STEM Forward's 14th
Annual sySTEMnow Conference

DATE: Tuesday, October, 31, 2017 (Yes, it's on Halloween this year!)
TIME: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Keynote presentation is during lunch.)
LOCATION: Italian Community Center, 631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Now Calling Nominations: The Stemmy Awards

STEM Forward is seeking nominations for the 2017 Excellence in STEM Awards -- The Stemmys! This prestigious award will be presented at the 14th Annual sySTEMnow Conference.

Candidates for The Stemmys may be nominated by a colleague or self-nominated. Nominations may only be considered for one of the three award categories: Education, Partnership or Individual.

Click here for details and to download the nomination form. Forms are due by Sept. 29, 2017. 

Seeking Suggestions for Generation STEM
Youth Displays

We're looking to have at least 12 schools or organizations show off the amazing STEM projects their students have accomplished. 

Submit your school or organization to be one of our Generation STEM youth displays at STEM Forward's 14th Annual sySTEMnow Conference! The deadline to submit your school or organization is Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Displays will be showcased in the main lobby of the conference from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Click here to access the form and submit your school or organization.

All suggestions will be reviewed and you will receive a response from us by October 2, 2017. We work to balance the types of displays, ages of students and variety of school/organizations. Thank you for your participation!

 2017 Keynote Speakers: 

Menzer Pehlivan, Geotechnical Engineer at CH2M

After experiencing a devastating 7.6 earthquake that stuck Ankara, Turkey in 1999, Menzer Pehlivan became inspired to pursue an engineer career to prevent future tragedies. She was only 13-years-old at the time. 

“That was the seed that planted in my head early on that I would become a civil engineer focusing on seismic safety,” she said. “It had a big impact on my future.”

Despite being told by her teacher that women don’t become engineers, she began preparing for a career focused on earthquake engineering. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 with a doctoral thesis on the vital subject of assessing seismic hazards in nuclear facilities.

As a geotechnical engineer, Menzer has worked on numerous geotechnical and earthquake projects in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. She has given back as a volunteer in major earthquake reconnaissance efforts, including after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, where she traveled with the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association (GEER).

Menzer currently works in the Seattle office of CH2M, a global engineering firm that provides consulting, design, construction services for corporations and government. She was also recently named to the ASCE’s 2016 list of New Faces in Civil Engineering and was featured in Dream Big: Engineering Our World.

For Menzer, defying stereotypes is part of who she remains as a person. The daughter of a dress designer, she loves fashion and style almost as much as engineering and does things her own way.

Donald Bossi, President of FIRST

Donald Bossi is the president of FIRST, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire young people, ages 6 through 18, to become science and technology leaders and innovators. Bossi joined FIRST in 2013, following more than 25 years of technical leadership and management roles with a variety of high-tech companies.

Bossi began his career as a research scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and United Technologies Research Center, where he was a part of an advanced project that was acquired by JDS Uniphase (JDSU). Bossi subsequently served as president of JDSU’s Active Components and Transmission Products groups. In 2005, he joined Technology Ventures Partners (TVP). In addition to being a General Partner with this venture firm, Bossi was CEO of two portfolio companies, namely, Aegis Lightwave and Inlet Technologies, positioning the latter for a beneficial acquisition by Cisco.

Bossi holds four U.S. patents and is author of numerous technical presentations. Bossi holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, and has completed executive education courses at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Stay tuned for information on how you can register and for the full agenda!

What is “sySTEMnow”?

  • sySTEM is an acronym for Strengthening our Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  • Now! means now!

Since 2004, the annual sySTEMnow conference has become a cornerstone of STEM-related awareness in our region:

  • Raising awareness of STEM-related issues.
  • Exchanging best practices from existing STEM programs.
  • Developing, promoting and implementing education-workforce partnerships.
  • Providing networking opportunities for STEM stakeholders.


20162015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004  |