Jonathan W. Gerlach
Jonathan W. Gerlach
Program Excellence General Session - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 9:00am -10:50am - Dallas Ballroom C-D STEM Education Initiatives at Discovery Education

4Cing the Future of STEM

On its surface, “STEM” is the acronym of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, when you pull that first layer away, you reveal the most elaborate puzzle in the education world. Recently, STEM has gone through a dramatic change as industry and employer’s needs have been changing and increasing exponentially. Information is more readily at our fingertips and employers are now looking for employees with critical 21st century skills, the 4Cs: Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking. For our students to be successful in their future careers, we need to help them develop the skills employers are looking for, not just the content in subjects. Through the 4Cs, we will explore global problems and solutions tied directly to our students' futures. 

An Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow Emeritus and NASA STEM Endeavor Fellow, Jonathan W. Gerlach is the International Consultant for STEM Education Initiatives at Discovery Education. Jonathan has a deep background in STEM, including a certification from Columbia University Teacher’s College in STEM Education with a distinction in STEM Education Leadership, which he utilizes while providing his expertise in STEM Education, curriculum development, professional development, coaching, and school culture transformation to school districts globally. As an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, he worked in the U.S. Senate focusing on STEM education policy for the office of Sen. Michael Bennet [CO]. As a former NASA Endeavor Fellow he collaborated with teachers and leaders around the country as well as professors at the Columbia Universities Teacher College in understanding the impact of STEM professional development. Jonathan previously supported STEM education in Hillsborough County Public Schools as a district level science resource where he was named the Florida Association of Science Teachers Science Teacher of the Year as well as the Florida Engineering Foundation STEM Educator of the Year. Jonathan is considered a leader in STEM education and has authored multiple publications on the topic including “All Teachers are STEM Teachers” in EdWeek, “STEM: Defying a Simple Definition” and “Talking SMath” in NSTA Press as well as “Elementary Design Challenges” in Science & Children. His work on elementary engineering education is also highlighted in Integrating Engineering and Science. As a thought leader, he has spoken at multiple national conferences for STEM education, science education, and educational research as well as keynotes at numerous STEM events both nationally and internationally. His presentations range from Why STEM?, 21st Century Skills and STEM, STEM: Beyond the 4 Letters, 4Cing the Future of STEM, STEM: A Context for Tech, as well as Cultural Change through STEM.