STEAMConf Barcelona 2017

3rd. International Education Conference

CosmoCaixa, Barcelona, April 20, 21 & 22




Thursday, April 20, 18:30


Public Conference opening (simultaneous translation catalan, spanish, english)


Welcome, Lluís Noguera i Jordana, Director of CosmoCaixa




Lluís Noguera i Jordana, director of CosmoCaixa, the Science Museum of the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation. A graduate in Philosophy from UAB with a Masters in Cultural Management from UB and in Public Administration from ESADE, he has also studied International Cultural Relations. He has held the position of Deputy Director of the Science, Research and Environment Area at the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation developing, among others, the assessment project for the science outreach programme.



Screening of the film Beyond Measure

«… the most powerful film … in many years about what’s needed —and possible— in American education.»

Edutopia, George Lucas Education Foundation


Presented by: Vicki Abeles, director & producer, Lafayette (USA)

Local peer: Boris Mir, secondary school teacher and director of the Escola Nova 21 programme, Barcelona


In Beyond Measure, we find a revolution brewing in public schools across the country. From rural Kentucky to New York City, schools that are breaking away from an outmoded, test-driven education are shaping a new vision for our classrooms. These are schools that see critical thinking, communication, exploration, experimentation, collaboration, and creativity as the key to good education. And they are dramatically improving outcomes for children of all backgrounds. They are schools where practically every student graduates and goes on to finish college.


20.00 Conversation



Vicki Abeles, is a filmmaker, speaker, and passionate education advocate. Abeles began her career as a Wall Street attorney and turned filmmaker in 2007 when she co-directed the award winning documentary, Race to Nowhere, a vivid portrayal of the pressure-cooker culture dominating America’s schools. Abeles has brought Race to Nowhere to millions of viewers around the globe. She is the author of a book featuring education change makers published by Simon & Schuster. Abeles is currently in production on a film about the math crisis in America and the inspiring educators on a mission to solve it. She is also co-author of the End the Race Companion Book for parents, educators and students (2010).




Boris Mir, passionate about education, is a secondary school teacher. He was one of the founders of the Institut-Escola Les Vinyes in Castellbisbal, part of UAB’s (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) innovative institute network. He has been the driving force behind projects on education assessment, learning strategies and creativity in the classroom. He collaborates with other centres, institutions and groups to help them transform education. Currently he is Deputy Director of the Escola Nova 21 programme.



Friday, april 21



9.00 Workshops and conference registration


The workshops are designed to be attended in real time and with hands on. They present projects that can be easily taken to the classroom and inspire other projects. These workshops provide specific proposals that can be introduced on Monday in the classroom and are for discovering what is being done locally and everywhere else, for finding inspiration from the experiences of other teachers and researchers, for comparing ideas with those of other participants and for sharing doubts and concerns.


10.00 Parallel Workshops


11.30 Coffee Break


12.00 Parallel Workshops


13.30 Lunch, provided for participants on both activities only (Conferences + Workshops)


Choose and sign up! A double bill that’s a must-see!

See detailed programme here!



13.45 Reception of front row guests (welcome and coordination by Boris Mir, Member of the Advisory Committee)


14.30 Conference Registration (all sessions will have simultaneous translation catalan, spanish, english)


15.00 Conference opening


Jordi Portabella i Calvete, director of the Research and Knowledge Area at “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, Barcelona


Francesca Bria, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer, Ajuntament de Barcelona


Montserrat Llobet i Bach, General Director for Compulsory Secondary Education and Baccalaureate, Generalitat de Catalunya



Jordi Portabella i Calvete is a graduate in Biology from UB (Universitat de Barcelona). He has a Masters in Environmental Engineering from UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) and is an environmental consultant. Formerly he was a professor of Environmental Studies for Agricultural Engineering at the UIC (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya).Portabella also has extensive experience as a manager in the area of the environment and sciences for institutions such as the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia and in the private consultancy sector. He has been a member of Parliament (1992-1999) and a councillor for Barcelona City Council (1999-2015).




Francesca Bria, is the Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer of the City of Barcelona. She is a Senior expert and advisor on digital strategy, technology and innovation policy.


She was a Nesta Senior Adviser and Senior Project Lead in the Nesta Innovation Lab. She was also a Researcher and Teaching Associate at Imperial College Business School in the Innovation Studies Centre- Digital Economy Lab. She has a background in Innovation Economics and social sciences with a PhD from Imperial College, and an MSc in E-business and Innovation from the University College of London, Birkbeck. Francesca is a member of the Internet of Things Council and an advisor for the European Commission on Future Internet and Smart Cities policy.


She is also a member of the EC Expert Group on Open Innovation (OISPG) and a member of the European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things (IERC). She has been advising a variety of organisations and public institutions on Innovation policy, open technology, the Internet of things and smart cities. She is also active in various grassroots movements advocating for open access, digital sovereignty and digital rights.



Montserrat LLobet with a degree in philosophy and literature and professor of Catalan from UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), she is also a professor of secondary education and a teacher at the Official School of Languages, specialising in Catalan language and literature. Since 2011, she has been the director of regional services at the Department of Education for the province of Barcelona. She has worked as a professor on numerous graduate and postgraduate courses for the University of Barcelona, UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and UAB, as well as forming part of GRELL (Research Group on Education, Language and Literature) for the University of Vic and UAB.She was an Education Inspector from 2005 to 2011 and has also taken part in different research activities and publications and is a co-author of publications on language learning and teaching.


15.20 Making Things, Doing Science!


Arvind Gupta, science educator, The Children’s Science Centre, Pune (India)

Local peer: Eduard Muntaner, computer engineer and an expert in maker education, UdiGitalEdu, University of Girona, Girona


Before children can understand a thing, they need experience: seeing, touching, hearing, tasting, smelling, choosing, arranging, putting things together, taking things apart. Children need to experiment with real things that surround them. In India most science is learnt by rote – by mugging up definitions and formulae and spitting them out in exams. Very few children dirty their hands on making simple models.


The Government of India launched the Make in India campaign a few years back. They soon realized that the slogan would only become a reality when children started learning science in schools through actual experiments and projects. Now the Government of India is opening hundreds of Tinkering Labs in schools.


For close to 30 years we have been designing and making low-cost science teaching aids to make science fun for children. These include simple pumps, electric motors and generators. Children love toys which spin, fly, move and make sound. These toys are made with simple materials often with discarded stuff – old plastic bottles, tetrapaks, newspapers, straws, old pens etc. We have documented over 1400 such toys in photographs and short 1-minute videos. Today we have 7600 short videos on Toys from Trash in 20 languages on our website. In seven years our viewership has surpassed 50 million. Through our work we wish to help the poorest children on earth. We sincerely believe that only when all the children of the world make their own toys and play will there be peace on earth.




Arvind Gupta is an Indian toy inventor and populariser of science for kids. Creating simple toys out of trash and everyday goods, he illustrates principles of science and design in a memorable hands-on fashion. He’s the author of numerous books available in English, Hindi and other Indian languages, including Little Toys, Amazing Activities, Science from Scrap, and Science Skills & Thrills: The Best of Arvind Gupta. His Low-Cost Equipment for Science and Technology Education is available as a PDF download through UNESCO. Many of his toy designs are explained in one-minute videos.




Eduard Muntaner, is a computer engineer and an expert in maker education. Since 2005, he has been developing projects at the intersection of Education, Technology and Development Cooperation, with special emphasis on promoting creativity and critical thinking in schools in disadvantaged communities. He recently founded the international project Inventors4Change, which promotes Education for Global Citizenship through collaborative digital storytelling, among children from vulnerable groups in India and Catalonia. He currently works in the UdiGitalEdu group at the University of Girona.



16.10 Conversation


16.30 Coffee Break


17.00 Joyful Learning and Empowering Education


Anna-Mari Jaatinen, principal of Siltamäki School, Helsinki (Finland)

Local project: Agnès Barba, director of the Els Encants school, Barcelona


Anna-Mari Jaatinen will share the vision, pedagogical mission and ethos of the real 21st century school culture. Her presentation Joyful Learning & Empowering Education will focus on the leadership, pedagogical developments, project and phenomenon-based education and innovative learning environments at the Siltamäki Primary School, Helsinki, Finland. These elements are based on collaborative and co-creative learning and design-pedagogy. They reflect the guidelines of the Finnish national core curriculum for basic (primary and lower secondary) education.


The education culture of Siltamäki school is based on The Creative Fire Model. The CFM aims at holistic, child-centred education with the most important elements being common values, leadership, learning community, creative curriculum and assessment and digitalization. Between 2010 and 2016 the entire Siltamäki school community created and produced 3 phenomenon-based Magic Forest Musicals. The most exciting learning environment FUSE Studio is based on STEAM education. There will be dynamic videos shown during the presentation.




Anna-Mari Jaatinen has been the principal at Siltamäki Elementary School since 2004, following 5 years as a teacher. Anna-Mari Jaatinen focuses on all of the structural elements that a school should consider – creativity, innovation, community, art and technology. Since 2011 she has been developing the Creative Fire Model (CFM), a leadership development training programme, which will be implemented between 2016 and 2020 and aims to lead change in leadership as well as in the operational culture of schools. The CFM aims to improve community, creativity and problem solving by inspiring and strengthening social skills in schools and emphasising key areas in education: know-how, creating new networks and learning communities.



Agnès Barba became director of a school in Bellvitge at the age of 25, since when she has watched the gradual transformation of a situation with many failings, all “thanks to the commitment and perseverance of many” and the idea of a style of education “where the teacher does not provide the answers but helps find them and ask the right questions”. She has dedicated her career to educational redesign movements, reflection groups and at the same time, with a restless spirit, dreamt of a different type of school. Seven years ago she was able to set up a living, active school, respectful of the development process of each child, where, for much of their time, the boys and girls decide what they want to do and roam freely around the different learning environments.


17.50 Conversation


18.10 Principles of Play


Linda Liukas, founder of Hello Ruby and Rails Girls, is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator, Helsinki, (Finland)

Local peer: Mariona A. Cíller, co-founder and director of SokoTech, Barcelona


If code is the colouring pens and Lego blocks of our time -the tools of creation- how can we teach curiosity, joy and wonder to our kids? I spent last summer looking at programming and play: how to create experiences that go deeper than just learning logic. So, just like Alice, I swallowed the blue pill and fell down inside the machine. This talk summarises my three principles of play and a few experiments I’ve learned with little Ruby and the journey I’ve been on with her.



Linda Liukas is the author of Hello Ruby, the world’s most whimsical way to teach kids about technology, a book that teaches the basics of programming through stories and kid-friendly activities. Linda is a central figure in the world of programming and has worked on edutech even before it was called such. Linda is a former student of CodeAcademy and the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon that teaches the basics of programming, aimed at helping young women understand and become more involved in technology and creating new ideas. Having never really outgrown fairytales, Linda sees the web as a maze of stories and wants to hear more diverse voices in that world. She was educated at the Turku School of Economics and Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture.



Mariona A. Cíller co-founder of SokoTech, she loves free hardware and software. She is a graphic and web designer, a programmer and a science and tech event organiser. She also designs initiatives for children and young people in an old chocolate factory in La Sagrera, Barcelona. She graduated cum laude from Illinois University with a double degree as a Bachelor of Fine Arts and later a Master of Science. She is also a graduate of the Fab Academy of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her thesis “Free Culture Project”, which combines the power of technology with the transforming power of education, was a turning point in her career, towards areas for redesigning the world of teaching and learning, trying out new models that always include the most advanced technologies.


19.00 Conversation


Saturday, April 22


9.30 Explorations in Musical Tinkering: musical balloons, rapping computers and beyond


Eric Rosenbaum, MIT Media Lab del Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA)

Local peer: Marc Sibila, Instròniks, Navàs (Barcelona)

I’ll share my journey over the past few years developing new technologies for learning through creative play with music. I’m a co-inventor of the MaKey MaKey invention kit, which lets you turn everyday objects into musical instruments. I’ve also developed iPad apps that let you paint with your voice, build interactive musical worlds and tell musical stories. I’ll share my recent work with Google and with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Finally, I will show my latest work extending the musical and sound capabilities of the Scratch programming environment, to open up new expressive possibilities for learning through musical tinkering.




¡Eric Rosenbaum wants to amplify your imagination. He is a member of the Scratch Team at MIT Media Lab, where he completed his dissertation, “Explorations in Musical Tinkering.” He is a co-inventor of the Makey Makey invention kit and developer of Glowdoodle, Singing Fingers, MelodyMorph and other technologies for creative play.




Marc Sibila is a professor, musician and maker. After spending time in the industrial sector, he now works at EDN school in Navàs (@EDN_navas) where he teaches technology, music and robotics to secondary and baccalaureate students and also those on vocational training courses. He is also a guitar teacher at the local music school, EMM Mestre Castella de Navàs and plays and has played different instruments in numerous music groups. For the last few years he has also been a Maker on the Instròniks education programme (@instroniks) where technology and music come together to create different devices and instruments that can be used to create music. You could say he is a luthier of 21st century electronic instruments.


10.20 Conversation


10.40 Coffee Break


11.10 STEM to STEAM at Rhode Island School of Design: Fieldnotes

Babette Allina, executive director, Government Relations & External Affairs, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence (USA)

Local peer: Ángel Domingo, is Deputy Director General of Innovation, Training and Guidance at the Department of Education, of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona


STEAM is a movement championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations, and individuals. Making the case for creativity was at the heart of the initiative – a competency common to STEM and Arts disciplines, and readily understood by industry as essential to innovation.


RISD’s advocacy platform resulted in legislation introduced by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Co-chair of the US House STEAM Caucus.  As described by Americans for the Arts “[it] includes support to schools that provide a well-rounded education through programs that integrate academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses.”


This presents an opportunity to consider new education models that engage a greater number of students and support cross-disciplinary problem solving to address global challenges.




Babette Allina, since coming to RISD in 2008 she has combined her experience as an artist with her background in public policy to advance the national agenda for STEAM – adding art to the national emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by raising awareness of the power of art and design to transform education, research and workforce development. As executive director of Government Relations + External Affairs, Allina serves as RISD’s primary liaison with governmental leaders in the city of Providence, at the Rhode Island State House and in the US Congress, and with other external partners.




Ángel Domingo is Deputy Director General of Innovation, Training and Guidance at the Department of Education. He is a biologist and educator who dedicates his professional life to teaching sciences, teacher training, educational innovation and redesign in the assessment and learning of students and in the organisation of schools.



12.20 Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom


Sylvia Martinez, principal Advisor to Stanford University’s FabLearn Fellows, co-author of Invent to Learn, Los Angeles (USA)

Local peer: Susanna Tesconi, Senior FabLearn Fellow at Stanford University, Barcelona


There’s a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the centre of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education. There are now multiple pathways to learning what we have always taught and things to do that were unimaginable just a few years ago. In this practical session, Sylvia Martinez will provide educators with the how, why, and cool stuff that supports classroom making.




Sylvia Martinez is co-author of Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, a book that has been qualified as the “bible of the classroom maker movement”. For the previous ten years Sylvia was President of Generation YES, a non-profit organization evangelizing student leadership through modern technology. She advocates globally for authentic learning using real world design principles and hands-on experiences. Sylvia weaves examples from present day schools that use technology in authentic ways with her own experiences from the real world of work in video game development and aerospace engineering. She holds a Master’s in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.




Susanna Tesconi, senior FabLearn Fellow at Stanford University, has a Masters in Education Research from UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), where she is currently doing her doctoral thesis. In addition to her research work, Susanna also collaborates as an educational designer with LABoral the Art and Industrial Creation Centre in Gijón and other centres and institutions. Currently she is an educational advisor on the Breakers Project for the Orange Foundation, a programme designed for vulnerable young people, which combines the digital innovation of Maker and FabLab spaces with project based learning.



13.10 Conversation


13.40 Closure of Session: Performance: The Music Machine


Catherine Siller, artist, performer and educator, Boston (USA)

Eric Rosenbaum, co-inventor of Makey Makey, Cambridge (USA)


Made by people! We will build a complex machine that will create music, made of magnificent mobile parts – everyone attending the conference! What will happen if we speed it up?




Catherine Siller is an artist, performer and educator who works with projections: projected images and text, projected social ideals, projected versions of herself. Catherine develops custom software so that she can dance with her digital doubles. Her work as an educator empowers students to include new technological tools and at the same time study the concept in more depth.




¡Eric Rosenbaum wants to amplify your imagination! He is a member of the Scratch Team at MIT Media Lab, where he completed his dissertation, “Explorations in Musical Tinkering”. He co-invented the Makey Makey invention kit and is the developer of Glowdoodle, Singing Fingers, MelodyMorph and other technologies for creative play.



15.30 EdCamp STEAM BCN,  STEAMConf Barcelona 2017




Members of the STEAMConf front row guests 2016-2017 invite you to Edcamp STEAM BCN 2017, a meeting fuelled by teachers and professors for teachers and professors. Free and open to everyone, to share and build learnings, experiences, ideas, concerns, inspirations, doubts and certainties that arise over the three days of discussions, workshops and conferences.



Is this your first edcamp?

If so, don’t worry, here you’ll have the chance to discover what it’s about and experience it for yourself. An edcamp is a meeting designed for sharing learnings, knowledge, concerns and passions about education. It is based on learning among equals and evolves through discussion and exchange in an open and stimulating environment that facilitates the free circulation of ideas


Is there a programme?

An edcamp has no specific programme because it is the participants that create the programme or the map of the sessions together, based on subjects, questions or concerns that are of interest to them.


Who can initiate the conversation?

Everyone is welcome to lead and initiate a session based on their own conversation proposal.


What will you take away?

Mainly you’ll take away a whole load of great ideas, new resources, discoveries and shared enthusiasm, after meeting others who are just like you! But also the names of those you can share your spirit of educational innovation with!


Are you game? Register now!!