IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference

Virtual Online Event | Saturday, March 26, 2022

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker: 1

Dr. Sami Kahn, J.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director, Council on Science and Technology (CST), Princeton University


Title: Another ‘M’ for STEM: Moral Considerations for Advancing STEM Literacy

Abstract: While career readiness and global competitiveness are often cited as rationales for quality STEM education, a broader view of scientific literacy, one that envisions students as members of an informed citizenry able to reason thoughtfully and ethically through increasingly complex STEM issues, is critical. Particularly with an increased emphasis on engineering in U.S. science education standards, STEM education, Dr. Kahn will argue, must serve as both a context for moral development by expanding student argumentation and discourse to include the consequences of STEM decision making and also a conduit for advancing a more just and equitable society through broader engagement and participation. To illustrate how these visions might be realized in the K-16 classroom, Dr. Kahn will discuss how educators can transform a typical STEM lesson into a “moral” STEM lesson through the incorporation of two curricular frameworks, Socioscientific Issues (SSI) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the manner in which STEM content, practices, and rigor can be preserved and enhanced while widening curricular objectives to include the development of an informed, reflective, and inclusive STEM-literate citizenry.

Bio: As Executive Director of the Council on Science and Technology (CST) at Princeton University, Dr. Sami Kahn works to promote scientific literacy for all through quality interdisciplinary course development, robust STEM education research, and creative programming.  An award-winning STEM educator, teacher educator, and author, she uses her background in science education and law to inform her research on inclusive science practices, socioscientific issues (SSI), argumentation, and social justice. Dr. Kahn has authored/co-authored numerous journal articles and five books on enhancing scientific inquiry experiences for learners of all ages including a co-edited/authored book entitled, Towards Inclusion of All Learners Through Science Teacher Education (Brill, 2018) and a sole-authored book entitled, It’s Still Debatable! Using Socioscientific Issues to Develop Scientific Literacy, K-5 (NSTA Press, 2019) which uses controversial societal issues related to science to promote an informed, participatory, STEM-literate citizenry.  Other recent efforts include moderating a New York Times panel on STEM teaching and learning in times of public mistrust, serving as a research mentor to emerging STEM education scholars in Thailand for the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), and spearheading NSTA’s position statement on gender equity. Dr. Kahn holds an M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rutgers University, a J.D. in Law from Rutgers School of Law, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Science Education from the University of South Florida where she served as a Presidential Doctoral Fellow. Prior to arriving at Princeton, Dr. Kahn served as Assistant Professor of Science Education at Ohio University (promoted to Associate Professor with tenure), with earlier appointments at Rutgers University and Collegiate School in New York City. 

Keynote Speaker: 2

Dr. Steve O'Brien
Dean, School of Engineering, TCNJ


Title: Stories of Integrative-STEM, K-12 and HigherEd

Abstract: Dr. O'Brien will review how Integrative-STEM approaches have been used successfully in the K-12 space, and HigherEd. Some of these experiences are "classroom only" where the impacts are intended for a single classroom, while other experiences are intended to change how a whole school functions.

Bio: Dr. Steve O'Brien holds B.S. degrees in mathematics & physics from Western Washington University, and Masters & Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University. Dr. O’Brien has 18 years of industry experience, as well as 15 years at TCNJ in the Integrative-STEM (ISTEM) Education department which prepares both elementary and secondary teachers. Dr. O’Brien was also the Director of TCNJ’s Center for Excellence in STEM Education for 10 years, impacting thousands of K12 teachers and students. Dr. O’Brien also led the development of a Masters in ISTEM education at TCNJ. Dr. O’Brien’s area of engineering expertise is the design and application of semiconductor lasers. Dr. O’Brien has accumulated ~60 refereed publications and 17 patents. Dr. O’Brien is currently the interim Dean of TCNJ’s School of Engineering.

Keynote Speaker: 3

Sharnet Chavis


Title: IEEE- Honoring Your Resilient Spirit

Abstract: It’s takes many things working synergistically for a person to achieve to their full potential. Resiliency is a key factor to every persons success. Today you will learn how to build your resiliency, how to harness your strengths, how your connects offer support, ways to utilize joy and gratitude in your daily experiences, and you will be able to develop a set of practical mindful techniques to support your resiliency. Today we will, IEEE- Identify, evolve, embrace and endure to lay a good resilient foundation for your social and emotional well being. Everything offered today will be useful for students, parents, teachers and learners of any age or abilities.

Bio: Mrs. Sharnet R. Chavis is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Registered Yoga Teacher, a Certified Mindful Informed Clinician, a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional and a Certified Wellness Practitioner. She Is the Co-CEO ChavisOnTheGo, a wellness services LLC that develops mindfulness, meditation and movement practices to support regulation and self-management for individuals with various needs and for those that work with special populations. Mrs Chavis also serves as the Dean of Students/Sr. Social Worker at The Katherine Thomas School a school for individuals with unique learnings needs. Mrs. Chavis has 31 years of experience supporting clients in the regulation of their emotions as a Clinical Social Worker. She is the creator of “Mindful Minutes with Mindful Movements” a motivational Mindful Practice. Mrs Chavis has a BSW from University of Maryland Baltimore County, a MSW from Howard University, and a MS from Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She is currently perusing her DSW Doctoral degree at Simmons University with a focus on social justice and mindfulness.

IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference