2021 California Science Education Conference

Focus Speakers


Focus speakers are highly regarded scientists and education experts who present 90-minute, in-depth sessions on subjects relevant to science teaching. The focus speaker series allows you to expand your understanding in a wide range of critical topics.

Focus speaker sessions are included in registration.

Friday, October 20, 2023 | 8:00 am - 9:15 am

Zero to CS4ALL: A Story Behind One School's DEI-Based Success Creating and Growing a Thriving CS Program

Jacob Goldsmith, AP Computer Science/AP Mathematics, Newark Memorial High School

Jacob Goldsmith has worked in education for nearly three decades as a student instructional assistant and graduate instructor with the Ohio State University and as a teacher, union president, and STEAM coordinator with the Newark Unified School District. Within NUSD he developed AP CS/programming, AP mathematics, and IB ToK/philosophy courses and has authored and self-published curriculum for each of these. He has been a leading participant in working groups focused on DEI and innovative teaching in CS convened by the California Computer Science Project at UC Berkeley and the Alameda County Office of Education. He developed and taught his district's first AP CS course and has grown this into a pilot CS4all program endeavoring to teach programming to 100% of district graduates (pilot 2023, full implementation 2024). Jacob's career has focused on exploring and developing instructional content and methodologies that expand the essential intersection between social justice and rigorous STEAM education.

Friday, October 20, 2023 | 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Hip Hop, STEM and Semiconductors: Meaning Making of What’s Ahead by Looking Back

Robert Simmons III, EdD, Head of Social Impact and STEM Programs, Micron Foundation

Growing up in Detroit in one of the most violent zip codes in the 1980s—48210—hip hop and STEM played a critical role in Robert’s life. Whether it was tinkering with turntables, watching his uncle develop photos in his dark room, or sneaking around on the grounds of a paint factory in his neighborhood to document the chemical barrels, STEM and hip hop have played a critical role in Robert’s life. Robert will detail his journey while also offering reflections on what’s next for science educators based on what’s happening with the recent developments associated with the CHIPS and Science Act.

Saturday, October 21, 2023
8:00 am - 9:15 am

2023 Focus Speakers

Amplifying Student Voice: Creating Inclusive Science Learning Spaces

CASE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

This workshop enables participant reflection on the importance of student voice in creating inclusive science learning spaces. Student-led discussions encourage participants to understand the student experience, reflect on past teaching pedagogies and promote incorporation of equitable and inclusive best practices.

Facilitators (left to right): Nishat Alikhan, New Roads School; Leena Bakshi, STEM 4 Real; Bree Barnett Dreyfuss, Amador Valley High School; Jessica Bibbs-Fox, Compton USD; Nancy Nasr, Santa Paula USD; Zoë Randall, San Diego USD; Tara Sikorski, Santa Clara COE


Upcoming Conferences

  • 2023 Conference
    October 20-22, 2023
    Palm Springs, CA

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