Presenters in order of appearance

List of Presenters

Ian Galloway (Moderator)

Ian is the T³ Europe STEM lead and is an International Professional Development provider and author.
He is a former assessor for the UK Science Council and served four years on the government Advisory Panel for Science in Society for the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.
From 2001-2003 he served as chair of the Association for Science Education, an international association of science teachers and Europe's largest subject teaching organisation. He has won national awards for teaching physics and was an examinations scrutineer for the former Qualification and Curriculum Authority.
He is a founder member of the UK Science Learning Centre network and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Dr. Vladimir Garkov

Vladimir Garkov was trained as medical doctor with a specialization in public health. He holds a PhD degree in nutritional biochemistry and has spent most of his professional career in the US as a post-doctoral fellow in biochemistry at Pennsylvania State University and as an associate professor of chemistry at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia.
Vladimir has a 16-year-long experience teaching science courses for non-STEM students as well as general, organic and biochemistry for STEM majors. His research focuses on curricular reform along the liberal-arts tradition and especially on bridging the gap between the sciences on one hand and the humanities and the arts, on the other. In 2008, Vladimir joined the European Commission as a managing officer of the scientific committees evaluating the health and environmental impact of new legislative proposals. In 2013, he moved to the Directorate General for Education and Culture where he works on the analysis of the PISA results and their implications for the EU Member States policy development. Recently, his efforts have been focused on the STE(A)M approach to STEM learning and on the education for sustainable development.

Title of contribution : Science education as key towards sustainability

Abstract of contribution
Education for sustainable development is part of our efforts to develop the European Education Area promoting innovative and equitable education. Developing the competences related to science, citizenship, and sustainability sits at the heart of this area - a space where everyone should move easily across borders and should be engaged in fruitful, well-informed discussions and actions related to the environmental issues facing the planet. To make this a reality, schools and universities must work towards three main goals:

  • Equipping students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to work and live in a way that safeguards the environment, both in the present and for future generations;
  • Using education for sustainable development to increase the performance, interest and motivation to study STEM and to pursue careers in STEM and/or sustainability;
  • Increase the understanding of science as a process and trust in its practitioners as keys to closing the gap between awareness and action towards greener future;

The EU continues to supports its Member States with the development of common reference documents, e.g. the Council Recommendation on environmental sustainability and the European Competence Framework on climate change and sustainable development. These documents would provide guidance for schools, higher education institutions and teachers to exchange ideas and best practices and to empower students to move from awareness and understanding of the environmental issues towards concrete action.

Peter Balyta, Ph.D

Peter Balyta, Ph.D., is corporate vice president of academic engagement and president of the Education Technology business at Texas Instruments. He is responsible for leading teams that focus on the mission of improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. This includes several groups and programs that span TI, all of which aim to help students develop a strong educational foundation, setting them up for future success in a workforce that increasingly demands STEM skills.

Balyta holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and technology education from McGill University; a master of science in mathematics education from Concordia University; and a master of business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. Before joining TI, Balyta was a mathematics educator, math and science district supervisor and a Teachers Teaching with Technology (T3) instructor. He is the recipient of the 2017 UT Dallas Green and Orange Award for his support and service to UT Dallas, a 2020 TI Founders Community Impact Award recipient for his volunteer efforts, a Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) Honor Pin recipient, as well as proud member of GSNETX's Executive Committee, serving as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Title of contribution : Conference Opening

Alexandre Gomes

Alexandre Gomes - Professor of Physics and Chemistry of basic and secondary education since 1995. Member of school management board for the last 12 years. Degree in Chemical Engineering by the University of Porto and Master in Education Sciences by the University of Minho. Coordination of several projects in the field of sciences, particularly in the area of physics and data acquisition and processing systems. Trainer in the area of Teaching Sciences, Information Technologies and Use of Calculators and Data Acquisition Systems in the teaching/learning of experimental sciences. Member of T³ Europe and T³-APM Portugal.

Title of contribution : Rover, a sm@rt wheelchair - Questioning the sustainability of technological products among classroom STEM projects

Abstract of contribution
Presentation of a STEM project, developed in a classroom context (12th grade students) and discussion of its implications in terms of sustainable development. In addition to the project's contribution to the development of STEM skills among the students involved (by building a prototype of an electric wheelchair, controlled by head movements), the project leads the students to up-to-date discussions about the implications of technological advances on the sustainable development of (all) populations, as well as the footprint left on the planet due to technological pressure on it. The project is currently part of the Sustainability Content Project of STEM Resource Portal – T³ Europe.

Read the blog:

'Portuguese students win trip to NASA with wheelchair project'

Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Martin Hilbig
  • 1980: MSEE University of Paderborn, Germany
  • 1980-2016: Various Engineering and Management positions at Texas Instruments Germany, including Program Manager MSP430/432 Microcontrollers
  • 2017-present: Volunteering as a MINT/STEM teacher, developing new content based on TI-Innovator, Arduino & drones
  • Active contributor at T³ (Teachers Teaching with Technology)
  • Beta-Tester TI-Python CFT, TI-Hub CFT

Title of contribution : Modelling a healthy class room

Abstract of contribution

Maintaining a healthy classroom air & climate is essential for teachers and students to enable productive learning, not just at the time of a pandemic. Students will learn about the latency of some of our key environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and air quality. They will learn the concept, requirements, and implementation of an automated environmental measurement system and apply these learnings in a down-scaled environment of a model house. The following sustainable goals of the United Nations will be addressed in the experiment:

SDG #3: Good health and well-being: Students will learn that environmental indices like temperature, humidity and air quality will lead to well-being in the classroom.

SDG #11,12: Sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption, and production: Students will learn that they can make an impact to sustainability by taking responsibility for a balanced climate in the classroom. They will learn mathematical, computer science and modelling techniques to measure, analyze and control the climate of their classroom.

Dipl. Teacher Veit Berger
  • 1983: Degree in teaching Physics and Mathematics, University of Leipzig, Germany
  • 1988-present: Active teacher at Gymnasium Löbau (Secondary School)
  • 2000: occupational studies of computer science, Technical University of Dresden
  • Currently teaching Physics and Computer Science for student grades 7-12
  • Active contributor T³ Germany (Computer Science team)
  • Beta-Tester TI-Python CFT, TI-Hub CFT

Title of contribution : See Hans-Martin Hilbig

Abstract of contribution
See Hans-Martin Hilbig

Cathy Baars

My name is Cathy Baars and I am a physics teacher at a high school in the Netherlands for 26 years. For the last 10 years I have also been a T³ instructor. Besides being a teacher I am also involved in designing a new school system at my school and I make the schedules for all our students. As a member of our datateam I carry out investigations to enhance our teaching and the learning of students. In my spare time I am a trainer for shorttrack and longtrack speedskating for young children (up to 10 years old).

Title of contribution: Garbage in the classroom

Abstract of contribution
In the Dutch curriculum students have to learn technical automation, programming, technical design and presentation skills. To gain time to get more depth in understanding of the subjects I decided to combine these subjects. This gave the opportunity to spend 15 lessons of 40 minutes on a project which became the garbage project. Students were working in groups of 4 on a problem connected to garbage. Every group became its own problem (glass cleaning, plastic from water separation, metal separation, garbage press, garbage truck). The project started during the first lockdown with a programming course. The students learned to program art at the handheld and the computer in Python. During a few lessons at school of (only) 20 minutes I demonstrated that the art programs could be used to let the rover drive and to make disinfection equipment. After the summer holidays the students started with the garbage project. They used Rover, hub and the TI-Nspire in combination with K'nex and Lego they built their own solution to their garbage problem. The student worked together in groups using the scrum methodology. The students had to think about their own skills and the groups were formed blind on the basis of these skills. During 3 sprints the students worked on the garbage project and they all delivered a solution.

Read the blog:

'Physics project: students sprint towards sustainable waste solutions'

Alexandre Técher

Living in a small piece of rock in the middle of Indian Ocean : The Reunion island (which is a small part of France). I appreciate applied Science especially when a pinch of pure Mathematics is needed to solve the situation. I’ve been teaching Maths and Sciences in vocational high school for almost twenty years and the recent appearance of coding in the curriculum of my classes is really a great pleasure for me to implement : I mainly use Python language through various STEM project because i deeply thing that’s a great way to make some students realize that doing Maths is very often less difficult that avoiding them in order to solve real world problems.

Title of contribution : Solar Panel Trackers

Abstract of contribution
Through this activity, students implement experience based and mathematical methods where the offered context in mathematics or physics is as far as possible associated with a reflection on issues of environmental protection, energy efficiency or adaptation to climate change, including in their economic or social dimension. In this type of activity framework, the student seeks, tests, validates, takes the risk of making mistakes. This activity is fully STEM compatible, actually STEM is the heart of the problem. It’s about to find a way to optimize the position of a rectangular solar panel in order to follow the Sun trajectory along a day, assuming the panel support is grounded. The fact that photovoltaic cells can produce Electricity from the light, conduct to try to measure a light level and since this light is supposed to be provided by the Sun, one has to know about Sun trajectory in relation to the Earth: welcome to Science room! Planets orbit can be defined by a time function, light level can be defined by a distance function to the source and to spot the sun in the sky during the day, one should admit that angles are very convenient: welcome to Mathematics room!

Christine Buerki

Christine is a Biologist, specialized on ecology and sustainable development, did research on moral economy and biodiversity in the Bolivian Amazon and has as a teaching professional experiences for 33 years at different types of schools and levels . She is trained, too, as a neurobiologist which helps a lot for the understanding of aspects of AI and the behavior of decision making of people. The advanced training as a mediator and systemic coach allows her to offer counseling for individuals and companies, to achieve their proximity sustainable development goals at an Expert level.

Title of contribution: The Flip-side of the 17 UN SDG’s

Abstract of contribution
Although I never put in question the urgent need of sustainable development goals for our future, a close look at the presented 17 SDG goals of the UN is revealing far too many contradictions, meeting „Sustainability“ not at all.

Pointing out to such ambiguous aims - and how to consider/implement these facts in existing or new to be developed T³-STEM material: This is what my presentation will be about.