Three pictures of teachers at a conference

One hundred teacher exchange alumni gathered in Washington, DC for an alumni conference from May 1 – 4, 2024. With the theme Full STEAM Ahead, the conference addressed infusing global education into science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) teaching. 

Hailing from 37 states and Washington, DC, educators and administrators have collectively traveled to 31 different countries through teacher exchanges. Their participation in programs ranges from as far back as 1997 up to exchanges in 2023.  

Principal Deputy Director for Policy for the Office of Science and Technology Policy Kei Koizumi delivered welcome remarks to kick off the event, “With the students you're educating and nurturing today, we are going to be able to solve global challenges.” 

During the four-day conference, alumni participated in sessions covering climate education, artificial intelligence, arts education, and equity in STEAM career opportunities. A total of 33 alumni showcased innovations from their home schools and communities through workshops, panels, poster presentations, and lightning talks. 

Michael Trager, Vice Chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, thanked alumni for attending to expand their knowledge of STEAM teaching and best practices, “The joy, the passion you bring to your classrooms is incredible. You are an inspiration to all.” 

“The conference brilliantly showcased the power of integrating STEAM education with cultural exchange, enriching our teaching practices and expanding our global perspectives. The opportunity to connect (and reconnect in many cases!) with fellow educators from diverse backgrounds has reinforced the importance of our role in shaping a thoughtful and innovative future generation.” Argine S., United States to Finland

Alumni heard from the following subject matter experts: 

• Holly Clark, Education Consultant and Author, The Infused Classroom

• Riley Justis, Chief Operation Officer, Take Action Global

• Annalise Klein, Program Lead, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Fulbright Teacher Exchange Alum

• Christina Kwauk, Founder, Kwauk & Associates; Research Director, Unbounded Associates; Co-Founder, Unbounded Alliance

• Elaine Makarevich, Director of State Leads and New Jersey State Lead, Subject to Climate

• Dr. Rhett Oldham, Social Studies Teacher and Director of Social Studies, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Teacher Exchange Alum

• Dr. Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative at Harvard University

• Dr. Jeannice Fairrer Samani, Education Consultant, Fulbright Faculty NSF, I-Corps, Professor Emeritus Engineering and Business

“The information shared, and the high energy from the participants, was truly inspiring. Many of us are already reconnecting.” Kottie C. B., United States to South Africa

“It was beyond my expectations for how rewarding this conference was. Reconnecting, meeting some of the brightest and best minds with like-minded goals was so amazing. This really was the confidence booster and spark needed to reaffirm and reignite global education for myself.” Matthew C., United States to Indonesia