2nd Anniversary Giveawaysexperiential learningSTEAMSTEAM3

The future is STEAMy

Maggie Duval wears many hats comfortably: event producer, web developer, futurist, alt educator, mom. In her guest post for Alt Ed Austin she shares the news about her latest project, STEAM3, the conference and “Interactive Playground” that is shaping up to be one of the most interesting events of 2014.

GIVEAWAY: As part of Alt Ed Austin’s 2nd anniversary celebration, we have two pairs of Interactive Playground passes to give away—each good for one adult and one student. There are lots of ways to enter the drawing; you’ll find the entry form at the end of the post, along with a special discount code for all Alt Ed Austin readers who want to attend the whole shebang. Thanks, Maggie!


I’m very excited about a new project I’m working on that weaves together my four great loves:  alternative approaches to education (including STEM/STEAM), mining the brilliance that lives at the intersection of art and technology, futures studies, and emerging technology. Called STEAM3 (Science + Tech + Engineering + Arts + Math “cubed”), it will take place in early March and is the first public event of its kind to present a comprehensive look into the future of experiential learning. It will provide an interactive stage for the exploration and demonstration of the emerging approaches, formats, technologies, and learning models that will redefine education over the next decade.

The buzz is huge around STEM in education, which focuses on bringing kids up to speed on science, technology, engineering, and math skills by masterfully blending holistic and cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching and engagement. However, many are finally acknowledging the importance of the arts in that equation, hence the “A” in STEAM. The “cubed” part comes from our desire to address the whole child, explore alternative approaches to education (which as a mom I’ve been passionate about since my own childhood), as well as engendering a positive, empowered approach to what’s coming toward us in the future.

I have developed the event with professional futurist Derek Woodgate of The Futures Lab, who is also Consultant in Residence at the Digital Arts and Entertainment Lab (DAEL) at Georgia State University. I serve as CEO for two divisions of The Futures Lab, Inc., Learning Innovations in Future Education (LIFE) and the Future Entertainment and Events Lab (FEEL). The latter was formerly known as Plutopia Productions, Inc., which I also headed up, and we produced numerous “sense events” at SXSW Interactive and beyond.

For this unique two-day event held in Austin, Texas, we’ve assembled some of the world’s foremost experts in the field of future education as well as the most innovative and immersive demonstrations and exhibits of emerging educational technologies in what we’re terming our “Interactive Playground,” featuring such areas as the Living Classroom, Make Magic, Interactive Storytelling, and the Game of Learning. Special panels and demos will address topics such as alternative approaches to education, avatars for learning, “education is art, art is education,” girls in engineering, and more.

The family-friendly event is for parents, kids, and educators certainly, but also for artists, instructional designers, “makers,” instructors/trainers, content creators, mobile development designers, researchers, and more! And this is only the beginning of our journey. It will continue through a number of similar events that we are planning for Atlanta, Georgia; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and Manchester, UK, as well as through an online post-event portal and virtual and in-person salons.

Our Keynote Speakers include:

  • Maria H. Andersen of Area9 (affordable, personalized learning on a global scale)
  • Dr. Elaine M. Raybourn, Research Scientist and National Laboratory Advisor of Sandia National Labs Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative
  • Elizabeth Strickler, Associate Director, Digital Arts Entertainment Lab (DAEL), Georgia State University
  • Stanza, British artist of data sculptures and networked space
  • Eileen Smith, Director, E2I Creative Lab
  • Carolyn Handler Miller, author of Digital Storytelling: A Creator’s Guide to Interactive Entertainment
  • Benoît Morel, CEO and Co-Founder of Cantoche (avatars in learning)
  • Steve Harmon, Professor and Chair of the Learning Technologies Division in the College of Education at Georgia State University
  • Jon Lebkowsky, Project Manager/Web Developer at Consumers Union
  • Donna Kidwell, Product Director at the University of Texas at Austin

There will also be talks and demos from MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group, Nano Art by Cris Orfescu, Experimental Geography by Nato Thompson, and Algorithmic Art from Joel Kahn. And don’t miss Art, Technology, and Augmented Reality from Marvin Neibuhr and Dr. Bruce Niebuhr, Gamification for Learning by Billy Joe Cain, and Makerspace, a space for young children to learn about STEAM-oriented topics with Joseph Lopez, Head of Faculty of Convergent Media at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

Conference and Interactive Playground
March 1 & 2, 2014
UT Commons Learning Center
JJ Pickle Research Campus, University of Texas
10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758

VIP Party for conference ticket holders
and special guests only

Saturday, March 1, at ATX Hackerspace
9701 Dessau Road, Suite 304, Austin, TX 78754

More information and tickets are available at steam3.com. Full Conference + Interactive Playground + VIP party tickets are priced at $99.95 until December 31—and Alt Ed Austin readers get an extra $10 off this special rate! Just use the coupon code ALTEDATX at checkout. Feel free to share with your friends. On January 1, the price goes up to $124.95. Interactive Playground–only tickets range from $7.50 to $25.

This event is sponsored in part by The Futures Lab, Inc., Learning Innovations in Future Education (LIFE), Skybridge Academy, and ATX Hackerspace.

See you there!

Maggie Duval


Enter below to win one of two pairs of adult + student passes to the STEAM3 Interactive Playground on either day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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