Empowering K-12 Educators with the skills, resources, and network they need to implement project based learning (PBL) in public schools around the world


Based at Princeton University, we are a student-run, non-profit organization backed by Google Education and Wolfram. We host a series of free conferences annually for thought leaders in education throughout the world.  

We currently provide 3 conference locations with each hosting about

120 hand-picked passionate attendees.  





When the IgniteSTEM conference finishes, you will leave with tangible deliverables that will provide every resource necessary to launch your own successful hackathon to change education forever. Take an in-depth look at igniteSTEM's global importance HERE.

Starting your own hackathon can be daunting.  You will leave IgniteSTEM with a bag that contains tools for you to take initiative, which includes a mobile app, website, example projects, and strategies necessary to host successful hackathons.

IgniteSTEM's mentors and team members have hosted successful hackathons and know exactly how to create outstanding hackathons, regardless of your situation.  You will be assigned a personal mentor to help you build the hackathon that fits your specific needs.

Hacking is all about the community.  You will become a member of hack clubs across the world that you can count on for support, and you will be able to grow the club in your area.


HACKATHONS: From Idea to Launch

Hackathons are marathon creation events.  Whether it's science, technology, humanities, or the arts -- hackathons bring students together collaboratively to create unique solutions to the problems they care about. 

DESIGN THINKING: Research. Conceptualize. Design.

Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning to solve complex problems, find desirable solutions, and explore possibilities of what could be.

MAKER MOVEMENT: Grassroots Innovation

Makers are creative, resourceful, and curious using digital design and manufacturing technologies to develop projects that demonstrate how they can interact with the world around them



Join education thought leaders around your area at our conferences to share ideas about new approaches to disrupt STEM learning environments in high school, university, nonprofit and corporate arenas.  Through our talks, workshops, and networking opportunities, we aim to provide participants with take-home skills and leading-edge ideas through hands-on teaching methods such as hackathons, maker spaces, and design thinking approaches.

A NETWORK OF EDUCATION DISRUPTERS: Our conferences provide a unique opportunity to meet thought leaders in the STEM education community.  Develop relationships with people from your local neighborhoods and also across the nation from primary schools, universities, and corporate spaces.  Through smaller teams and workshops within the conference, you will have a constant support staff in your endeavor to implement many of the ideas and concepts you will be exposed to even after the conference concludes. 

SAMPLE SCHEDULE: The conference (for more information, please visit our Conference pages), featuring keynote speakers, intimate workshops, and networking debriefs, is structured like a mini-hackathon and allows attendees to experience "hacking education" in a non-traditional format.  The workshops and talks will employ many of the strategies of design thinking and maker movements.  Through these hands-on engaging workshops, participants will be able to visualize what such disruption would look like within their own educational institutions and the impact it could have on the student body.

THE NEVER-ENDING EXPERIENCE: The conferences are simply the seed to ignite the journal towards disrupting traditional educational models.  We will equip attendees with many tools to maintain a long-term relationship to provide as much support as is needed and to see their ideas and endeavors come to fruition.  In addition to an actual support team, participants will be provided with a collegiate mentor and will receive a take-home HACK PACK, a simple Do-It-Yourself kit enabling you to host a future hackathon that best fits your community. 

This past year, we gave away a total of $8K in funding for teachers who attended our conferences to allow them to pursue their PBL classroom projects. 

We aim to make our educational resources available to teachers through physical HackPacks (distributed at our conferences) and online lesson plans and content database.

Over the past five years, we have reached over 500 participants and established an interactive network of over 650 active educators through our newsletter, impacting thousands of students across the globe.


Hands-on learning and actively practicing "innovation" will allow children to become more resilient and learn "how to think,"  thus igniting leaders who have the capabilities to tackle real world problems.