Share Fair, STEMosphere® events to highlight hands-on learning, teacher development

Registration is now open for Share Fair Michigan, an innovative professional development conference for all teachers in the state, that will take place November 12 at Grand Valley State University’s DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Share Fair Michigan will be an intensive one-day professional development event that will give K-12 teachers hands-on experiences and instant takeaways that they can immediately implement in their classrooms. The conference is free and open to teachers from any school, including private, public, religious and charter schools. Registration is required:

Share Fair Michigan will take place in conjunction with the STEMosphere®, a special day at the Grand Rapids Public Museum that will feature hands-on displays from more than 30 different companies and organizations to encourage kids from across West Michigan to explore STEM fields. STEMosphere® is also free, open to the public, and will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The events have been organized by Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Kent ISD.

The Share Fair Michigan portion will feature 29 teacher-selected interactive sessions that will focus on educating 21st-century students, as well as a leadership professional development track for deans, principals, assistant principals and superintendents. Teachers who attend will receive five free continued education credits.

All of the interactive sessions were designed by teachers for teachers, and a panel of local educators selected which presentations would be included in the event.

A keynote address will be presented by Freeman Hrabowski, president of University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities and school systems. Hrabowski will focus on the power of teachers to inspire student success, and will talk about experiences from his childhood and career when an individual played a significant role in his development. Other focus points of his keynote include breaking down barriers to higher education for underrepresented students, creating a college-going culture and preparing students from all backgrounds to be successful in STEM fields.

The leadership professional development track will be led by Richard Lemons, who has worked as a literacy coach, university professor and policy advocate.

The Share Fair Michigan keynote will begin at 8:30 a.m. on November 12; the last sessions will wrap up no later than 3:30 p.m. to give teachers a chance to see the STEMosphere® event at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The STEMosphere® event will highlight the science, technology, engineering and math fields, and will include dozens of kid-friendly hands-on activities from more than 20 presenters and vendors. Each activity will provide teachers with examples of activities they can bring back to their classrooms.

Several panel discussions will take place throughout the STEMosphere® event and will focus on the theme of women in STEM fields. The panels include:

• 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., “STEM FUN” which will include a panel of middle school, high school and college students, along with recent graduates and working professionals talking about why they chose STEM jobs.

• 10:30 – 11 a.m., “Dreams Soar” with captain Shaesta Waiz, the first certified civilian female pilot from Afghanistan.

•11 a.m. – noon, “The Women of STEM” which will include representatives from Dreams Soar, Grand Valley, L-3 Avionics, and General Electric.

Registration is requested for the STEMosphere® event: