Keynote Panel Speakers & Closing Keynote Speaker

2017 Keynote Speaker Panel

Brian.jpgBrian Delgado - Science Teacher, High Tech High


Brian Delgado has been at High Tech High since 2001 as a math teacher, school administrator, and most recently, as a science teacher. Brian's work in education is a social equity project. He is inspired to support young people in learning to think and engage in the world through the lens of science and mathematics. Most recently, Brian has helped develop a Space and Planetary Science Program at High Tech High which is actively pursuing astronomy, atmospheric sciences, and rocketry research. The success of these projects spurred Mr. Delgado to start a non-profit, Blue Dot Education, with the express purpose of engaging more talented young people in the pursuit of scientific understanding while supporting teachers in that work.  When he's not working, Brian is typically outside playing in the mountains, ocean or deserts with his nine year old son.

Brittney_2.jpgBrittney Nguyen - Candidate for Ph.D. in Microbiology, UC Berkeley; High Tech High Alumna

Brittney Nguyen is completing a PhD in Microbiology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently working in the Portnoy Lab, where she studies the interaction between Listeria monocytogenes and the immune system. In 2016, Brittney was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support her graduate studies. Brittney graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology and from High Tech High in San Diego, CA in 2010. While at High Tech High, she had the opportunity to write and edit Biomimicry: Respecting Nature Through Design and travel to Tanzania to teach a workshop on methods for identifying animal species through DNA sequencing. Brittney attributes her pursuit of STEM to her education at High Tech High, the project-based-learning model, and her inspirational teachers. When she’s not doing science, Brittney enjoys volunteering through Bay Area Scientists in Schools to teach science lessons to 4th and 5th grade students, and partnering with the California Academy of Sciences to share everyday applications of microbiology at their NightLife events.

BrettWill-249.jpgBrett Peterson - Director, High Tech High International


Brett W. Peterson is the Director of High Tech High International, a nationally recognized, progressive, project based charter school in San Diego, California.  He served as Director of The Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High for nine years after teaching at the school for five years and continues to serve as a network ambassador and consultant, training teachers, administrators, and superintendents in implementing project based learning in several states, Israel, and the U.K. In addition, Peterson serves as a Trustee of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s National Board where he advises the organization about grass roots impacts of policies, marketing and strategic vision.  Recently, he served on the U.S. Department of Education’s Western Regional Advisory Committee. His belief that teaching and learning go hand in hand guided him as he earned a Master’s in History from the University of San Diego and a Master’s in Curriculum Design from UCSD. Before coming to San Diego he earned a BA in History from the University of Notre Dame (Go, Irish!).  When not updating his bio, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling this small world of ours.

Dan_1.jpgDan Thoene - Math Teacher, High Tech High International


Dan Thoene has been part of the High Tech High Village since 2003 when he helped open up High Tech Middle School.  After working there for 12 years, he made the switch to High Tech Middle Media Arts for a year.  Now he's moved up to the high school ranks at High Tech High International.  He graduated from UCSB with a major in Communications and a minor in Mathematics.  In 2007 Dan created a math program called Judo Math that focuses on collaboration and differentiation in learning and is used in 5 different countries.  

2017 Closing Keynote Speaker


PLP_compressed.jpgPamela Lottero-Perdue, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Science Education, Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences at Towson University

"Another Engineering Habit of Mind: Persistence and Productive Responses to Failure"

Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Science Education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences at Towson University. She has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, worked briefly as a process engineer, and taught high school physics and pre-engineering. She has taught engineering and science to children in multiple informal settings. As a pre-service teacher educator, she includes engineering in her elementary and early childhood science methods courses, and has developed engineering education courses for middle school pre-service teachers and practicing elementary teachers. She has provided science and engineering professional development to multiple schools and school systems in Maryland, and has significantly contributed to the writing of many integrated STEM units of instruction used by teachers and school systems. Her research has examined factors that support and those that hinder elementary teachers as they learn to teach engineering, and currently focuses on how children learn to engineer and in the process, learn to fail and productively persist. She is the Director of the Integrated STEM Instructional Leadership (PreK-6) Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program at TU. She currently serves as the Chair of the Pre-College Engineering Education Division of ASEE, and is a member of the ASEE Board of Directors Committee on P12 Engineering Education.

Engineering habits of mind are fundamental dispositions of the engineering community. Key engineering habits of mind include: systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, ethical considerations, and optimism. Closely related to the last on this list – optimism – is another important engineering habit of mind featured in this plenary talk: persistence and productive responses to failure. Beyond being optimistic that problems can be solved, engineers must persist and respond in productive ways when design failure occurs. One of the goals for PreK-12 engineering education is to have students think like engineers, and thus, to develop these habits of mind. This plenary talk shares research on how teachers can: encourage students’ productive responses to design failures; and use fail words (e.g., fail, failure) with care during the design process.