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STEM Breakfasts

Share STEM

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Pass Along the Power of STEM

The STEM Business Breakfasts, sponsored by Wimmer Solutions, spotlight business pioneers from across the country for an intimate gathering with fellow executives and education thought leaders. Speakers challenge our best thinking on what innovation means today, sparking disruptive conversation. These Breakfasts are an excellent opportunity for leaders from the business community to connect with one another and accelerate their work.

Past STEM Breakfasts have featured Brad Smith, Microsoft, Jessie Woolley-Wilson, DreamBox Learning; Ed Fries, X-Box; Naveen Jain, Intelius; Zoran Popović, University of Washington; and Eric Fingerhut, Battelle, among others.

STEM Breakfasts are held on the first Wednesday of every month at the McKinstry Innovation Center in Seattle, Washington. While in-person attendance is by invitation only, STEM Breakfasts are live streamed at

To learn more about the STEM Breakfasts, please email

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5/8/13: Kabir Shahani

CEO | Appature, Inc

Kabir Shahani, CEO, Appature, Inc., shared his personal take on the the growing demand for STEM skills in Seattle, particularly in regards to the technology industry. Most startling was the statistic that in the next five years there will be more than 45,000 unfilled STEM jobs here in Washington. Highlighting Seattle's STEM-powered economy, Kabir challenged major corporate leaders in our state to address the urgent need to create a culture where STEM careers are possible for every student. Our takeaway: the time is now to take a stand and invest in the future of Washington's economy.

Read Transcript | Watch Video
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4/3/13: Roger Myers

Executive Director | Electric Propulsion and Integrated Systems, Aerojet

The aerospace sector in Washington is growing beyond everyday flight. Roger Myers' keynote explored the new frontier of commercial space travel. He made it clear that the future of flight is NOW - and that Washington must provide a STEM-literate workforce to compete in the growing commercial space economy. Our take away? We must work together like never before to ensure our students are ready to take off. Watch Roger's keynote at our STEM Breakfast in the Cloud site.

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3/6/13: Andy Newell

UK Ed-Tech Guru and Managing Director, iRIS Connect

Andy Newell challenged us to reimagine professional development for teachers. Most startling was the fact that only 5 percent of teachers who attend traditional professional development workshops actually transfer what they learned in the workshop into their classrooms. But that's not the end of the story. Rather, using low-cost technologies like video recording and ear-in-bud coaching have had an impressive track record in the UK supporting teachers in improving their practice. What's more, this model provides a scalable and sustainable solution, two critical attributes in professional development. Our take away? Technology + teacher learning = the future.

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2/6/13: Scott Oki

Microsoft Pioneer, Philanthropist, and Community Activist

Scott Oki's thought-provoking discussion on the state of education and the power of community engagement brought to the fore the many challenges - and opportunities - facing Washington state. We were inspired to think further about the varied complex factors that are at play when a Washington student steps into a classroom, and reminded once again that student success is built on great teaching. Our take away? The time is now for all of us to invest ourselves in the future of education.

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1/9/13: Brad Smith

Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation

Listen to Brad Smith give an inspiring STEM Breakfast keynote underscoring the need for education today to meet the demands of Washington's - and the nation's - 21st century economy.

Highlighting startling statistics including a growing talent gap in computer science, he presented a four-point plan to better prepare students for the opportunities and demands of tomorrow. To learn more about Microsoft's creative solutions to strengthen our STEM pipeline, check out its National Talent Strategy white paper on our Resource Hub

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11/14/12: Zoran Popovic & Hanson Hosein

University of Washington

University of Washington's Zoran Popovic, Director of Game Science, and Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media program, engaged an audience of leaders with their knowledge on “The Crossroads of Engagement and Mastery in STEM Education.” They highlighted how the intersection of engagement, mastery, and imagination is the wave of the future for education, and how they are being integrated in the real world.

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10/3/12: Jessie Woolley-Wilson

President & CEO, Dreambox Learning

Listen to Jessie Woolley-Wilson lead a powerful exploration of Intelligent Adaptive Learning. Her message was both inspiring and clear: in order to prepare our kids with the foundational skills critical to them to be successful from cradle to career, we need to adapt our teaching strategies, “learn from the learner” as Jessie so cleverly illustrated, and start teaching the way our kids learn today. Our state, nation, and the world has evolved dramatically over the past 50 years, so must our approach to education and learning.

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9/5/12: Brian Kelly

Editor, U.S. News & World Report

Listen to Brian Kelly lead a dynamic discussion around the urgency for convening STEM stakeholders – from parents to labor unions – in the nation. Particularly meaningful were his insights into the challenges and opportunities in educating and engaging the whole spectrum of community members around the importance of STEM education.

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