The 2015 K-12 STEM Symposium: The Parent Factor: How to Engage Your Children in STEM, scheduled for March 7 at the Nysmith School, in Herndon, Va., will feature keynote speaker Dr. Evan Glazer, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Principal.
WashingtonExec spoke with Dr. Glazer about his upcoming speech, which is entitled, “The Tiger, Dolphin, and Jellyfish Parent – Which One is Best for STEM?”.
WashingtonExec: Can you explain your responsibilities to Fairfax County outside of being principal at Thomas Jefferson?
Dr. Evan Glazer: My primary professional responsibilities are to serve TJ’s students, staff and parents by facilitating the implementation of an innovative curriculum through teacher-led efforts and government, university, and corporate partnerships. In addition, I work to make the school a resource to the broader community through outreach and extension programs.
We have STEM enrichment activities for elementary, middle and high school students via the outreach programs our students volunteer at [such as]the STEMbassadors. These programs are possible through generous time commitments of students, parents, teachers, and our partners. Our students sign-up to serve as assistants or run stations at one of our science nights, family math night, Math Count teams, robotics competitions, or serve as mentors or teachers assistants to evening, weekend and summer programs that are STEM-related throughout all Virginia. There are a lot of additional effort put in by our clubs and our teachers to make our school a resource for kids all over Northern Virginia.
WashingtonExec: Can you give us an insight to what you will be speaking about at the STEM Symposium?
Dr. Evan Glazer: I will be speaking on the extent to which parents should be encouraging their student to participate in STEM-related programs as they get older. I realize there are different parenting styles, so my intent is to inform parents of different perspectives of how to engage their students in STEM-related activities in a way that will work for their families.
WashingtonExec: What is a misconception you think parents have about STEM that you hope this year’s Symposium will help to resolve?
Dr. Evan Glazer: I believe parents think that STEM is only for certain type of kid, that maybe it’s only for smart kids — and that’s not true. I think the intent of the Symposium is to help parents become aware of how to engage students in STEM-related activities, and its not dependent on their ability level. The idea is that STEM is for everyone, and there are a lot of affordable resources available to families.
WashingtonExec: Is there a book/online resource out there that you believe all parents would benefit from reading, regardless of their knowledge about the STEM industry?
Dr. Evan Glazer: Parents should engage in any orientation programs offered by their local school district, particularly those offered in their neighborhood school. Parents should also check out the USA Science and Engineering Festival [X-STEM] later this spring, which promotes learning about STEM in many different ways. TJ also has a big event for hands-on science for younger students, called Science and Techstravaganza, on April 11 at Holmes Middle School. There are also many mini-camps offered throughout the region during the summer.
WashingtonExec: What are some of the resources available to parents who want to get their kids involved with STEM that you think are underutilized or unknown to parents?
Dr. Evan Glazer: I think the real challenge in STEM education is to reach all audiences. Those parents who are already good advocates for STEM education tend to pursue them already. However, there is a gap among families whose parents do not work in STEM, or maybe whose parents did not like math or science when they were in high school. We really need to reach out to everyone because STEM is fun, and the impact can be powerful. Parents should always touch base with their child’s school to find out what enrichment opportunities are available.
The 2015 K-12 STEM Symposium is being made possible by the support of CTOVision, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Intelligence and National Security Alliance, Professional Services Council, Sage Communications and United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
Related: SAVE THE DATE: 2015 K-12 WashingtonExec STEM Symposium, March 7, 2015, with Presenting Sponsor Leidos;
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