Guest Presenters Series
Each year, the HHEF welcomes accomplished authors, scientists, artists, and leaders to present, perform and engage with Hatboro-Horsham students. These experiences, from constructing a mural alongside an accomplished tile artist to hearing the motivational words of a renowned athlete, represent the extraordinary learning opportunities we endeavor to provide. Prior speakers have included M.I.T. professor and robotics pioneer, Woodie Flowers, children’s author David Kirk, basketball star Chris Heron, and the Cavani String Quartet. Whenever possible, our guests stay for an evening presentation for the community.
In 2020-21, the HHEF hosted the following guests:
During COVID-19 with Dragonfly Psychological Associates
In direct response to the uncertainty, fear, isolation, and anxiety students are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HHEF and HHSD have partnered with the team at Dragonfly Psychological Associates to develop a social-emotional support program for elementary students. Through a series of workshops, students will be given strategies to identify, understand, and regulate emotions that can interfere with their academic performance and stand in the way of resiliency.
"Not Light But Fire"
Philadelphia-based author and educator Matthew Kay is best known for his book Not Light, But Fire, which offers teachers strategies to facilitate meaningful conversations about race in their classrooms. Matthew encourages educators to use interpersonal skills and extensive preparation to facilitate
welcoming environments in which students of all backgrounds can engage in open and constructive dialogue. KVMS students will be invited to reflect on misconceptions they have encountered and to consider how preconceived notions of others may have impacted them. This program enhances our students' capacity for empathy and reflects the HHSD commitment to fostering an inclusive environment.
Dr. Laura Pontano Vaites
This year, the HHEF will welcome Dr. Laura Pontano Vaites, a cell biologist and research fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Vaites’ research helps us understand how human proteins work together to perform normal functions in cells and how these functions can be disrupted in disease. Through a series of virtual workshops, approximately 150 HS students will experience real-world applications of their science curriculum. Dr. Vaites will introduce students to cell biology, biochemistry, and the fundamentals of bioinformatics, where data science meets biology.
Dr. Shruti Naik
HHEF will welcome Dr. Shruti Naik as the kick-off speaker for our Girls' STEAM Series this year. Dr. Naik is an immunologist and stem-cell biologist helping to advance our knowledge of the immune system. Her work supports the development of novel therapeutic strategies in a range of conditions, such as psoriasis, chronic wounds, and cancer. Named a L’Oreal Women in Science Fellow in 2016, she has produced a series of interviews with women in science to inspire the next generation of women in STEM.
Learn more about Girl's STEAM programs below.
In 2019-20, the HHEF hosted the following guests:
The HHEF has recently welcomed author and illustrator Floyd Cooper to speak with 4th and 5th graders in all HHSD elementary schools. Mr. Cooper demonstrated his signature artistic technique known as oil erasure, shared the experiences that have shaped his career, and engaged the students by re-imagining their scribbles into new works of art. His presentation was woven with thoughtful anecdotes to show the students the patience and perseverance he needed to fulfill his dream. During his stay in Hatboro-Horsham, Mr. Cooper hosted meet and greets with selected students in each elementary school, reviewed the work of some of our young aspiring artists, and offered a workshop to our HHSD art community and HHEF members.
"The Trouble with My Name"
Reflecting the Latino-American Experience
Javier Ávila is a renowned author, professor, and poet. He began his career teaching English in Puerto Rico. He moved to America and became a professor and earned himself the 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award. Mr. Ávila will visit Keith Valley Middle School on October 10, 2019 where he will discuss his personal journey of being a Puerto Rican in America. His presentation, The Trouble with My Name, covers issues of language, race, and social justice all while embracing the diversity of our nation.
In 2018, the HHEF launched Hatboro-Horsham's first scientist-in-residence program designed to introduce students to real-life applications of their classroom science lessons. This year's resident is Steve Hoffman, Director of Coffee, for One Village Coffee in Souderton. Mr. Hoffman is giving Mr. Bonner's high school science classes an in-depth look at the scientific process behind roasting perfection! Students have learned about the "roasting curve" -- the mathematics that determine how quickly and to what temperatures a bean is roasted and the machinery behind this intricate process. The scientist-in-residence program kicked-off with the students visiting the One Village roasting facility so they could begin their studies watching the masters at work!
Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Ms. Anderson visited Hatboro-Horsham High School on October 22, 2019 where she spoke to 9th and 10th grade students and gave insight into the characters and the inspiration behind the novel, Speak. She also offered a presentation for all seniors where she discussed her writing and editing process.
In 2018-19, the HHEF hosted the following guests:
Kulu Mele African
Drum and Dance Ensemble
Kulu Mele preserves and presents the traditional dance music of Africa and the African Diaspora & celebrates contemporary African American culture. Kulu Mele performed a school-day assembly for all Pennypack Elementary students on January 12 as part of their annual Acceptance Day activities. In addition to this assembly, the HHEF held a community performance featuring Kulu Mele in the high school auditorium and a morning masterclass with the Ensemble’s dancers and drummers for percussionists at the high school.
Author Ellen Sabin helped the Hatboro-Horsham School District launch the use of her fun, STEM-inspired interactive workbook, Imagine It, in 4th grade classrooms district wide.
A study of inventions and the qualities of the world’s great inventors and problem-solvers inspired the students of Hatboro-Horsham to explore their own creativity and to find the inventor within!