Edtech Solutions
Network Summit

Mission: STEMpossible

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Explore and create : Playground

Susie Blackstien-Adler  
Rebecca Braungart  
Leticia Citizen  
Dr. Camille Dempsey  
Janine Feil  
Dr. Rayna Freedman  
Leandro Gomes  
Leanne Husk  
Melinda Kolk  
Christy McDonald  
Godwyn Morris  
Judy Nguyen  
Michelle Palmieri  
Faith Plunkett  
Kamal Preet  
Silvia Scuracchio  
Jessica Shupik  
Patricia Smeyers  
Michelle Wendt  
Denise Wright  
Dr. Effat Zeidan Hatoum  

At the STEM playground, you can see, experience and discuss STEM lessons in a risk-free, hands-on learning environment of classic and new research-based tools. Enhance your understanding of the ISTE Standards and ways to apply them.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Additional materials and guest accounts for software will be provided.
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

" Learning theory and research have consistently concluded that learning opportunities providing a chance to "do" or experience the educational input, result in higher learning gains and retention. Findings demonstrate that a well planned program delivery system that includes opportunities to see, experience, and discuss should greatly enhance the learning process."

The STEM playground is an opportunity for educators and selected sponsors to view, experience, share, and discuss lessons and materials with like-minded STEM enthusiasts. The playground format is a risk-free, hands-on learning environment including traditional and new research-based tools. All lessons and tools are aimed toward enhancing participants’ understanding of the ISTE Standards for Students, Educators, and Coaches. Try something new while connecting with someone new.


Participants will have the opportunity to explore about 25 varied peer-to-peer presentations over three 50-minute time slots. See the 2019 Playground schedule at

Sample past presentation titles:
Future Ready! Creating STEM through the Design Process;
Engineering in the Elementary Classroom;
Creating on the Merge Cube;
3D Printing: The T and E in STEM;
NASA presents "The STEM Innovation Lab;"
Programming a Story's Literary Elements with Ozobots

Supporting research

Kolb L. (2017). Learning First, Technology Second. ISTE

Martinez S.L., Stager G. (2013). Invent to learn: making tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards.

Papert, S. (1972). Teaching children thinking. Programmed Learning and Educational Technology, 9(5), 245-255.

Resnick, M. (2007). All I really need to know (about creative thinking) I learned (by studying how children learn) in kindergarten. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity & Cognition.

Valenzuela, J (2018). Embed Literacy in STEM Projects. ISTE Blog, 5/1/2018.
Journal for STEM and Education Research
ISTE Empowered Learner Magazine
STEM Jobs Magazine
Engineering is Elementary. Boston Museum of Science

More [+]


Rebecca Braungart, Nardin Academy
ISTE Certified Educator

I work at a K-12 traditional and PK3-3 Montessori Independent, Catholic School in Buffalo, New York. Before I became the Integration Specialist, I was a 4-8 ELA teacher who dabbled in Ed-tech. After receiving my Ed Tech certification, I moved into my new role where I will now be teaching an intro to CS in the fall for Freshman. Currently, I am in charge of researching classroom tools, organize Professional Development for teachers, and have been tasked with Curriculum work to prepare for the integration of the NYCS&DF standards into our K-12 classes.

Leticia Citizen, Samsung Education | Equity In Action, CA

Leticia Citizen, a 21-year educator, is an i4Coach with a particular interest in technology-enhanced teaching and global connections. As a result, she implements many applications available to teachers, helping augment their students’ learning, modernizing traditional classroom methods. Leticia dedicates her life to social justice, teaching through an equity lens, and providing intentional and engaging PD. She is co-founder of Equity In Action, CA and Tech.Teach.Grow, LLC. Leticia currently serves as an ambassador and trainer for varying digital tools including Nearpod, Wakelet, Newsela, and Flipgrid. She’s Google Certified and an MIE Expert.

Dr. Camille Dempsey, Pennsylvania Western University

Dr. Camille Dempsey is an Assistant Professor of Middle & Secondary Education/Educational Leadership at Edinboro University where she teaches educational technology, research and methods courses. Her research includes a focus on virtuality culture theory and the ways that contemporary technology mediates human presence in the ways society is connecting, exploring and communicating. Most recently she received the PAECT Higher Education Technology Impact Award for a journal article she wrote.

Janine Feil, Ivy Hill Elementary
Dr. Rayna Freedman, Jordan/Jackson Elementary Mansfield

Dr. Rayna Freedman is a 5th grade teacher at the Jordan/Jackson Elementary School in Mansfield, MA. She has taught grades 3-5 and is an ITS. Rayna has a B.S. in Education from the University of Vermont and a M.Ed in Educational Technology from Lesley University. She received her doctorate through Northeastern in teaching, learning, leading, and curriculum. Rayna is President of MassCUE and has been presenting at the annual conference since 2010. Rayna has presented for ISTE, Ed Tech Teacher, Tech and Learning, Medfield Digital Learning Day, FETC, BPLC, and BLC.

Leandro Gomes, Project developer
Leanne Husk, Bridges Canada

Leanne Husk has a background as an educator for students who have complex needs and has certification as a Learning Disabilities Specialist. As a lead instructor for Bridges, she designs and leads workshops and works directly with students and teachers to help them create and implement dynamic and inclusive learning experiences with technology across the curriculum. Leanne first experienced the need for scaffolded instruction and adapted materials when introducing coding to normally developing students. These experiences have been invaluable as she works, in collaboration with OCAD University, supporting Bridges' current initiative - creating inclusive and accessible coding experiences for ALL.

Melinda Kolk, Tech4Learning, Inc

Melinda is the Editor of Creative Educator magazine and the Deputy Director of the Constructivist Consortium. Melinda is also one of the founders of Tech4Learning. For the past 20 years, Melinda has led workshops at schools around the world and made hundreds of presentations at education conferences, such as ASCD and ISTE, on the topics of creativity, project-based learning, and open-ended technologies. She has been a featured speaker or keynote at MACUL, VSTE, MICCA, and ISTE.

Christy McDonald, Bridges Canada

Christy McDonald is an educator, curricular and assistive technology consultant, supporting people with special needs and those supporting them. She leads a professional development project for teachers, implementing educational curricula for students with complex needs. She has developed a series of on-line courses to support teachers and parents in supporting the use of AT features in reading and writing. She is part of a team that develops and delivers summer technology camps to students who have special needs, which include experiences in coding. Christy is involved in a project developing accessible coding experiences for ALL students, using a UDL approach.

Godwyn Morris, Dazzling Discoveries
Judy Nguyen, All Covered Education

Judy, Teaching & Learning Consultant for All Covered, has been an educator for over 15 years. She previously taught in a 1:1 laptop environment at Rosary Academy. When Rosary adopted a campus-wide 1:1 laptop program, Judy accepted the position of Director of Educational Technology. In this role, she supported teachers with blended/flipped instruction and developed an online summer program. Judy passionately loves working with teachers to accomplish their educational goals. Currently, Judy has been partnering with teachers to experiment on effectively integrating 3D Building, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality into their curriculum.

Michelle Palmieri, Pine Plains Central School District
ISTE Certified Educator

Michelle is a Technology Integration Teacher at Pine Plains CSD (Hudson Valley, NY) and has four years experience as a "tech coach." She is incoming chair of the ISTE STEM PLN and an ISTE Certified Educator. Michelle also holds experience as a Special Education Teacher and Computer Science Teacher.

Faith Plunkett, Decatur City Schools
Kamal Preet, Flip

Kamal Preet is a Lifelong learner & a Middle-School Science Educator from Bangalore, India. As a National Geographic Certified Educator, Kamal is passionate about everything STEM, the Global Goals, Gamification & SEL. She leverages her experience as a usability expert, & a classroom-science teacher to develop easy to implement, minimum experience needed solutions that increase student engagement while ensuring mastery of content in a time bound environment.

Silvia Scuracchio, Escola Bosque
ISTE Certified Educator

Silvia Scuracchio is a Principal and Head of Innovation at Escola Bosque , São Paulo, Brazil. Psychologist, Pedagogue, Master in Educational Psychology , ISTE Certified Educator

Patricia Smeyers, Secaucus School District/ISTE

Patricia Smeyers, 2021 PAEMST Finalist, 2020 ITEEA Teacher Excellence Award, 2019 NJ State Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2018/19 Hudson County Teacher of the Year, is a Certified Google Trainer with a Master of Educational Technology from Boise State University. Patricia is a member National Network of State Teachers of the Year, NJ County Teachers of the Year, NJ STEM Pathways Network Leader, NSTA, NJTEEA Advisory Board member, and advocates STEM policy nationally. .She presents and speaks on a national and international level, including ISTE19 and ISTE20. Patricia proudly joined the leadership team of ISTE STEM PLN this year.

Michelle Wendt, SRI&ETTC of Stockton University
Denise Wright, Horry County Schools

Denise Wright, has been teaching in STEM education for over 22 years. She is a volunteer for NASA as a Solar System Ambassador, piloted the first distance learning telescope to be used in classrooms across South Carolina, and founded a local community amateur astronomy group, Grand Strand Astronomers. Denise, serves as an Advisory Board Technology Member for the National Science Teaching Association. She was awarded a travel grant, from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, in November of 2019, to attend the Artificial Intelligence K12 Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Effat Zeidan Hatoum, California Baptist University Online Div

Effat Zeidan pursued her Doctorate degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro joining Dr. Sandros’ research lab. Her research was focused on the development of promising ultra-sensitive nano diagnostic devices for early disease detection. She is currently a program director of general education and assistant professor of science and mathematics at California Baptist University- Online and Professional Studies Division. Her focus is on improving the quality of online science and math education through the introduction of practical learning tools and motivational learning strategies.

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