The art of science is alive at STEAMConnect
Published - 02/26/15 - 02:18 PM | 5935 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STEAMConnect seeks to combine art, science and creativity in support of 21st-century innovation. COURTESY PHOTO
STEAMConnect seeks to combine art, science and creativity in support of 21st-century innovation. COURTESY PHOTO
More than 500 educators, school administrators, nonprofits, parents, business leaders, funders and policymakers from around the U.S. who share a common interest in bridging the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in education – two often siloed worlds – will convene in San Diego for the second annual STEAMConnect Ascend Conference Wednesday and Thursday, March 4 and 5, with La Jolla's UCSD Extension among its founding sponsors.

Under this year’s theme, “Moving from Dialogue to Action,” conference attendees will share practices and new ideas about the impact of the STEAM movement on education policy, funding, industry innovation and the community. The full conference agenda is available at

STEAMConnect is designed to bridge the arts and STEM communities, providing space for connection and cross-sector collaboration through an annual conference, quarterly networking events and strategic partnerships. We share resources and best practices to our network of educators, nonprofits, business leaders and policymakers to support and further the STEM and STEAM movements nationwide.

STEAMConnect was founded in 2012 by KDR PR and UCSD Extension and is a fiscally sponsored project of Mission Edge San Diego.

On Wednesday, March 4, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., attendees, speakers, sponsors and community members will gather for a welcome reception to celebrate the start of STEAMConnect 2015 at SILO in Makers Quarter, 753 15th St. in the Upper East Village, a neighborhood anchored by artists, makers and entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees of the main conference will hear from 19 speakers, visit 11 spotlight booths featuring STEAM activities and resources and have the chance to experience three different hands-on workshops at Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive.

Tickets are available at

“There is an important window of opportunity in education right now to make real, substantive change,” said Kim Richards, co-founder of STEAMConnect and founder of KDR PR, a public relations firm serving the education community. “The change we’re focused on is how we can more thoughtfully combine arts, design and creativity with STEM knowledge to support our growth and innovation in the 21st century. The STEAMConnect conference provides a forum to hear from thought leaders, explore what’s working, share promising practices and make new connections.”

Topics covered during the conference will include the latest policy efforts nationally and in California, case studies from pre-K-12 schools, researchers and postsecondary programs, cross-sector collaborations between business, school districts, higher education and nonprofits as well as perspectives from the funding community.

The San Diego County Office of Education will offer two professional development workshops, and the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab will be open for exploration throughout the day.

STEAMConnect, in partnership with NewSchool of Architecture & Design, will unveil a student-designed pavilion as a focal point of the welcome reception that will become an annual student design competition. There will also be performances, local food and drinks and networking.

Qualcomm Incorporated returns this year as conference site sponsor along with additional sponsors Boeing, Classroom of the Future Foundation, UCSD Extension, University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences, Academy of Our Lady of Peace and NewSchool of Architecture & Design. In-kind support comes from Sketch for Schools and PGK Dance Project.

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