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Lunch Bites

Lunch Bites

By CA STEAM Symposium
Here on Lunch Bites, we engage educators in discussions on innovative practices, resources, and practical solutions to benefit our students and our greater education community.
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Early Education & STEAM

Lunch Bites

Karen Vang - STEAM and Early Learning
In this episode, Karen Vang shares how STEAM intersects with Early Education, various Early Learning practices which are transferable at all grade levels, and how hands-on, project-based learning includes a lot of intangibles that are hard to measure, but you can determine impact on student learning. Karen Vang is the Program Manager at the Center for District Innovation And Leadership in Early Education (DIAL EE). Before joining DIAL EE, Karen was responsible for managing early literacy assessments in Oakland, CA, for over 1000 children, conducting data analysis for continuous program improvement, and coordinating professional development across multiple agencies at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. She initially began her career in early childcare as a student assistant with infants and toddlers, and has also worked as a literacy tutor in a Transitional Kindergarten classroom. Karen holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. Make sure to visit: DIALEE For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
October 05, 2021
Building Powerful Partnerships To Support Student Learning
Anita Miller, Advisor for Chevron Education and Corporate Programs, and Jesse Lovejoy, Director of 49ers EDU and 49ers Museum, provide an honest look behind the scenes at how successful partnerships begin, what the growing pains are, and ideas for how everyone, from classroom teachers to district leadership, can develop partnerships to positively impact their students’ lives. Make sure to visit the Chevron STEM Zone  and 49ers EDU. For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
September 23, 2021
Seize the Moment with Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants
Michael Funk, Director of the Expanded Learning Division at the California Department of Education, encourages every educator to seize the moment with the Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grants. He encourages looking for community solutions to support student growth this summer and beyond while also providing tangible examples for Local Education Agencies and Expanded Learning Partners. Resources Mentioned: Free Event: 5/5/21, 9am-3pm PT - A Whole Child Approach to the AB86 Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grant Convening California Collaborative for Educational Excellence California AfterSchool Network Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants Frequently Asked Questions AB-86 COVID-19 relief and school reopening, reporting, and public health requirements COVID-19 Relief Funding Summary Sheet from CDE
April 29, 2021
Science Advocacy & Inclusive Practices
Jessica Sawko, Associate Director of the California STEM Network, and Juanita Chan, STEM and College and Careers Pathway Coordinator for Rialto Unified School District, join us. We discuss rethinking inclusive practices for a post-distance learning world, and they give tips for advocating for science no matter your role in education. Our guests also talk about the challenge with measuring potential learning loss and the need for assessments to provide data points to inform the LCAP process occurring now in districts. Both guests also share tools to assist educators in advocating for Science. Resources Mentioned in this Episode: CA4NGSS: Science Advocacy CommunicationsToolkit - Curated core messages, slide presentations, and other communication toolkits Opportunity for Successful Science Implementation in a Post-Pandemic Climate - Guidance for using the LCAP to Mitigate Science Learning Loss Note: This was recorded while the state was still in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the State Board approved plan for assessment for the 2020/2021. For the latest information on science and other state testing requirements for 2020/2021, please visit CDE’s website.
April 14, 2021
A Child’s Education Journey with Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California
“I am optimistic.  We went through a really hard time this last year and I am optimistic that we are going to rebuild better and that this is an opportunity for us to really think about what is best for kids, families, and teachers. People are really understanding the benefits are starting early and I’m really hopeful that this will turn into action.” We welcome Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California, to explore the recently released report, Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California and reflect on the report’s kick-off webinar. She shares about her journey from Colombia to California. She also lends her expertise to highlight family engagement strategies and the benefits of supporting our multilingual students and families. Resources Mentioned in this Episode: Executive Summary - Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California Full Report - Building A Coherent P-12 Education System In California Webinar Recording - Improving A Child’s Education Journey: A Conversation About K-12 Policy & Early Learning in California
March 25, 2021
Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, & Performing Arts: A New Arts Guide by CAPTA & CREATE/CA with Sarah Anderberg, Jesus Holguin, & Erin Jenks
We explore the recently released Guide To Arts Education In Public Education that was developed by the California State PTA and Create/CA. The guide was created in response to the updated California Arts Standards developed by the California Department of Education. While designed for parents, this guide has many useful resources for educators at every grade level and is also available in both English and Spanish. Learn more about the power of the arts, how to become an Arts Equity District, and the various ways this arts guide can be utilized in your education community by listening today. Resources Mentioned: Parents’ Guide To Arts Education In Public Education Creative Industries Career Map The Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning How to become an Arts Equity District California Arts Standards
March 18, 2021
49ers EDU: The Intersection of Sports and STEAM with Sofy Navarro & Sara Jin
We are excited to share our conversation with 49ers EDU team members Sofy Navarro, Senior Manager, and Sara Jin, Lead Educator. In this episode, we discuss their pivot from in-person learning experiences to inspiring digital learning, how to be more inclusive of females in STEAM, and some great engaging resources for your learning environment. Resources Mentioned: 49ers EDU Interactive Digital Playbook 49ers EDU PDF Digital Playbook 49ers EDU Website 49ers EDU #LunchBites Webinar Video For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
December 08, 2020
A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction with Dani Wadlington & Kyndall Brown
We discuss equitable math and dismantling racism in mathematics instruction with Dani Wadlington, Director of Mathematics Education at Quetzal Education Consulting and Kyndall Brown, Executive Director at the California Mathematics Project. We take a close look at both individual and school-wide approaches to anti-racist practices in education. Dani and Kyndall also share about their contributions to the “A Pathway To Equitable Math Instruction” project which includes a newly available workbook that models how to be an anti-racist math educator. Resources mentioned: For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
November 19, 2020
Compassion Centered Education with Dr. Jacquelyn Ollison
"The other thing you can do is to practice self compassion. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Extend the grace you would afford to anyone else going through tremendous turmoil to yourself. You're worth it!" Dr. Jacquelyn Ollison is the Program Director of the California Teacher Residency Lab at CDE Foundation. She is a committed educator with extensive education experience as a teacher and school site, district, and state administrator. Dr. Jacquelyn Ollison addresses the issue of compassion fatigue, and how teachers suffer from the emotional labor of serving their students. Resources Mentioned: Read her blog: Compassion Centered Education Watch her TEDx Talk: Compassion Fatigue
October 22, 2020
Early Education & STEAM
“Every last one of us is responsible for the world we live in. When we are asking our children to be better than that, we should be asking ourselves the same thing. Despite everything that is going on...a pandemic, a fiscal depression, serious climate change, and civil unrest, we have to see another way... We have created this. If we want to create a different reality, THIS is the day we do it. And I’m thinking ahead about STEAM and the Symposium. This is the time to think about how we do this better.” Carla Bryant is the Executive Director and creator of the District Innovation and Leadership for Early Education (DIAL EE) supporting school districts as they create and implement effective early learning structures that assist children from communities with less social, political, and monetary capital build a strong educational foundation. Resources Mentioned: White Paper: Recommendations for Home Learning Materials DIAL-EE Website For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
October 14, 2020
Culturally Relevant Phenomena In Science
This week’s episode features Dr. Leena Bakshi, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, STEM 4 Real.  She introduces the concept of culturally relevant phenomena and provides tangible examples of how educators can use them in their classrooms.  She also addresses anti-racism in STEM classrooms and shares her reflections on our Building Community With STEAM Pre-Conference in August. Resources Mentioned: For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
September 29, 2020
A Student’s Perspective: Welcoming BIPOC Students to STEAM
This week's episode features Ashley Alvarez, a 2020 high school graduate who is starting her freshman year at Harvard this fall. You may recognize Ashley from the Social Justice Learning Institute student panel at our Building Community With STEAM Pre-Conference in August. She reflects on her recent experience as a summer intern on the STEAM Team at the CDE Foundation during a global pandemic and a national reckoning on racial justice. For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit:
September 02, 2020
Creating a Trusting School Environment
This week's episode focuses on utilizing strategic frameworks from Community Schools, a relationship-based way to approach student growth. Our guests are Hayin Kimner, an education policy advisor, and Gustavo Morales, the Program Manager of The CA Labor Management Initiative at CDE Foundation. They reflect on the PACE Report, Community Schools: A COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, and share their experiences helping students, families, educators, and community partners come together to create a trusting school environment.
August 27, 2020
Staying Connected With Students When You Are At A Distance
This week's episode features Edwin Kang, the STEM Specialist at the Mendocino County Office of Education. He describes how he has been supporting students and teachers not only here in California, but also in Indonesia and Borneo. He also shares his biggest takeaway from the Lunch Bites "Creativity and Engineering with Household Robotics" webinar episode with the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation.
August 12, 2020
Equity & Creativity in Computer Science
This week's podcast features Jean Ryoo, a researcher at the UCLA Computer Science Equity Project. She reflects on how her work shapes effective pedagogical practices that promote academic engagement for students who have historically been denied access to quality computer science education. She also shares her past experience working at the Exploratorium, as well as her interview with a recent high school graduate who attended the Summer of CS. They explore how to attract youth to computer science, STEAM-related classes, and STEAM careers.  For more information about the California STEAM Symposium visit: For more information about the Summer of Computer Science visit:
July 29, 2020
Hands-On Distance Learning & The Power of Thinking Routines
This week's podcast features Yamileth Shimojyo, a STEAM/Science Administrator at the Riverside County Office of Education. She reacts to a presentation on the power of thinking routines that was led by Justin Boner of Maker Ed, and shares how she has used these tools in her role.
July 22, 2020
Mathematics Through the Lens of Social Justice with Albert David Valderramma
Our first episode features Albert David Valderrama, an educator, as he shares reflections on his international career and his teacher credentialing program at Cal State University Long Beach. He also reacts to Dr. Kyndall Brown’s, the Executive Director of California Mathematics Project, presentation on Math Through the Lens of Social Justice. He also revisits Dr. Chris Emdin’s 2019 California STEAM Symposium Keynote presentation focused on the use of hip hop in education.
June 25, 2020