Ben Taylor reflects on CESTEMER

Ben Taylor specializes in curriculum development that translates scientific research into hands-on educational resources for informal outreach and the K-12 classroom. He has been a professional improvisor with Atlas Improv Co. since 2008 and he attended the Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research conference (CESTEMER) in June 2015 in Berkeley. He wrote about his CESTEMER experience:

"At CESTEMER in 2015, I enjoyed being a part of a recognizable grouping of people who were looking to improve the communities they work in. It was impressive that NASA was part of the group, looking to improve their image and messaging for those who work for them.

I think the conference needed to be two weeks long. There was such quality to each conversation you wanted more time. By the time I reached home, I already had seven emails from people reaching out to me.

I am passionate about the power of storytelling in science communication. When they present their work, scientists can hide in the content or the details. CESTEMER felt like a community where I didn't hide."

The CESTEMER meeting builds community, facilitates collaboration, and celebrates the role of ensembles. To learn more or express interest in the 2017 CESTEMER, please e-mail

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