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STEAM to the Future: What's Next in STEAM, Design and Making

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Monday, June 24, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: Terrace Ballroom II/III, Level 4 (near Posters)

Sylvia Martinez  
Let’s time travel 50 years forward to see what science, technology, engineering and math will be like, and the prominent role that the arts, design and creativity will play. This session will provide entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the challenges of adapting today’s classroom and curriculum for the future.

Audience: Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Technology infrastructure
Topic: Emergent technologies
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Visionary Leadership
  • Inspire and facilitate among all stakeholders a shared vision of purposeful change that maximizes use of digital age resources to meet and exceed learning goals, support effective instructional practice, and maximize performance of district and school leaders.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The 2017 NMC Horizon Report forecasting emerging trends for K-12 education includes augmented reality, adaptive computing, synthetic biology, wearable technology, artificial intelligence (knowledge engineering), and robotics. What will these look like in the real world, and how will they impact K-12 education?

Right now, scientists and engineers are creating a future where biology and engineering mix with computation and computer science. The future holds things like driverless cars, buildings that heal themselves, “radical mycology,” which are plastics that adopt organic properties from mushrooms, clothes that adjust to the weather, robots that do tedious work, and holodeck-like experiences that will bend the definition of reality.

What are the implications for K-12 education when subjects are being reinvented every year? Are we content with providing students with science classes that don’t cover any science invented this century?

We see technology as changing at lightning speed, yet much of this technology never makes it to the classroom. In fact, we are dumbing down the devices that students do get the opportunity to use rather than increasing their capability. Many students are being given devices that are no more than web page browsers.

The recent adoption of makerspaces in many schools shows that schools can get excited about future trends and build rigorous STEAM experiences for students that honor both the past and the future. But there’s much more coming than just 3D printers!

This session will explore these coming trends in a fast-paced way that provides both entertainment and insight into what educators can do in their classrooms today to prepare tomorrow’s citizens for what’s about to come.


20 min – What is on the horizon in technology and STEAM?
10 min – What options exist for integrating these into existing curriculum
10 min – Examples of what’s possible now from schools around the world
10 min – Closing, questions

Supporting research

NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition

Summary of Engineering is Elementary Research. Museum of Science, Boston

Neil Gershenfeld: The Future of Digital Fabrication

Designing Reality: How to Survive and Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution (2017)

Design at the Intersection of technology and biology

Why bio is the new digital: Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things - Joi Ito
Nicholas Negroponte: How Do You Predict The Future? : NPR

Ecovative: The new plastic is made from mushrooms

More [+]


Sylvia Martinez, Invent To Learn

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