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!

Bon Voyage Kim: T-Minus Six Weeks to Qatar!

Our very own Kim Richards is heading off to Doha, Qatar this October for a STEAM Roundtable to discuss the importance and impact of integrating the arts into STEM curricula.

Qatar Foundation International (QFI) in collaboration with The New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) is bringing together 25 STEAM and school leaders from around the world to participate in a unique two-day roundtable from Oct. 27-28 to discuss and explore STEAM in practice and to help enhance understanding and adoption of STEAM by teachers and schools globally. Out of the 17 representatives from the U.S., only two are from California, one of which being Kim.

“I’m honored to join QFI in their mission to put STEAM into practice to change the face of education in Qatar and throughout the world,” said Kim. “The work that I’ve done building STEAMConnect with UCSD Extension has shown me just how transformative STEAM can be.”

Taking with her the knowledge and experience gained from working with STEAMConnect, Kim will have the thrilling opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge with other STEAM experts from Qatar, U.S. and Brazil. Not only will she learn from other uniquely creative STEAM minds, but also be able to represent the great work being done in San Diego and southern California.

The STEAM roundtable will include presentations from the participants about how they define STEAM, how they are incorporating the “A” effectively in STEAM, examples of what is happening in STEAM and other concepts used to help push the STEAM movement forward.

“I’m eager to share what we’re doing in San Diego, to learn what others are doing around the world, and to find ways to collaborate and shift the movement to a global one,” said Kim.

Immediately following the STEAM roundtable, Kim will also attend the 2013 WISE Summit in Doha from Oct. 29-31 where more than 1,000 prominent education, corporate, political and social leaders from more than 100 countries will come together to explore innovation in education and to inspire collaborative solutions to education challenges.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and live posts from Kim’s trip and stay tuned for a recap complete with photos and video from her travels as well as the STEAM roundtable and WISE Summit.