The most recent OC STEM Ecosystem Institute Session for Cohort 2 took place on November 17th, and featured special guest speaker Dr. Milton Chen, Ph.D. Dr. Chen is senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a non-profit operating foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area producing the award-winning website on innovative K-12 learning. Dr. Chen shared the STEM initiative that Edutopia commits to, inspiring a discussion on how each of our district teams can have different ecosystems. He also shared numerous resources that our ecosystem members have easy access to, in order to inspire creativity and innovation in their students and colleagues in STEM.


The rest of the day was dedicated to technology and digital learning, where ecosystem members had the chance to attend various technology workshops and learn about great new resources to bring to their own students and peers:

  • NGSS: From the Transition Phase to the Implementation Phase; Presented By Janet Yamaguchi, Vice President of Education, Discovery Cube
  • SeeSaw Learning Journal; Presented By: Kristin Thomsen, Technology Coordinator, Orange County Department of Education
  • Designing Learning Spaces; Presented By: Gerardo Martinez, Technology Coordinator, Orange County Department of Education
  • Big “T”, Little “t” in Early Learning Environment; Presented By: Jean Barbre, CA Preschool Instructional Networks, Region 9 Lead, Early Childhood Education Coordinator, Orange County Department of Education and Cinda Muckenthaler, Consultant, Children and Families Commission of Orange County
  • Breadboards; Presented By: Doug Luong, Instructor, Tiger Woods Foundation
  • Sphero Drive Workshop; Presented By: Nithin Jilla, Executive Director, Dreams for Schools and James Gapp, Director of Technology, Harbor Day School

Thank you Milton Chen for inspiring us to think outside of the box when it comes to STEM learning in the 21st century, and thank you to our workshop presenters for sharing new technology for teachers to bring to their students!

Stay tuned for more Ecosystem Institute updates!

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