News Release: CALIFORNIA BUSINESS, EDUCATION, CIVIC LEADERS CONVERGE AT STEM EDUCATION SUMMIT TO CATALZE CALIFORNIA’S 21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE 

California STEM Summit to Convene Business, Education, Policy and Philanthropic Leaders to Jumpstart Statewide STEM Teaching, Learning and Job Creation Initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – With California business, civic and education leaders sounding alarm bells about the vital need to bolster the state’s lagging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, the California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) is convening business, government, education, nonprofit and philanthrophic luminaries to jump-start new STEM education initiatives at the 2012 California STEM Summit taking place October 15 and 16 at the Sheraton San Diego.

The California STEM Summit program will include:

  • Keynote and surprise demonstration by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA legend and founder of the Skyhook Foundation.
  • Acclaimed education scientist and TED Talk luminary Dr Sugata Mitra, who will share his insights about why curiosity and peer support are critical learning tools for children.
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s David Seidel takes us for a ride on the Mars rover CURIOSITY and explains how NASA is making its findings available for educators and students.
  • Dr. Merrilea Mayo will headline a panel of leading educators and business leaders that examines the growing need for a STEM capable workforce and innovative solutions that are working in California and other states.
  • An in-depth preview of how Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards will change STEM education for all students in California.
  • Expert-driven workshops and panels on timely topics, ranging from how California plans to lead the way and answer President Barak Obama’s call to train 100,000 new STEM teachers to how to leverage afterschool time with STEM as a central focus.
  • California Teacher of the Year and “The Rappin’ Mathematician” Alex Kajitani.
  • Women in STEM Luncheon showcasing California’s leading women STEM innovators.
  • Student STEM Showcase, featuring award-winning science, tech, engineering and math innovations by students across the state.

For more information: visit www.castemsummit.com

California lags other states in math and science proficiency, with dramatic achievement and opportunity gaps among California students. While California’s education system used to be among the nation’s best, it now ranks 43rd or lower among all states in math and science proficiency in grades 4 and 8. With over 1 million estimated STEM jobs, California has more than 13% of the nation’s overall STEM-related workforce. Despite record unemployment, however, California employers report being unable to find qualified candidates in science, technology, engineering and math.

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