November 5-7 2020
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Featured Speakers

One of the great benefits of a virtual conference is the opportunity to showcase well-known science and education thought leaders from across the country more easily. We are thrilled to be able to significantly increase the number of featured speakers at this year’s event while pre-recording and broadcasting all of these sessions according to the conference schedule. As a bonus, all featured speakers will moderate a live chat with participants during the broadcast; some will even be available for a live Q&A.

Dr. Kate Biberdorf | Chemist Extraordinaire

Kate Biberdorf, Ph.D., the author of "Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments," is currently employed as both a professor and as Director of Demonstrations and Outreach at The University of Texas at Austin. She serves as a general chemistry instructor and is particularly known for developing explosive demonstrations that excite undergraduate chemistry students. Outside of the classroom, she is often found at Fun with Chemistry -- her outreach program that ignites, inspires and motivates K-12 students to develop a love for learning and exploration in the sciences -- and her live, explosive, science spectacular, The Puking Pumpkin Tour.


Emily Calandrelli | The Space Gal

Emily Calandrelli is the host and co-executive producer of the hit Netflix series "Emily’s Wonder Lab." Each episode features Emily and a group of kid-scientists as they learn about STEAM through experiments and fun activities. Emily is also an executive producer and Emmy-nominated host of FOX’s "Xploration Outer Space" and was a correspondent on Netflix’s "Bill Nye Saves The World." Emily frequently gives talks about the importance of science literacy, the benefits of space exploration and the challenges for women in STEM careers for clients like Google, Pixar, MIT, Texas Instruments as well as dozens of K-12 schools across the nation. Her first two TEDx talks, “I Don’t Do Math” and “Space Exploration Is The Worst,” have garnered over one million views on YouTube. Through her work, Emily wants to make science relatable, easy to understand and more exciting today than ever before in history.


Sean B. Carroll | Author and Biologist

Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning biologist, educator, writer and executive producer. He leads the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the largest private supporter of science education activities in the United States, and is the Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland. Sean is also the author of six books for general audiences and two readers for students, the architect of HHMI’s documentary film initiative and the head of its Tangled Bank Studios, where he has served as an executive producer and/or on-screen presenter of more than thirty feature or short films for broadcast, IMAX and classroom audiences. 


Arlevia Davis | Public Educator and Science Specialist

Arlevia Davis is a public educator, and her experience includes grades K-12 in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. She has served as a teacher, teacher-mentor, team lead, department chair and science specialist and has taught a variety of students with various backgrounds and of various demographics, including at-risk, low socioeconomic, English language learners and special education. Her teaching methods are the product of her passion to teach science in an engaging yet effective manner; the curriculum and activities she created are research-based and proven to help all learners retain information. 


Dr. Donna Farland-Smith | Author of "Eureka!" Series

Donna Farland-Smith, Ph.D. is the Associate Professor of Science Education at The Ohio State University. She is a co-author of two books for teachers, "Eureka! Grade 3-5 Science Activities and Stories" and "Eureka, Again! K-2 Science Activities and Stories" from NSTA Press. The series 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. Julie Jackson | Science Education Researcher

Julie Jackson, Ph.D. (aka The Science Toolkit) is an associate professor at Texas State University, where she is actively involved in science education research. She has broad classroom teaching experience and has published research articles in international and national peer-reviewed journals. Her main research interest is the seamless integration of research-based practices into day-to-day planning and execution of highly effective, TEKS-aligned science instruction that benefits diverse population. She developed "interactive word walls," which have transformed K-12 science and vocabulary instruction, and has a record of sustained and powerful site-based interventions that have improved teachers' attitudes toward teaching science and teaching practices.


Page Keeley | Author and NSTA Past President

Page Keeley is a nationally recognized leader in science formative assessment and understanding of students’ thinking. She is a prolific author of 22 books, including several award-winning titles on uncovering students' ideas, and has authored over 60 journal articles, contributed to several book chapters and developed formative assessment probes for McGraw-Hill's Inspire Science program. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and consults with school districts (including several Texas districts), universities and organizations to build capacity for science formative assessment and teaching science for conceptual understanding. 


Jay Kleberg | Film Producer and Conservationist

Jay Kleberg is the producer of the first-ever comprehensive wildlife documentary about the state of Texas. He was an associate producer of the film "The River and the Wall" and previously served as Associate Director and Director of Conservation for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.


Dr. Okhee Lee | Award-Winning National Speaker

Okhee Lee, Ph.D. is a professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University. Her research involves integrating science, language and computational thinking with a focus on English learners. She was a member of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) writing team, served as the leader of the NGSS Diversity and Equity Team and was also a member of the Steering Committee for the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University.


Dr. Ellen Ochoa | History-Making Astronaut and Trailblazer

Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D. is the first Latina to go to space and is the second female director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, where she led the human space flight enterprise from 2013 to 2018. As an in-demand speaker, Ellen touches on issues that have defined her historic career, drawing lessons from her life in a down-to-earth style that has engaged hundreds of audiences across the country.


Colin Seale | Educator, Attorney, Critical-Thinking Advocate

Colin Seale was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where struggles in his upbringing gave birth to his passion for educational equity. Tracked early into gifted and talented programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. Using lessons from his experience as a math teacher, later an attorney and now a keynote speaker, contributor to Forbes, The 74 and Education Post and author of "Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students" (Prufrock Press, 2020), Colin founded thinkLaw, a multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and REACH all students, regardless of race, zip code or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical-thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two young children and a loving husband to his wife, Carrie.


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