More than 400 educators spent their Saturday at Brown Middle School collaborating and improving their science and technology skills to bring back to their classrooms.
The annual miniCAST Conference — billed as the region’s premier science and technology education conference — featured more than 100 presentations on Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM).
Another 30 vendors set up in the cafeteria offering educational science tools and products. Non-profits organizations lined the hallway to offer teachers field trip ideas for their students including the El Paso Zoo, TecH20 Learning Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“The great thing about miniCAST is that teachers can receive six hours of GT credit and CPE hours,” said Lora Holt, president of STEAM Region 19. “But most importantly, teachers get a chance to connect with area non-profits and UTEP professors that support STEAM and other professionals who specialize in the field.”
Keynote speaker Brian “Fox” Ellis made history, science, language arts and fine arts collide with his presentation “The Wisdom of the Past Builds STEAM for the Future.” He is an internationally renowned storyteller, author and naturalist.
“My goal is to inspire folks to awaken to a deeper understanding of who they are within their relationship to human history and the natural world around them,” he said. “I hope to evoke the storyteller within you.”
Presentations at the conference included: Time Travel in the Classroom, Encouraging a Path to STEM, Science Inquiry through Storytelling, Partnering with Nature in the Classroom, Keeping it Clean with STEM and Alien Autopsy: Fake Bodies, Real Science.
Milam Elementary science teacher Angela Campana led the session Tinkering through STEM. While not presenting, she visited vendor booths and sat in on presentations honing her skills and looking for ideas to bring back to her students.
“MiniCAST is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to get different ideas from other educators around the area and learn some useful things they can do every day around their classroom,” Campana said. “I come every year to get fresh ideas for the new school year.”