3 tips for great STEM presentations

by Aimee Kennedy, Vice-President of Education, STEM Learning and Philanthropy at Battelle

Every year, the Connect for Success conference brings more than 1,200 educators to Columbus to lay the groundwork for the coming school year.

The organizer, Battelle For Kids, has issued a call for presenters to the conference in June 2016. We’ll be helping out at the conference again this year, aiming to add our knowledge to recruit and guide great presentations on the impact of effective STEM.

If you’re thinking about applying, here are my three takeaways from looking back on STEM at last year’s Connect for Success conference.

#1: Educators (like kids) learn by doing. One of our most popular panels was a demonstration by Dayton Early College Academy and Reynoldsburg’s Summit Elementary about how to plan and execute a design challenge. You can read about the experience of one attendee here (Solo cups, shopping carts and science) For me, it was just another reminder that there’s no substitute for grounding something you learn in your own context. For design challenges, that means trying one out and writing up a plan to use when you return home.

#2: Multiple perspectives make for better presentations. Another one of my personal favorite presentations from last year’s conference featured Marysville principal Kathy McKinniss. Kathy kicked off her talk by laying out the basics of her school and then, with complete confidence, handed the mic over to her teachers. They did a phenomenal job explaining the school’s “non-negotiables” and Kathy simply jumped in when helpful to add some context as the school’s leader.

#3: There are incredible innovations happening in schools. We just have to find them. Time and time again, I see STEM schools reinventing the playbook of education. At L&N STEM Academy, the school implemented a lunchtime “Genius hour” where students propose and plan new collaborative projects. Metro Early College High School formed the model for 20+ Ohio STEM schools. Now, they’ve launched a new school called Metro Institute of Technology where students attend for five years to graduate high school with an associates degree or other college credential. And there’s so much more out there.

What can we learn from your school or program? Apply by November 30 to show us.


  • 21st Century Skills
  • Blended Learning
  • College & Career Readiness
  • Community Connectors
  • Health and Wellness
  • Hope and Engagement
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Parent Engagement
  • Personalized Learning
  • Quality Profiles/Measures that Matter
  • School Culture
  • Social & Emotional Learning
  • STEM
  • Student Ownership of Learning
  • Talent Recruitment & Management
  • Topic of your choice that fits the theme!

The deadline to submit your presentation proposal is November 30. Visit the conference website to learn more and submit your proposal.

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