Sparking Wonder through STEAM/STEM
Featuring Dr. Annette Anschutz

A conference designed for those serving as early childhood educators with children from infant/toddlers to second grade. Directors, teachers, and classroom assistants will especially benefit from this professional development event.

Saturday, March, 2

Immanuel Lutheran School
115 S. Sixth Street
St. Charles, MO 63301

Principal: Scott Huster | Assistant Principal: Sonya Timmerman | ECE Director: Elissa Beaver











Registration, Continental Breakfast, Exhibitor and Vendors

Welcome and Opening Devotion

Keynote I – STEAM: Play, Tinkering, and Assessment

Refreshments, transitions to breakouts

Breakout Sectional I

Breakout Sectional II


Keynote II – STEAM: Play, Tinkering, and Assessment


Keynote Presenter: Dr. Annette Anschutz

Dr. Annette Anschutz holds a B.A. in social work, an M.A. in family life science, an M.Ed. with an early childhood emphasis, and an Ed.D. in early childhood education. She has taught and directed early childhood programs for a combined service of more than 35 years.  Since 2009, she has served at Concordia University, Nebraska. She is currently semi-retired and serves as professor of education and program director for the graduate early childhood programs.  She has three sons, two daughters-in-law, and is the proud grandmother of granddaughter, Sloane, and twins, Violet and Willow.  She is married to Concordia alum and Liturgical Artist, Mark Anschutz. She has written several articles and enjoys visiting other early childhood programs across the United States as learner, speaker, and consultant.

Presentation: STEAM: Play, Tinkering and Assessment

Part 1:  Learn how teachers of children ages three through five can support children’s engagement in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematic everyday through play-filled experiences that are essential to learning.

 Part 2:  As “tinkerers,” participants will explore a variety of loose parts materials as they discover how to engage children in solving a problem related to a children book using science, technology, engineering, art, and math skills.  As teachers, they will use their Early Learning Standards to reflect and assess how children’s knowledge and skills are demonstrated throughout the experience.

Breakout Sessions

Math and Science Learning for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

Participants will explore ways to include Math and Science play experiences in the infant and toddler environment to enhance children's cognitive development and early understanding of math and science concepts. Participants will also explore how these play experiences can meet learning standards for infants, toddlers, and two-year-olds.

Janet Rinehart and Kathy Drews– Janet is the Director of Project Construct.  She has also been a classroom teacher and a college instructor.  She has over 30 years experience in the early childhood field. Kathy is a coordinator at Project Construct.  She has also been an infant toddler classroom teacher and a college instructor.  She has over 30 years of experience in the early childhood field.

Math and Science Learning in Preschool

Participants will explore ways to include Math and Science play experiences that enhance children's cognitive development and understanding of math and science concepts. Participants will also explore how play experiences can meet learning standards.   Come ready to play!!!!

Janet Rinehart has 33 years of experience in the field of education.  She has taught preschool, elementary school, and college.  Currently, Janet serves as Director of Project Construct. She has presented to numerous state-wide and national conferences.

STEAM: Math in Early Childhood

Content and process math standards are reviewed.  Strategies and activities for incorporating math experiences into early childhood settings are presented.

Mari Doyle has over 30 years in Early Childhood Education.  Currently an Education Specialist with St. Louis LDA.  Past experience includes caregiver infants through school age; adjunct faculty; director of Head Start agency; licensed therapist providing mental health services to children and adults.

Missouri Department of Conservation: Grants, Workshops & Classroom Resources

We will discuss the free curriculums and other resources that the department of conservation has to offer the citizens of Missouri.

Nicole Wheaton - I have worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation since 2012 as a Naturalist and a Conservation Educator.  In my current role as a Conservation Educator I help teachers connect their students to the outdoors.

Ten Easy Ways to Encourage Speech and Language Development Through Play

This presentation will review ten, practical and easily applied, evidenced-based techniques that enhance speech and language skills in children ages two years through five years. Teachers will learn ways to encourage children to expand vocabulary, grammar, social-pragmatic and articulation skills in play-based learning scenarios.

Dawn Callahan Dennis, Ed.D. CCC-SLP, is a Community Outreach Specialist with Spotter Staffing and owner of Empower Language and Learning.  Dr. Callahan Dennis has a successful career that has spanned working in hospitals, private practice, schools, corporations, and universities in multiple states.  She received her B.S. and M.S. from Boston University (‘90 & ‘91) and completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Baker University, in Baldwin City, KS (2012). Her passion is empowering others, which she fulfills through providing mentorship, guidance and collaboration with students, staff, and school administration.  She is sought out nationally by school districts for consultation and professional development in topics of speech language pathology and education, IDEA Compliance, Stress and Trauma Informed Schools, Tiered Interventions, Social Emotional Learning, MTSS/RtI Implementation, Language & Literacy, and Collaborative Teaming.  In addition to this work, Dr. Callahan Dennis continues her love of providing speech-language therapy through her private practice, working as an adjunct professor, and serving as PD Leader for Timothy Lutheran School. She serves on the Missouri Speech-Language and Hearing (MSHA) Board as President-elect.  Dr. Callahan Dennis currently resides in the Kansas City area with her husband, Ken Holland.

Introduction to the LEA Spiritual Nurture Series

LEA has launched the Spiritual Nurture Series to equip Early Childhood Directors & Educators with practical strategies to promote the integration of the Christian faith into the classroom environment, the curriculum and the home. The session will include an introduction to each of the five modules and information regarding access to the training on the LEA website.

Cheryl Haun, EdS, ECE District Co-Consultant, CUNE Adjunct Professor, Early Childhood Educator and Administrator in Lutheran schools for 39 years. Specific ministry opportunities included teaching children ages 2 through kindergarten; program development and growth; parent education; and administrative leadership for teacher support, supervision and professional development. Presently, she serves as an Early Childhood Consultant for the Missouri District of the LCMS, adjunct professor for Concordia University Nebraska and Team Leader for Lutheran Association Education Spiritual Nurture Series. Missouri District Spiritual Nurture team members included Bev Gruenwald (St. Paul, Des Peres), Lisa Larson (CCLS Kirkwood) and Andrea Lohman (Zion Harvester).

Have questions?

Contact Sue at or 314-590-6217.