Hacking STEM: Modernizing and Democratizing STEM Education


Date Thursday October 3rd 2019

5:00 - 6:30 PM (5:00 - 6:00 Presentation and Q&A, Followed by Networking Until 6:30)

Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

The jobs of today will not be the jobs of tomorrow. Globally schools are being asked to prepare students with future-ready skills. However, to engage the leaders of tomorrow, teachers need access to the right materials today. These materials need to be easily obtainable, affordable and reflect the mandated academic standards that bring real-world scenarios and modern technical concepts into the classroom. In addition, traditional learning pathways don’t include concepts like getting started with IoT, working with data, machine learning or artificial intelligence.

In this talk, we present Microsoft Hacking STEM, a K-12 program that provides inquiry-based science, technology, engineering and math lesson plans written by teachers for teachers. These free, interdisciplinary lesson plans developed in partnership with STEM experts like NASA and BBC Learning support students building projects that integrate core academic concepts with hands-on experiences. Students are challenged to build sensors, analyze data, design in 3D, engage with mixed reality and work with a machine learning and AI module while solving real-world problems. Karon Weber will share how Hacking STEM is modernizing and democratizing STEM education and demonstrate some of the student-facing projects.



Karon Weber is one of the creative forces on the Education Team at Microsoft. An innovator, experience architect and a storyteller, Karon is the Partner Director of the Education Workshop. Her team is responsible for incubating and developing new hardware, software and service experiences for K-12. Karon drives all her projects with the user at the center and puts as much emphasis on “doing” as she does on “thinking.” Previously, she led a team that incubated Windows technologies including IoT, ink and new hardware. She has also contributed to advancing the strategy for Xbox One, Xbox Live and Windows Phone. Prior to joining Microsoft, Karon’s leadership and design craft were honed working at Pixar, Yahoo!, SGI-Alias/Wavefront, and PARC, where she influenced the development of the nascent digital entertainment and communications space. She holds over 40 patents and has credits on 4 films, 2 of which won Academy Awards.

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


Our scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.