Project Description

Save The Dates:
August 3, 2021: Virtual Back-To-School Pre-Conference
October 21-23, 2021: Virtual 9th Annual California STEAM Symposium


#CASTEAM20 On-Demand Videos Available Now! Register now to get full, on-demand access for only $95.

Remember when we created art together? Phil Hansen reveals the final product for our amazing #CASTEAM20 community!

The final artistic image is available here so you can check out all of the pieces!

Did you miss the 2020 STEAM Symposium? We’ve got you covered! All 170+ #CASTEAM20 breakout sessions and keynotes were recorded and are now available on the CA STEAM 2020 Mobile App.

Register now to get full, on-demand access for only $95.

Check out the breakout session speakers, titles and descriptions.

Once you’ve registered, you will be notified within one business day that your registration is active and you will be able to login. 

Keynote recordings are available for a limited time. Breakout session recordings and resources are available until June 30, 2021.

Here is a video preview of how you’ll be able to access all of the on-demand content from #CASTEAM20.

Join us for our Lunch Bites Series!
Even as the news is changing daily, what remains is the need within our community to feel connected to each other, grow professionally, and share resources. Take a stretch break, grab your lunch, and learn with us as we examine the realities and opportunities of delivering lessons in any learning environment.

Subscribe to the podcast on the AppleSpotify, and Google podcast platforms. View all webinars on the CDEF YouTube page. Lunch Bites is made possible through our partnership with Chevron, the human energy company. To learn more about their generous support of STEM Education visit STEM Education Partnerships & Investments —

Webinar Episode 16: Creative Partnerships For Expanding Learning Opportunities Grant
Special Guests: Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science, & California Science Center
1:00-1:30 PM P.T., Friday, April 30, 2021

This episode features the California Science Center, the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the Exploratorium. We discuss creative opportunities for partnering with community educators as the Expanded Learning Division at the California Department of Education administers a significant amount of grant funding to address learning loss and recovery.

Resources Mentioned:

Podcast Episode 15: Seize the Moment with Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants

Michael Funk, Director of the Expanded Learning Division at the California Department of Education, encourages every educator to seize the moment with the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grants. He encourages looking for community solutions to support student growth this summer and beyond while also providing tangible examples for Local Education Agencies and Expanded Learning Partners.  

Resources Mentioned: 

Podcast Episode 14: Science Advocacy & Inclusive Practices

Jessica Sawko, Associate Director of the California STEM Network, and Juanita Chan, STEM and College and Careers Pathway Coordinator for Rialto Unified School District, join us. We discuss rethinking inclusive practices for a post-distance learning world, and they give tips for advocating for science no matter your role in education.

Our guests also talk about the challenge with measuring potential learning loss and the need for assessments to provide data points to inform the LCAP process occurring now in districts. Both guests also share tools to assist educators in advocating for Science.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
CA4NGSS: Science Advocacy CommunicationsToolkit – Curated core messages, slide presentations, and other communication toolkits
Opportunity for Successful Science Implementation in a Post-Pandemic Climate – Guidance for using the LCAP to Mitigate Science Learning Loss

Note: This was recorded while the state was still in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the State Board approved plan for assessment for the 2020/2021. For the latest information on science and other state testing requirements for 2020/2021, please visit CDE’s website.

Podcast Episode 13: A Child’s Education Journey with Patricia Lozano, Director of Early Edge California

“I am optimistic.  We went through a really hard time this last year and I am optimistic that we are going to rebuild better and that this is an opportunity for us to really think about what is best for kids, families, and teachers. People are really understanding the benefits are starting early and I’m really hopeful that this will turn into action.” 

We welcome Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California, to explore the recently released report, Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California, and reflect on the report’s kick-off webinar. She shares about her journey from Colombia to California. She also lends her expertise to highlight family engagement strategies and the benefits of supporting our multilingual students and families.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Executive Summary – Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California
Full Report – Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California
Webinar Recording – Improving A Child’s Education Journey: A Conversation About K-12 Policy & Early Learning in California

Podcast Episode 12: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, & Performing Arts: A New Arts Guide by CAPTA & CREATE/CA with Sarah Anderberg, Jesus Holguin, & Erin Jenks

We explore the recently released Guide To Arts Education In Public Education that was developed by the California State PTA and Create/CA. The guide was created in response to the updated California Arts Standards developed by the California Department of Education. While designed for parents, this guide has many useful resources for educators at every grade level and is also available in both English and Spanish. Learn more about the power of the arts, how to become an Arts Equity District, and the various ways this arts guide can be utilized in your education community by listening today.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Parents’ Guide To Arts Education In Public Education
Creative Industries Career Map
The Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning
How to become an Arts Equity District
California Arts Standards

Webinar Episode 15: Empowering Students with Website Creation Tools with Wix Education
11:30-Noon P.T., Thursday, February 25, 2021
Episode 15: Slide Deck & Resources

Podcast Episode 11: 49ers EDU: The Intersection of Sports and STEAM with Sofy Navarro & Sara Jin

We are excited to share our conversation with 49ers EDU team members Sofy Navarro, Senior Manager, and Sara Jin, Lead Educator. In this episode, we discuss their pivot from in-person learning experiences to inspiring digital learning, how to be more inclusive of females in STEAM, and some great engaging resources for your learning environment.  

Resources Mentioned:
49ers EDU Interactive Digital Playbook
49ers EDU PDF Digital Playbook
49ers EDU Website
49ers EDU #LunchBites Webinar Video

Podcast Episode 10: A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction with Dani Wadlington & Kyndall Brown

We discuss equitable math and dismantling racism in mathematics instruction with Dani Wadlington, Director of Mathematics Education at Quetzal Education Consulting and Kyndall Brown, Executive Director at the California Mathematics Project. We take a close look at both individual and school-wide approaches to anti-racist practices in education. Dani and Kyndall also share about their contributions to the “A Pathway To Equitable Math Instruction” project which includes a newly available workbook that models how to be an anti-racist math educator.   

Resources mentioned:

Webinar Episode 14: Sports and STEAM with 49ers EDU
11:30-Noon P.T., Thursday, October 29
Episode 14: Slide Deck & Resources

Podcast Episode 9: Compassion Centered Education

“The other thing you can do is to practice self-compassion. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Extend the grace you would afford to anyone else going through tremendous turmoil to yourself. You’re worth it!” 

Dr. Jacquelyn Ollison is the Program Director of the California Teacher Residency Lab at CDE Foundation. She is a committed educator with extensive education experience as a teacher and school site, district, and state administrator. Dr. Jacquelyn Ollison addresses the issue of compassion fatigue, and how teachers suffer from the emotional labor of serving their students.

Resources Mentioned:
Read her blog: Compassion Centered Education
Watch her TEDx Talk: Compassion Fatigue

Podcast Episode 8: Early Education & STEAM
“Every last one of us is responsible for the world we live in. When we are asking our children to be better than that, we should be asking ourselves the same thing. Despite everything that is going on…a pandemic, a fiscal depression, serious climate change, and civil unrest, we have to see another way… We have created this. If we want to create a different reality, THIS is the day we do it. And I’m thinking ahead about STEAM and the Symposium. This is the time to think about how we do this better.”

Carla Bryant is the Executive Director and creator of the District Innovation and Leadership for Early Education (DIAL EE) supporting school districts as they create and implement effective early learning structures that assist children from communities with less social, political, and monetary capital build a strong educational foundation.

Resources Mentioned:
White Paper: Recommendations for Home Learning Materials

Webinar Episode 13: Creating Conditions To Thrive: A Pathway To Equitable Math Instruction
11:30-Noon P.T., Thursday, October 8
Episode 13: Slide Deck and Resources

Podcast Episode 7: Culturally Relevant Phenomena In Science
This week’s episode features Dr. Leena Bakshi, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, STEM 4 Real. She introduces the concept of culturally relevant phenomena and provides tangible examples of how educators can use them in their classrooms. She also addresses anti-racism in STEM classrooms and shares her reflections on our Building Community With STEAM Pre-Conference in August.

Resources Mentioned:

Podcast Episode 6: A Student’s Perspective: Welcoming BIPOC Students To STEAM
This week’s episode features Ashley Alvarez, a 2020 high school graduate who is starting her freshman year at Harvard this fall. You may recognize Ashley from the Social Justice Learning Institute student panel at our Building Community With STEAM Pre-Conference in August. She reflects on her recent experience as a summer intern on the STEAM Team at the CDE Foundation during a global pandemic and a national reckoning on racial justice.

Podcast Episode 5: Creating a Trusting School Environment with Hayin Kimner and Gustavo Morales
This week’s episode focuses on utilizing strategic frameworks from Community Schools, a relationship-based way to approach student growth. Our guests are Hayin Kimner, an education policy advisor, and Gustavo Morales, the Program Manager of The CA Labor Management Initiative at CDE Foundation reflect on the PACE Report, Community Schools: A COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, and share their experiences helping students, families, educators, and community partners come together to create a trusting school environment.

Webinar Episode 12: Spark A Family’s Excitement For Science with the California State PTA
11:30-Noon P.T., Thursday, August 20
Episode 12: Slide Deck & Resources

Podcast Episode 4: Edwin Kang – Staying Connected With Students When You Are At A Distance
This week’s podcast features Edwin Kang, the STEM Specialist at the Mendocino County Office of Education. He speaks about how he has been supporting students and teachers not only here in California, but also in Indonesia and Borneo. He shares his biggest take-away from the Lunch Bites “Creativity and Engineering with Household Robotics” webinar episode with the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation.

Podcast Episode 3: Jean Ryoo – Equity & Creativity in Computer Science
This week’s podcast features Jean Ryoo, a researcher at the UCLA Computer Science Equity Project. She shares her interview with a recent high school graduate, Natalia, from the #SummerofCS. They discuss how to attract more youth to Computer Science, STEAM-related classes, and careers. Jean also reflects on her experience working at the Exploratorium, and how her current work with educators shapes effective pedagogical practices to promote academic engagement for students who have historically been denied access to quality education in Computer Science. Visit for more information about the Summer of Computer Science.

Jean Ryoo’s Recommended Reading List:
“Race After Technology” by Ruha Benjamin
“Weapons of Mass Destruction” by Margaret Vandenburg
“Stuck in the Shallow End” by Jane Morgolis and her team
“Algorithms of Oppression” by Safiya Umoja Noble
“Automating Inequality” by Virginia Eubanks

Podcast Episode 2: Yamileth Shimojyo – Hands-On Distance Learning & the Power of Thinking Routines
This week’s podcast features Yamileth Shimojyo, STEM/Science Administrator at the Riverside County Office of Education. She reacts to a presentation about the power of thinking routines that was led by Justin Boner of Maker Ed and shares about how she has used these tools in her role. The referenced webinar recording, slide deck, and resources are below.

Podcast Episode 1: Albert David Valderrama – Mathematics Through the Lens of Social Justice
This podcast features Albert David Valderrama, an educator, as he shares reflections on his international career and his teacher credentialing program at Cal State University Long Beach. He reacts to the California Mathematics Project’s Executive Director, Dr. Kyndall Brown’s presentation on Math Through the Lens of Social Justice (scroll down for the webinar recording and slide deck with resources). He also revisits Dr. Chris Emdin’s 2019 California STEAM Symposium keynote presentation focused on the use of Hip Hop in education.

Thank you for an amazing Spring 2020 season of #LunchBites Webinars! Be sure to check out our yearbook that includes links to all of the resources!

#LunchBites Spring 2020 Yearbook

Episode 11: The SUPERpower of Celebration!
11:30-Noon, Thursday, May 28, 2020
Episode 11: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 10: Let’s Make! Supporting Families With Innovative At-Home Activities
11:30-Noon, Thursday, May 21, 2020
Episode 10: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 9: Bookmaking: Connecting With Students Through Art
11:30-Noon, Thursday, May 14, 2020
Episode 9: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 8: Mathematics Through the Lens of Social Justice
11:30-Noon, Thursday, May 7, 2020
Episode 8: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 7: Making Thinking Visible with MakerEd
11:30-Noon, Thursday, April 30, 2020
Episode 7: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 6: Creativity and Engineering with Household Robotics
11:30-Noon, Thursday, April 23, 2020
Episode 6: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 5: Supporting Language Learners at Home
11:30-Noon, Thursday, April 16, 2020
Episode 5: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 4: Birds, Bugs & Clouds: Guiding Scientific Observation at Home
11:30-Noon, Thursday, April 9, 2020
Episode 4: Slide Deck and Resources

Episode 3: Hands-On Learning in a Virtual Environment
11:30-Noon, Thursday, April 2, 2020
Episode 3: Slide Deck and Resources
View Episode 3 below. Please like, share and sign up for the next one!

Episode 2: Student Discourse in a Virtual Classroom
11:30-Noon, Thursday, March 26, 2020
Episode 2: Slide Deck and Resources
View Episode 2 below. Please like, share and sign up for the next one!

Episode 1: Digital Lesson Planning
11:30-Noon, Friday, March 20, 2020
Episode 1: Slide Deck & Resources
View Episode 1 below. Please like, share and sign up for the next one!

New Free Peer Mentoring Program – Enrollment Open Now!

Peer mentoring is a form of mentoring that encourages a give-and-take dynamic, where both people offer advice and learn from each other. We are launching this new, free program with the goal of connecting and activating our amazing STEAM Community during a challenging time where many people feel isolated.

All STEAM enthusiasts are welcome to participate in this asset-based program to share their strengths and:

  • Develop a safe space for candid conversations with your peer.
  • Create new caring, supporting, and thought-provoking connections.
  • Engage with diverse perspectives.
  • Promote inclusive practices focused on educational equity.
  • Explore and problem-solve for current challenges.
  • Advance high impact STEAM education for our most underserved students.

You will be matched with a peer after you complete the Peer Mentoring Enrollment Form. After pairs are announced later in March 2021, you and your peer will define your own goals, meeting frequency, and establish your own plan for the peer mentoring experience. Pairs are encouraged to meet at least 1x per month or as frequently as they see fit from April until August 2021.

Our Co-Hosts

The STEAM Symposium is co-hosted by the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, the California Department of Education and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. 

CDEF works to create programs to increase educational opportunities and success for California’s students. CDEF’s vision is that every public school in California has engaged students, effective teachers and leaders, enriching environments where every student can reach his or her full potential, and supportive communities that believe in the value and quality of public education. 

California Department of EducationCalifornia will provide a world-class education for all students, from early childhood to adulthood. The Department of Education serves our state by innovating and collaborating with educators, schools, parents, and community partners. Together, as a team, we prepare students to live, work, and thrive in a multicultural, multilingual, and highly connected world.

California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls – For more than 50 years, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. Established as a state agency with 17 appointed commissioners in 1965, the Commission regularly assesses gender equity in health, safety, employment, education, and equal representation in the military, and the media. The Commission provides leadership through research, policy and program development, education, outreach and collaboration, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.


Our team is incredibly thankful to our corporate sponsors, philanthropic partners, and public sector allies across the state. With your support, the California STEAM Symposium is able to reach, educate, and engage thousands of participants each year! We appreciate and thank you!
Presenting Partner:
Chevron Corporationd



Interested in sponsoring the 2021 California STEAM Symposium? Contact [email protected] to learn more about our Sponsorship & Marketing Opportunities and the variety of ways your organization can engage with the Symposium!

Our STEAM Values

Collaboration. This is the event to uncover connections and expand networks. Collaboration is key to the future success of STEAM education community.

Innovation. Parents, students, educators, administrators, community leaders, and many others who impact student lives are brimming with ideas to advance STEAM. We want to know about them.

Local Impact. The symposium equips attendees with actionable strategies they can implement in their districts, schools and communities.

Asset-Based. Everyone’s talents matter. The contributions of varied perspectives, experiences and backgrounds enrich the Symposium’s commitment to promoting equity.

Learner-Driven. There are many learning styles and the Symposium keeps this in mind when developing and executing this annual event, creating opportunities to engage with participants – from students to life-time learners.

Professional. The Symposium is a high-quality, specialized environment – from the venue space to the presenters, from the thematic strands to the sponsors, and overall event experience.

Who Should Attend

California Educators, from PK-12, who have, currently are or plan to align their curriculum and instruction with STEAM learning and opportunities, the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs), and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Particularly, those seeking curricular integration and Maker-driven learning environments.

California’s District and County Curriculum Administrators working to challenge today’s students and better prepare them for college and 21st-century careers, scale STEAM professional learning and discover ways to broaden quality STEAM education on a systemic level.

Higher-Education Professionals leading pre-service teaching programs and other pathways to increase and improve the STEAM educator pipeline, as well as those working on inclusive recruitment and persistence initiatives for STEAM majors.

National and California Associations and Non-Profit Organizations that promote STEAM awareness and solutions in California schools.

Community Programs and Foundations that are looking to support and partner with California educators and school districts on successful, scalable programs.

Educational Technology Companies promoting new ways of learning—in and out of the classroom.

STEAM Industry Business Partners who understand the importance of strong STEAM learning and skills needed to succeed in our 21st-century world.

Policymakers who work on innovative partnerships with STEAM industry partners, local schools and districts, and government to support accessible and equitable student learning and STEAM-career experience. 

Contact Our Team

The California STEAM Symposium is lead by CDE Foundation staff and supported by a dynamic consulting team assisting with marketing, registration and event coordination. Glennon and Karyn, from the Foundation team are passionate educators, both committeed to sharing the impact STEAM lessons and education have had on their lives with the world! They have lead a variety of initiatives across the State and locally in Southern and Northern California. To reach them please visit our Contact us page.