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The 2015 California Science Education Conference features two inspiring keynote presentations. The Opening General Session and Keynote Address will be held on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 9:15 am. The event will start off with a welcome from the CSTA president and the annual meeting of CSTA members. Following the annual meeting, you will enjoy a keynote presentation by Ainissa Ramirez. Dr. Ramirez has been well-received by science and STEM education audiences across the country and we are pleased she will be addressing our audience this October.

To end the conference on the right note, the 2015 Conference Committee has selected José Hernández as the Closing Session Keynote Speaker. His inspirational story of his journey from a childhood spent in the agricultural fields of the California central valley to the dream-achieving goal of traveling into space will certainly leave you inspired to take on new challenges in your site and implement your new learnings from the conference. Mr. Hernández will present on Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 8:00 am, and there are workshops scheduled through 12:30 pm, so please plan your travel carefully so you don't miss out on this incredible presentation.


Dr. Ramirez, formerly a research scientist at Bell Laboratories – Lucent Technologies and an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University and director at Yale of the award-winning science lecture series for children, Science Saturdays, is a science evangelist who has a passion for making science fun, exciting and accessible to the general public. Her current focus is getting the message out about the importance of STEM education and shattering the stereotyping of scientists by promoting STEM in underrepresented groups. To quote Dr. Ramirez, “The 21st century requires a new kind of learner – not someone who can simply churn out answers by rote, as has been done in the past, but a student who can think expansively and solve problems resourcefully. The traditional academic skills of reading, ‘riting, and ’rithmetic must be replaced with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving, and collaborative and communication skills in order to solve the complex problems of tomorrow.” Dr. Ramirez is co-author of Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game with journalist Allen St. John, and author of Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists.

Sponsored by: Chevron

Video Series hosted by Dr. Ramirez: Science Xplained and Material Marvels.


José Hernández is a former NASA astronaut who served as a mission specialist on the STS-128 Discovery mission in 2009, managing the transfer of more than 18,000 pounds of supplies and equipment between the shuttle and the International Space Station, assisting with robotics operation, and serving as flight engineer for launch and landing. The son of migrant farm workers in California, he moved with his family annually from Mexico to central California while growing up. After graduating high school in Stockton, Mr. Herández pursued baccalaureate and graduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering, was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2004, and in 2006 received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Pacific. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hernández worked on signal and image processing applications in radar imaging, computed tomography, and acoustic imaging at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Mr. Hernández is also the co-developer of the first full-field digital mammography imaging system. He co-authored Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut with Monica Rojas Rubin. In 2005, he founded the Reaching for the Stars Foundation based on his belief that all children, despite challenges, should have the opportunities to fulfill their dreams. Through the Foundation’s science conferences, events, summer academy and scholarships, he hopes to inspire young people to learn more about math and science, and help prepare and support them in pursuing careers in STEM.