04/01/2011 08:05 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2011

Lights, Camera, STEMposium!

While there is plenty of cause for alarm about America's lagging STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education system, there are also plenty of reasons for optimism.

Twelve of them will be on display on April 1 at STEMposium -- a showcase of excellence in K-12 STEM education innovation presented by nonprofit EnCorps Teachers Program with co-host Citizen Schools.

Twelve STEMposium finalists -- students, teachers and nonprofit educators selected from more than 130 submissions -- will present their innovations for bringing science, technology, engineering and math to life in the classroom. This online and offline showcase aims to serve as a catalyst for teachers and students seeking to enhance STEM education in their classrooms and for policymakers working to bolster STEM education policy nationwide.

STEMposium's twelve finalist presenters, whose videos are at, are:

Tony DeRose, 52, Senior Scientist and Research Group Lead at Pixar Animation Studios and Co-Founder of The Young Makers Program

B.J. Wooden, 31, Lab Instructor at The Tech Museum

Alejandro Vega, 15, High School Freshman at Horizon Charter School and co-founder of The Techno Guards

Lia Shepard, 23, Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow

Caleb Cheung, 39, Oakland Unified School District K-12 Science Manager

Meg Omainsky, 41, Teacher and Librarian at Palo Alto Unified School District

Tiffany Tai, 32, Synergy School Science Teacher

Tzipor Ulman, PhD, 38, Founder of Science is Elementary

Kristy Lathrop, 31, Mesa Middle School Science Teacher

Betsy Fitch, 40, Herman Intermediate School Lead AdVENTURE STEM Program Teacher

Dawn Valadez, 46, Producer/Director, Vaquera Films

Irene Salter, 36, Assistant Professor of Science Education at California State University, Chico and Leslie Atkins, 34, Assistant Professor in the Physics and Science Education departments at California State University, Chico

STEMposium will be Livestreamed from the renowned California Academy of Sciences, so anyone who cares about improving STEM education can tune into on Friday, April 1st (7:30pm - 9:30pm PST) and join a national online audience of educators, students, policymakers, business and philanthropic leaders, education thought leaders and media to draw inspiration from STEMposium's presenting finalists and spark new thinking about advancing STEM education.

Whether you join STEMposium on or offline, we're looking forward to rolling out the red carpet and optimistically celebrating everyone's collective commitment to education innovation.