Critical & Creative Design Thinking Program

I AM STEM Symposium

I AM Stem Symposium

I AM STEM Symposium: September 6, 2024

Registering to earn continuing education units or professional development credits will also be an option. More information about that option will be posted soon.

Register Now

Virtual: $25 

This is a friendly conversation/co-learning experience for anyone interested.

Attendees will gain access to a course with materials/resources and access to ongoing network meetings and collaborations. For an additional $10 participants can receive a certificate and digital badge for CEU credits.

Who Should Attend: Faculty, students, industry leaders, organizational leaders and advocates, people who experience disabilities and/or their allies, and anyone interested in thinking about transformational success

STEM faculty:

Responsible for driving inclusion in constructing our curriculum, learning, research spaces, and practices to broaden participation in STEM.  Our thinking around the scoping of skills/ performance expectations can evolve to include broader involvement.

K-12 Educators:

Responsible for ascertaining techniques and strategies to use in primary and secondary schools to enhance student learning and achievement and prepare for postsecondary experiences.  Our content and inclusive pedagogy are strengthened when we collaborate to meet the needs of STEM industries.

University faculty:  

Responsible for course accessibility in teaching and learning, the utility of Universal Design for Learning for student success outcomes, and developing a learning community that values all. Our content and inclusive pedagogy are strengthened when we collaborate to meet the needs of STEM industries.

STEM industry leaders and HR professionals:

Responsible for creating workplace culture, building collaborations with workforce preparation pipelines to identify and recruit employees,  and creating policies and procedures to support a diverse workforce.  Creating mutual, reciprocal partnerships with universities can increase STEM graduates' knowledge and skills and increase the STEM workforce's diversity.

Disability Advocates, Allies, Organizations, and employees who identify with a disability:

Responsible for advocating for the educational, legal, and/or career placement/advancement of those who experience disability.  The needs of your community should shape school, university, and workplace policies, procedures, and practices.  Your voices are very important in this Inclusive Accessibility Movement in STEM!


The Critical & Creative Design Thinking Program of the University of South Florida, in collaboration with the Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking of Rochester Institute of Technology and Ohio State University, is thrilled to announce the inaugural Inclusive Accessibility Movement in STEM (I AM STEM): Transformative Thinking for Action Symposium. This series of gatherings will promote and embed a network aimed at designing, improving, and sharing best practices for Transformative thinking in action for STEM inclusion.  

We are excited to offer a very unique symposium format. Attendees will be engaged in collaborative discussions and design sessions after listening to presentations by academic and industry speakers. 

We anticipate this symposium to be the first of many. 

More details to come as we announce speakers and more! 

Registration Opens 7:30am - 8:00am
Welcome & Overview of the Day 8:00am - 8:15am

Intro: The Mission and Vision of I AM STEM
Led by Drs. Helene Robinson, Dr. Jackie Cheni, and Karen Ramlackhan

A brief overview of Ableism and Accessibility and a deep dive into how Critical & Creative Design Thinking and Universal Design Learning can help us create innovative solutions in STEM. 

8:15am - 9:00am

Accessibility Challenges in Early STEM Ecosystems
A panel discussion which explores the challenges faced in early STEM ecosystems, including first year in college, internships, onboarding and early career in STEM industries and how to build reciprocal networks.

9:00am - 10:30am


10:30am - 10:45am

Fireside Chat Discussions:  Exploring Solutions for Accessibility
Attendees can choose to listen to conversations that explore real-world solutions featuring perspectives of

  • Industry/ Employer Leader experiences
  • STEM student, DSO & K12 experiences

*Specific Fireside chat participant bios and event breakouts will be listed soon!

10:45am - 11:45am

Roundtable Discussion: Interactive Dialogue between Industry and Academia 
Identify industry needs and explore how early STEM career preparation in academia can address accessibility challenges that STEM professionals will face in internships, onboarding and early career development.

Attendees will have the option to explore the importance of empathy data collection in designing solutions for accessibility.

11:45am - 12:45pm

Break for Lunch

12:45pm - 1:15pm

Brainstorming Session: Putting Ideas into Action

Apply the Critical and Creative Design Thinking process (CCDT) or the Applied Critical Thinking process (ACT) to design I AM STEM early ecosystems that will address:

  • Goals from an individual, procedural, and systemic level.
  • Consider stakeholders and what they need to understand and implement the idea.
  • Challenges that may be presented during implementation
1:15pm - 3:15pm


3:15pm - 3:30pm

Closing Session
Grab your favorite beverage and join this conversation as participants share their action plan ideas and we discuss plans for an ongoing network to ensure sustainability of this Inclusive Accessibility Movement in STEM to create transformative thinking in action.

3:30pm - 5:00pm

From 8:00am to 10:30am, the symposium will be available as a livestream, where you’ll be welcome to ask questions. From 10:30am onward, attendees will collaborate in facilitated break-out sessions with other attendees. 

I Am Stem Flyer