2021 California Science Education Conference

Keynote Speakers

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Connect with Chip Yates


Connect with Dianna Cowern



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CSTA Annual Meeting and Opening Session
Friday, October 21 • 9:40 am—11:10 am

Join us for the CSTA Annual Meeting of members presided over by the 2015-2017 president Lisa Hegdahl. Learn about how CSTA has taken a leadership role in all aspects of the implementation of NGSS at the state level.

Keynote Presentation
Friday, October 21, 2015, 10:10 am - 11:10 am

Daredevil in the Lab: Engaging Kids with High Stakes Science

From a working-class childhood in Pittsburgh to a record-setting career in advanced electric vehicle design, the seeming impossible journey of American daredevil Chip Yates has reached millions of kids with a positive message of ingenuity and determination. In his keynote, Chip will reflect on recent lessons learned in pushing the limits of technology to highlight the intertwined relationship between innovation and risk and how perhaps our greatest gift to today’s youth is instilling in them the audacity to try, the courage to fail and the willingness to learn.

About Chip Yates:
Chip Yates is one of the world's most recognized green technology innovators and has set 18 World Records in electric vehicles of his own design. Recently nicknamed "The Rockstar of Science" by an inspired audience after witnessing his electrified speech, Yates has an endless supply of up-to-the-minute stories to share from his inspiring ongoing World Record activities.

Chip Yates has been named "Pioneer of Aviation" by the State of California and "World's Most Wired" by Wired Magazine for his high-risk achievements in areas of unproven science. He was the first human in history to break the 200 MPH barrier in a plane powered solely by batteries and embraces risk as a necessary component of innovation. Chip grew up taking things apart to see how they work and how they could be improved. He is a trained machinist and actually hand builds much of his world-record-setting vehicles himself. At age 36, he learned to race motorcycles at the world championship level and recently became the test pilot of his own electric airplane. Chip Yates is an internationally recognized speaker and TV host having recently given an inspiriting Tedx Talk entitled "Risk is the Currency of Innovation." He holds 15 patents and a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California and is a trained fabricator, machinist, and welder. The positive and inspirational messages of Chip Yates' adventurous life have reached thousands of students – from kindergarten through high school and undergraduate through post-graduate — all across America. He delights audiences with his animated storytelling style and cutting-edge images and videos, often taken fresh from his most recent engineering and world-record-setting activities.

Closing Session and Keynote Address
Sunday, October 23, 2016, 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Where Science Meets Cat Videos

On the world wide web, science videos are often hidden among cute pets and prank videos. In this talk, I will discuss how the online community is beginning to embrace educational content. For example, my PBS Digital Studios show, Physics Girl has now amassed more than 290,000 subscribers and 17 million views. This presentation will cover ways to inspire future scientists and future science communicators with effective demonstrations, engaging videos and the marriage of various STEM disciplines. And we’ll watch a few fun videos along the way. Feel free to check out http://youtube.com/physicsgirl in preparation!

About Dianna Cowern:

Dianna Cowern is an award-winning science communicator and educator. She is the primary content creator for her YouTube channel , Physics Girl with PBS Digital Studios. Dianna received her BS in physics from MIT before researching low-metallicity stars at the Harvard CfA and designing an iPad app as a software engineer at GE. She then pursued her career in STEM outreach working as an educator at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center and as a physics outreach coordinator at UCSD. Her work on Physics Girl has been featured on the Huffington Post, Slate Magazine, and Scientific American blogs.


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