Why STEMAZing School Leadership? Because all students deserve access to quality STEM learning opportunities, and the best way to provide these opportunities is by supporting educators who bring innovative learning into the classroom.
The leadership challenge: scientific thinking and learning are creative, iterative, and inquiry-based processes, yet schools default to standardized institutional norms. Navigating the tension between bureaucracy, budgets, and innovative learning requires a unique approach to leadership–one that empowers teachers to improve student learning by bringing lean, creative (and sometimes messy), scientific thinking into the classroom.
Off Script – STEMAZing School Leadership is a collaboration between LeadLocal and the STEMAZing Project. The retreat is designed to help teams of school leaders explore the leadership mindset and strategies needed to support innovative STEM teachers and build a culture of inquiry and empowerment that can improve student learning and school performance.
At Off Script – STEMAZing School Leadership, participants work collaboratively to uncover their authentic leadership styles and how to leverage individual and team strengths to support STEM education and promote site-specific innovation and growth. At the end of the two-day retreat, site teams will have an initial action plan as well as tools and processes to iteratively develop their school leadership strategy.
Off-Script STEMAZing School Leadership pairs STEM Crosscutting Concepts (NSTA) with growth leadership strategies and activities to help school leadership teams address site-specific challenges.
DAY 1: Thursday, May 31
8:00 – Breakfast from Cartel Coffee Lab – Delicious!
8:15 – Physics & Gravity!
The workshop begins with a hands-on introduction to the fundamental concepts of STEM learning.
9:00 – Patterns!
Observed patterns in nature guide organization and prompt questions about relationships and underlying causes.
Teams move through activities to recognize their communication and leadership patterns. This knowledge will help teams leverage their strengths effectively through shared leadership.
10:15 – Morning Break
10:30 – Systems and Systems Models
Systems are organized groups of related objects or components. Models can be used for understanding and predicting the behavior of systems.
Participants will look at how site leadership mindset and actions contribute to the learning ecosystem as a whole (from classroom to district level). Activities will help them model a school “system” conducive to STEM learning.
12:00 – Lunch
Fun, delicious, and surprising!
12:45 – Energy and Matter
Tracking energy and matter flows, into, out of, and within systems helps one understand their system’s behavior.
Participants examine how leadership strategies can affect critical feedback loops where energy is getting stuck and resources are being spent inefficiently within the system of their school site.
2:15 – Afternoon Break
2:30 – Cause and Effect
Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. Deciphering causal relationships, and the mechanisms by which they are mediated, is a major activity of science and engineering.
Students are the primary stakeholder in the learning ecosystem, yet so many educational policies and structures become distractions. Teams use design thinking processes to identify how to leverage their strengths to support improved conditions for student learning.
4:30 – Gallery Walk
Share what you’ve got, see what others learned, and get a chance to process.
5:00 – Happy Hour @ Reilly Craft Pizza
DAY 2: Friday, June 1
7:00 – Urban Hike with ITE (optional)
Start your day with an inspiring urban hike!
8:30 – Breakfast—Tucson style + Cartel Coffee Lab
9:00 – Stability and Change
For both designed and natural systems, conditions that affect stability and factors that control rates of change are critical elements to consider and understand.
In Great by Choice, Jim Collins reveals that great leaders manage change and unpredictability through the practice of fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia. Leadership is first and foremost a practice. Teams consider the critical elements and create “practice schedules” for managing change.
10:30 – Morning Break
10:45 – Structure and Function
The way an object is shaped or structured determines many of its properties and functions.
Building on their team’s strengths, their understanding of the system, and their “practice schedule,” teams use innovation tools from the Lean Startup to structure iterative experiments to test new strategies to improve STEM learning at their school.
12:00 – Lunch
Fun, delicious, and surprising!
1:00 – Scale, Proportion, and Quantity!
In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different size, time, and energy scales, and to recognize proportional relationships between different quantities as scales change.
It is easy to set goals that are too big or misdirected. Site teams work to develop attainable goals by prototyping a leadership action plan of the appropriate, scale, proportion, and quantity for their site and leadership strengths.
4:00 – I like, I wish, What if…?
Show and tell! It’s time for listening and learning. New connections take time to integrate, so we’ve built in a bit of processing time for you to network and reflect together, mingle and chat.
4:45 – Tour Connect…
Tour Connect and get a taste of the innovative environment of coworking in Downtown Tucson.
$1250 Registration includes:
- Registration for 3 STEM school leaders
- LeadLocal Leadership Toolkit
- All conference materials
- Breakfast and lunch on Monday and Tuesday
- 12 hours PD credit in STEM Leadership
Travel and accommodations not included.