Speakers / Experience Leaders

Les Stroud

Les Stroud is a Canadian musician, filmmaker, and survival expert best known as the host of the television program Survivorman. After a short career behind the scenes in the music industry, Stroud became a full-time wilderness guide, survival instructor and musician based in Huntsville, Ontario. He has produced survival-themed programming for The Outdoor Life Network, continue reading →

Stephan Turnipseed

Stephan Turnipseed is the President Emeritus of LEGO Education, North America and Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships for LEGO Education. LEGO Education has a thirty year history in developing educational resources and solutions that make learning engaging, challenging and fun for all learners. Turnipseed led LEGO Education North America for 16 years. During this time, continue reading →

Sarah Wolman

Sarah Wolman is Senior Director for Programmes & Partnerships for the LEGO Foundation. Sarah joined LEGO after working as a consultant to private foundations and non-profit organizations, including at the Merck Company Foundation, where she oversaw the Education Grants portfolio, focusing on STEM education for underrepresented populations, including Merck/United Negro College Fund Science Initiative; the continue reading →

James Brown

James Brown is the Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition, an alliance of more than 500 business, professional, and education organizations, that works to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the continue reading →

Don Haddad

Raised in Denver, Colorado, Don Haddad earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Colorado State University, his Master Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Colorado at Denver and his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Dr. Haddad has been successfully involved in an educational career for 30 years. continue reading →

Fritz Stahr

Fritz Stahr manages the Seaglider Fabrication Center at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, making autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) driven by buoyancy. Prior to starting SFC in 2005, he taught oceanography and did post-doctoral research on seafloor hydrothermal vent heat-flux using an AUV. He co-founded the Ocean Inquiry Project in 2000, a non-profit organization continue reading →

Margaret Ashida

Margaret Ashida is the Executive Director of the STEMx™ multi-state network committed to transforming science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through local innovation and state leadership for national impact. STEMx is operated by BattelleEd, a venture of Battelle – the world’s largest independent research and development organization. Previously, Margaret led the incubation of the continue reading →


At XSci, we create and research experiential programs…simply put, we live and breathe experiential science. Experiential science learning is all about personal close encounters with the content, processes, and emotions of science. It is a philosophy that emphasizes learning from direct first-person experience and a holistic perspective that includes the self-construction of knowledge as well continue reading →

Dr. Joseph Taylor

Dr. Joseph Taylor is Director of Research & Development at BSCS. He previously served as Director for the BSCS Center for Research and Evaluation from 2007 to 2010, where he provided methodological leadership and oversight on all research and evaluation studies as well as proposal development for new projects. Joe’s role as Director of Research continue reading →

REI – Jon Frankel

Jon Frankel is the REI Outdoor Programs & Outreach Manager for the Denver/Boulder area. In this capacity, he manages all education, stewardship, volunteerism, events and partnerships for REI locally. Jon has a Masters Degree in Outdoor Pursuits Administration, and his diverse background includes directing research and program development for Outward Bound USA; managing operations for continue reading →

Violeta García, PhD

Yeni Violeta García, PhD Dr. Violeta García was born and raised in El Salvador. Her family fled the civil war in 1988 and immigrated the United States of America as refugees. Dr. Garcia is the third of six children, who collectively have earned 5 bachelors’ degrees, and 4 masters’ degrees. Growing up her mom cleaned continue reading →

Deb Kulcsar

Deb Kulcsar, M. S. Education Deb has worked in the field of education for over 30 years. Her passions include connecting youth with the natural world through wilderness experiences, developing and facilitating outdoor education programs and working with young adults entering the outdoor teaching field. From her early days working with inner city Cleveland Ohio continue reading →

Kurt Helfrich

Among other life adventures, Kurt Helfrich has now taught 5th grade in the public schools for almost 3 decades. Most recently, he proudly helped design the PBL based 5th grade environment at the STEM Magnet Laboratory School in Northglenn, Colorado. With a formal background as a K-12 literacy specialist, he focuses most of his day continue reading →

Stephanie Keller

Stephanie is the Education Projects Manager at the Jane Goodall Institute where she works on environmental education and service learning with both JGI’s Africa Programs and JGI’s environmental and humanitarian youth program, Roots & Shoots. Through these programs Stephanie helps educators and their students to develop successful service projects using community mapping skills and the continue reading →

Mike Bryant

Mike Bryant is the Director of Education Consultants at Discovery Education. He started his career heading up YMCA after-school and summer camp programs in South Carolina, developing the “Teen Connection” program for middle-school students. Mike then taught high school science and ran Levy County’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers for middle school students. Mike left continue reading →

Jeff Macco

Jeff Macco is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of SeedPaths, which focuses on increasing the number of quality software developers in Colorado through 2-month software development bootcamps for young adults. Recently appointed by Governor Hickenlooper, Jeff is a member of the Colorado Workforce Development Council which exists to create a business-focused workforce system that continue reading →

Randy Guthrie

Randy Guthrie is a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft Corporation within the Developer and Platform Evangelism organization. In this role, Randy provides academic and research support to faculty and students at schools in the western United State. Randy’s research interests include Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Technology Pedagogy and his current technology passion is Windows 8 continue reading →

Noah Davis

Noah is the Executive Director of Energetics Education, a new non-profit based in Carbondale, Colorado. He is the creator of the award-winning Solar Rollers program for high schools. Noah previously managed the Solar In the Schools program for Solar Energy International, running a variety of K-12 renewable energy education programs and teacher trainings. Before that, continue reading →

Angela Baber

Angela Baber is a Director of Initiatives at the Colorado Legacy Foundation. In this role, Angela works in partnership with the Governor’s office and in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Higher Education and many other state and corporate organizations to advance a statewide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continue reading →

Dr. Brad McLain

Dr. Brad McLain is an educational researcher with a doctorate from the University of Colorado in educational leadership and innovation, and co-director of XSci. XSci is the Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative and produces both projects and research based on STEM learning theory and the field of experiential learning. McLain’s research focus is on science continue reading →

Matthew Collier

A veteran science and math teacher, confirmed robot enthusiast, and man whose heart is on the high seas, Matthew has introduced students to the world of creative problem solving through LEGO® MINDSTORMS® and TETRIX® robotics for more than 15 years. Recently, he has just returned from Kenya where he and his wife, Kathy, were privileged continue reading →

Jody Bintz

Jody Bintz joined BSCS in June 2004 as a Science Educator. She works primarily in the areas of leadership development and teacher professional development. Ms. Bintz has designed and led a variety of leadership development programs to build leadership capacity and enhance the knowledge and skills of professional development providers in various sites across the continue reading →

Gale Famisan Robertson

Gale Famisan Robertson is the Manager of Youth and School Programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), overseeing the development and implementation of high-quality programming for youth both in and out of school settings, such as the Youth Engagement through Science Program (YES), the Q? Crew Teen Volunteer Program, teen art-science workshops, continue reading →


Ravé Mehta is an award-winning engineer, tech entrepreneur, music producer and best-selling author.  His recent book The Inventor: The Story of Tesla is based on the true story of Nikola Tesla how he battled his mentor-turned-rival Thomas Edison in the AC/DC Wars to spark the Electrical Era and bring light and energy to the four continue reading →

Dr. Seth Hornstein

Dr. Seth Hornstein is a senior instructor in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder since January 2007. He earned a B.S. in physics from Virginia Tech in 2000 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. At CU, his primary continue reading →

Melinda Hamilton Ph.D

Melinda Hamilton is a Soil Microbiologist with over 20 years in Biotechnology R&D and management positions at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) when she turned her efforts toward STEM education. As Director of Education for the INL, Melinda launched i-STEM, an Idaho statewide effort to improve STEM education in grades K-12 by providing educators with continue reading →

Julie Brown

Julie Brown is an Education Program Specialist and Project Manager at National Geographic Society – a position she has held for the past 4 years. She has been responsible for developing and facilitating online and in person professional development communities and courses, has produced  a myriad of educational media and curriculum for NGS. Julie is continue reading →

Mellissa Lewis

Mellissa Lewis is a veteran biology, earth science, biotechnology and astronomy teacher with a MS in Education and a MS in Biology. Carrying endorsements in science, math and physical education, she has vast experience in working with young adults. Her enthusiasm and passion for teaching have won her several awards in the field of science continue reading →

Wendy Ward Hoffer

Wendy Ward Hoffer is the author of the Heinemann title Science as Thinking. She is a Senior Director, Education with the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. She works with teachers, schools and districts locally and nationally to promote rich thinking in all content areas, especially math and science. Wendy received an MA in Science continue reading →

Kevin Crowley

Kevin Crowley is a professor of Learning Sciences and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is also Director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE). UPCLOSE works in partnership with museums, community organizations, and media producers to develop innovative learning environments. Crowley’s group conducts basic learning sciences research continue reading →

Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Trinity University) and a M.S. in Science Education (UT Austin). She has worked in the science center field for eight years, most recently as the Science Content Developer for the Austin Children’s Museum. During this time she oversaw all STEM content in exhibits and programs, developed school continue reading →

Noah Finkelstein

Noah Finkelstein received a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Yale University and his PhD. for work in applied physics from Princeton University. He is currently a Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder and conducts research is in physics education. He serves as a director of the Physics Education Research (PER) group at continue reading →

Melvin Reeves

For nearly twenty-five years, Mr. Reeves held leadership positions within the American Red Cross. In 1985, he created and managed the social services department for a ninety-unit motel converted into temporary housing for single, homeless mothers with children. He then served as the Director of HELP I, a 200-unit emergency housing program for homeless families, continue reading →

John Hankla

John Hankla is an experiential educator working with Natural History Museums to create remarkable exhibits and experiences in galleries, online, and in the field. He directs immersive courses and tours to dinosaur dig sites I remote WY with his organization, Dinosaur Discovery Adventures. He is currently working with the exhibit Dinosaurs of the Lost World continue reading →

Christie Veitch

Christie Veitch (Education Director, Modular Robotics) has over 16 years of experience teaching students of all ages in a variety of formal and informal settings, with particular emphasis on developing curriculum and training teachers and instructors to provide students with deep and lasting educational experiences. With advanced degrees in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics, Christie is continue reading →

Bob Ross

Ray Johnson

As IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs Manager for IBM, Ray oversees the company’s community and government relations programs, along with K-12 education reform, for a nine-state region. A leading advocate of K-12 business and education partnerships, Ray has been involved with numerous initiatives in his territory, including the push for standards and assessments in continue reading →