ISB’s Valerie Logan Luncheon Honors ‘Elevating K-12 STEM Education’

Photo above: ISB hosted the seventh annual Valerie Logan Luncheon in Seattle on Thursday, November 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy James Cheng)

More than 100 people gathered at ISB on Thursday for the seventh annual Valerie Logan Luncheon to celebrate education efforts spearheaded by Valerie Logan, the wife of ISB co-founder and legendary biologist Dr. Lee Hood.

“Valerie was a pioneer in education, far ahead of her time,” Hood said. “Her efforts have crystallized into the magnificent educational programs that ISB is catalyzing. She would be proud of what we have done.”

The event generated $109,000 for the ISB Education team to perform its essential mission of engaging entire school systems — from principals and administrators to teachers and students — to ensure all students are literate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The theme of the luncheon was “Elevating K-12 STEM Education.”

As is tradition, the event started with a tabletop learning activity. Attendees were given rubber poppers, and were asked to experiment with storing elastic energy by inverting the popper, and transforming it into kinetic mechanical energy by dropping the popper to the ground, which “tripped” the popper and resulted in an elevated bounce. “Like the popper, ISB adds energy to school systems to elevate their science and STEM offerings higher than they can on their own,” said Pat Ehrman, who led the activity. Ehrman’s 45-year professional career spanned teaching and working at ISB.


Following the hands-on experiment, Dr. Kyle Kinoshita was awarded the Valerie Logan Leadership in Science Education Award. “Kyle’s work has influenced hundreds of teachers,” said Logan Center for Education Director Caroline Kiehle, who presented the award with ISB President Dr. Jim Heath. “Kyle, like Valerie, is a real systems thinker,” Kiehle said.

Dr. Kyle Kinoshita and Dr. Jim Heath

Valerie Logan Leadership in Science Education Award winner Dr. Kyle Kinoshita poses with ISB President Dr. Jim Heath. (Photo courtesy James Cheng)

Kinoshita, the chief of curriculum, instruction and assessment for Seattle Public Schools, said he’s been an advocate of STEM education because of the opportunity it presents to students. “If you want to elevate science for students, you first must elevate teachers to their true calling as professionals,” he said. (Read our Q&A with Dr. Kyle Kinoshita here.)

Jessica Levine

Sixth-grade science teacher Jessica Levine speaks about her professional development experiences with ISB. (Photo courtesy James Cheng)

That sentiment was cemented by the remarks of Jessica Levine, a sixth grade teacher at Seattle’s Eckstein Middle School. Levine told the audience about her interaction with ISB, calling her work with the ISB Education team one of the best professional development experiences she has ever had. Levine said STEM education is critically important for every student, not just future scientists. “Just as I’m asking students to become sustainably savvy and systems-based thinkers, they must also be problem solvers. The future of our planet depends on it,” she said.

Dr. Terry Bergeson

Dr. Terry Bergeson gestures toward the crowd. (Photo courtesy James Cheng)

Former Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson and ISB board member Douglas Howe urged the luncheon audience to support the efforts of the ISB Education team. Bergeson spoke about her experiences with Kiehle and the recently retired Kim Klinke taking her out into the schools. “I saw kids taken to a whole new level,” Bergeson said.

Douglas Howe

ISB board member Douglas Howe issues a challenge. (Photo courtesy James Cheng)

Howe spoke about his support of ISB’s Systems Medicine Education program, and his challenge match raised an additional $31,000 for the program.

The 2018 Valerie Logan Luncheon was anchored by Hood. He recalled a humorous anecdote about Logan, who against his recommendation, acquired an education grant before ISB’s education program even had a name. “That’s Valerie,” he said to a chuckling crowd.

Valerie Logan’s vision continues today. ISB is committed to making quality STEM education a reality for every student regardless of gender, race or socioeconomic status.

Learn more about ISB’s education programs here.

To see a collection of photos of the event, go here.

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