The boundaries of STEAM in Nevada education continue to expand as the Nevada Museum of Art, in partnership with Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program, announces the 2021 NV STEAM Conference.
Aiming to inspire innovation through engaging, hands-on workshops and nationally recognized keynote speakers, the NV STEAM Conference hosts more than 300 Nevada education professionals. This year, participation is expected to grow significantly as the multi-day event moves to a virtual platform for the first time, reaching educators from all corners of the state.
“2020 will forever mark a significant shift in the world of education,” said Claire Muñoz, Charles N. Mathewson Senior Director of Education at the Nevada Museum of Art. “From crisis, we find opportunity and new ways of connecting, inspiring and sharing information and resources with peers and colleagues from across the state, country and even the world. No longer limited by physical boundaries, we hope that the 2021 NV STEAM conference will unite Nevada educators as we present an interactive virtual conference that can be applied across disciplines, putting the imagination to work while solving complex problems to meet real human needs.”
The NV STEAM Conference is Nevada’s largest event dedicated to the exploration of ideas and strategies to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math into classroom practices. Nevada Museum of Art has partnered with Desert Research Institute since the conference’s inception in 2015. This partnership highlights the commitment of both institutions to advancing STEAM education for Nevada’s youth.
“Over the past five years our collaborative efforts between DRI (a Scientific Research Institute) and the Nevada Museum of Art (a Cultural Institute) have truly produced the most memorable and meaningful professional development conferences for educators throughout Nevada,” said Craig Rosen, Director of Nevada STEM Networks at DRI. “We are delighted to partner again in a much different virtual setting to bring STEAM education to life and to inspire hundreds more educators to integrate science and art.”
A Virtual Event To Inspire Nevada Education
The upcoming online conference begins with a keynote on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. The event also includes a virtual evening gathering Friday, February 5, and an additional keynote with all workshops on Saturday, February 6. The theme is ‘Design Thinking,’ which mirrors the ‘Design Thinking Process,’ an approach that compels artists, designers, and scientists to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. This method is critical to the development of 21st-Century skills that translate from the classroom to the workforce.
The NV STEAM Conference will feature keynote presentations by Dr. Danah Henricksen and Dr. Punya Mishra who will encourage educators to think about arts integration by applying STEAM and design thinking concepts in the classroom. An additional keynote by Dan Goods, Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, includes a look into the work of artists and designers in NASA’s “The Studio” and their valuable collaboration with scientists and engineers.
Workshops include artist Kal Spelletich on the process of ideation and prototyping to inspire citizen artists and citizen scientists, NASA educators encouraging experimentation in a rover prototyping workshop, and Desert Research Institute’s Tiffany Pereira looking at the history of the dromaeosaur and how fossils can be used to build narratives and uncover new discoveries. Additional workshops will be facilitated by the Discovery Children’s Museum and the Smith Center for Performing Arts.
An exhibition organized by the Nevada Museum of Art will support Conference themes. Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collections with key loans from contemporary artists, “We Belong Here” illustrates how scientists, artists, designers, and engineers work across disciplines to apply concepts of innovation, question existing systems, and seek visionary solutions to help navigate and inform the future. The exhibition features artworks by Rebeca Méndez; Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky; NASA JPL’s “The Studio”; Trevor Paglen; Katie Peterson, Tavares Strachan, and others.
The 2021 NV STEAM Conference’s Lead Sponsor is Tesla. The Conference is supported by the Nevada Department of Education; the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology; Nevada STEM Advisory Council, and the NV STEAM Subcommittee. Event Collaborators include Discovery Children’s Museum, Las Vegas; Nevada State Museum; and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.