In This Newsletter Issue

Early Bird Registration Open for Virginia Children's Engineering Convention

January 08, 2019


23rd Annual 

Virginia Children's Engineering Convention

February 7-8, 2019

Roanoke, VA

Greetings PreK-5 Educators:

The 2019 Virginia Children's Engineering Convention will be held February 7-8, 2019, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia. In 2018, over 750 teachers, principals, and central office staff attended the convention. We invite you to join educators from across the Commonwealth of Virginia at this annual statewide staff development initiative.

Participants will experience STEM-based instructional practices that contribute to the development of technological awareness. Workshops will focus on experiences that enable children to:

  • explore how people create, use and control technology;
  • apply knowledge in mathematics, science, English, and history and social sciences in solving problems associated with design, engineering and technology;
  • use tools and materials to develop technological literacy and self-confidence.

The Virginia Children's Engineering Convention provides over 90 excellent professional development sessions and international keynote speakers for teachers to learn about STEM-based best practices in PreK-5 instruction, and strategies for implementing the Profile of a Virginia Graduate.

As referenced in Superintendent's Memo #271-18, August 10, 2018, participants will receive 10 re-certification points for full participation in the convention, when they have prior approval from their school administration. Presenters will be eligible for additional re-certification points.

The following link points to the Convention information website: Take advantage of the early bird convention registration discount.

Make your hotel reservations early. Plan ahead to experience historic Roanoke Valley, including its rich museums, artisans, and educational tours. Plan now to attend!

Keynote, Thursday, February 7.

Luncheon Speaker

photo of speakerDr. James F. Lane was appointed Virginia's 25th superintendent of public instruction by Governor Ralph S. Northam, effective June 1, 2018.

As state superintendent, Dr. Lane serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, which is the administrative agency for the commonwealth's public schools. He also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education.

Prior to his appointment as the commonwealth's chief school officer, Dr. Lane served as a division superintendent in Chesterfield County, Goochland County and Middlesex County. He was recognized as the 2017 Virginia Superintendent of the Year for his leadership in Goochland County.

Dr. Lane was one of 100 superintendents in the nation selected to attend the 2014 ConnectEd Superintendents Summit at the White House in recognition of his leadership in the use of instructional technology by his schools.

In 2015, the national Data Quality Campaign awarded its annual Flashlight award to Goochland County in recognition of the division's achievements under Lane's leadership in using data to empower educators and communicate with parents and the public.

Dr. Lane holds a doctorate in education from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in school administration from North Carolina State University, and master's and bachelor's degrees in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lane and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two elementary school students in Chesterfield County.

Keynote, Friday, February 8.

Breakfast Speaker

photo of speakerDr. Yvonne Spicer, DTE, is the President of the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA). She was the Vice President for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships at the Boston Museum of Science before being elected Mayor of the City of Framingham, Massachusetts. She was appointed to the Massachusetts Governor's STEM Advisory Council in 2010 as the co-chair of the council's teacher development committee. She was reappointed in 2017 and served on the Computer Science and Engineering, and Career Pathways committees. Mayor Spicer was instrumental in establishing the 2001 Massachusetts Technology/engineering curriculum framework and the first ever Kindergarten through 12th grade assessment for technology and engineering. She has also served as an advisor/content expert to the National Governors Association. Mayor Spicer has been a consultant to numerous states on technology and engineering standards, strategic leadership development and business engagement.

Dr. Spicer's father encouraged her at a young age to explore how things work. She learned early in life about the value of taking risks and challenging herself. In 2006, she was appointed to a leadership role at the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL®) at the Museum of Science in Boston. This appointment provided an opportunity to focus on the synergistic intersections of formal and informal education, and the role of engineering design in cultivating awareness and implementation of STEM content in PreK-12 education. A cornerstone of the NCTL is the Gateway to Technology and Engineering Project, which was created to help school divisions develop strategic action plans to implement K-12 technology and engineering, while introducing educators to resources supporting standards-based curricula and assessments. The Gateway initiative has supported over 100 Massachusetts school divisions implementation of STEM education PreK-12. The program has been replicated in Maine, New Hampshire, and Texas, with plans to expand to other states. Dr. Spicer's work at the NCTL, has included the implementation of "Engineering is Elementary" which was developed to address engineering and technology education in the elementary school while connecting to literacy and social studies to build a completely integrated STEM curricular unit. The program is designed to build on student curiosity about engineering.

Dr. Spicer believes that a critical need educators face is universal awareness and understanding of what STEM education is and why it is important. Implementing any reform is a collaborative process, so everyone needs to be at the table—business leaders, higher education, K-12 educators, and government. STEM education has made tremendous progress over the past 10 years, but we must continue to cultivate those partners for any reform to be successful.

Keynote, Friday, February 8.

Awards Banquet Luncheon

photo of speakerCas Holman has spent the last 16 years immersed in play, early education, and designing for children's imagination. Through her company Heroes Will Rise, she designs and manufactures tools that allow children to transcend existing models of identity and the performance of play. She is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and prototypes her educational tools on her five acre summer camp known as Camp Fun.

Cas travels the globe to collaborate with educators and industry leaders on topics including early education, curriculum design, public spaces, and childhood advocacy. Her inspiring collaborators and clients include Cheng Xueqin, founder of Anji Play (Anji, China), several community-based organizations and schools in New York City, and Lego Education (DK).

Plan ahead to attend the 2019 PreK-5 children's engineering convention.

We look forward to your participation!


Katherine Mangum, President
Virginia Children's Engineering Council
P. O. Box 29307
Henrico, VA 23242, or


convention supporters

The Virginia Children's Engineering Convention is hosted by the Virginia Children's Engineering Council in cooperation with the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association, and the Virginia Department of Education.

"Engineering Virginia's Future!"