Teachers, education leaders, members of the government and industry, as well as STEM advocates from different parts of Asia, gathered together for the momentous First Integrated STEM Leadership Summit in Asia, happened in Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, Philippines last November 21-24, 2019.

This leadership summit is co-organized by US-based STEM Leadership Alliance (SLA) and UNILAB Foundation and is supported by The Teacher’s Gallery.

With 65 renowned speakers from the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia, this Summit provided a platform for the important stakeholders to synergize their skills with the needs of both local and global communities and, more importantly, build a community of STEM champions who will work together towards advancing STEM Education, promote STEM careers and sustainable solutions. The goal is to bridge the existing gap in the academe and industry by preparing today’s learners in the demands of the workforce. It is evident that the education system must be guided and supported by integrated STEM Leaders to help them connect K to 12 curriculum to real-world applications. Several breakout sessions were in place to encourage in-depth interactions and group discussions.

The theme for Day 1 is focused on Navigating and Understanding the Integrated STEM Education Landscape. Distinguished guest resource speakers have talked about how integrated STEM looks like in learning environments.

Arthur Eisenkraft, Ph.D, Distinguished professor of Science Education and Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) in University of Massachusetts Boston, highlighted the importance of helping learners filter important information from the bad ones and make education meaningful for them. He emphasized the need for asking four essential questions — what does it mean, how do we know, why we do believe, and why we should care — to make an active STEM learning experience.

According to Victoria Levin, Senior Economist from The World Bank, the 21st Century well-educated person is someone that has these 3 essential skills: cognitive skills, technical skills, and socio-emotional skills. She highlighted the importance of teaching our students in nurturing their socio-emotional skills as they matter in their educational outcomes. 

The discussions in Day 2 focused on Strengthening the K-12 System Towards Innovative Solutions for Socio-Economic Development. The sessions highlighted the relevance of STEM Education to the real world concerns as well as the role of industries in integrated STEM. Members from the government, industry, and academe also shared their initiatives in STEM integration through a panel discussion.

Day 3 is geared on Articulating Future Pathways to Create Shared Initiatives to Advance Integrated STEM. Advancing Integrated STEM should be anchored on the importance of integrating soft skills to education.

Dr. Joyce Malyn-Smith, Director for Strategic Initiatives in Workforce and Human Development Education Development Center, mentioned that academic skills are not enough to succeed. Students need to be able to draw upon all their problem solving skills to save time and money for the company.

Raffle items and cool freebies were given away to educators who dropped by and signed up at The Teacher’s Gallery booth. Lucky winners of the raffle received exclusive TTG jackets and The Power of a Teacher books by Dr. Adam Saenz.