OC STEM Initiative's STEM Lab Report for February 2015
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District teams for the OC STEM Learning Ecosystem Institute have been selected!

Applications have been submitted and reviewed for the first STEM Learning Ecosystem Institute, and we are very excited to announce our very first cohort of dedicated STEM Leaders. Each district had identified teams representing their STEM Learning Ecosystems including but not limited to: instructional day, expanded learning, early childhood education, informal learning partners. Each district has identified a different focus:

Anaheim City School District will help their district design programs that will be replicable and sustainable for their schools who are interested in STEM education.

Buena Park School District plans to strengthen the content knowledge and pedagogical practices of their team, help build capacity within their district, and establish leaders who are at the forefront of STEM education.

Cypress School District intends to develop a strong, committed leadership team that spans across all areas of the STEM Learning Ecosystem to make all stakeholders active participants in making an impact on education and the community. 

Santa Ana Unified School District will support the refinement of a common vision to ensure that students are afforded the opportunity to be well-prepared for the 21st century and to strengthen collaboration with other leaders through the STEM Learning Ecosystem.

Fountain Valley School District hopes to enable their district to accomplish important goals toward creating systematic plan to build on pockets of individual strengths and expand STEM District-wide to develop and prepare 21st century learners for success in college and career.

Fullerton School District will build upon current efforts and continue to strengthen the support system for STEM education that exists among district leadership and the Fullerton community. 

Ocean View School District intends to build the knowledge and background among teachers and leaders to ultimately provide a clear pathway for students to leave their District to potentially go into STEM related pathways in high school, into college and universities, and then into their careers. 

Orange County Department of Education will integrate STEM subjects into a cohesive learning curriculum based upon real-world applications for both the department and ACCESS division and ultimately help increase student interest in STEM courses and careers and motivate and inspire confident teachers to become skilled in STEM instruction. 

Orange Unified School District will enhance current understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards the new State Standards and to foster the building of cohesive relationships with other Orange County districts on the sharing of best practices within programs. 

OC STEM is looking forward to working with this dedicated group for the next 18 months and beyond to strengthen Orange County school district leadership through the development of STEM Learning Ecosystems and implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education programs.

Everything kicks off on March 9 with our evening event featuring special guest speaker and NASA Engineer Kobie Boykins!
The Early Childhood STEM Conference took place February 5-7 in Costa Mesa. Business partners, community leaders, educators, politicians, practitioners, researchers, and students came together to address the needs of our youngest citizens. 

The event kicked off with a Thursday night expert panel discussion, which was moderated by Christina Altmayer of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and included our own Executive Director, Linda Christopher as well as OC STEM Member, Tamika Lang of The Boeing Company as panel members. 

The following two days were filled with over 50 wonderful workshops, tours of the PBS SoCal studio and Pretend City, and keynote addresses from Dr. Greg Duncan of University of California, Irvine on â€œEarly Math Achievement and Later School Success,” and Dr. Daniel Siegel of the Mindsight Institute who spoke on â€œResiliency and Neural Integration:  Harnessing the Power of Relationships and Reflection to Cultivate and Maintain Well-being.”

For information about the conference, visit

RISP Update

The OC STEM Regional Innovation Support Provider (RISP) STAT (STEM Technical Assistance Team) was officially launched on February 11th. The STAT Team brings together a diverse group of after-school educators to help provide professional learning by building STEM teaching capacity. This team will receive participate in over 40 hours of STEM focused professional learning, including observations, mentoring and coaching, to increase STEM teaching capacity at their individual after-school programs. The STAT Team is comprised of STEM coordinators, managers, program & site supervisors, coaches/trainers and a program director from seven different providers/agencies. OC STEM hopes that STAT Team will become our "go-to team" for program support and professional development throughout the RISP network.

Upcoming meetings/events:
  • March 12th: SciGirls Training presented by community partner, Girls Inc. [10am-12:30pm]
  • April 2nd: OC STEM Factory @ the Tiger Woods Learning Center – a series of professional development workshops for out of school time educators. Event cost: Free [9am-12pm]
For more information, cotntact Roy Lee at  

Arts Orange County
Creative Edge Lecture

Each Spring, Arts Orange County presents the Creative Edge Lecture to bring together the business, arts, and education communities to learn about and discuss the value of creativity in all endeavors. This year, Arts Orange County’s 6th annual Creative Edge Lecture will feature Sarah Lewis who examines what we can all learn from the world’s greatest innovators. During this 90-minute lecture, Sarah Lewis will offer a new understanding of what sparks creative endeavors and illuminate how embracing our so-called failures can lead to incredible transformation and true breakthroughs.

Select the flyer, above, to visit the event website and purchase your tickets. Early-bird registration ends on March 20, 2015.

Lead STEM Practitioners - Leading Districts in STEM

Through a partnership between OC STEM and the Orange County Department of Education, the Lead STEM Practitioner (LSP) program launched in fall 2013. This year, we have 25 teachers participating the professional learning community representing 17 elementary and high school districts in Orange County:
  • Kelley Barrett, Anaheim City School District
  • Jack Gupton, Anaheim Union School District
  • Mary Koga, Brea Olinda Unified School District
  • Kim Bailey, Capistrano Unified School District
  • Elisa Slee, Capistrano Unified School District
  • Wendie Hauschild, Capistrano Unified School District
  • Holly Steele, Fullerton School District
  • Viet Nguyen, Fountain Valley School District
  • Joseph Archival, Huntington Beach City School District
  • Monica Nash, Huntington Beach City School District
  • Eric Shulman, Irvine Unified School District
  • Victoria Anthony, Irvine Unified School District
  • Linda Barker, Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Olga Cammer, La Habra City School District
  • Diana Thompson, Newport-Mesa Unified School District
  • Cara Petite, Orange County Department of Education
  • Marcia Garten, Orange County Department of Education
  • Laura Kresl, Orange Unified School District
  • Julie Roney, Orange Unified School District
  • Katie Degrafenreid, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
  • Lizette Cabrera, Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Candy Mack, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Janacque Ernsbarger, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Kristin Hartloff, Tustin Unified School District
  • Wendy Pontious, Westminster School District
We’re grateful for their dedication and look forward to a great year of  developing STEM leaders throughout Orange County!
On Tuesday, February 17, the Anaheim Ducks welcomed over 16,000 elementary students (grades 3-6) from over 160 schools to the Honda Center for a day of STEM focused education and hockey. The students had explored interactive exhibits from corporate organizations, participated in hands-on STEM learning taught by local businesses and colleges. Students were ultimately challenged to "Build a Better Puck," which was this year's field trip theme. The Ducks teamed up with Autodesk to create a step-by-step Tinkercad lesson to teach students about 3D printing and design. Students referred to a workbook which explored how engineering affects their daily lives using examples on the ice at Honda Center. With the combination of the workbook and live interviews with players, students learned about the history, making, movements and future of the hockey puck.

For more information on the First Flight Field Trip, visit the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E website

Newsletter Highlights

Institute Teams
Upcoming Events
EC STEM Conference
RISP Update
Highlighted Event
First Flight Field Trip

Upcoming Events


Educator Professional Learning/ Networking Events

March 5, 2015: STEAM Conference, San Diego, CA (Register)

March 16-17, 2015:  California STEM Summit, Los Angeles, CA (Register

April 21, 2015: Creative Edge Lecture - "The Rise of Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery" with Sarah Lewis (Learn More)

Community & Family STEM Events

ExplorOcean: Science Saturdays and Sundays 12-3 p.m. (Learn More)

Engineers Week at Discovery Cube OC, February 21-March 1, 2015. (Learn More)

3rd Annual Girls Conference Orange County: University of California, Irvine and Girls Incorporated of Orange County, April 4, 2015 (Learn More)

Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, April 21-24, 2015 (Learn More)

STEM Imaginology at the Youth Expo: Orange County Fair & Event Center, April 24-26, 2015 (Learn More)

STEM & the Arts Career Showcase: Orange County Fair & Event Center, April 24-26, 2015 (Learn More)

Family Day, Beall Center for Art+Technology, April 28, 2015 (Learn More)

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