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Judy Barcelon, a science teacher at Pinter High School, recently presented two sessions at a national conference on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) in Minneapolis, Minn.

STEM has become a hot topic for educators around the country seeking to emphasize the sciences and Barcelon has helped Piner create numerous innovative programs in the field.

At the conference she presented two sessions, including “Design Thinking with Medical Biology Students,” which focused on how Piner students used design thinking concepts to interview their peers and develop  solutions to the health and medical issues that interfere with student success.

“Great ideas emerged such as therapy dogs, green smoothies using campus garden greens and a later start time for sleep deprived students,” Barcelon said. “Their ideas have caught the interest of community health leaders and a pilot study to analyze health parameters in 9th graders was completed with Northern California Center of Well Being and SSU Kinesiology as well as plans to rejuvenate our campus garden.”

The second session focused on how Piner developed a STEM certificate program in collaboration with Sonoma State University to recognize high school students who have focused intensively on the sciences.

Students’ projects will be showcased in a special event this Thursday night. More information is available here:

Barcelon said she not only shared what Piner was doing but picked up ideas from other teachers to bring home to Sonoma County.

Anyone curious to learn more can contact Barcelon at