Participants in the 2010 Huether Lasallian Conference returned to their schools and ministries with new ideas on teaching science, technology, engineering, and math. The three-day conference came to a close November 20 after close to 200 Lasallian educators took part in various presentations and breakout sessions focused on STEM initiatives at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, OH.
Chris Fay, Principal of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, TN, brought school representatives from math, science, and technology with a goal of implementing more cross-curriculum. “The event has given me some great insight into how to put together a STEM program to put an emphasis on math and science and combining them in a curriculum that becomes relevant and practical for the students,” he said.
Planning committee member, presenter, and participant Tim Ward felt the conference went well and received a personal benefit as Dean of Engineering at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. “The networking, being able to meet these people who are interested in STEM fields, was helpful for me.”
Highlights of the event included a pre-conference session showcasing digital tools for math and science education, breakout sessions on a variety of topics, and a panel of alumni with successful careers in science and technology. Keynote presenters included Rev. George Coyne, SJ, president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation; Alex Cirillo, retired vice president at 3M; and Story Musgrave, retired NASA astronaut.
Patti Wells, a math teacher at Justin-Siena High School in Napa, CA, enjoyed interacting with teachers in her field and looks forward to keeping in contact. “It’s just nice to be able to exchange ideas as far as lesson plans with different high schools especially,” she said. “We have five math teachers, but I only teach one other class with another teacher and it’s hard to bounce ideas off of the same people all of the time.”
Brother Jim Muffley, a chemistry teacher at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, PA, called the conference a very positive experience. He wants to make sure his school uses the online education resources that were presented. He also hopes to try new ways to reach his students. “If we can just present them with more, new ideas and let them know about other people’s experiences and the things that are available for them to broaden their horizons, it can only help them,” he said.