Environmental Education 
Association of Indiana

Keynote Speaker

                              Dennis Schatz

Making Science Learning Lifelong, Lifewide and Lifedeep:  What We Know About the Importance of Out-of-School (Informal) STEM Learning

Adults who have an interest in science more likely developed that interest through out-of-school STEM learning activities than through in-school experiences.  This is especially true of children under the age of 11. This presentation examines the research regarding when and where STEM learning occurs, when it is most important for developing a future interest in STEM, and the role of out-of-school STEM learning.  The presentation will highlight the effective practices featured in the journal Connected Science Learning (http://csl.nsta.org) that bridge between in-school STEM learning with out-of-school experiences.

Dennis Schatz recently joined the Institute of Learning Innovation as Senior Fellow after 43 years in various leadership positions at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. He is also Immediate Past President of the NSTA (National Science Teaching Association) board of directors. 

He was the founding Field Editor of the journal, Connected Science Learning, which highlights links between in-school and out-of-school learning. The journal is a joint effort of NSTA and ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers).  He was also a National Science Foundation (NSF) program officer from 2011 to 2015.

He led the initial development of the Portal to the Public (PoP) effort, and remains activity in the program and other NSF funded projects related to PoP, which is an initiative to develop programs that works with scientists to engage with public audiences regarding current science research and its application. 

He co-directed Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform), a program to implement a quality K-12 science program in all 295 school districts in Washington State.

He is on the board of BSCS Science Learning, is past board member and president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), and is a technical advisor to the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) board.

He has received numerous honors. Most recently, Asteroid 25232 was renamed Asteroid Schatz by the International Astronomical Union IAU) in recognition of his leadership in astronomy and science education.He has received numerous awards from NSTA, including the 1996 Distinguished Informal Science Educator Award, NSTA's 2005 lifetime achievement award (Distinguished Service to Science Education). In 2009, he received NSTA’s Faraday Science Communicator Award. In 2006, ASTC made him an ASTC Fellow for his lifetime achievement in service to the field and furthering the public's understanding of science. He received the 2014 Klumpke-Roberts Award from the ASP for outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. 

He is the author of 26 award-winning science books for children, and co-author/editor of several curriculum resources for teachers.  His most recent books were co-written with colleague Andrew Fraknoi to help teachers and families understand and view the 2017 total solar eclipse.  The two publications, Solar Science: Exploring Sunspots, Seasons, Eclipses and More (2015), plus When the Sun Goes Dark (2017) are published by NSTA.

More information is on is website at www.dennisschatz.org 

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