Reflections on the Plane to Doha and Excitement for What’s Ahead

As I sit on the plane on my way to Doha, Qatar, I’m getting excited about the adventure ahead. Since starting with UCSD Extension in early 2012, the momentum around STE+aM (science, technology, engineering, +arts, math) education has grown tremendously.

From San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Portland, Oregon and Chicago, to Texas and Rhode Island, the push to integrate arts with STEM education is stronger than ever. The discussion is also happening all over the world, which is the impetus for my current travel overseas.

I was invited to co-facilitate a meeting on Oct. 27-28 in Doha hosted by the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) and New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) called STEAM: Powering Creativity & Collaboration. Meghan Groome, executive director of education and public programs at NYAS, is my partner in facilitation. I’m looking forward to getting to know all about her work and how we may be able to partner to link NYAS to the STEAMConnect network of 700 teachers, nonprofits, community members and business leaders.

In addition to co-facilitating, I also have the opportunity to make a short presentation on what STEAMConnect is and what the network is up to, particularly in southern California. We’re a hotbed for STE+aM! I’ll provide access to the slides by Oct. 28. Others participating in the meeting include Charlotte Cole, SVP of global education for Sesame Workshop; Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut; Vijay Kumar, MIT; Roger Mandle, Qatar Museum Authority; Stephanie Norby, Smithsonian Center for Education, and several more. For a copy of the brochure with the agenda and full participant list and bios, contact Ann Marie Price at

This STE+aM event is an official pre-event for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), which I’ll be participating in from Oct. 29-31. It’ll be an incredible opportunity to learn from and share with forward-thinking education leaders from 100 different countries around the world.

Keep an eye on for periodic blog posts, and @KimberleeSD for regular event updates and photos. I welcome your questions and suggested topics to address during the events as well, which you can share via social media or to me directly at More soon!