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Featured Speakers

Dianna CowernKeynote: Dianna Cowern, Science Communicator and Creator of Physics Girl

STAT is thrilled to announce that Dianna Cowern, science communicator, educator and content creator for the one million-subscriber YouTube Channel Physics Girl, will speak at the CAST 2018 General Session Nov. 1 in Fort Worth. Dianna earned a bachelor of science in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before researching low-metallicity stars at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (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 in San Diego, California, and as a physics outreach coordinator at the University of California, San Diego. Her work on Physics Girl has been featured in the Huffington Post and Slate Magazine and on Scientific American blogs. Check out Dianna's YouTube channel.

Dr. Julia Clarke, paleontologist and evolutionary biologist

Dr. Julia A. Clarke, the John A. Wilson Professor in Vertebrate Paleontology at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin will present “The Secret Lives of Dinosaurs” from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in Omni Texas E. Dr. Clarke is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Her research focuses on using phylogenetic methods and diverse data types to gain insight into the evolution of birds, avian flight and the co-option of the flight stroke for underwater diving. She is particularly interested in understanding shared patterns and potential causal factors in the evolution of living bird lineages. Recently her work is focused on unravelling the origin and evolution of the avian vocal organ.

Dr. Donna Farland-Smith, author of Eureka! series

Dr. Donna Farland-Smith is an Associate Professor of Science Education at The Ohio State University. She is co-author of two books for teachers through NSTA Press, Eureka! Science Alive through Scientists’ Stories and Activities 3-5 and Eureka! Again K-2 Science Alive through Scientists’ Stories and Activities. Eureka! allows teachers to participate in science lessons that encourage students’ development of confidence and skills in STEM processes and their knowledge and awareness of STEM career fields. Dr. Farland-Smith will present Inspiring Young Scientists through Teaching, Learning and Research at 8 a.m. Thursday, November 1; Eureka! K–2 Science Activities and Stories at noon Thursday, November 1; and Eureka! 3–5 Science Activities and Stories at 9 a.m. Friday, November 2.

Olenka Cullinan, STEM Director West for Discovery Education

Olenka Cullinan, STEM Director West for Discovery Education, is a former Founder of Rising Tycoons, speaker, author, and a National Program Director for STEM Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. She brings 10-plus years of experience in business and STEM education and has worked with top education organizations in the nation, consulted with companies, and partaken in development of a wave of young STEM entrepreneurs globally. Having been mentored by top leadership speakers in the country, such as John Maxwell and Darren Hardy, Olenka has become one of the nation's premiere speakers and STEM entrepreneurs’ experts, as recently demonstrated by her speaking appearances at TEDx. She will present “Put the Sparkle in STEM” from 1:30–2:30 p.m. Thursday, November 1, in the FWCC Arena. Presented by Discovery Education.


Dr. Cindy Moss' appearance at CAST 2018 has been cancelled.

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