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Summit 2022
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Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
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Ignite a Passion for STEM with Innovation

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, June 23, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: 201A

Andrea Keith  
Learning the process of innovation provides a solid foundation for STEM for all ages. Activities in creativity, storytelling, design and entrepreneurial thinking will show you how to support and extend children’s enthusiasm for coding, robotics, and 3-D printing, building motivation to find their passion, develop resilience and become changemakers.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Mobile device, pen or pencil
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Communication and collaboration
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will recognize that innovation is a process that can be taught.
Participants will identify creativity as the foundation for innovation.
Participants will understand the interdependence of innovative thinking with STEM.


Opening (10 minutes): Poll: Through a mobile poll, the audience will create a Wordle to answer “Why is STEM education so important?” The need for students to develop skills to thrive in and contribute to future society will be discussed.
Ultimately we need students to use the STEM skills they learn to create innovative services, products, movements to solve the world’s toughest challenges. Innovation is a process that can be taught through the themes of creativity, storytelling, design, collaboration, and entrepreneurial thinking, and STEM provides the medium and tools through which that innovation can happen.

Activity & Discussion (15 minutes): Creativity Line: Explore creative confidence by having audience members (all or a random selection depending on number attending) self-identify how creative they are compared to others in a physical line. Discuss how the definition of creativity is often limited to art, and how children are innately creative but many factors can erode their creative confidence as they grow up. Innovation is creativity with a purpose and STEM skills need to build on a creative foundation.

Activity & Discussion (15 minutes): The story that an individual, team, company, country or even global civil society tells us about what is possible and what is needed is often an important part of driving change. Technological innovations, human services, and social movements all need external support of some kind, be it money or activism, in order to create change, so understanding the power of storytelling is another foundation for realizing the benefits of STEM.
Activity: grid with 4 different photos relating to STEM will be displayed and attendees will choose one to analyze. What story is this image telling?
How does it make you feel?
Is it trying to create change? If so, how?
(For Example: Buy something, laugh, feel relaxed, be careful.)
Who is the audience this story is trying to reach?
(For Example: Mothers, me, shoppers, teenagers.)

Activity (15 minutes) Venture Game: Provide sheets of paper to everyone
Step 1: Draw a random line on the page. The line can be any shape and size. Once they draw their line, put name at top and pass to the person to their right.
Step 2: Take the page they just received and draw a picture that includes the line. Give 2 minutes, then again pass right.
Step 3: Based on the picture received, who would be the customer for this? Guess what kind of person would buy this venture, then write a description of them on the line. Be as creative as possible. Give one minute, then again pass right.
Step 4: Finally, come up with a brand name for the venture. They should consider their customers when they come up with it. Give a minute to come up with a name for the venture. Then pass back to original owner.
Have a few people share their ventures and discuss how letting go of “their” creation each time felt. Discuss how it’s natural for people to become invested in their own ideas but that failure, feedback, and the sharing and delegating of work throughout the process creates the resiliency needed to fully collaborate and innovate.

Closing (5 minutes): and discuss how collaboration fuels innovation and brings multiple disciplines together, but also that it takes someone to lead the action, which is entrepreneurial thinking. Adding innovation to STEM will better prepare our students to apply the skills to make the world what we hope it will be.

Supporting research

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Andrea Keith, EdgeMakers

Andrea Keith started her career in education more than 25 years ago. She was a teacher in California, Colorado, and Illinois, which gave her strong experience in pedagogy, assessment, and curriculum in varied school environments with diverse student populations. Currently the Vice President of Customer Success at EdgeMakers, she has developed and presented dynamic, engaging professional development used by educators in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and China to build their own and their students’ capacity for innovation.

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