Teacher Mentor Days yield industry insights

Engineering professional addresses small group of educators

Fast-paced networking sessions with industry experts from some of Kansas City’s leading businesses and organizations are part of every Teacher Mentor Day, including this one at Kiewit.

Teacher Mentor Days organized by KC STEM Alliance give educators a firsthand look at what local STEM professionals are working on, what their workplaces look like and what kind of skills current students need to develop to succeed.

In early February, Kiewit welcomed Project Lead The Way engineering teachers for a day that included a keynote from Kevin Needham, President, Kiewit Engineering & Design Co. Needham shared ways smart meters and big data can move the needle on energy conservation.

Educators also had a birds-eye view of a major Kiewit project during a narrated virtual tour of the Pio Pico Energy Center—following the journey from 3D model to completion.

A panel of four professionals speaks about diversity

This panel, which included (from left) moderator Cesar Cea, Pauline Eastman, Angela Oguna Oruoch and Leaven Phillips, shared their personal experiences in a discussion about ways to increase racial and gender diversity and inclusion in the engineering profession.

Each Teacher Mentor Day also includes time with post-secondary partners, who provide updates on recruiting, curriculum and student opportunities.

Computer Science Teacher Mentor Day

Eric Fisher speaks at podium

On February 20, 50 computer science teachers visited Fishtech Group for a look at the frontlines in cybersecurity. Eric Foster, President of CYDERES, the Security-as-a-Service division of Fishtech Group, opened with a keynote on the State of Cybersecurity and how teachers can help prepare students for a future in the field.

A series of “Hot Topics” included a look at the state of the tech industry in the Kansas City region from KC Tech Council’s TechSpecs V3 Report, a report from Jason Sloderbeck, Senior Director of Threat Intelligence for CYDERES, Fishtech Group; and a panel of students, educators and industry professionals discussing ways to encourage more girls to explore tech.

A behind-the-scenes look at the Fishtech Group gave educators a glimpse into a “day in the life” of a cybersecurity expert.

Launch Teacher Mentor Day

Three female teachers work with math manipulative

Elementary teachers also gathered in February for a Launch Teacher Mentor Day at Rockhurst University. Teachers began the day by experiencing mathematical play in the Mathapalooza Room with Mathapalooza founders and Rockhurst University professors Dr. Zdenka Guadarrama and Dr. Mairead Greene.

The day also included a visit to STEAM Studio’s Pop-Up Space, a presentation from the MIND Research Institute and course breakout sessions by grade level.

Learn more about how KC STEM Alliance provides wraparound support for Project Lead The Way in the greater KC region.