Join education and business leaders from across the country to address access to STEM-related career paths through CTE, and why it’s important for all students, especially for women who are still underrepresented in STEM fields.

Saturday, December 9, 12:15-5:15 p.m.


CTE classrooms offer hands-on learning environments that bring sciencetechnologyengineering and mathematics (STEM) to life, apply core academics to real-world situations and provide creative problem-solving skills to our nation’s most pressing issues. Together, STEM and CTE expand opportunities for youth to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery, technological innovation and high-paying, high-demand careers.

This outstanding event, so popular in 2016 that we're bringing it back to VISION this year, brings together education and business leaders from across the country to address access to STEM-related career paths through CTE programming for all students, especially for women who are still underrepresented in STEM fields. According to the Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but just 24 percent of workers in STEM fields. Half as many women work in STEM jobs as would be expected if gender representation in STEM professions mirrored the overall workforce. And, females hold only four percent of trade jobs in the U.S. leaving a gap in innovation and skills.

Women's Quick Facts   The National Research Center for College & University Admissions™ generously donated 350 books, Women’s Quick Facts: Compelling Data on Why Women Matter that will be given to the first 350 STEM Symposium registrants. 

Women’s Quick Facts is the indispensable resource on the status and contribution of women. The only resource of its kind, it is a book that will be highly sought after for multiple uses, both in the US and globally. It is unique with more than 310 sources and resources cited. It is about the game changers-organizations, media entities, businesses, resource institutions, and women’s associations, all driving towards progress.

Full VISION 2017 registrants can attend this event for only $95. 
This event is also available for one day purchase - Saturday only for $195. 




STEM Opening Session & Lunch - 12:15 - 1:30 PM
  • Teachers, Entrepreneurs and the Private Sector: The Trifecta of Accelerated STEM CTE Success
    Kristian Kimbro Rickard
With a mission to inspire 1 million learners to pursue STEM careers, this opening session highlights how teachers, entrepreneurs and the private sector have come together to demonstrate how such partnerships could be exactly what’s needed to fill a career-readiness gap and achieve accelerated STEM career and technical education (CTE) success.  

Kristian Kimbro Rickard is an author, speaker and founder of Doyenne360, a woman-owned, woman-managed, social impact technology company. Prior to Doyenne360, she was founder and chief change agent at MAX451, an organizational change management product and technology company. Before pursuing her career as an entrepreneur, Kimbro Rickard spent five years in product and business management at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where she continued to embrace the project-based, student-centered learning methods she’s been perfecting since her time in the classroom teaching English Composition to incoming freshmen at Texas Tech University. 
Breakout Sessions 1 - 1:45 - 2:45 PM 
  • Women Who STEM
    U.S. Army
From firsthand experience to skills training options, STEM education is essential to the success of women and the US Army as a whole. Learn about the important STEM roles women are playing in the Army, the education provided to them, and their ability to then take those skills and apply them as civilians. During this interactive workshop, attendees will hear from female leaders in the Army on STEM career paths, misconceptions, resources and technology.
  • Ensuring Equity in Problem-Based Learning
    Ben Williams, Ph.D. 
    Director of Special Projects
    National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity’s (NAPE) Ensuring Equity in Problem-Based Learning Toolkit assists educators in transforming their Problem- or Project-Based Learning (PBL) practices to ensure every student can be successful. This toolkit, which will be provided to all session participants, reviews key components of PBL; describes how an equitable PBL approach can positively affect marginalized groups; and provides strategies that educators can use to improve their PBL practices to make learning more equitable. Activities and reflections are incorporated throughout the toolkit; appendices provide detailed professional learning community (PLC) guides to implement with colleagues; and the toolkit contains a reflection tool to support evaluation and reflection on current practices. This toolkit is intended to help educators understand the value of PBL as a tool to increase equity in their teaching and to learn specific strategies to improve equity within PBL practices. These strategies, which focus on a PBL framework, can especially benefit educators who work in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • 20% Women by 2020
    Heather Gay, Maggie Whitman and Melysia Cha
Dunwoody College of Technology set a goal to reach a threshold of 20% women in their nontraditional career pathways. As of 2017, we have increased the concentration of women in CTE and STEM fields from 8% to 17% and are tracking to meet 20% early.
  • Engaging the Next Generation of Manufacturing
    Meghan West
An overview of the ever-widening skills gap, and a call-to-action for manufacturing industry leaders to make a shift in the way we excite and educate the next generation about our industry.
  • She Can Do It: Getting Women Into the Trades
    Kayleen McCabe
Kayleen will be discussing how to engage female millennials into the trades and how to retain the female employee.
Breakout Sessions 2 - 3:00 - 4:00 PM
  • The Engineering Pipeline: A Strategic Response to America’s STEM Shortage 
    Leon & Vickie Grant  
Are you looking for a systematic approach to K-12 engineering and STEM education? Join the dialog with Marietta City Schools Engineering Pipeline, a paradigm shift in K-12 engineering and STEM education. This award-winning, innovative program involves more than 1,000 K-12 students across elementary, middle, and high school students in real world, international engineering projects with the aid of post-secondary and industry mentors. This session will provide a blueprint for reaching and retaining more students in STEM fields.
  • Pink Brains vs. Blue Brains: What Neuroscience Teaches Us About STEM
    Melissa Hughes
The focus of student achievement has extended beyond reading and math scores and toward a “learning by doing, making, building, and discovering” approach. Despite the fact that this resurgence in experiential learning is supported by recent brain-based research about cognition, problem-solving, and innovation, females are still under-represented in STEM-based programs and careers. This session explores neuroscientific findings about cognitive function, those factors which enhance or impede cognition, as well as the long-standing gender biases that have shaped the educational experiences provided to boys and girls in the classroom. Attendees will learn how to apply these findings in their instruction and engage all students in whole-brain STEM-based learning experiences. In addition to connecting neuroscience with sound pedagogy, participants will understand how to instill real-world critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills with an introduction to the VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools and STEM Fuse curriculum.
  • #SpeakLikeTED in STEM
    Rachael Mann
Student voice is powerful and has the potential to make an enormous impact on the world around us. How do the communication principles that enable thousands of thought leaders to influence from the TED stage apply to student voice in STEM? Every student has a story to share or an idea that could change the course of history, or make a dent in the lives of those around them. Attend this session and explore how to assist students in crafting a powerful message along with tips and tricks to approaching the stage or one-on-one interactions with poise and confidence.

Rachael Mann is the founder of #TeachlikeTED, an organization that provides teachers, leaders and students with tools for presentation literacy. She uses her message and her expertise to broaden the conversation around education reform and to amplify the voices of teachers and students. Prior to #TeachlikeTED, Mann was the STEM Professional Learning Director for the Arizona K12 Center and State Director for EdRising Arizona. A former high school career and technical education teacher, she has 14 years of classroom teaching experience. Rachael Mann is a Google Certified Educator with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership. 
  • Are We Starting Too Late? – CTE and STEM in the Early Grades!
    Sheila Boyington
    President/CEO – Thinking Media/Learning Blade
    National States Chair – Million Women Mentors
"Research indicates that for student interest in STEM to persist to workforce entry, it must be developed prior to leaving the 8th grade."  
--National Research Council Successful K–12 STEM Education

More and more, students are making career-related decisions in middle school and the number one reason students are disinclined to follow a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) pathway is because they simply do not know the options exist. As STEM becomes a national security priority and the hottest education buzzword, much of the focus in the career and technical education (CTE) classroom centers on science and math or project-based learning. While these are important there are other areas to consider, in which to help guide students to the finish line in pursuit of a STEM through CTE career. A strong career awareness strategy is critical in the preparation of our future workforce in all areas. Several states have pursued career pathway strategies while combining them with mentoring opportunities to lead to successful results. Come and learn how your school or organization can engage in these efforts and get students interested in high-demand career opportunities as early as middle school.
STEM is CTE Symposium – Reception - 4:15 - 5:15 PM
Wrap up the afternoon with a casual and fun gathering accompanied by drinks and appetizers at the STEM is CTE Symposium's closing reception, generously sponsored by SmartBrief. You'll have the opportunity to network and mingle with your peers and to view the U.S. Army's hands-on showcase of the unmanned robotic vehicles it uses for reconnaissance and explosive ordinance disposal. This technology is just one example of the innovation Soldiers with STEM careers are exposed to every day. Reception attendees will also have the opportunity to maneuver the robots and to learn about them first hand from a U.S. Army Soldier.

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Please be aware that registration for ACTE events is only available via ACTE’s website and

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