Management Team

Welcome to Generation STEAM: Generation STEAM is a 501(c)(3) empowering the next generation of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) visionaries through education and exploration. Our programming sparks a love of STEAM in K-12 students and exposes them to careers in which their unique strengths can be utilized. We want students to know that whatever their skills and interests, there is a place for them in STEAM, and a STEAM career path is realistic, regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status. Generation STEAM provides opportunities in areas where resource and education equality has historically lacked.  

The San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering: A Flagship Program: Our flagship program, the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, is a testament to our dedication to inspiring and engaging students of all ages in the wonders of STEAM. This annual event is the largest of its kind in California, uniting industry leaders, educators, parents, and students. What initially started as a science and engineering-focused event to provide hands-on activities to diverse communities has evolved into a comprehensive celebration of San Diego's cultures and communities, aimed at inspiring the next generation of STEAM leaders. With goals ranging from fostering passion and inclusion to bridging the gap between the public and STEAM industries, we're committed to strengthening our community's engagement with STEAM.

Meet the Team

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Sara DW Pagano

Managing Director

Sara is responsible for the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering and K-12 STEM outreach initiatives with the goal of empowering the next generation of innovators and future talent of San Diego. Sara has over a decade of non-profit and event experience, including executive leadership positions with USO San Diego and Discover Pacific Beach – Business Improvement District. She graduated from Westfield State College with a Bachelor of Science in Education and also holds a certificate from University of San Diego’s Event Management Program. Her personal interests include: chasing her toddler around, her best furry friend Miles and getting outdoors.

Silvana DelPiccolo

Director of Community Relations

Silvana DelPiccolo is the Director of Community Relations at Biocom and the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering, working with local STEM companies to create employee engagement opportunities and make an impact in the community. She’s a bona-fide believer in the power of corporate social responsibility, and values the opportunity to serve corporations and community simultaneously—a matchmaker between the company, its employees, and the “greater good.” She has over a decade of nonprofit experience and holds a degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

Brandon LeckBrandon Leck

Associate Director, Operations & Strategy

Brandon is responsible for grant writing, research and development for Generation STEAM’s programs and outreach initiatives including the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. His background is in corporate and foundation grant writing, fundraising and development. He obtained a degree in English Literature from The Ohio State University.

Julie Lupo

EXPO Day Event Director

After years of assisting to organize San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering, Julie Lupo is proud to step in to lead in partnership with Generation STEAM. As a California Multiple Subject Credential holder, she works from an educator's heart and organizes with many years of event planning experience. Her event planning skills have been used for many non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has also served in the past on boards for the YMCA, La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation, and Steele Canyon High School Board of Managers. Outside of this work she enjoys time with her children, her dogs, at the beach, fishing, real estate, writing and reading. She's excited for the return of this amazing, hands-on opportunity for the kids in our community!

Dolores Flores

Project Associate

Dolores Flores is the Project Coordinator for Generation STEAM and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. She is a strong advocate for more impactful and authentic learning experiences for the K-12 STEM education system. She studied Biology at Fresno State where she focused on curricula development, project based learning, and Next Generation Science Standards research. Her interests include: knitting, spending time with family, and enjoying the outdoors with her dogs.


Howard ChanHoward Chan

Educational Consultant

Howard is an Educational Consultant for Generation STEAM and Biocom California Institute. Howard brings a unique skill set with a technical background in engineering, passion for teaching, and entrepreneurial spirit to innovate in the education space. He has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University, Multiple-Subjects CA Teaching Credential and a MA in Cross Cultural Teaching from National University. As a former STEAM classroom teacher, professional development coordinator, and school technology director, Howard has always been a strong advocate for STEAM programs in schools around the world.

Mikayla OrtegaMikayla Ortega

Program Manager

As a Program Manager with Generation STEAM, Mikayla is responsible for overseeing the development, management, and implementation of various STEAM and biotechnology K-12 Education Programs that are developed along with our partner companies. Mikayla also supports other programming through curriculum development and administrative responsibilities while managing the Generation STEAM Laboratory. Prior to joining Generation STEAM and Biocom California Institute, Mikayla was a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, studying coral cell physiology, while working as an Adjunct Professor at multiple community colleges in San Diego, teaching collegiate lecture and laboratory courses in Biology, Physiology, and Oceanography.  She holds a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from San Diego State University.

Annie WarnerAnnie Warner

Development Coordinator 

As the Development Coordinator for Generation STEAM and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, Annie is responsible for grant applications, fundraising initiatives, and supporting community engagement. Annie graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in International Studies and minors in International Development, Humanitarian Assistance, and Dance. Her experience also includes teaching supplementary education programs, nonprofit management, and marketing.

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We Love Our 2024 Sponsors!

It takes true community spirit and engagement to build a successful Festival Week and momentum to support ongoing programs. Our mission is to provide meaningful year-round STEAM experiences for youth and adults alike in San Diego, and throughout the state of CA through our virtual platform.

2024 Sponsors  

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