Learning Community

Ignited’s Learning Community offers regular opportunities for teachers to meet directly with industry professionals to learn about their careers and to explore strategies to bring industry into their classrooms. Join us for topics from electric vehicles and semiconductors to water stewardship and biotechnology! During the school year, we meet monthly on Zoom from 5-6pm (PST) during the week. 


Fall 2024 Seminar line-up coming soon!

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Learn how satellites move and perform complex missions in space, how propulsion is tested on Earth, and lesson connections that hook your students with asteroids, tardigrades, and robotics!

Industry Leader: Andrea Hsu
Teacher Leader: Monica Maynard

With both genome engineering and nature-based approaches to disease resistance and carbon sequestration, Berkeley scientists Peggy Lemaux and Myeong-Je Cho are improving the performance and quality of crops like wheat, sorghum, and the beloved cacao. Anya Schwanes will showcase how she brings the science of genetically engineered crops into her classroom.

Industry Leaders: Peggy Lemaux and Myeong-Je Cho

Embark on a journey into the realm of Electric Vehicles (EV) and information technology (IT). Explore the significance of mentorship, focusing on building trust within teams and addressing the perennial question of “when am I ever going to use this in real life?”

Industry Leader: Mark Peterson
Teacher Leader: Nicole Padia

Learn about the onboarding and support provided to new hires in expanding industries. Gain insights into apprenticeship programs, the skills sought by HR hiring teams, and the support offered post-hiring. Explore the ongoing guides and structures relied upon by those already in the field during their professional journey.

Panel Guests: Chris Allen, Laurel Hanchett, Shekaib Arian, Vidya Gopalakrishnan, Rachelle Salmani

Samira, our industry leader, will provide insights into personal branding strategies for individuals seeking entry-level positions in the Semiconductor field. She will discuss her approach to supporting a diverse team and fostering their professional growth. Additionally, Samira will elaborate on her collaboration with schools to organize tours and workshops for students at her workplace.
Jim, a CTE educator, will share his experiences incorporating semiconductor lessons into his courses.

Industry Leader: Samira Bagheri
Teacher Leader: Jim Burnham

Traditional production of indigo dye utilizes harsh chemicals that lead to environmental damage. Join us as we hear from Tammy Hsu, PhD, the Co-Founder and CSO of Huue, a biotechnology company engineering microbes to create the world’s most sustainable denim dyes! Temy Taylor will share a lesson that also has visible results- bacterial transformation.

Industry Leader: Tammy Hsu
Teacher Leader: Temy Taylor

CRISPR technology continues to evolve: from controlling cell fate to targeting disease. Our industry guest speaker Marie La Russa will help us understand the health advances that come with CRISPR technology and the ethical questions that arise. Kerin Coffey, our teacher leader, will showcase DNA-based hands-on activities that get students excited about cutting-edge science.

Industry Leader: Marie La Russa
Teacher Leader: Kerin Coffey

The CHIPS Act is opening doors to jobs in the semiconductor industry for early talent. From mobile computing and machine learning to supply chain security, we’ll explore what it takes to enter this growing industry with Nader Sehatbakhsh. Lessons we can implement immediately in our classroom that connect students to the skills needed for these jobs will be shared by Jenny Chin.

Industry Leader: Nader Sehatbakhsh
Teacher Leader: Jenny Chin

Laycee, AKA Miss GoElectric, discusses how a mindset change around transportation is coupled with new technologies for a positive environmental and social impact. We’ll also find ways we can implement these ideas into our classrooms with hands-on kits available from RAFT.

Industry Leader: Laycee AKA Miss GoElectric
Teacher Leader: Chase Davenport with RAFT

What does it really take to confidently work in industry today? Through the lens of his work in bioinformatics, Atet Kao takes us on a journey to demystify the actual skills needed by industry professionals, and Svea Anderson helps us directly connect this to our classrooms.

Industry Leader: Atet Kao
Teacher Leader: Svea Anderson

Have you ever considered the cybersecurity of keeping things like fresh water and electricity supplies safe? We’ll hear from Marc Glenn of the Metropolitan Water District Southern California and Ramsey Williams at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) about their current positions and career path. There will be time for Q&A, and then breakout rooms with other teachers to consider how you might bring things you heard back to your students.

We’ll hear from Captain Christopher Clemons of the US Air Force and Brandon Bailey of The Aerospace Corporation about their current positions and career path. There will be time for Q&A, and then breakout rooms with other teachers to consider how you might bring things you heard back to your students.

Come join us as we learn from the forefront of conservation initiatives employing DNA analysis. From researchers overseeing coastal waters and fisheries management to the San Diego Zoo’s utilization of assisted reproduction, and the Academy of Sciences’ exploration of fern and cycad population genetics, we’ll delve into the cutting-edge techniques shaping conservation biology today..

Industry Leaders: Lou Sassoubre, Gwen Wulf, Maia Jones

We’ll hear from Athit Kao at Raytheon Technology Corporation and an expert at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a part of Homeland Security about their current positions and career path. There will be time for Q&A, and then breakout rooms with other teachers to consider how you might bring things you heard back to your students.

Whether specializing in genetic engineering,. bioinformatics, CRISPR technology, next-generation sequencing, all scientists have tried and true tools and techniques they use in their labs. Are the things we’re using and teaching today just as relevant as they were 10 or 20 years ago? Together, their work exemplifies the diverse and innovative approaches driving progress in today’s biotech landscape. We’ll hear about the tried and true techniques in today’s biotech lab, as well as the new and cutting edge techniques.

Industry Leaders: Adriana Del Cid, Manda Wong, Paul Moran, Ryan Cook

Our professionals this month have built amazing careers in some of today’s most cutting-edge areas, including self-driving vehicles, autonomous robotics, computer vision, and deep learning. We’re excited to have Brody Huval, co-founder of Drive.ai (acquired by Apple), and Lee Redden, co-founder of Blue River Technology (acquired by John Deere). Our host this month is Christine Moon, co-founder of BlueSpace.ai, and a Board Member at Ignited.

Industry Leaders: Brody Huval, Lee Redden, Christine Moon


Teachers Rave about the Learning Community!

“I like to bake but I don’t make a decision about what to bake based on the recipe; I make a decision based on the reviews because I only have two hours to make something happen and I don’t want a bad experience. That’s how I feel about the professional development. Hearing from a teacher with real students in a real classroom and what did and didn’t work for them is kind of like a recipe review for me.”

“I liked hearing the researchers share about their work demands and experience in the lab. I also liked that they were helping us find ways to apply those real life biotech lab skills for our students in the classroom.”

“This PD provided great insight into how students and teachers could begin their journey into cybersecurity proficiency, and also about related career aspects that this field holds. I really enjoyed this!”


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Cybersecurity focused Seminars are sponsored by Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research under ONR award number N00014-21-1-2778. 
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.