STEME Education Weekend

May 3-5, 2012

Sharing Our Success - STEME Education Weekend 2012

Featured Guests

Science Speaker (May 4th)

Dr. Okhee Lee
Professor of Childhood Education
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University

Okhee Lee’s research areas include science education, language and culture, and teacher education. Her current research involves the scale-up of a teacher professional development intervention to promote science learning and language development of English language learners. She is a 2009 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and received the Distinguished Career Award from the AERA Scholars of Color in Education in 2003. She was awarded a 1993-95 National Academy of Education Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship. She has directed research and teacher enhancement projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Spencer Foundation, and other sources. She received her doctorate from Michigan State University in 1989 and taught in the School of Education at the University of Miami prior to coming to Steinhardt.

Mathematics Speaker (May 4th)

Dr. Cathy Seeley
Senior Fellow with the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas

Cathy Seeley has worked for over 35 years, as a mathematics teacher, district mathematics coordinator, and state mathematics director for the Texas Education Agency. She has frequently been an advisor and consultant to school districts, state agencies and professional/community organizations. She is active with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, including having served on the writing team for the 1989 Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. In 2006, she completed a two-year term as President of the Council. She is the author of Faster Isn’t Smarter—Messages About Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century (A resource for teachers, families, leaders, and policy makers), published in April 2009 by Math Solutions.

Conversation with a Scientist (May 5th)

Dr. Ofer Tchernichovski
Biology Department, City College, CUNY

Dr. Ofer Tchernichovski uses the songbird to study mechanisms of vocal learning. Like early speech development in the human infant, the songbird learns to imitate complex sounds during a critical period of development. The adult bird cannot imitate any more - we do not know why. His lab studies the animal behavior and dynamics of vocal learning and sound production across different brain levels. The lab aims to uncover the specific physiological and molecular (gene expression) brain processes that underlie song learning. 


1. PhD, Dept. of Zoology, Tel Aviv University
2. DVM, Koret Veterinary school, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
BSc, Biology, Tel Aviv University

Selected Publications

Roots & Shoots NYC Celebration of Service Learning Keynote Presentation (May 5th)

Olivia Bouler

Olivia Bouler, 12-year-old author of Olivia's Birds Saving the Gulf, will give an inspiring keynote presentation, and share her experience raising more than $200,000 to support relief efforts in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Roots and Shoots National Education Managers

Emily Rhodes

Emily serves the Roots & Shoots network as an Education Manager by offering Roots & Shoots members and their mentor’s opportunities to work closely with the Jane Goodall Institutes community networks. Emily also assists informal educators to bring service campaigns into their learning environments.

Emily first developed a passion for service learning during her volunteer work in the United States and abroad as a children’s grief counselor, rural kindergarten teacher and orphanage care giver. Her previous employment opportunities have also allowed her to work closely with many different populations of people, with animals and in nature.

Emily enjoys developing relationships with our other organizations and exploring opportunities for collaboration. Her background in the arts has helped her bring a creative approach to project planning and problem solving.

Emily’s interest in art and design blossomed in high school while attending the School of the Arts in Charleston, SC. she was then offered a Rotary Scholarship to study abroad in Milan Italy, which led to her graduating with a BFA in photography from the University of Tasmania in Australia.

Erin Viera Orr

As an Education Manager, Erin is responsible for supporting Roots & Shoots educators and students in the development of meaningful service campaigns for their communities. She works with teachers and school administrations to implement high quality environmental service learning with the goal of expanding education beyond the classroom walls.

Erin has her bachelors of Science in Psychology and began her career in research. Her path in research ultimately led her to afterschool programming in Title-1 Los Angeles schools. With a personal goal to bridge the gap between the school day and after school hours, she worked with teachers and afterschool program leaders to incorporate academic content into an engaging, project based environment. Service learning and community engagement became a key component of her work.

In her last 4 years with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Erin has mentored hundreds of educators and afterschool program leaders to incorporate Service Learning into their daily programs. Erin is a California state certified service learning trainer and each year she leads multiple professional development trainings and workshops around the United States.

This event was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Additional support provided by ExxonMobil.