Dialogue Series 2 STEM

The ASME Decision Point Dialogues challenges thought leaders to grapple with some of the most complex questions of the day. Through a series of unique Socratic dialogues we raise awareness of existing conflict points to stimulate the kind of debate that leads to bold decision making and disruptive learning.

Critical Thinking, Critical Choices: What Really Matters

Attend the live taping of the ASME Decision Point Dialogues, an important program engaging top thought leaders in a unique Socratic dialogue tracing a hypothetical case story tugging at the heart of the issues confronting the future of STEM education.

April 23rd, 2014
10 a.m.

The live taping of the ASME Dialogue will be the pre-opening event at the

US News
STEM Solutions Conference

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

The Dialogue will probe the critical conflict points that government,business, education and engineerin leaders are dealing with, such as:

  • Is there a true crisis in STEM education or is it simply another policy debate?
  • What is the ultimate goal of encouraging girls and boys to pursue STEM?
  • Should STEM learning be turned on its head? What should be taught in our middle schools and high schools, and how should it be taught?
  • Is it a matter of money—for teachers, for tools, for resources? How do we attract, train, and retain high quality, inspired and inspiring STEM teachers?
  • Will major reforms such as the Common Core help or hurt STEM education?
  • Do U.S. educators have something to learn from the way STEM is taught in other countries?
  • What will it take to reach students in underserved communities?

The Scenario

The moderator of this Decision Point Dialogue, celebrated journalist John Hockenberry—host of the National Public Radio program The Takeaway—will lead 12 influential STEM thought leaders through a myriad of intricate cultural, economic and education-related conflicts. A thoughtful examination of the conflict points will emerge as a scenario unfolds where 10-year-old Danica, an "A" student, struggles with her parents' strong push toward science, technology and engineering. While 10-year-old Derek, a not-so-good student from a neighboring state, doesn't have to worry about STEM since his school doesn't emphasize these subjects at all. The scenario will take interesting twists and turns with focus on finding creative solutions to the concrete problems facing STEM-related education.



Celebrated journalist and host of NPR's The Takeaway, John Hockenberry


Mark Conner, Director, Online Engineering and Engineering Academies, Hoover High School

James Douglas, Former Governor of Vermont

Tamara Hudgins, Executive Director, Girlstart

Madiha Kotb, ASME President

Arthur Levine, President, Woodrow Wilson Foundation

Michele Lezama, Executive Director, The National GEM Consortium

Regis Matzie, Chief Technology Officer, Westinghouse (Retired)

Ioannis Miaoulis, President and Director, Boston Museum of Science

Irene Neequaye, Graduate student at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services; graduate of the Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Hal Salzman, Sociologist and Professor of Public Policy, Rutgers University

Kenneth Williams, Prince George's County public school teacher and a teacher of Gateway to Technology, the middle school STEM course for Project Lead The Way

Pat Wingert, Journalist at Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media and former Newsweek writer


The ASME Decision Point Dialogues is held as a special pre-opening event prior to the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference, April 23-25. The STEM Solutions Conference precedes the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 26 and 27. All events are held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC.


Admission to the live taping of the ASME Decision Point Dialogues is free but limited to the first 200 registrants, e-mail memag@asme.org. Dialogue attendees are eligible for a special reduced rate to the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference. To register for the US News event, click here and use code: ASME14.

The program will be broadcast on asme.org beginning in June.

Join the conversation on this important topic now.

Funding for the ASME Decision Point Dialogues comes from a generous donation from