Susan Riley | September 2014

STEAM Conference Call for Proposals Open

Twice a year, hosts the Connectivity Conference, a virtual conference for Arts Integration and STEAM. This is the 4th time we have offered this unique learning experience and each time it grows in popularity and reach.   This winter, the STEAM conference takes place on Saturday February 7, 2015 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (EST).

This STEAM conference is completely online! It seeks to provide educators/leaders in all areas equitable access to high-quality, high-impact resources on integrated/innovative teaching and leadership practices. This virtual day of learning attracts hundreds of participants, and is designed to meet your needs from the beginning. 

We’ve received numerous nominations for presentations. Now, it’s your turn to join the 2015 STEAM Connectivity Conference lineups of dedicated experts sharing their knowledge and experiences from the field.  This is the official call for presentation proposals. 

The EducationCloset Conference Committee is responsible for coordinating the complete STEAM conference experience from the overall structure to the schedule. The committee reviews all submitted proposals, and makes its decisions based on experience of the presenter(s), timeliness and relevance of a real-world problem and topic, quality of the proposal, depth of information, and potential to attract and engage conference participants. 


This year, we are focusing on how to make the shift to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) integration and innovation.  This growing movement of adding the Arts to STEAM while integrating the Common Core State Standards is critical to ensuring our students not only grow into critical thinkers, but also empowered creative, imaginative, and innovative citizens of the future. 

We are seeking proposals that identify real-world problems facing classroom teachers, school-based leaders, or district-level leaders and how they are creating solutions to make the shift to Arts/STEAM integration and innovation.  This year’s STEAM conference will showcase real-world problems and solutions through discussions, practical strategies, research, tools, resources, and demonstrations available for educators and leaders that can support a deeper level of STEAM implementation. Tell your colleagues a story.  Add value for them.  Help them solve a problem.

Consider one or more of the innovation flywheel components as you think about your session proposal: 


Frame your Arts/STEM integration problem and look at the world around you and begin to study human behavior, products, or services. Think about your daily observations.  What do you notice?  Is there anything that stands out?  What reflections would you like to share with others? 


Dig deep into your Arts/STEAM integration problem and observations by asking probing questions.  (Why??????????) What do you notice? Is there anything that stands out? What reflections would you like to share with others?


Learn as much as you can by collecting a variety of information and building your knowledge about the Arts/STEAM integration problem and then apply it to your observations. What do you notice? Is there anything that stands out? What reflections would you like to share with others?


Apply your new learning and observations about Arts/STEAM integration by brainstorming and creating something new. Connect the unconnected dots! What do you notice? Is there anything that stands out? What reflections would you like to share with others?


Analyze new Arts/STEAM integration ideas through application and revise as needed. What do you notice? Is there anything that stands out? What reflections would you like to share with others?

This fully online, engaging STEAM conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase the practical, relevant, and innovative work that you do every day. Your participation as a presenter will continue to breed a global community that connects, collaborates, creates, and innovates about the future of Arts/STEAM integration.  


The 2015 STEAM Connectivity Conference presentations will cover eight broad strands, addressing a wide variety of timely topics.  You can indicate one or more conference strands when you submit your presentation. 

2015 STEAM Conference Strands 

1. Arts Integration 


3. Common Core 

4. SLOs 

5. Emerging Technology 

6. Innovative Leadership 

7. Supporting Arts/STEAM Integration and Implementation in your School, District, or Community. 

8. Accelerating Creativity, Innovation, and Change in your Classroom, School, District, or Business. 


Our approach to this STEAM conference environment is through a virtual event space that is hosted through On24, which is a globally-respected service for innovative experiences like these with an anticipated audience of over 1,000 educators.  The virtual event space is set up as a 3-D conference center, with an auditorium to watch keynote presentations, social media tools at your fingertips to share out what you’re learning and a space for sponsors and exhibitors.  All information is archived on a dedicated website after the event for 1 full year.

Sessions are provided by leading educators, administrators, businesses, and researchers in the field.  

Presentations can be between 15-30 minutes in length and follow three methods:

Mini lecture sessions

Hands-on strategy sessions

Demonstration sessions

This ensures that conference participants are receiving a breadth and depth of relevant information that is also practical to their needs as educators and leaders. Additionally, because we highlight educators and leaders who are using STEAM practices in the field, participants are fully engaged and excited to be learning from their peers. 

All sessions will be pre-recorded video by the presenter(s) and uploaded on the On-24 platform.  This allows presenter(s) to be able to engage in questions or comments from participants during the conference in real time. 


We invite you to share your insights and knowledge with colleagues as a presenter or group of presenters at the virtual conference. Please fill out the form below to submit your session proposal(s) for review. The deadline to submit your proposal for consideration is October 15, 2014.

How many proposals can I submit?  You can submit up to two session proposals.

What are the reviewers looking for?  Proposals that are practical and relevant to a knowledgeable and experienced audience, present new information from various diverse points of view, timeliness of the real-world problem and topic, quality of the proposal, depth and breadth of information, and potential to attach and engage conference participants. 

Who can I contact for further information?  Please contact Gregory Pilewski, Innovation Education Transformation Specialist by email at [email protected] or by phone at 443.821.1089. 

 All submission authors will be notified via email no later than October 29th, 2014 on the status of their proposal.  We look forward to your ideas!

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan