Man. 


Kaitlin Vortherms2Kaitlin Vortherms is passionate about building a sustainable and responsible world. She is a PhD student in Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). Kaitlin’s Master’s research explored the role of empathy in engineering, an interested inspired by a trip to Uganda where she realized the disconnect that can happen when products are designed in a locale vastly different from where they will be used. She now incorporates her understanding of empathy in engineering design to her PhD research on the development of a building integrated solar thermal energy technology which she is also transforming into a business venture. Kaitlin understands the importance of empowering and breaking stereotypes for women and girls in science and engineering. She was crowned Miss Phoenix 2015 where she integrated STEM into her pageant experience and adopted STEM education reform as her pageant platform. She has also worked with the Science Cheerleaders to support an empowered image of women in STEM, and with SciStarter and on NASA’s Soil Moisture and Active Passive (SMAP) to help encourage greater engagement between science and our society!


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

Track: Future STEM Pathways 

Distance Learning TechnologyThe Arizona Telemedicine Program has been a leader in distance learning for twenty years.  We use distance learning technology to expand the broadcast area of the Arizona Health Sciences Center to the entire state including medical students, residents, patients and teachers.  We produce interactive emergency preparedness exercises as well as interactive simulations to reach students no matter who or where they may be.  Please join us for an interactive videoconference to see our eLearning Classroom of the Future and hear our Director share our experiences and how we are using our resources to produce some very impressive educational events and opportunities.  

Attendees will take a tour by videoconference to the U of A College of Medicine Downtown Phoenix  Campus and take a virtual tour of the T-Health eLearning Ckassroom of the Future!


  • Janet Major, Associate Director, Facilities, Distance Learning Outreach, AHSC 
  • Chris Martin, Assistant Director, T-Health Institute 
  • Ronald S. Weinstein, M.D., Director, Arizona Telemedicine Program 

picture-39-1463166795 jm  picture-25-1463166929 cm  Ronald Weinstein 

(Pictured Above left to right: Janet Major, Chris Martin, Ronald S. Weinstein) 

Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

1STEM is Hot

Track: Technology in our Communities 

1STEAM is HotPresented by the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts, this fun and fast-paced TED Talk-style panel highlights some of the hottest examples of the integration of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) happening in the Valley. Each of the 5 speakers from the arts, education and technology sectors will be given 7 minutes to excite and inspire you to never say “STEM” again. Our team of STEAM leaders will heat up your grey matter noodles and engage your inner creative with subjects like medical microscopy,3D spatial modeling, forensic facial reconstruction and biomimicry. Participants will also not want to miss STEAM inspired programs at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts including current exhibition STEAM (thru Sept. 17) and the summer 2017 exhibition Biomimicry


  • Monica Aissa Martinez, artist and art instructor at Phoenix College

  • Dan Collins, Ph.D., ASU, Co-Director of PRISM (Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling) and Professor of Art/School of Art

  • Anthony Falsetti, Ph.D., ASU Forensic Anthropologist and Professor of Practice, Math and Natural Sciences Division

  • Catyana Falsetti, Forensic Artist, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and graduate student/instructor at ASU’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Program

  • Prasad Boradkar, ASU Co-Director of the Biomimicry Center and Professor/Director of Innovation Space at the Design School

  • Moderator: Michelle Nichols Dock, Tempe Center for the Arts, Gallery Coordinator 


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!  

1Women Networking

Track: Computer Science & Tech

1Women NetworkingThe AZ SciTech Festival Kickoff is a great place to meet new people with similar interests in STEM and complimentary skills, but have you ever been to a networking event where you wanted to make the transition from meeting one person into meeting the next person? Awkward, right? Not so in the Women in Technology Speed Networking session. Talk to a new person every five minutes (bring business cards), then change networking partners to meet the next person. We provide the timing (and the sense of direction). 

Co-host organizations for Women in Technology Speed Networking include:


  • huge Women in Technology International, Phoenix, provides a local forum for women to network with each other, forge connections, share resources and discover opportunities in the technology industry.



  • WWC logoWomen Who Code, Phoenix, is the local chapter of Women Who Code, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology. The organization tripled in 2013 and has grown to be one of the largest communities of women engineers in the world.




  • GDI PHX logoGirls Develop IT Phoenix is the local chapter of Girl Develop IT, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment. GDI-PHX provides a place where all questions are OK and everyone can learn in a supportive environment. Their courses focus on coding, leveraging existing technology, and having something to show for it (aka building sweet websites).




  • AWIS_AZ_Central_2013The Association of Women in Science, Central Arizona Chapter/Society for Women in STEM, Arizona State University, provides career mentoring and support to promote the success of women in STEM. We are also known at the Society for Women in STEM or SWIS-CAZ. AWIS-CAZ hosts monthly career building seminar luncheons, the Jumpstarting STEM Careers Symposium and annual outreach events such as Hands on Science. Membership & activities are open to Men and Women.



  • WIGI AZWomen in Gaming International Phoenix Chapter is a group of female and male professionals that aims to promote the inclusion and career advancement of women in the games industry. Our goal is to promote equal representation of women and men in the gaming industry; to give them an equal voice on issues of or related to the games industry worldwide and to provide a friendly, safe, and collaborative environment to discuss these issues without fear of retaliation or harassment.