Innovation-Driven Phenomena for K-5 Classrooms
CreositySpace is a unique inquiry-based, learner-directed science curriculum that connects ALL K-5 students to science and capitalizes on their creativity and curiosity at a time when they ask, “What do I want to do when I grow up?”
Our instructional materials connect young learners—as well as their teachers and family members—to foundational STEM concepts through invention, while giving students practice with tools and processes common to science and engineering.
CreositySpace curriculum introduces students to the stories and innovations of STEM entrepreneurs from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. These stories help students connect what they are learning to their lived experiences and expand their perception of potential career opportunities.
CreositySpace’s commitment to showcasing the diversity in what science is, how science is used, and who uses science, supports a positive message that science is for everyone.
CreositySpace helps teachers and administrators make meaningful change in their students’ self-confidence and career aspirations around science. Let us do the same for you!
Entrepreneurship Democratizes Science
Our MissionTo spark early interest in STEM and boost the number of STEM-inspired students entering middle school through the introduction of entrepreneurs and innovators into the classroom.
You can’t be what you can’t see.
Famously attributed to Marian Wright Edelman, the quote above highlights the importance of representation in a child’s development of self and what they believe is possible for their future.
CreositySpace believes in–and supports–the importance of representation. We consider it a priority and endeavor to select entrepreneurs from all walks of life and backgrounds to include in the Book of Ideas, STEM kits, and curriculum units, who represent the diversity of people working in science.
Our StoryThroughout elementary school, my son Will eagerly shared his ideas and inventions with me. They ranged from mechanical parts to help victims with brain injuries and nano solar chips in urban sidewalks, to prosthetic limbs controlled by brain signals for military personnel, and using pineapple enzymes to kill cancer cells. Will applied what he learned in school with things he learned on his own to address real world problems, as well as begin to explore career paths. In 2nd grade he wanted to start an energy club for his 3rd grade class, but time, staffing, and a venue were not available at his school. Instead, I brought in 5 cleantech entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to share their stories and innovations, answer questions, and work on hands-on activities with his class. And that is when Will added his first job to his resume—co-founder of CreositySpace. Will loves science but struggled with math. He loves history and has a flair for writing, but would rather make something than fill out another worksheet. There are so many kids like him. Some will pursue STEM degrees. Others will pursue non-STEM degrees giving them the skills to participate in the STEM economy through numerous career paths that advance, support, and promote the inventions and innovations of scientists and engineers. Engaging both STEM-inclined and STEM-curious students is how we build and maintain a vibrant innovation economy.
Bringing together the STEM-Degreed and the STEM-Inspired
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
CHEIF OPERATING OFFICER, PH.D.
K-8 CURRICULUM SPECIALIST, ED.D.
GENERAL COUNSEL, J.D.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
I love science. In fact, I wanted to be an astronomer, but I wasn’t sure I could handle the math and no one disrupted my assumption that I needed to be a straight-A student. Instead, I pursued my second passion and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Smith College and the University of Toronto. From there I launched my career in communications and writing, focused mostly on working with STEM entrepreneurs and scientists. The spark for CreositySpace was planted by my son who was always inventing, which has since grown into a way to connect kids and entrepreneurs to each other and their communities.
When I’m not working or hanging out with family and friends, I’m gardening, hiking, or mentoring startups in the BLUE Incubator.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, PH.D.
I am an engineer, chemist, and entrepreneur with a passion for making science and technology useful and accessible to everyone.
I started my career in a number of technology start-ups developing products ranging from electronic ink and cement made from CO2, to materials improving the storage capacity of batteries and fuel cells. Throughout it, I was always searching for ways to engage young children and their parents in the excitement of science, in hopes of developing more scientifically-engaged citizens. In 2015, I joined forces with Peg as co-founder and chief operating officer, with the vision to change the way kids think about science and technology. I continue to mentor young STEM entrepreneurs both through CreositySpace and external advisory roles.
I earned a B.S. in engineering chemistry from Queen’s University in Canada, and a Ph.D. in synthetic chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. I’m also a named inventor or author on over a dozen patents and academic publications.
EDUCATIONTricia Paradis is an elementary teacher with 20+years in education. She, and her students, provide the CreositySpace curriculum team with ongoing feedback on what works well and on opportunities for improvement. For the past six years Tricia taught third grade at Slingerlands Elementary School in the Bethlehem Central School District, but has recently joined the district’s Virtual Learning Academy to support the distance learning needs of the student population. Her passion for science is deeply rooted and, with her team of young scholars & entrepreneurs, she creates a trusting, student-directed, inquiry-based learning environment with STEM seamlessly integrated across the content. Over the last five years Tricia has taught many CreositySpace units in both classroom and out-of-school settings. Tricia holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education (K-6) from Southampton College of LIU, a Masters of Science in special education from Adelphi University, and holds certification as both School Administrator/ Supervisor and School District Administrator from The College of Saint Rose. She enjoys running, kayaking, photography and traveling to spend time with her 2 children, her daughter and family in Atlanta, Georgia and her son in Galway, Ireland.
Schuyler Tilly is a Sr. Relationship Manager with KeyBank and provides CreositySpace strategic input in the areas of finance, business development and partnerships.
Schuyler started his career in Commercial Banking at Fleet Bank in 1994. Since then, he has worked for regional, super-regional and money center banks, focusing on companies with revenues in the $5 million to $500 million range. Schuyler enjoys leveraging bank resources to help small to mid-size businesses with cash flow optimization, risk assessment, projection analysis, capital raising and debt structuring.
Schuyler graduated with a B.S. in economics from SUNY Oneonta and a M.A. in Economics from Syracuse University.
K-8 CURRICULUM SPECIALIST, ED.D.
Dr. Annette Venegas has devoted her career to the teaching of science. At CreositySpace, she oversees development of our comprehensive K-5 curriculum, with a particular focus on achieving NGSS alignment and adherence to the pedagogical principles of student-directed inquiry-based teaching.
An experienced former elementary teacher in California and Texas, Annette brings a specialty in science instruction, and serves teachers in the Kent School District (Kent, WA), and the wider Puget Sound region. She also is an Emeritus WA State Science Fellow and serves on the elementary advisory committee for NSTA.
In addition to her work with Kent School District, Annette worked with OSPI to develop assessment items for the WCAS, with the University of Washington Tacoma to teach sessions in PBL Design and Effective Strategies for Teaching ELL Students, and Puget Sound ESD as a facilitator for Climate Science professional learning.
Annette earned her BA (high school education) from CSULB, her elementary teaching credential from CSUSB, her MA in education (curriculum & instruction/integrated sciences) from OLLU, a doctoral degree (curriculum & instruction) from Texas A&M, and most recently National STEM certification from NISE.
ELEMENTARY SCIENCE SPECIALIST
Cynthia Holcomb is a veteran educator with over 30 years of experience teaching at the elementary level. At CreositySpace Cynthia has guided the development of our early elementary (K-2) science units.
Cynthia entered the education field in 1988, serving as a teacher in the elementary grades (1988-2001), and then as a science specialist for Texas ESC Region 15 (2001-2013) and Region 13 (2013-2017). She also served as a writer, editor and contributor for Mailbox Magazine (The Education Center).
She is a sought-after presenter at conferences including CAST and TEKSCON, as well as ESC Region Service Centers 9 and 13, and school districts. Cynthia also worked as a freelance writer and product creator for NSTA, TEKS Resource System, Scientific Minds, and ESC Region 13.
In her spare time, she helps take care of her three granddaughters who share her love of exploring, discovering, at marveling at the natural world.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, M. ED.Martha Ponge has a wealth of experience as a STEM educator and supports the development of CreositySpace’s various teacher professional development workshops. Martha has spent years inspiring students to become lifelong learners. Through her work as a technology teacher in the Central New York region, she has had many opportunities to see firsthand where student struggle with STEM concepts and the types of programs that keep all students engaged. Martha’s years as both an educator and a trainer of educators are a great compliment to the STEM industry experience of the CreositySpace team. Martha has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in NY and a M.Ed. from SUNY Oswego.
GENERAL COUNSEL, J.D.
Bill is a practicing attorney and Co-Founder at Standard Hydrogen Corporation. Bill has been a CreositySpace advisor since inception and provides overall strategic advice and legal support.
As a lawyer, Bill works closely with entrepreneurs and innovators to develop new technologies and manage the growth of new companies, combining his understanding of law, business, and technology. He also works with universities to develop ideas that start with their faculty and students, and has led programs at graduate institutions. Bill has extensive experience in patent portfolio management as well as being a named inventor on multiple U.S. patents.
Bill earned his J.D from Albany Law School, and his M.B.A. from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute. When he isn’t working, Bill is an avid golfer and skier.
Meeting Teachers & Students Where They’re at
“As a teacher, the breadth and flexibility of the CreositySpace provided content has enabled me to weave STEM concepts into my Common Core lessons keeping the content current, exciting, and real for my students. CreositySpace has enhanced my instruction and forever changed my approach to my students and my craft.” — Tricia, Grade 3 Teacher
“CreositySpace allowed me to present knowledge to my students that I would never have been able to do on my own.” — Kris, Grade 3 Teacher
“Our students are so excited before each presentation wondering what the new presentation will be about. They come back to class very enthusiastic about the topic that they just learned about. We have heard from parents that the students share information at home with their families. We find that the children are beginning to look around their environment a bit differently.” — Miller Hill Elementary School Teachers
“My students all have learning disabilities of some kind. The module still allowed for them to participate fully, and even pulled on many of their strengths. The lessons were flexible enough to be broken into two days or started in the morning and finished in the afternoon. They also were explicit enough making implementation easy, while still allowing for [me] to be creative.
The lessons strongly encourage students to be creative and tie directly into the NexGen Science Standards, specifically the engineering piece. The supplemental activities were perfect for using during literacy stations and tied directly into Common Core.” —Kara, Special Education Elementary Teacher
Students & Parents
“Thanks in no small part to this creative curriculum, our daughter Natalie has not only embraced everything STEM, but has taken it to another level—being inspired to not only excel in the classroom but to take what she’s learning outside the classroom by creating on her own and then sharing it with her teacher and classmates. The focus on real world applications and lessons has helped expand Natalie’s already amazing imagination in ways that are hard to describe. [She] has learned how important STEM is and how the lessons learned literally tie into nearly every aspect of everyday life, including how we can improve conditions in a variety of ways for all who inhabit this planet for generations to come.” —Parent
“CreositySpace gives us a chance to learn about something we normally wouldn’t. I liked Tumalow’s presentation. It’s cool how we can store electricity so buildings can have it when they need it.“ —Henry
“My favorite part was mixing the mycelium together with water and flour and putting it into bags to grow. It can be molded into almost any shape that you can imagine! I am so excited that you’re coming in tomorrow to see what we’re doing in Mushroom Maestros! I can’t wait to show you all the stuff we’ve done!” —Liam
“I’ve never heard our son so excited about school! He told me he wants to be a “computer programmer… well, an engineer” when he grows up and that he’ll go to a “computer college.” He’s always been into this sort of thing, but we don’t really know anything about it to help him learn more at home. I’d LOVE to see more of this kind of hands-on learning.” —Parent
“I never knew how much my 8-yearold daughter would enjoy STEM and learning via CreositySpace in the classroom. She is now inspired to be a scientist and comes home each day asking to use the computer to research new ideas! This program should be integrated into every curriculum K-12!” —Parent
“It is undeniable that there is a disconnect, especially at the elementary level, between technologies and companies that exist (or are on the rise) that have potential to change the way we view the world. It is tremendously beneficial for elementary students to learn about these technologies and companies.” — Jason, Superintendent, Schodack, NY
“This kind of program is just what is called for with the new common core, students are given some brief background material and then asked to apply and think about what they have been presented.” —Seth, Science Coordinator, Troy Central School District
“Partnering with CreositySpace was an absolute program highlight. As a service event producer, their Innovation Challenge model offered a user-friendly format for our team to plan a project for our corporate partner looking to engage local youth with a tech innovation project. Their consulting was highly customized as they made themselves available for every phase of planning, mentor training, and logistics. Expensive materials and equipment were not needed, and most important teen participants were highly engaged and created fascinating inventions that would be successful in today’s market.” —K. Davis L.A. Works
“STEM programs like this one are vital to ensure that the students of today are equipped to compete in the global innovation economy of tomorrow.” —M. Shorenstein, NY President, AT&T