C-STEMEC is a consortium of four STEM-focused
university centers in Chicago.
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The STEM Education Dinner Symposium for Illinois School Leaders hosted by C-STEMEC and ISTA on Thursday, October 24th gathered school and district administrators, policy leaders, and education reformers to talk substantively and productively about STEM education. The symposium featured engaging sessions on implementing the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, the new Next Generation Science Standards, and ways to organize schools and districts to best take advantage of state and national resources designed to support these initiatives.
 
Helping to frame the evening, guest speakers opened the event by addressing a number of important topics and issues. Gudelia Lopez, Senior Program Officer of The Chicago Community Trust, welcomed everyone and provided an overview of the vital relationship between C-STEMEC and CCT as a foundation for supporting STEM educational policy and practice. Paul Ritter, President of the Illinois Science Teachers Association, commented on the need to advocate for mathematics and science teachers at all levels. Finally, Robin Grange, from the Office of Representative Bobby Rush in the 1st Congressional District of Illinois, provided some useful context on the state of STEM educational policy in Illinois.

In addition, our panel of mathematics and science education experts from C-STEMEC and ISTA presented three policy papers newly released to the public followed by a Q&A discussion session with audience members. Click below to read the papers:

At the end of the event, symposium attendees were granted access to the ISEC13 conference exhibit hall to engage with 80 visiting science education organizations and vendors available onsite to answer questions about their missions. Some guests were even lucky enough to walk away with raffle prizes collectively totaling over $10,000 in value provided by our friends at Lab Aids, Delta and Frey. Among the prizes were items and services tailored for educators, including complete SEPUP and FOSS modules, lab equipment, and more. C-STEMEC participated in the fun as well, raffling off professional development sessions around the NGSS and Math for STEM Learning for school and small district representatives.

Click here to see photos from the event!

C-STEMEC looks to continue showcasing similarly groundbreaking work and ideas going forward in the future.

Also: Stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks for videos from the dinner symposium!