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This year’s NCSLA Spring Summit was held on Saturday, April 28th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC with over 80 participants and presenters for our program and “playground” sessions. Our theme for the Summit was “Let Innovation Inspire You” leading with Dan St. Louis as our keynote speaker with his talk on "Innovations That Spark STEM Interest In The Classroom". Dan is the Director of the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) since its inception in 1990. The MSC exists to create and maintain jobs in the US. The MSC
has grown to a staff of 24 full time and 6 part time employees serving all of NC. It is
housed in a new 30,000 square foot building located in Conover, NC and is part of
Catawba Valley Community College. Services include testing, applied research and development, prototyping, helping entrepreneurs launch new products, on site business
incubation and customized training, which Dan shared some of the items being prototyped and created at the MSC.
Jami Inman from NCDPI presented the latest updates from the State Department in STEM Education. Pam Gilchrist from the awards committee along with Fisher Scientific presented this year’s NCSLA Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Gail Jones from NCSU.
This year we also featured numerous playground sessions where participants could actively engage with the presenters and perform hands on activities with new technology. Participants thoroughly enjoyed this interaction and it gave them a chance to tinker with new programs to introduce in the classrooms.
We ended up the Spring Summit with a graduation ceremony of the 2016-2018 NCSLA Fellows program and introduced the new cohort for 2018 -2020. The program concluded with President Alisa Wickliff passing the gavel to Incoming NCSLA President Manley Midgett.
Listed below were the stations and presenters at this year’s first playground session.
- Arduinos: Bill McClung, Nutrien and Pitt Pirates Robotics Team 2642
- Bee Bots and Pro Bots: Alisa Wickliff and Austin Lantz, UNC Charlotte Center for STEM Educations
- Digital Breakout: Bianca Yavelak and Jessica Schouweiler, NCSLA Directors at Large
- LEGO EV3 and WeDo 2.0 and FIRST LEGO League programs: Allison Moran-Wasklewicz, Keenan Wasklewicz, and Rune Wasklewicz, Team 267 Mini Mateys FLL Jr. Team and Pitt Pirates Robotics Team 2642
- Makey Makey: Jennifer Synder, STEM Coach
- Ozobots: Kalo Haslem STEM teacher and coach
- Robox Sumo: Anisha Patel from ECU’s Center for STEM Education and Pitt Pirates Robotics Team 2642
- Scale Up Program and Activities: Emmie Tyson, BSF Life Structures
- Texas Instruments: Beginner session TI-Innovatorä Hub and TI-Nspire CX and Advanced session on Color blending and Mood Ring activities and moving the Rover with a TI-Nspire CX, Jamila Gadsden, Educational Technology Consultant
- Vernier: Judy Day, NC Science and Engineering Fair Director
I want to personally thank the NCSLA Executive Committee (Pat Shane, Manley Midgett, and Alisa Wickliff) for all the help that went into planning this year’s Spring Summit. Thank you to Melaine Rickard and Jessica Schouweiler for all the countless hours behind the scenes in prepping for the conferences (fall and spring) and the NCSLA Board Members for brainstorming this creative idea of a playground. It takes a village to raise a child and our NCSLA village helped with creating this innovative approach in the Spring Summit. A huge hug and thank you to Alisa Wickliff for assisting and help recruit excellent presenters for the playgrounds. Her visionary plan and execution made this year’s summit a success!
I would like to end by thanking all the members of NCSLA for allowing me to serve you for the past three years as President Elect, President and Past President. It has been an honor to serve this organization and especially its members.
Past President 2017-2018