Panamati (Panama Artist/Teacher Institute) with Dr. Maria Barbosa and Dr. Diana Saez • Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat


Jul 23 2019 - Jul 27 2019

Panamati (Panama Artist/Teacher Institute) with Dr. Maria Barbosa and Dr. Diana Saez

Panamati 2019: A S.T.E.A.M. PD Retreat

Panamati (Panama Artist/Teacher Institute. S.T.E.M. + Art = S.T.E.A.M.) is an immersive professional learning experience in environmental education and engineering design through arts integration. Panamati’s mission is to develop more eco-conscious globally minded citizens. We know the best way to do this is through the educators who influence and inspire their students everyday.

Panamati is…

  • A hands-on 3-day intensive professional development retreat
  • A graduate credit course from University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), a leader in innovative higher education
  • Focused on supporting the development of STEAM curriculum
  • Taught by highly experienced, bilingual specialists fluent in English and Spanish

Panamati Partners

The International School of Panama, UMBC – University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

Who is it for?

K-12 teachers of all subjects and special areas interested in gaining training, knowledge, and support in developing arts integrated lessons with a focus on STEM/environmental topics.

  • Educators interested in collaborating with colleagues from around the world. Panamati is open to ISP and non-ISP educators.
  • Not for everyone. We are looking for kindred spirits willing to take risks, make art, get messy, make mistakes, dig in, and express themselves artistically.

Teacher Bio 

Dr. Maria Barbosa, Arts Integration Specialist/Scientist/Visual Artist

Maria Barbosa was born in Brazil and lives in Frederick, Maryland. She received a B.S. from the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, an M.S. from the Escola Paulista de Medicina, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. She was working as a Cell Biologist at the National Institutes of Health when she decided to commit her efforts to art and education. Barbosa’s work explores the origin and consequences of Immigration and the ways language and signs liberate or pigeonhole individuals. Her installations and artist’s books are exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of The National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC). Barbosa was a workshop leader for the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), a Master Teaching Artist for MATI (Maryland Artist Teaching Artist Institute), and a co-founder of TAI (Teaching Artist Institute, Young Artists of Maryland). Barbosa gives workshops on arts integration and STEAM around the country and abroad. Until 2018, she worked as an Arts Integration and STEAM consultant for Prince George’s County Public Schools, director of PGATI (PGCPS) and 21st Century Institute (AACPS), the founding president of GAIN, Global Arts Integration Network, a global-non-profit organization that fostered the use of arts integrated approaches in education.


Dr. Diana Saez, Arts Integration Specialist / Choral Director / Composer

Diana V. Saez is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she directs the University Chorale, Women’s Choir and Choral Society. As a teaching-artist, Ms. Saez was part of the Maryland Artist-Teacher Institute, a professional development program for teachers and school administrators who designed and implemented arts-integrated school curricula, under the auspices of the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland State Arts Council. As a leading specialist in the field of Latin american music, Saez also served as artistic director of Cantigas, a chamber choir that she founded with the mission of increasing awareness and appreciation of Latin America and Spanish choral music. In 2014, the choir was awarded the Choral Excellence award for Most Creative Programming by the Choralis Foundation in Washington, D.C. Before coming to Towson, Saez was serving as Visiting Choir Director at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Previously, she served as Visiting Choir Conductor at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. Saez also directed the Catholic University Women’s Choir for six years and served as artistic director of the World Bank-IMF Chorus in Washington, D.C. for sixteen years.

The program co-directors:

Nikki Barratt, STEM and Sustainability Specialist/Scientist / Science Teacher

Nikki Barratt was born in England and currently lives in Panama. She received a B.S. from the University of Delaware in Earth Science, an M.S. from Brown University in Climate Modelling, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Ecosystem Engineering. She began her international teaching career 18 years ago. She has been restoring streams, wetlands, forests, estuaries, ponds, lakes, farms and school campuses for 30 years in Bahrain, Zambia, Madagascar, Cameroon, Congo, Florida, New York, New Jersey and California. Nikki’s work focuses on helping students perform authentic scientific investigations, developing solutions to  local environmental problems and finding passion in problem solving. She coordinates her work with NGOs, GO’s and community members to facilitate student awareness and possibilities. She hopes her work fosters a love for, as well as a commitment to care for the Earth. Students projects have included building ponds, vegetable gardens, composting toilets, drinking water filters, bird houses and picnic tables. Investigations have included hybridizing yucca, delineating heavy metals in wetlands, finding pollutants in drinking water, fish counts, and calculating carbon footprints. Students have designed bird guides, trail guides, and tree guides.They have painted murals, planted trees, and cut bamboo.

Pat Cruz, Atelierista and Arts Integration Specialist

Pat has dedicated her career to helping students who struggle in school. Pat is a first generation Filipina American who was born and raised in and around Baltimore City. So she knows how it feels to be a fish out of water. This is Pat’s first year as an international educator. Previously, Pat served as Education Director/Chief Innovation Officer for Young Audiences Arts for Learning, a non profit organization in Maryland (YA) for over 13 years. Before that, Pat taught for 10 years in Title I public schools in Baltimore County, Maryland. There she worked on a team to develop a highly successful arts integration program. This program helped to significantly raise student achievement in reading and math in two high poverty schools. The results of this program were so compelling that in 2005 Pat joined YA to help more students throughout the state of Maryland. As YA’s Chief Innovation Officer, Pat developed new programs and partnerships and connected educators and teaching artists through collaborative professional development programs. Pat is the founding director of the Teaching Artists Institute, a program that supports artist and teacher collaboration in schools. As atelierista Pat hopes to help her students explore self expression and the multitude languages of the arts. Pat hopes to help transform teaching practice through integrating the arts with other subjects such as reading, science, and math. Pat holds a BS in Art Education from Towson University and a Masters in Teaching with a focus on Arts Integration from George Mason University.