Part of what was fun at CESTEMER was that we got to play, not just work! The Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research conference brought together creative people who do science and science outreach with teachers and artists.
We all learned a great deal about teamwork and being part of a community, which was great, as we (the participants) are in the process of building the CESTEMER community. This learning occurred in interactive workshops, in improv games, and in friendly discussions. New collaborations emerged from interactions at the conference, which was one of the goals, as the CESTEMER organizers explicitly encouraged collaboration.
The organizers collected a survey of participants after the meeting. Here are a few comments from responses that I think encapsulate the meeting well. Every respondent agreed they “played” at the conference. Most said they had met "like-minded colleagues." A participant noted "how willing and generous the participants were with one another." Another said 'It's nice to know that I'm not the only scientist thinking about how to enact change in the way we think about STEM education in university and collegiate settings."
Over the next several weeks here on the improvscience blog, we'll introduce you to participants & community members. We'll describe their explorations at, and after, CESTEMER.
The CESTEMER conference took place June 2015 at UC Berkeley. The Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology kindly hosted. Improvscience was one of the sponsors of the meeting, all of whom want to develop scientific culture to be one where people grow and advance science together.