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Innovator, Antagonist, Educator, Father
The pathway that David took to being a pioneer in the STEM/ 21st Century Learning Movement is a fascinating journey. But what this leader knows about education makes him question: is education system viable anymore? He’ll uncover his own trepidation on this topic, fueled both by the irrelevant standards he faces in his daily work but also by the challenges of his three teenaged, college-contemplating children and how this impacts them.
David L. Burns, Director of STEM Innovation Networks for Battelle, provides national leadership for issues regarding STEM education.
David Burns brings private and public sector knowledge and experience to his position at Battelle. Before entering the education arena, Burns spent 15 years in the hospitality business, developing multi-million dollar restaurant designs and executing a wide variety of business plans. Prior to that, he worked with the Disney Corporation, specifically on the EPCOT (Experimental Community of Tomorrow) project. Before coming to Battelle in October of 2008, David led state policy teams in middle and high school transformation at the Ohio Department of Education, pioneering state policy initiatives such as STEM schools, STEM networks, credit flexibility and stackable certificates. As Chief of Staff for Cincinnati Public Schools, Mr. Burns was instrumental in the high school restructuring project resulting in a dramatic increase of graduation rates for the state’s third largest urban district. He holds BA degrees in English and education and an MA degree in education/administration.
Since joining Battelle, Mr. Burns has focused on the start-up and implementation of ten statewide STEM platform schools ensuring creativity and innovation in school design, and connecting those schools through a network design. This model was recognized as a blue print for implementing STEM education and is currently in the start up phase in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.