Conference Session: “STEM Tourism and Sneaky Science”

Posted in: Kickoff Conference

Track: STEM in Our Communities 

1stem-tourism-and-sneaky-scienceScience tourism is becoming a sought-after travel experience where the experiential becomes educational with a STEM focus. Some argue that tourism has always been a science. Discuss best practices and industry insights with local experts.


 Math at the Ballpark App 

Push your baseball experience to the next level with fun questions and activities that bring math alive through the game going on around you and your children. With fifty questions per grade level (K-6), Fun Math at the Ballpark engages children who love baseball as well as those who are bored at the ballpark.

Many questions encourage your child to input real numbers from the game going on in front of him, reinforcing observational skills and giving him fun reasons to pay attention to the game.

Other questions feed your child’s imagination by asking her to consider what might happen in certain imaginary situations. These questions are also perfect for the classroom since they don’t require attendance at a baseball game.

Fun Math at the Ballpark encourages you to participate in the fun along with your child, with grade-appropriate games, scavenger hunts, and hands-on activities.

-Three-hundred fifty questions/ activities (fifty questions per grade level).
-Answers and explanations.
-Activities you and your child can enjoy game after game.
-Seven grade levels in one app (kindergarten through sixth grade) keep the fun going for years.
-Categories of questions divided into math topics so you can help your child develop specific skills.
-Categories of questions divided into baseball topics so you can tailor the experience to your child’s preferences.
-Thirty-seven custom graphics to illustrate math concepts and visually stimulate learning.


Science Happens Here 

Science Happens Here is a game aimed at kids in grade 3-8 that includes collecting trading cards with science information on them.

The cards each have one kind science example in them, which directly related to a store. So the kids visit the locally owned businesses to collect the cards. The cards each have a unique ID on them, which kids will enter on the website to not only find science experiments but to get credit for trying them at home.

SO, for example, the bakery will have the science of yeast, the cafe will have the science of sugar, the clothing store will have the science of fabrics, etc. There are 12 cards to collect and we have a poster to show them all. We have a website (nearly done) and fun prizes for the kids.

The goal here is twofold- first, to help kids start to think about all the science that really happens in the world and to get excited about simple experiments. And second, to get the local business community more involved with STEM education.


Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum – STEM-added value to tourist’s experience

Each year, Arizona’s landscapes and natural resources draw millions of tourists. STEM provides a vehicle to add value to their visits and to prompt their return. In 2017-2018, the Arizona Geological Survey, now at the University of Arizona, plans to build the Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum on the Government Mall in Phoenix. Our chief objective is to showcase the role of Arizona landscapes and natural resources in shaping the peoples and cultures of the state.


Welcome to the Age of Discovery; Exploration, Navigation and Innovation! The Arizona Renaissance Festival STUDENT DAYS

Have you heard about the Arizona Renaissance Festival Student Days?

Student Days is a wonderful way to bring the Renaissance – ‘The Age of Discovery’ to life for students through interactive displays, study and entertainment. Student Days were created to highlight the educational aspects of the Renaissance time period. Learning opportunities include language, science (interactive displays in partnership with Arizona SciTech Festival), mannerisms, customs, artisans, music, trades, birds of prey, jousting and more! A study guide is available for teachers to help with the lesson plan to enhance the field trip. Student Days is an engaging and exciting way to get the students interested in the Renaissance time period! The Festival provides students with a chance to do more than just read about the RENAISSANCE…WE LET THEM EXPERIENCE IT.

Not even in her wildest dreams would Queen Elizabeth have imagined such an event taking place in the Foothills of the Superstition Mountains. A learning tool. A way to bring to life Science, Astronomy, Geography, English, Math as well as the Arts and Culture of the Renaissance period illustrating the technological advances of the Renaissance age and how it continues to impact our lives today.

Student Days are scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 for Elementary schools and Thursday, March 2 for Jr. & Sr. High Students. Student Days attracts educators and their student groups from around the state and out of state.

Visit us for more information:   To attend Student Days: Download the 2017 Student Day Order Form at   
or like us on Facebook: 


Digital Kids Club

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s Digital Kids Club program was developed specifically for one of the most difficult age groups to entertain, “tweens” – ages 8 through 13. The Digital Kids Club, as part of the Resort’s FUN Program, features individual sessions, as well as unique 5-day camps during the summer: Stop Motion Animation, Produce Your Own Morning Show, Make a Music Video and Media Madness! Budding movie directors capture footage and experiment with special effects, video game enthusiasts learn about design and creation, inspired news anchors experience the world of reporting, and creative juices flow from learning animation and comic book design! Kids will make their own creation with video and digital photographs, experimenting with special effects and music to create their very own video on a USB thumb drive to take home as a unique souvenir and memory of their family vacation.


Skateland USA 

Skateland’s STEM field trips are a unique educational experience that gets students excited about learning. Students will learn how the concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math can be found in everyday experiences, even fun experiences like roller skating.

Our professional STEM Educators teach visiting students about how STEM principles exist in just about every part of life. The lessons focus on hands on activities that are both educational and fun! Lessons are customized based on teachers needs to directly relate back to classroom learning making this program completely unique. Following the completion of the 1 hour STEM Lesson, the students roller skate for physical fitness. While Roller Skating the concepts students learned are continually reinforced.

Our lessons are designed not only to help students overcome their fear of learning STEM concepts but to show how STEM is both fun and exciting!




  • Allison Boley, Math and the Ballpark 
  • Kimber Lanning, Science Happens Here 
  • Michael Conway, Arizona Geological Survey 
  • Sanja Malinovic, Renaissance Festival 
  • Meredith Jenkins, Westin Kierland Resort 
  • Brian Krause, Skateland USA 

1allison-boley  1kimber-lanning  1mike-conway  1Sanja Malinovic  1meredith-jenkins  brian-krause 
(Pictured Above: Allison Boley, Kimber Lanning, Michael Conway, Sanja Malinovic, Meredith Jenkins, Brian Krause) 


Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona. Lanning’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona’s urban areas.

Lanning has grown Local First Arizona into a widely respected organization that is leading the nation in implementing systems and policies to ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurial endeavors of all sizes. With nearly 3,000 business members and four statewide offices, Lanning leads a team of 17 who work on a diverse array of programs ranging from healthy local food access, entrepreneurial development in underserved communities, and rural community development, each of which plays a part in building sustainable and resilient local economies.

Lanning is consistently recognized and has received numerous awards for her diverse work and extensive leadership. In 2014, Lanning was recognized as the Citizen Leader of the Year by the International Economic Development Council, a pivotal moment in recognizing the use of Localist policies as a force for economic development. Her work in promoting adaptive reuse in Phoenix’s urban core was recognized by the American Planning Association, who presented Lanning with the Distinguished Citizen Planner Award in 2013. Lanning has also been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona” (Arizona Business Magazine, 2011), was the recipient of the Athena Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 2013, and was the 2014 Leader of the Year in Public Policy (Arizona Capitol Times).


Michael Conway: Since 2007, Mike Conway, Ph.D., has been Chief of the Geologic Extension Service at the Arizona Geological Survey which transferred from the State of Arizona to the University of Arizona on 1 July 2017. Previously, Mike worked as a professor of geology at Arizona Western College, Yuma, Arizona, and as a volcanologist at the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses at Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas.


Sanja Malinovic is the Marketing & Sales Director of the 29th annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace held annually in Gold Canyon, with responsibility for marketing programs, media buying, promotions and brand management, corporate sponsorships, public relations and partner initiatives.

Sanja developed and spearheaded the concept of introducing the Arizona Renaissance Festival to Arizona Educators and students as an innovative educational field trip designed to enhance the various aspects of the Renaissance time period with hands on demonstrations and interactive programs.

Sanja holds a Bachelor of Science degree from ASU in Journalism and Public Relations and a minor in Travel and Tourism


Meredith Jenkins is one of the few people in the world who can honestly claim to be in charge of “fun” for a living. As Director of Fun at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa she oversees the Fun Department and team of Fun Ambassadors who lead the family events and activities programing at the Resort, which ranges from its popular weekend All-You-Can-Eat S’mores and poolside games to Kids Club, PJ Parties, summer camps and even cocktail-making classes for adults. Prior to being promoted to her role in the Fun Department, Meredith served as Child Life Assistant a local hospital leading play therapy and special events and activities for hospitalized children and their families. She also owned and operated a My Gym children’s fitness center.  Meredith earned her Bachelors’ degree in Psychology at Arizona State University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children and, as a former US National Women’s Rugby Team scrum-half, also tries to catch a bit of rugby on TV. 


Brian Krause is a lifelong STEM supporter and educator with years of professional experience in a variety of different fields. Graduating with a Bachelors of Sciences from Eastern Michigan University, Brian cut his teeth at Chicago Public Schools and is a self-described life-time learner and edu-tainer with a passion for natural sciences.

In 2015 Brian was given an opportunity to work with USA’s Skateland and Southwest Skating to develop and maintain a STEM program for visiting school field trips. One short year later, our STEM program has expanded to eight comprehensive lesson plans and accommodated over 75,000 students K-9.


Register for the 6th Annual Kickoff Conference today!