STEMapalooza 2024: Celebrating a Decade of Innovation and Learning

Educators attend STEMapalooza 2024

School is out, so how do educators spend their summer? Some build and fly drones. Others make scaley friends with boa constrictors or dive into the world of artificial intelligence, all in preparation for the new school year. STEMapalooza%202024-10.jpg

The sprawling halls of Allatoona High School recently buzzed with the lively chatter of over 400 attendees, eager to dive into the myriad of education-focused sessions and exhibits—even if it meant handling snakes. Cobb’s STEMapalooza for educators boasted a remarkable lineup of 81 presenters and 22 vendors/exhibitors, all geared up to share their expertise and innovative ideas. From “Scaley Adventures,” a crowd-favorite exhibitor that captivated attendees with their live reptiles, to engaging sessions on how to grow tomatoes in outer space, how to extract DNA from strawberries, and e-sports, there was something for everyone. 

Across the past decade, the annual free professional learning event has earned quite a reputation for equipping educators with the skills needed to help students succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Artificial intelligence (AI) was a hot topic this year, with sessions like “Miss Nelson is Found! Using AI to Empower Teachers,” “Don’t Worry, Be Appy,” and “Build-or-Baffle with Microsoft AI Copilot.”

A melting pot of ideas and experiences, attendees and presenters represented over 70 school districts and businesses. The event was not just about learning new techniques but also about building networks and sharing best practices.

Dr. Adam Casey, Cobb Schools STEM/STEAM and Innovation Supervisor, encapsulated this spirit perfectly, stating, “STEMapalooza remains an incredible opportunity for educators to unite and celebrate their passion for learning. Numerous participants both deliver presentations and attend sessions to enhance their expertise.” Stemapalooza_IMG_0089_20240611.00_05_05_18.Still003.jpg

There’s a reason educators make STEMapalooza a must on their summer calendars, the diverse sessions provide the educators with skills and information directly applicable to classroom instruction. The content was even more relatable and actionable, according to survey data, because most presentations were delivered by Cobb teachers. 

In addition to the support from Allatoona and the work of recently retired Dr. Sally Creel, Cobb’s Professional Learning Coordinator Tania Pachuta and a dedicated volunteer team, the conference boasts sponsors, including Lockheed Martin, Cobb EMC, and NexAir.

STEMapalooza is not the only professional learning event drawing Cobb educators back to classrooms this summer. 

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