Hands-on Workshops

Hands-on Workshops are 75 minutes in length and offer participants an opportunity to dream, dare, and do something new

Create, Fail, Iterate: Affective Skills in Makerspace

Affective learning objectives focus on the emotional domain and overlap with social and emotional skills, including values, attitudes, and mindsets for learning and working. Attendees will have the opportunity to go through the creative process with a hands-on skill sprint to experience the value of taking risks and embracing failure to create iterations of a product. We will discuss traits to isolate affective learning objectives as part of a Makerspace STEAM curriculum and share our obstacles and successes of our own hands-on maker education. Examples of affective objectives are, but not limited to, collaboration, feedback, self-direction, iteration, and resolving conflict.

PRESENTERS: Bethany Seagroves, Makerspace/Gifted and Talented Teacher, and Erica Campos, Makerspace/Librarian | Solar Preparatory School for Girls


From Bleep, Blip, Boop to Variables, Arrays, and Loops: Teaching with Sonic Pi

As educators we can create different ways to engage the wonderful diversity of thinking and sense making of kids. Providing different pathways to learning technology, without compromising rigor, is a way to prepare girls to confidently pursue advanced work in technical fields. This will be an interactive workshop demonstrating how we are teaching with the open source program Sonic Pi at the Geffen Academy at UCLA. The workshop will cover the basics of getting started with the program, suggestions on incorporating it into your classroom, and examples for more advanced work. All experience levels are welcome. Come jam with us!

PRESENTER: Rhazes Spell, I-Track Department Chair | Geffen Academy at UCLA


Girls Hack Blockchain Apps! Demystifying Emergent Technologies Through STEAM

See how an all-girls school in Toronto runs a Blockchain Hackathon. Students identify real-world problems and explore app design using Blockchain technology as a solution. This initiative, which began in 2017, expanded the following year to include additional schools in the Toronto area. This process enables our students to foster leadership, entrepreneurialism, coding, and problem-solving skills. This hands-on workshop / primer provides you an opportunity to learn our design process in developing a blockchain hackathon and ways for you to bring blockchain research / project work across curricular areas, including; computer science, social studies, business, economics, and media studies.

PRESENTERS: Roark Andrade, Technology Integration Specialist, and Marisa Hoskins, Technology Integration Specialist | The Bishop Strachan School


The Harlem STEAM Consortium and littleBits Invent-a-thon

The Marymount School of New York created the Harlem STEAM Consortium in partnership with local public and charter schools to help introduce and nurture STEAM and making opportunities in the neighborhood. A large finance company donated over 150 littleBits Invention kits that we distributed to ten schools in the consortium after a day-long invent-a-thon and training program. Come learn about this public-private partnership as you dream, design, and invent with littleBits.

PRESENTERS: Jaymes Dec, Innovation Chair; Tracy Rudzitis, STEAM Teacher; and Lesa Wang, STEAM Teacher | The Marymount School of New York


Inspiration Stations: Learn, Dream, Create!

Come explore hands-on Inspiration Stations created by instructional technology coaches from Knowing Technologies and teachers from their partner schools. You will have a chance to learn, create, and dream up new possibilities for your students. In this session, you will be inspired by how technology can transform the learning environment for your students and cultivate a culture of creativity, critical thinking, and innovation. Be exposed to a variety of digital tools and ideas that will be sure to engage and provide new learning opportunities for you and your students.

PRESENTERS: Jim Puccetti, Director of Teacher Development and Instructional Design, and Elaine Wrenn, Director of Educational Leadership and Strategy-Southern California | Knowing Technologies; and April Garcez, Theology and Social Studies Teacher, and Lauren Conklin, Assistant Head of School for Academics | Mercy High School


The Magic in the Space Between: How coaching and mentoring can transform leaders

Ian Wigston has been coaching women leaders and potential leaders in education and commerce for more than twenty years. This session will explore the ways in which different types of leaders manifest different coaching needs. Workshop participants will be able to identify their leadership style and, through a variety of exercises, explore how they can influence their future career path. The workshop will also show how school leaders can support and build their leadership teams by adopting more proactive coaching and mentoring strategies.

PRESENTER: Ian Wigston, Founder and Director | Bright Field Consulting Limited


Marlborough Robotics and Onshape: How to Embrace CAD and Create Almost Anything

Experience how Marlborough’s robotics program was transformed through the use of Onshape, a cloud -based, collaborative computer-aided design program. Perhaps best described as ”the Google Docs of CAD,” Onshape allows the Marlborough robotics teams to engineer their FIRST competition robots from the ground up. Students use a Glowforge laser laser cutter and 3D printers to fabricate their designs. Workshop participants will register for an Onshape educator account and get a crash course in this powerful technology. They will also learn Onshape-specific workflows for laser cutters and 3D printers as well as the limitless applications of this technology beyond robotics.

PRESENTER: Andrew Witman, STEM+ Co-Head | Marlborough School


Portfolio Practicum: Cultivating a Teacher Toolkit for Project Based Learning

Participants in this dynamic and collaborative workshop will learn and apply the principles of blended learning and portfolio based assessments to support girls on their journeys to become empowered and self-directed learners. Facilitated by four master teachers from the Atlanta Girls’ School, this workshop will engage audience members with research-backed findings from our collective years of pedagogy and action research in girl-centered classrooms. Emphasis will be placed on how to scaffold appropriate measures of choice and project accountability to a diverse range of ages and learners. Participants will use the tools provided within the workshop to design one or more lesson plans that they can use in their own classes. Workshop resources will be be shared via a website that features the pedagogy, research, rubrics, and lesson plan templates for ongoing use.

PRESENTERS: Kerry Smith, Faculty, World Studies Department; Shetal Shah, Department Chair, World Studies Department; Rosamond Byrne, Faculty, World Studies Department; and Kate Michalak, Faculty, World Studies Department | Atlanta Girls’ School


Promoting the Entrepreneurial Mindset in Your Entire School Community

Educators must embody and model the entrepreneurial mindset in order for girls to see learning as a lifelong process of creative problem-solving and persistence through failure. Girls’ schools serve girls best when they can establish an educational environment where alumnae, families, and staff model how to challenge limits, explore possibilities, embrace innovation, and seize opportunities. Come learn how the Laurel School partnered with VentureLab to bring entrepreneurial learning to its entire educational community. Then, experience hands-on activities you can apply immediately in your classroom to promote the entrepreneurial mindset and empower your girls to become confident innovators and changemakers.

PRESENTERS: Bella Patel, Associate Director of the Primary School; Director of Global Programming | Laurel School; and Cristal Glangchai, Founder/CEO | VentureLab


Rapid Prototyping

Challenge yourself to imagine or create something new, reinvented, or unimagined using a plethora of materials and tools. An exercise in rapid prototyping encourages you to think creatively and quickly. Collaborate with your team, new friends, or fly solo as you bring an idea to life and prototype within your selected prompt.

PRESENTERS: Adrian Skrentny, Director of Design Engineering and Academic Data, and Ceres Madoo, Visual Art and Design Instructor | Marymount High School


Reinforcing our Unbreakable Commitment to Girls’ STEM Education

Our Vision: A world without a gender gap in STEM. At the Center for STEM Education for Girls and in our STEM Consortium Schools, our mission is to equip schools to graduate the next generation of female STEM thinkers and doers by providing leadership, expertise, advocacy, and innovation in Girls STEM education. Come experience a STEM Classroom designed for girls, where learning is inquiry and project based, tied to a higher purpose, risk-taking is encouraged, critical STEM skills are built, and girls are mentored by female role models. Participants will take away specific research-based practices for implementation in their schools.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Barbara Bell, Director, Center for STEM Education for GIRLS | The Harpeth Hall School; Dr. Barbara Fishel, Dean of Studies/Director of Research | The Hockaday School; Dr. Darren Kessner, Mathematics and Computer Science Instructor/STEM+Program Co-Head | Marlborough School; and Eric Walters, Director of STEM Education | Marymount School of New York


Safe, Handy, and Hardy: Empowering Girls Through Industrial Arts

Using power tools, pouring molten metal, and producing PSAs for broadcast on local television are just a few of the artistic challenges our students experience. Through these projects that incorporate risk-taking, resiliency, and creative problem solving, students develop skills that empower them to express themselves fully throughout their lives. In addition to presenting how we structure and implement our curriculum, we will lead a hands-on art activity where participants can experience this sense of risk-taking and explore modes of creative problem solving that are not only essential art skills, but can apply to any field.

PRESENTERS: Renee Fadiman, Chair of Visual and Performing Arts Dept. and Art, Media and SEL Teacher; Norika Takada, Art Teacher; and Torrey Delaplane, Art, Woodshop and PE Teacher | The Girls’ Middle School


Squishing, Squeezing & Scribbling: Hands-on Circuitry Projects as an Introduction to STEAM

Come to a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn about three explorations in circuitry. The presenters will first describe their experiences introducing STEAM through “squishy circuits”; the pilot of an arts elective class, “Sewing with Circuits”; and light-up journals. After, attendees will have the opportunity to try out one of the three projects.

PRESENTERS: Katie Topper, Educational Technology Director; and Alix Anthony, Art Director/STEAM Teacher | Julia Morgan School for Girls


STEAM Makerspace: 3D Printing and Laser Cutting for Classroom Projects

Ideal for teachers with beginning to intermediate experience in 3D printing, laser cutting, and vector graphics. The workshop will orient teachers around 3D printing and laser cutting as classroom tools that can enhance project based learning. We will look at examples of how teachers here at Westridge have incorporated these tools in their own curriculum in meaningful ways, and also look at interesting projects from outside our community. Teachers will gain a basic introduction to vector graphics, 3D printing, and laser cutting, and will come out of the class with a simple, self-designed, and executed project.

PRESENTER: David Prince, STEAMwork Coordinator | Westridge School


Take a STEMBreak

How do we inspire teachers to adopt new technologies? As STEM coordinators, we created an annual STEMBreak. Based on escape rooms, STEMBreak is a professional development opportunity for teachers to work in teams, solving puzzles to open locked boxes. Along the way, they are exposed to various educational technologies: makerspace tools, VR, websites and apps, and QR codes. This workshop begins with participants solving some puzzles used in STEMBreak. They see how edtech tools are seamlessly incorporated into the process. In a group discussion, the presenters run through the process of creating and implementing STEMBreak, and identify strengths and shortcomings.

PRESENTERS: Kim Bathker, Science Chair and STEAM Co-Coordinator, and Julie Whittell, Mathematics Chair and STEAM Co-Coordinator | Marymount High School – Los Angeles


Using Pop-Up Courses to Help Girls Dream, Dare, and Do

This session will enable attendees to understand and then design pop-up courses: courses that are offered “suddenly” in response to troubling current events that impact female students. Pop-up courses are increasingly used on college campuses, and they can be deployed in high schools with intentionality. They are designed to encourage immediate engagement, learning, and sharing of information and strategies for forward movement. The session will cover course length, design, assignments, and methods for student engagement, and participants will actually design a pop-up for their institution. One key point: these are not “education lite”: these are real learning opportunities made of teachable moments.

PRESENTER: Karen Gross, Senior Counsel | Finn Partners