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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 20, 2020

Dr. Paul Semendinger, principal of Hawes Elementary School in Ridgewood, N.J., was a presenter at the iSTEAM Conference at Ramapo College.

MAHWAH, N.J. – More than 70 New Jersey educators attended the iSTEAM 2020 Conference: Full STEAM Ahead at Ramapo College on January 14. Comprised of K-12 teachers and administrators from across the state, the all-day conference included breakout sessions that addressed topics such as “Laying the Foundations of STEM Instruction,” “Well-Rounded Education: Leveraging Creative Assets,” “Teaching Environmental Science & Civics with Music,” “STEAM Up: Creative Thinking with Art,” “Teaching Extraordinary Subjects in Extraordinary Ways,” and “The Benefits of a STEAM Summer Camp,” among others.

“STEAM education seamlessly integrates science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics to promote critical thinking, individual and collaborative problem solving, and creativity – all of which are essential skills for our rapidly changing world,” said Brian Chinni, associate dean of teacher education at Ramapo College. He added that according to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in STEM occupations grew by 10.5 percent, between May 2009 and May 2015, compared with 5.2 percent net growth in non-STEM occupations.

“It is projected that this trend will continue throughout the next decade,” Chinni said. “I applaud the collaborative efforts of the many presenters who willingly shared their creative pedagogical ideas and talents, and all of our participating colleagues from across the state who engaged in this important professional learning experience to advance their own practice.”

Keynote speakers were Shawna Longo, the general music teacher and arts integration specialist at Durban Avenue School in Hopatcong, N.J.; and Jed Dearybury, director of creativity and innovation at

The iSTEAM Conference was presented as part of Ramapo College’s Teacher Education and Certification Program and the School of Social Science and Human Services.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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