The 2018 ISEA conference is the best opportunity in Texas (if not the country) for informal educators and teachers to learn, collaborate and experience exciting new ways to engage an audience and teach science. This year’s theme, Seeds of Change, encompasses changing audiences, practices, collaborations, partnerships and everything in between!

JohnFalkKeynote Speaker: John Falk, Director Institute of Learning Innovation; Sea Grant Professor Emeritus Oregon State University

Dr. John H. Falk, Director, Institute for Learning Innovation and Sea Grant Professor Emeritus of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University, is internationally acknowledged as a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs while visiting museums or parks, watching educational television or surfing the Internet for information. Dr. Falk has authored over two hundred scholarly articles and chapters in the areas of learning, biology and education and more than two dozen books.  His most recent book is Born to Choose: Evolution, Self & Well-Being (Routledge, 2017).  Falk has also helped to create several nationally important out-of-school educational curricula and has served on numerous national and international boards and commission.


KoshiDhingra Panelist: Koshi Dhingra, Founder and Director

Dr Koshi Dhingra is the Founder and Director of talkSTEM, a non-profit organization that designs unique Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) educational experiences in all settings for all people, with a focus on pre-K-12 providers. She has over 25 years experience in the field of science education as teacher, researcher, teacher educator, and administrator in New York, New Jersey and Texas.  She was previously Director at the Science and Engineering Education Center at University of Texas at Dallas, where she helped to launch Contact Science, a community outreach program delivered in partnership with public libraries and other free choice educational settings.


Mapping How People Learn

Kristin Evans, University of Texas Marine Science Institute/Mission-Aransas NERR

As professionals, our ability to reflect upon our own ideas, beliefs and understanding about learning is essential to our success as an informal science educators. One strategy of reflective practice is to make our private thinking “public” by getting ideas outside of our head- onto paper or into dialog- for others, and ourselves, to further examine and develop. Concept mapping is one way to visually and collectively examine, organize and structure one’s knowledge and understanding of a subject or concept. The goal of the session is to “plant a seed of habit” by engaging participants in a replicable reflective exercise that explores a fundamental question of our practice, “How do people learn?” Session includes, participants exploring their own ideas and thinking, as well as those of others; a “rapid-fire” mapping exercise representing shared understanding and knowledge; a group discussion of map results; and sharing of a few “ah-has,” hiccups and next steps from exercise.


Evaluation Research in Informal STEM Education  (FWBG Azalea Room)

Dr. Chris Mosely, UTSA
Melissa Paschke, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
Johnnie Smith, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Haily Summerford, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center

This session will explore collaboration and evaluation in Informal STEM education across the State.  Research methods being used in an on-going collaborative research study between Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Hill ISD, and the University of Texas at San Antonio will be shared as an example. The qualitative and quantitative methods used as tools to evaluate the impact of student participation in academic achievement, beliefs, and connections to nature include interviews, observations, academic standardized tests (STAAR data), and pre/post surveys. In this workshop, informal educators will be provided program evaluation resources, share examples of research methods being used in informal education, review and provide feedback on a proposed collaborative research model, identify the variety and diversity of successful collaborations, and identify 4-6 ISEA member organizations to participate in research studies.

Maker Programming Is for Everyone

Katie Kizziar, Jesse Mesa and Karen Wylie, Thinkery
Emily Clark, Mayborn Museum
Jacie Hood, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Explore how to harness the engagement & excitement of maker programming in a way that complements your setting! Choose your own (character-making) adventure: create with cardboard and brads, or complexify with servo motors. Then, brainstorm ways to incorporate making activities at your institution.

Gender Inclusive Programming with NASA

Kate Woodward Young, Texas Girls Collaborative Project

Join a NASA Network of States trainer as she shares NASA resources and activities from a gender inclusive perspective. We will work together to connect your programs to NASA resources and Girl Scout badges and journeys. This workshop will give you the tools to adapt classroom activities for an informal setting, to effectively create a gender inclusive program , to market to the parents, and to inspire, be relevant and make a difference. Utilizing proven techniques and best practices, Kate will ensure you leave the workshop with practical, Monday morning implementation skills.