Parents/Adults are invited to participate in the Conference, too. The parent conference will be limited to 100 participants. The $5 registration fee includes lunch. Please note that children are not allowed in the Parent conference, so please plan accordingly.

The program will run simultaneously with the student program, from 9:30 until 2:30.

2012 Presentations include:


Dr.Diana Wehrell-Grabowski, Renowned Science Education Consultant

"STEM Workshop"

Dr. Diana has been involved in science education for over 30 years as a full-time classroom teacher, science education consultant, and adjunct professor. Since the inception of her consulting business in 1987, Diana has provided over 800 hands-on science teacher training workshops nationwide. She's been a presenter and keynote speaker at over 80 regional and national conferences, and has presented over 13,000 hands-on science programs to students of all ages throughout the state of Florida. Lastly, she has provided family science workshops reaching over 5000 individuals.

Diana Wehrell-Grabowski, Ph.D., owner of Mobile Science Education Consulting Services 321-799-9004 (email: website:


Paul Ackerman, Engineering Educator at East River High School

"How to prepare your daughter for an Engineering Education"

In this presentation, Paul Ackerman will be discussing fun things you can do with your children at an early age to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Then will discuss relevant course work at the middle school and high school level that will lead them to greater success at the collegiate level. Accompanied by two short videos on Women in Engineering, Mr. Ackerman will also discuss engineering in general and what job prospects are available for new engineers.Ē

Paul graduated from the University of Florida with a BS as an education and physical education major. He began teaching 25 years ago in Pensacola, teaching primarily science related courses at Escambia High School and coached basketball and tennis. He moved to Linkoping, Sweden to coach basketball in Division II of the Swedish national professional league. He returned to the USA at Dr. Phillips High School teaching science and coaching basketball, cross country and girls track.

Paul transferred to Edgwater High and began teaching computer related subjects and engineering in the EST Magnet program there. He earned his Masterís degree from the University of Central Florida in Educational Technology in 2005. He won a Disney Teacherrific Award in 2006 for our innovative Video Game Development class. Paul was hired at East River High in its inaugural year (2009) to help get the engineering program started. He was narrowly defeated in his quest for a Seminole County School Board seat in 2010.

Christina Ackerman, Engineering Manager at Northrop Grumman Laser Systems


Christina was raised in Caracas, Venezuela where there was much emphasis placed on Science and Engineering education at home and at school. She obtained a Bachelorís Degree in Physics and a Masterís Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. Her professional career started 25 years ago as a Laser Optical Engineer. Her tasks included implementing scientific laser computer models, which led to managing software engineering programs, leading software engineers, and implementing process improvement efforts. Today, Christina manages process improvement initiatives for a company that manufactures laser systems for our military.


Model Eliciting Activity

Participate in a Model Eliciting Activity, just like the students! Model-eliciting activities (MEAs) are activities that encourage students to invent and test models. They are posed as open-ended problems that are designed to challenge students to build models in order to solve complex, real-world problems. MEAs are created to look like authentic, real-world statistical problems and require students to work in teams of 3-4 students. The teams generate solutions to a problem via written descriptions, explanations and constructions by repeatedly revealing, testing, and refining or extending their ways of thinking.


Tour the CREOL Labs at UCF Come visit some of the labs at CREOL -- The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers.