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UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) --- Research and Outreach
Home > Teachers & Administrators > C-STEM Conference > 2017 > Speakers’ Biographies

Speakers’ Biographies

Keynote Speaker:

Dale Dougherty, Founder & CEO, Make: MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire

Dale Dougherty is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement.   He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play.   He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and which has spread to nearly 200 events in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees.   Both Make: and Maker Faire were catalysts of the Maker Movement.   He is CEO of Maker Media, Inc. in San Francisco, CA.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business.  He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad.  He is co-author of “Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities” with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

Prior to Make:, Dougherty was a co-founder of O’Reilly Media where he was an editor of many early technical books. While at O’Reilly, he developed GNN, the first commercial website, which launched in 1993 and was sold to AOL in 1995.  He coined the term “Web 2.0.”   He lives in Sebastopol CA.


Plenary Speech: Closing Math Achievement Gap at Northwest Local School District:  C-STEM Implementation and Student Learning Outcomes

Leslie Silbernagel, Curriculum Supervisor, Northwest Local School District, Cincinnati, Ohio

Leslie Silbernagel is the Curriculum Supervisor for Northwest Local School District in Cincinnati, Ohio. For the past five years Mrs. Silbernagel has overseen PreK-12 Science Curriculum, STEM programing and Instructional Technology at Northwest.  Prior to moving into administration, Leslie taught various high school science courses for 13 years, including Biology, Physical Science, Ecology, Earth Science, and Animal Care.  Mrs. Silbernagel is also the treasurer of the Science Education Council of Ohio and the co-chair of the Science Standards Revision Advisory Board for the Ohio Department of Education. Leslie has a B.S. in Botany from Miami University, a M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education from Northern Kentucky University and her Principal’s License from the University of Cincinnati.  

Mrs. Silbernagel has been responsible for the funding and implementation of the C-STEM curriculum in the Applied Mathematics courses at the three middle schools in Northwest Local School District.  In 2016-2017 school year, 14 % more C-STEM students scored proficient or higher on the Ohio Computer Based Assessments for Math, comparing the data from 2015-2016 school year. 77% of the students in the Applied Math class using C-STEM curriculum passed the 8th grade Math AIR assessment versus 16% of the students in Applied Math who passed in the previous year (not using C-STEM curriculum).

She will share her experience in successful C-STEM implementation in her school district.


Plenary Speech: Achieving 100% Math Proficiency with C-STEM

Tammy Lee, Math and Robotics Instructor, Napa Valley Unified School District

Tammy Lee is a teacher for the Napa Valley Unified School District located in Napa, California. She currently teaches Robotics and C-STEM’s Integrated Math 1 with Computing and Robotics. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis on Evolution and Ecology, and a minor in Political Science. She holds a multiple subject teaching credential with subject matter authorizations in Biological Science and Introductory Science, as well as single subject teaching credentials in Mathematics and Foundational Mathematics. In 2012, she earned her Master of Arts in Education, and in 2014, achieved National Board Certification in Mathematics.

Ms. Lee started working with C-STEM as a Teacher Fellow in 2012. She was the first to bring coding and robotics into her district, as well as the first to pioneer C-STEM curriculum until it was board approved and district adopted in 2016. She and her students are also presenters at the annual C-STEM Conference, the regional CUE (Computer Using Educators) Conference, and the CUE Student Powered Showcase. Her former students started the Robotics Club when they entered high school. Additionally, some of the girls started a girls in STEM club, called “Girls Can Too!” They work with and mentor Ms. Lee’s current students, and together, they teach Girl Scouts robotics workshops. They are also bringing coding and robotics into the feeder elementary schools, while promoting awareness for a need for women in STEM and gender gap fields, as well as inspiring younger children to pursue STEM fields of study.

Ms. Lee’s first class of C-STEM Integrated Math 1 w/Computing and Robotics students achieved 100% proficiency results on the district Math 1 Final, the MI (Math Inventory) Test, as well as the state CAASPP Smarter Balanced Test. Her students scored 6% Standards Met and 94% Standards Exceeded, with 37% of her students scoring 2802, the highest score possible. The success of the C-STEM program has now grown to include district-wide expansion of C-STEM’s Computing with Robotics and Integrated Math 1, 2, and 3 with Computing and Robotics. The success of her students has also gained the attention and support from NapaLearns, a local nonprofit. They are currently seed-funding a $140,000+ grant initiative to bring the C-STEM program into all schools in Napa county. They are also sponsoring C-STEM’s GIRL (Girls in Robotics and Leadership) Camp, and working with Ms. Lee and the Girls Can Too! club to organize it and promote girls’ participation in STEM. 
In her plenary speech, Ms. Lee will share her C-STEM journey towards math excellence.

Mya Wright, C-STEM Student, Napa Valley Unified School District

Mya Wright is currently a student at American Canyon High School, and a competitive athlete in soccer, basketball, softball, and track. She started the C-STEM program as a 7th grader by competing at the C-STEM Day RoboPlay Robotics competition. The competition inspired her to participate in Benicia’s C-STEM GIRL (Girls in Robotics and Leadership) Camp the following summer. She wanted to advance her coding and robotics skills and learn more about women in STEM. As she learned more, she gained more motivation and a stronger desire to further pursue her college and career interests in sports medicine, pediatrics, and possibly leadership fields. She learned there were many more opportunities in STEM that she could explore in these fields than she had previously believed. These included robotics technologies used in medical equipment, the coding and programming and how they are incorporated into everything from modern medicine development to aiding surgeries, and identifying viruses for treatment. GIRL camp taught her that she needed a strong community and foundation of support in order to achieve her goals. She learned with her robotics team that these were the same values needed to advance in the competition. She realized that depending on people who trust each other and work collaboratively are important to the success of any goal.

As a math student, Mya struggled to learn concepts when she didn’t understand their applications. She enjoys taking her time to slowly and deeply think through problems, how to solve them differently, and how they can be connected with other subjects and concepts in her classes. She wanted to learn how math was applied and make the mathematical connections applicable to her life and everyday situations. Through C-STEM’s Integrated Math 1 w/Computing and Robotics curriculum, she was able to understand why she was learning the math and its relevance. She started to understand how it is incorporated into robotics, applied in the competition, and used in the jobs of STEM fields. Her math proficiency increased with her interest to gaining a deeper and much more meaningful understanding of mathematics. Mya shares her experience on learning Integrated Math 1 and RoboPlay Competition in this video.