Check out our Virtual STEAM site to host your own STEAM Night using our kits!
Welcome to STEMversations, a podcast by Prairie STEM, an education-based non-profit focused on improving critical thinking and creativity in all PK-12 students. Using STEM and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) integration combined with teacher professional development, students are empowered to understand their greatest value. This podcast will amplify inspiring community partners by sharing their stories, successes and initiatives. Join us on this journey to foster educational empowerment, inspire collaboration, and make a lasting impact in education.
Get to know the passionate team behind Prairie STEM with podcast cohosts Jeff Ingraham (Chief Operating Officer) and Robbie Jensen (Chief Learning Officer). Both have vast experience in educational technology, teacher training, and instructional innovation.
The origins of Prairie STEM begin in connection with a project aimed at training teachers to build robots and bring them into the classroom. A few years later, motivated by his child’s interest in robotics, a stay-at-home dad (Executive Director Alan Wang) took the initiative to establish a robotics club when his son’s school lacked such a program. This combination of events would lay the foundation for what would become Prairie STEM, evolving into a platform that connects people and organizations with opportunities to enrich their curriculum through technology integration.
In this podcast, you’ll hear firsthand the importance of STEM education, the integration of arts (STEAM), and the need to inspire students’ passion and creativity in the classroom.
You’ll also explore the challenges faced by educators, such as limited planning time and a rigid curriculum structure, which can hinder the implementation of innovative teaching methods. Despite that, educators are discovering the role of technology in engaging students and enabling them to explore their interests and pursue hands-on, project-based learning.
The mission of the podcast is to showcase innovation, share inspiring stories of community partners, and highlight the power of technology in inspiring students, teachers, and community members in the field of STEM. It will feature guests from various backgrounds, including partner organizations, students, and educators, to provide insights, success stories, and practical strategies for integrating STEM education effectively.
Overall, this podcast aims to create a platform for knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and inspiration in the field of STEM education. It seeks to empower educators, engage students, and promote the integration of technology and creativity in classrooms to prepare students for future careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Jeff has been with Prairie Stem since 2019. He has had a lifetime career focused on educational technology primarily. His goal is to bring the whole world of STEM to everyone.
Robbie started his career as an elementary educator who quickly turned classroom experience into a profession in learning and design. He has been a leader in Nebraska at Educational Service Unit #3, specializing in digital learning and STEM and creating high-quality professional learning modules. As an adjunct professor for Doane University and College of St. Mary, Robbie focused on creating learning environments that elevated the learning environment to help all teachers expand their knowledge of technology in the classroom. Robbie recently transitioned from his role as Senior Professional Learning Specialist with Apple to his new role as the Chief Learning Officer for Prairie STEM.
He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a B.A. in Elementary Education, and an M.Ed in Elementary Education with a graduate endorsement in Instructional Technology. He also holds a graduate certificate in Workplace Instructional Design from Boise State University.
In his free time, you will find Robbie with his family. He and his wife are dedicated to supporting their sons, whether it’s cheering them on at sporting events or participating in Boy Scout activities together.