Events and Keynotes

A detailed schedule of events, keynotes, and what to expect at the 2021 BOOST Conference. 

Note: All workshop times are listed in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

*Please note this schedule is subject to change


Pre-Conference Academies

Growth Heartset® - A Culture of Caring
Stu Semigran, President & Co-Founder; Bryn Drescher, Facilitator, EduCare, Van Nuys, CA

EduCare logo

11:00AM - 5:00PM PDT (includes materials)

It has been said, “whoever our students may be, whatever subject we teach, ultimately we teach who we are.” Enjoy learning EduCare’s 8 Skills for Heartset® Education and develop a personal "Growth Heartset”. A growth heartset becomes a way of being… a way of teaching that sparks our students’ own SEL. This highly interactive session focuses on creating communities of caring from the “inside out” with connection, empathy, and love, all based on EduCare’s field-tested ACE Program that has reached nearly 50,000 students in the U.S. and internationally. Participants learn strategies of self-awareness (mindfulness), emotional self-management (or self-care), relationship building, and empathic listening and ways for developing students. Read more.

Promoting Safety, Inclusion, and Well-Being for LGBTQ+ Youth 
HRCF Logo 2 High Resolution copyDr. Vincent Pompei, Director, Youth Well-Being Project, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, D.C.

11:00AM - 3:00PM PDT (Includes materials) 

We have seen tremendous strides toward LGBTQ equality and yet current data reveal serious challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, including rejection, bullying, and a lack of support from educators. This pre-conference will cover the current state of LGBTQ youth, build cultural competency, and review best-practices and resources that make a positive difference. Participants will hear directly from a national expert on school safety and inclusion for LGBTQ youth, a parent of a transgender child, and a few LGBTQ students. Interactive activities, opportunities to practices new skills, and time for small group discussion will be provided. If you desire to become an emerging expert and become a stronger advocate for change, this pre-conference is for you. Read more 

STEM Studio - TGR Foundation TGR Foundation logo
David Tong, Director, TRG EDU: Create, TGR Foundation, Irvine, CA

11:00AM - 5:00PM PDT (Includes materials) 

DESIGN. INNOVATE. COLLABORATE. Imagine a place where creativity and innovation are paramount. Where teachers take on the role of students, delving into hands-on STEM activities. A place where inquiry-based learning leads to real-world applications. Where like-minded educators gather to collaborate and take risks. This is STEM Studio: an immersive experience in STEM education based on a transformational educational philosophy facilitated by TGR EDU: Create. Join us in this pre-conference session to explore strategies that will enhance your curricula and prepare your students for careers in STEM. Read more 

Visit our Pre-Conference Academies page for details.

BOOST Conference Orientation

BOOST Conference Orientation will take place every hour.
10:00AM, 11:00AM, 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM, 4:00PM PDT
BOOST Conference Attendee Promising Practices: How to Navigate the Conference and Make the Most of Your Professional Development Experience

Are you new to BOOST? Have you attend BOOST in the past but need a refresher? Stay up-to-date on attendee promising practices during our on-site orientation to help you maximize your time and learning before the conference, during the conference, and how to stay connected post-conference. Topics covered: 

- Preparing for the conference
- How to get involved and play a leadership role at BOOST 
- Tips on Networking 
- Navigating the Exhibit Hall 
- Determining the best learning opportunities for your professional development needs 
- How to use the conference app to maximize your conference experience and much, much more! 

BOOST Swim Club

1:00PM - 5:00PM PDT

Not attending a Pre-conference Academy? No problem. Catch some rays, good vibes, and gear up for the conference. Dance to the grooves of our resident DJ, play water games, and ride the bull during this pre-conference networking mixer! Sunscreen not included.  

BOOST Swim Club logoSchool of BeatsBull Ring

Welcome Reception - Mask And Hat COntesT

5:30PM - 6:30PM PDT

The BOOST Welcome Reception is truly a day to celebrate in Palm Springs with colleagues from all over the globe. Join us for our early evening reunion and welcome reception poolside. Connect with colleagues and make new friends while the sun sets against the San Jacinto mountains. A perfect way to start the conference!

Be entered into 1 of 3 different Mask and Hat Contest categories: Most Glamorous, Best Theme, and Most Creative during the Welcome Reception. BOOST is continuing our creative and fun tradition at our Annual Opening Reception so get ready to celebrate in style. Show up at the opening poolside reception on Tuesday evening and show off. Don’t forget to bring a hat! Glamorous headpieces, outrageous-themed headwear, fancy floral arrangements, sports-themed caps, or boost your company/agency flair! 

Mask and Hat Contest Judging will take place between 5:30-5:50PM PDT
Mask and Hat Contest Winners will be announced at 6:00PM PDT
Must be present the entire time during judging and announcements to win.

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DJ Walt White 

Pop-Up Networking Socials

5:00PM - 6:00PM PDT

Looking for plans while at the BOOST Conference? Want to meet and network with new, awesome, and like-minded BOOSTers? Join our Pop-up Networking Socials for just that purpose! Space is limited, please click the links below to register for a BOOST Pop-Up Networking Social. *Please note that you must be registered to attend the 2021 BOOST Conference with your account paid in full in order to register for Pop-Up Networking Socials.

 pop up socials for web  2019 BOOST Conference Tues 139


Breakfast with Exhibitors

7:30AM PDT

Mingle with our exhibitors and enjoy a healthy breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. It's a great way to start your day!

BOOST Conference Orientation

7:30AM PDT

The last BOOST Conference Orientation session will take place this morning at 7:30AM in the Palm Springs Convention Center Lobby. 

BOOST Conference Attendee Promising Practices: How to Navigate the Conference and Make the Most of Your Professional Development Experience

Conference Opening & General Session

8:45AM - 9:45AM PDT

2021 OSTI (Out-of-School Time Innovations) Awards

In loving memory of our friend, leader, mentor, and colleague, Mary Jo Ginty, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Mary Jo Ginty round  osti


Mizzen by Mott: Powering Those Who Empower Kids
How can we boost learning opportunities for the 10 million youth in afterschool programs around the country? Mizzen by Mott is a new app that provides high-quality learning content for the afterschool field. Leveraging Mott Foundation relationships with organizations like NASA and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Mizzen powers STEM learning, literacy, SEL, and 21st-century skills. From building rockets to exploring elements of improv, Mizzen activities will challenge, delight and inspire awe. Developed with and for afterschool professionals, Mizzen also features Pro Tips and tools. And, through support from the Mott Foundation, it’s free to afterschool professionals. Join us to learn about Mizzen and help shape the future of afterschool!

BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors

9:45AM - 10:15AM PDT

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for networking and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule.  


12:30PM - 1:30PM PDT

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher, and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive, and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma.  She was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019.  Her career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities.  She is the Founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, an organization leading the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress.  Dr. Burke Harris’ TED Talk, “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across the Lifetime” has been viewed more than 6 million times. Her book “The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” was called “indispensable” by The New York Times.  She is the recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Heinz Award for the Human Condition. Click here to learn more about Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.

Do you have a question for Dr. Nadine Burke Harris that you would like addressed during her keynote at the BOOST Conference? The BOOST Leadership Team will be choosing relevant and thoughtful submissions to guide Dr. Burke Harris' keynote address on Wednesday, April 28. Submit your question here by April 1, 2021.

BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors

1:30PM - 2:30PM PDT

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for snacks, networking, and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule.  

BOOST Live Networking Reception

4:45PM - 6:00PM PDT

Whether you're relaxing after a long day or ready for a night out, take the time to connect with your team and meet new colleagues at our poolside BOOST Live Networking Reception. Light snacks and cash bar available.

BOOST Homecoming Party

7:00PM - 10:00PM PDT

glow party  Homecoming Logo

Join our annual Homecoming celebration to welcome former BOOST attendees and newcomers alike! Are you ready to get your glow on?! Wear your favorite fluorescent/neon or white outfit to Homecoming and shine all night long! DJ Walt White will be lighting up the dance floor with mega hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. 

   Peachjar  STEMfinity Logo TM   School of Beats     DJ Walt White


Homecoming Party Sponsors: Peach Jar, Inc., STEMfinity, School of Beats, DJ Walt White


Tour de BOOST Walk/Scavenger Hunt

6:45AM - 8:30AM PDT

Join fellow BOOSTers on a fun Tour de BOOST walk and scavenger hunt around Palm Springs. This 3-mile hunt through scenic Palm Springs will lead you to some of Hollywood's most famous stars' Palm Springs getaways. Enjoy a beautiful Palm Springs morning, get some exercise, and best of all, connect with other BOOSTers as you figure out which Hollywood stars' homes you are going to visit!

All Tour de BOOST participants will meet in front of the Palm Springs Convention Center on the East Lawn. Please be prepared to complete paperwork and form your Tour de BOOST team at 6:45AM. Teams will receive their clues and start the race promptly at 7:00AM. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. One smartphone and Twitter account will be needed per team to complete the scavenger hunt. If you don't have your own, bring a friend! Complimentary bottled water and snacks will be provided.

All Tour de BOOST participants must pre-register for this event. To sign up, access your online BOOST registration account, select Tour de BOOST, and make your payment. To sign up at the conference, visit the BOOST Collaborative Booth (0101 & 0105) in the Exhibit Hall. $20 Tour de BOOST fees are non-refundable and all proceeds benefit our 2021 Giveback Organization.

Proceeds to benefit: FIND Food Bank

NEW Tour de Boost logo     FIND Food Bank LOGO

Morning Recess

7:00AM - 8:30AM PDT

Get up! Wake up! Rejuvenate! Bring your friends (and meet new friends) at the Morning Recess session. Maximize your morning and set the tone for the day.

Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:00AM PDT

Mingle with our exhibitors and enjoy a healthy breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. It’s a great way to start your day!

Opening & General Session

8:45AM - 9:45AM PDT

Evaluation Cabana Hosted by American Institutes for Research

9:00AM - 3:00PM PDT

For the fifth year in a row, AIR is hosting an Evaluation Cabana where you can meet one-on-one with one of AIR’s evaluation experts to discuss program evaluation and assessment. If you have ever wondered if your program is too new to evaluate or if an outside evaluator is needed, be sure to sign up.

Register for a complimentary 40-minute time slot in our poolside cabana at no additional cost (must be a registered conference attendee). Space is limited to six participants. Registration will open soon.

Some example questions are:

- Is my program too new to evaluate? How do I know where to start?
- Should I use grades and test scores to evaluate my program?
- How many participants do I need to have data to show an impact?
- Does an outside evaluator need to conduct my evaluation?
- How do I assess social and emotional skills?

Don't let these questions limit you!

As we know, quality programming and evaluation is the result of intentional planning, sharing, and reflection. Come see us in the cabana to learn more about developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving your afterschool program. 

AIR Logo

Networking Lunch & Meet the Authors

12:00PM - 1:00PM PDT

Lunch will be served in the exhibit hall. Grab your lunch and take this opportunity to mix and mingle with exhibitors and participate in our Meet the Authors series throughout the exhibit hall.

BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors

2:30PM - 3:30PM PDT

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for snacks, networking, and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule. 

Enjoy an hour of exclusive promotions and discounts from selected vendors in our Exhibit Hall. Shop 'Til You BOOST! 

2019 BOOST Conference Wed TH 142

THINK RED Inspire & Paint

6:00PM - 8:30PM PDT

Please join us for a fun event of painting while raising funds to benefit organizations that serve the San Diego HIV & AIDS community. This fun event will be guided by a professional artist and drag queen (Xrystal), Nathan Mohle from San Diego, CA.

To sign up, access your online BOOST registration account, select Think Red Inspire & Paint, and make your payment. 100% of the proceeds go to the San Diego non-profit Think Red Project.

TRWP Boost Logo

BOOST Conference hosts Think Red paint night with Drag queen artist Xrystal 


Ticket includes:

• 2 hours of professional painting instruction
• Use of acrylic paints, paintbrushes, canvas, and easel
• Canvas painting project to paint and take home 

Drink specials will be available for BOOST attendees participating in this special event.
Think Red Project & Red Dress Party San Diego / 

Karaoke Party & Talent ShOW

7:30PM - 9:30PM PDT

Calling all BOOST superstars! It’s time to get down and get your groove on at the BOOST Talent Show! You can bring your team, your friends, or come and find your new crew. Sit back and relax, people-watch from the sidewalk patio, or join in the karaoke party and let your talent shine! Don’t forget to wear your BOOST name badge… drink specials will be available exclusively for BOOST attendees. 



7:30AM PDT

It's a new twist on breakfast! Meet us poolside for a breakfast festival experience with breakfast foods, poolside yoga with a live DJ, live screenprinting, and more! Coffee and breakfast items will be available for purchase. This is the perfect opportunity to say your farewells and connect before heading to morning workshops, closing & raffle.

BreakFEST Logo FINAL      DJ Walt White

Closing & Raffle

11:15AM - 12:00PM PDT

Don't miss our fun and energetic conference closing with thousands of dollars worth of raffle prizes! Get your raffle tickets at the door for a chance to win!

Note: All conference workshops and events will take place in PDT. Please be sure to check your time zone so you are able to participate live.

Donate to BOOSTDonate to BOOST to help create change

By donating to BOOST Collaborative you are supporting our mission to provide quality professional development to global educators, building community, and cultivating experiences for change. You are supporting our purpose - thank you for your support. 

Click here to make a donation today.


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