Keynote Speakers

SATURDAY OCTOBER 24, 2020 | 9:00-10:30am PST, 11:00-12:30pm CST, 12:00-1:30pm EDT

Okhee Lee

Okhee Lee is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She is currently leading collaborative research to develop instructional materials aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in order to promote science learning and language learning of elementary students including English learners. She is also leading collaborative research to integrate computational thinking and modeling in NGSS-aligned instructional materials. She was a member of the NGSS writing team and served as leader for the NGSS Diversity and Equity Team. She was also a member of the Steering Committee for the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University.




How the NGSS Science and Language Instructional Shifts Support Each Other for English Learners

Three emerging forces promise to shape the landscape of STEM education: growing student diversity, increasing academic rigor of content standards, and advancing technological innovations. As disciplinary practices in STEM subjects (e.g., develop models, argue from evidence) are language intensive, engagement in these practices presents both learning opportunities and demands to all students, especially English learners. Using classroom examples, this presentation will highlight the mutually supportive nature of instructional shifts in STEM subjects and second language acquisition.

Sheila Borges Rajguru

Sheila Borges Rajguru, Ph.D. obtained a doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in STEM education, where she won the institution-wide Best Dissertation Award for her work in re(building) trusting relationships in K-12 schools. Trained as a biomedical scientist at Rutgers University and NYU she leverages both fields of study —education and STEM— to build relationships/collaborations and conduct multi/ interdisciplinary work between institutions of higher education, K-12 schools, community leaders, and corporate partners. Her culturally relevant pedagogy work has included 5G wireless technology education, robotics, and other STEM programming with teachers, faculty and students. Borges Rajguru currently works at the Rutgers School of Social Work where she supports the development of faculty in their grant and research goals and serves as a resource for many in the area of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. In addition, she is an executive board member for the Northeast Association for Science Teacher Education, NE-ASTE Conference and is a local, national, and international speaker. Moreover, she is a supporter of STEMteachersNYC and firmly believes in the mission, For Teachers, By Teachers.


(Re)Building Trusting Relationships: Lessons Learned from Enacting Culturally Relevant Pedagogy 

Culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) has been incorporated in STEM teacher pre-service education and professional development programs in order to unveil the inequities that alienate students from STEM and to come up with solutions by incorporating and celebrating students’ lived, cultural experiences. Few CRP programs offer ways on how to (1) build trusting relationships and (2) rebuild it with our students once it has been breached. This talk illustrates the science behind trust and how it relates to building relationships in K-12+ classrooms. It delves into the tangible actions educators could take in order to initiate and maintain trusting relationships with their students and each other. Knowing how to build a connection – whether in-person and/or virtually – is important in teaching and learning, and most critically in STEM where innovation is a team effort based on diverse collaboration and partnership.