STEM Conference Scheduled Sessions Abstracts

Moody Gardens, January 12-14th, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012
Authentic Inquiry and Teachers of At-Risk Students  ( High School )    Christine Salmon, Center for STEM Education and Research, University of Texas at Dallas     In this study we explored the classroom interactions exhibited by science teachers of at-risk students and how those interactions differ specifically between teachers who learned about authentic inquiry as a teaching strategy in a specific professional development program and those who did not. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis of observational and interview data, we discovered that significant differences exist between these groups of teachers on certain identified themes. One of the most interesting findings that emerged from the qualitative analysis of teacher interviews was that teachers' perceptions of "at-risk" students affected their interactions with those students.     (scheduled session list)
Designing Formative and Summative Assessments for Project-based Learning  ( General )    Karissa Poszywak and Janet Newton, Transformation 2013 T-STEM Center     In this session, we will explore the benefits of using a variety of formative and summative assessment techniques, and discover how assessments connect to student achievement via PBL instruction. Learn how to design a set of engaging learning experiences resulting in a student-created product that demonstrates a deep understanding and mastery of standards-based content and skills. We will review suggestions on how to write a standards-based rubric, and discuss how assessments help teachers gauge their next steps and support students as they plan their projects. Participants will learn to recognize opportunities for formative assessment during instruction, and understand how to use formative assessment data to plan and adjust current and future instructional activities, scaffold instruction, and generate workshop ideas.     (scheduled session list)
Foldables for the STEM Classroom  ( General )    Terry Talley, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     In this interactive session you will create your own notebook of Foldables, developed by Dinah Zike. Foldables are an efficient way to quickly organize, display and arrange data and information and to assess student understanding complex concepts. Rigorous STEM instruction requires quickly making meaningful connections between many topics. These three-dimensional graphic organizers are useful in developing a deeper understanding.     (scheduled session list)
Incorporating Ethics into STEM Education  ( Other )    Richard Burgess, National Institute for Engineering Ethics and T-STEM Center at TTU, Texas Tech University     There is growing recognition of the importance of ethics in engineering practice. However, more work needs to be done. One of the most promising areas of engineering ethics education is in K-12 STEM outreach efforts. The National Institute for Engineering Ethics (NIEE) has partnered with the T-STEM Center at Texas Tech University to develop K-12 engineering ethics education material. This material has been successfully incorporated into two Exxon Mobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps and several PDI workshops developed by the T-STEM Center. NIEE and T-STEM are also currently working on integrating ethics into a computational thinking project funded by NSF. This presentation will canvass some of the central goals of ethics education, the challenges associated with trying to meet these goals, and possible solutions. Emphasis will be placed both on conveying material and on generating discussion among participants about how to best incorporate ethics in STEM education.     (scheduled session list)
Ingenuity STEM Trailer  ( General )    Mark Parkerson and Mitch Klett, Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     The Ingenuity Center is delighted to present their new Mobile Lab. This enclosed trailer when fully functional will be filled with hands on science experiments not normally available to the typical classroom. Equipped with a Smartboard, monitors, computers, wind tunnels and a myriad of other tools, this Mobile lab will be available to promote fun hands on experiments. This Lab is designed to help facilitate STEM programs and raise awareness of science in the many subpopulations within school districts.     (scheduled session list)
Making the Industry Connection with STEM Internships  ( Administration )    Lonny Stern, STEM Council at Skillpoint Alliance, Transformation 2013 T-STEM Center     T-STEM Academies may find it challenging to offer project-based, industry-driven internships for their students before graduation. Learn how we use the Velocity Prep method to develop meaningful STEM internships in robotics, solar tech, and game design. Since 2001, Velocity Prep, a program of the STEM Council at Skillpoint Alliance, engages high school students to form consulting companies and complete 160 hours of work in a STEM field. During the program, delivered as a 4-week PAID summer internship or as a semester-long capstone for 4th-year science credit, students are asked to address real-world problems by working on a STEM project for an actual client, launch and manage a company, meet with business and community leaders, work in teams, visit regional STEM employers, and present professional deliverables in a conference room setting. Explore the methods and business partnerships that could make this program a good fit for your academy.     (scheduled session list)
Probing Sensors  ( High School )    Betsy Rountree, Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     Do you have Vernier or TI probes and sensors sitting around your room/campus that are not being used? Come use mine and see what they can do. There will be specific lessons with several probes/sensors to explore as well as several different items of technology we will use to collect the data. Come see how you can show your students real world math and science in motion. Some possible probes/sensors we will work with: motion detectors (CBR2), pressure sensors, force sensors, temperature probes, pH sensors, light sensors, microphone sensors, and more! And some possible data collection and visualization devices we will be using are TI-nspires, TI-84+s, Vernier LabPro units, CBL2s and computers. This is a hands-on session where you will actively participate in the experiments with detailed instructions how to use each probe/sensor and data collection device.     (scheduled session list)
Student Achievement Increases After a Hands-on Biotechnology Lesson  ( High School )    Nikki Hanegan, Center for STEM Education and Research, University of Texas at Dallas     This study is an experimental research design to examine increased student content knowledge in biotechnology after a hands-on biotechnology intervention. Both groups of teachers participated in Project Crawfish, a biotechnology professional development program. Students from both schools completed a pre and post assessment. The classroom was the unit of analysis. Analysis showed that each school had statistically significant increases in student content knowledge (p < 0.0001 for the intervention school and p=0.0481 for the control school). When the schools were compared to each other, a p-value of 0.0543 provided a suggestive relationship that the biotechnology intervention school had a larger increase in student content knowledge overall. When the assessment was divided into the five components, the intervention school showed significant increases in all five components. The control school had significant increases in student content knowledge in the PCR and DNA sequencing components (p=0.0459, p=0.0043, respectively).     (scheduled session list)
The Aggie STEM Center  ( General )    Linda Stearns, Jim Morgan, and Robert Capraro, Aggie STEM Center, Texas A&M University     The Aggie STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Center is a partnership of Texas A&M University's College of Education and Human Development and the Dwight Look College of Engineering that has established a center for STEM education. The Center has now expanded to reach numerous T-STEM Academies and Texas independent school districts. The center researches, creates and provides research-based professional development and other services for high-quality, secondary-level STEM teaching and learning. Come hear how the center can help you and your school provide effective STEM-based education techniques for your students.     (scheduled session list)
Thinking Maps  ( General )    Monique Micheaux, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     Participants will be introduced to Thinking Maps. This instructional tool is based on thorough and well-accepted academic study and brain research,the eight Thinking Map tools correspond with eight fundamental thinking processes. More than simple task-specific graphic organizers, these tools can be utilized individually or in various combination to form a Common Visual Language for students and teachers at all grade levels, in all subjects.     (scheduled session list)
TI Navigator in the Middle School Math Classroom  ( Middle School )    Ernest Soliz, Sinton Independent School District     In this hands-on demonstration, we will explore the capabilities of the TI Navigator System in the math classroom. Also addressed will be the use of associated software to create engaging activities, visual aides, as well as formal and informal assessments.     (scheduled session list)
Friday, January 13, 2012
Integrating Content and Literacy through Differentiated Instruction  ( General )    Kaz Kuzminski, Millmark Education     Join us for an engaging, hands on session focusing on differentiated instruction. Participants will experience differentiated instruction, language development and content all woven into one program. Be prepared as our new state science test is introduced this year, important strategies for your second language learners, special needs students and struggling readers of all levels will be modeled. All participants will receive a set of four differentiated leveled readers to take back to their classrooms.     (scheduled session list)
iPad basics  ( High School )    Bonnie Beall, Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     Participants are asked to bring their iPads. We will "walk" through the basic use of the iPad as well as discuss basic apps.     (scheduled session list)
Kelton ISD: Small Town PBL  ( General )    Jay Watson, Sarah Harless, and Clay Leisher, Kelton ISD     Located in the panhandle of Texas, Kelton ISD will provide a fresh view on developing and implementing PBL as a new T-STEM designee. Teachers will discuss implementation and share their projects as well as student work samples. They will also show how they use free online websites (teacher and student) to manage PBL instruction. Project areas addressed will be Ag Science, Math/Biology, SS/ELA, Technology, and Art.     (scheduled session list)
Making Connections: Connecting Content and Hands on STEM Activities  ( Middle School )    Franki Dockens and Kathy Payne, Edumatics Corporation     Frequently students do not see the connection between the inquiry-based "hands on" investigations they do and the abstract science concepts we teach. Integrating effective instruction with highly engaging, multimedia science content and "hands on" inquiry-based STEM activities, enables students to make essential connections between science content and the process of scientific investigation that leads to concept mastery. Join us as we explore how to effectively integrate science, technology, engineering and math using Edusmart Science, a TEKS-aligned multimedia science resource, and inquiry-based STEM activities that are designed to help students make essential connections between science content and the process of conducting scientific investigation.     (scheduled session list)
Multiple Representations  ( Middle School )    Kay Olds, Region 5 ESC     An adaptation of the TEXTEAM Jet Ski Problem. Groups use the 4 corner model to show multiple representations of problems based on renting a Jet Ski. Depending on the rental price, this activity leads to great discussions on if the relationship is proportional or not. FUN !! Great for students grades 6 - 9.     (scheduled session list)
NASA's Exploring Space Through Math  ( High School )    Paulette Granger and Monica Trevathan, NASA Johnson Space Center     Math educators and students use problems based on real human space flight projects. The problems were developed by math educators who collaborated with scientists and engineers. Students will be inspired by the opportunity to analyze real data. Participants will make connections with linear equations and systems of linear equations using an example problem called Suit Yourself. This problem connects these topics by introducing the space suit and some things involved with a NASA space walk. They will generate graphs and solve a linear system. Finally, participants will be shown how and where to access a bank of problems that can be used in their classrooms.     (scheduled session list)
NASA's Math and Science @ Work  ( High School )    Monica Trevathan and Natalee Lloyd, NASA Human Research Program, NASA Johnson Space Center     Learn about NASA's Math and Science @ Work project and find FREE, classroom ready, free response styled problems for Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Calculus and Statistics advanced high school courses. Advanced students require challenging materials to keep them focused on their studies and to help provide them insight into the limitless array of options in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields. NASA brings real world application problems to your classroom by providing challenging supplemental problems based on space exploration topics. This project engages students and promotes critical thinking and problem-solving while exposing students to careers working in space exploration.     (scheduled session list)
Profession Sessions: Making STEM Career Connections in Your Classroom  ( General )    Marguerite Sognier, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     The new Profession Session series developed by the Southeast Regional T-STEM Center enables you to learn about individuals in a variety of different STEM careers online! In this series, STEM professionals reveal what they do, why they chose to do it, and the impact of their educational experiences. Come learn all about this series and how you can access this valuable resource!     (scheduled session list)
PROMOTION OF JOURNALISM PROGRAM  ( General )    Aida Martinez, Harmony Science Academy-Laredo     Since the inception of the Journalism Club on September of 2011, it has attracted not only high school students, but middle school students as well. We are currently incorporating School Project Based Learning into our 8th Grade and High School English Classes, including Computer Classes which encompasses Desktop Publishing and Design, Digital Graphics and Animation, Web Mastering and Video Technology. The completed media package consists of a web page layout, a write up story, a video presentation of the event, and a slide show. Once reviewed and approved by administration, the package is uploaded and posted on our public news website, Since it is a process, for the past two months, our Web Mastering students have been learning basic HTML programming code. They are in the preliminary stages of constructing this website and are responsible for developing a robust and powerful website by the end of the semester.     (scheduled session list)
Square Peg, Round Hole: Interdisciplinary PBL with Unique Collaborators  ( High School )    Molly Adams and Jim Gary, Global High T-STEM @ Longview High School     Interdisciplinary planning for projects and PBL lessons is difficult enough, but it becomes even more arduous when subjects (have to or want to?) team up that do not naturally lend themselves to collaboration. We'll show you how to merge ELA, Math, Science, History, & Tech into one fantastically interactive PBL your students will never forget. You will leave this session full of lesson/PBL ideas, cutting-edge technology resources, new "tools" for your toolbox, and methodologies for integrating reading, writing, AND current events into a PBL/lesson. Come prepared to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and make that square peg fit a round hole. We're PBL architects with a tri-fold purpose: learning by inquiry, working with your hands, and enjoying every bit of the lesson. And if our team can find common ground, anyone can!     (scheduled session list)
STAAR Assessment, Depth of Knowledge (DOK) & Project Based Learning  ( General )    Cynthia Aguilar and Elda Christian, STEM Center of South Texas, Region One ESC     Have you ever heard of the DOK? Prepare for the STAAR Assessment by learning about Dr. Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge construct. Engage in activities to learn about the four levels of thinking and its relationship with the STAAR Assessment and Project Based Learning.     (scheduled session list)
STEM PBL Evaluation Tool  ( General )    Joules Webb, Janet Newton, and Karissa Poszywak, Transformation 2013 T-STEM Center     Looking for a cool tool to evaluate STEM PBLs? Come learn how to use this one-of-a-kind project rating matrix to evaluate essential elements of a STEM project. This tool was developed with consideration of the meta-discipline nature of STEM education, the essential components of quality PBL, and the THSP T-STEM Academy Blueprint Benchmark 5 performance indicators (Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment). This hands-on, minds-on session provides an opportunity to apply the rating tool to PBL examples from a variety of sources in a professional learning community setting. Teachers and administrators alike will walk away with a useful tool for reflecting upon the quality of PBLs created and identifying opportunities for enhancing student learning outcomes based on this model.     (scheduled session list)
STEM PBLs Across the Curriculum (Math and English CAN Work Together!)  ( High School )    Jennifer Barbknecht and Clark Good, STEM Academy of Berkner High School     This session will focus on how to plan and implement a cross-curricular Project Based Learning unit. Participants will learn how our Academy has successfully used a contemporary British play, Arcadia, (which focuses on quantum physics, Fermat's Last Theorem and fractals) to get students to find cross-curricular connections in their math class. Participants will be given a list of literature that has similar cross-curricular possibilities and then led through how to develop their own PBL to fit the needs of their students.     (scheduled session list)
STEP into Earth and Space Science  ( Middle School )    Christine Shupla, Lunar and Planetary Institute     The Lunar and Planetary Institute has gathered a variety of activities and resources for use in middle school science, relating directly to the Earth and space science TEKS. Learn how to find and use these activities and resources, and hear about the new STEP project (Sustainable Trainer Engagement Program) geared for science specialists and lead teachers. STEP will provide content and activities for all of the middle school Earth and space science TEKS, through 15 days of professional development; and support their participants as those participants then provide professional development with their own teachers. STEP will also provide modest stipends and funding for substitutes.     (scheduled session list)
The Engineering Design Process and You  ( Other )    Stephanie Brierty, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     Come get hands-on with engineering! Learn by engineering a product! This session will go through the design process before reviewing the individual steps and then take a look at how you can use it in your classroom.     (scheduled session list)
The Power of the Entry Document  ( Other )    Joe Ferrara, 2121 COLLECTIVE INC., Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     This session will focus on the importance of the Entry Document in Project Based Learning. Emphasis will be placed on how it can be utilized to set expectations, target standards, differentiate learning, and manage instruction. Teachers will be given time to develop and/or refine entry documents for upcoming PBL Units.     (scheduled session list)
The Real Story Behind Brain-Based Learning and Why it Matters  ( General )    Terry Talley, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     In this interactive, hands-on session, you will simulate the research of Dr. Marion Diamond and be forever changed in your opinion of hands-on learning strategies in your STEM Classroom! Cooperative learning and scientific discourse will be modeled along with a celebration of neurons in your new ways of thinking about collaboration!     (scheduled session list)
Value of Coaching Novice Teachers in STEM - Discussion Sesison  ( Administration )    Terry Talley, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     Coaching first and second year teachers in STEM requires skills and a mindset that differs from that of a typical mentoring program. The novice STEM teacher must not only master the management of teaching content, but also the challenge of integrating 21st Century Skills, PBL, and establishing a vision of College/Career Readiness. The Beginning Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program (BTIM)at the SRT-STEM Center works with STEM Academies. This facilitated session for administrators and campus leaders is to discuss challenges and successes in meeting the needs of novice STEM Academy teachers.     (scheduled session list)
Walk This Way  ( High School )    Janna Smith, Region 5 ESC     Often students are asked to interpret distance over time graphs. In this activity, participants experience seeing many examples quickly of their own motion graphed over time. Participants gain intuition for interpreting graphs as they make connections between their own motion and the graphs of their motion.     (scheduled session list)
Waxahachie Global - STEM & Early College HS - Sharing Lessons Learned  ( Administration )    April Moon and Don Snook, Waxahachie Global     Waxahachie Global High (WGH) is one of three high schools in the state of Texas that is a stand-alone T-STEM Academy and Early College High School. Using innovative approaches and research-based best practices, WGH is on the leading edge of the 21st century educational shift. Instead of focusing on just one best practice, this session addresses how to merge the many educational demands and needs that must be balanced at T-STEM Academies and Early College High Schools. In addition to the traditional requirements from the state and local districts, constraints and criteria must be met to satisfy grant and college agreements and meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Often serving as a pilot school, WGH has many “lessons learned” to share. Come join us and we will share student products, ideas, and tips with you!     (scheduled session list)
Saturday, January 14, 2012
"Labquests" for the T in STEM  ( Middle School )    Donna Wise, Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     The Vernier Labquest handheld is the easiest way to integrate technology and mathematics into science. First, we will look at the middle school science TEKS and discuss which probes best integrate into your PBL units. Then we will experience some hands-on /technology-based activities that target the middle school science TEKS AND make the mathematics come alive!     (scheduled session list)
"Let's Get Real"  ( High School) )    Ryan Simpson, Berkner STEM Academy Simpson     "Why do we need to know this?" "No one ever uses this." Have you ever had a student ask you that? "Let's Get Real" is a presentation meant to put the real-world context back into learning and PBLs. Attendees will be asked to bring any ideas for PBLs, or current PBLs, in order to rework them so that students can understand why they're important by providing a real occupation for the students to experience as they are learning. A round-table time will also be included so that attendees can collaborate as well as get to know one another.     (scheduled session list)
"STEM & the CCC Connection"  ( High School )    Marty Garza, Sinton High School T-STEM Academy     Avoid the confusion and get a clear look at the ties that bind the STEM Culture, Community, Cross-curricular activities at Sinton High’s school-within-a-school T-STEM Academy. This session will focus on creating a STEM culture through “Circle,” Project-Based Learning initiatives that include the community at large, and cross-curricular activities which link objectives in core classes. There will also be open discussion concerning challenges that new STEM academies may face such as CSCOPE alignment, technology, and students' lack of prior STEM experience.     (scheduled session list)
"Where in the world is ...PBL?" What's in your PBL Expertise Backpack?  ( High School )    Bridget Goree, L. V. Berkner STEM Academy     This session is designed to help stakeholders create valuable PBL Staff Development for those continuing on their journey with PBL and T-STEM academies. You will be able to use the ideas and resources presented to fine-tune PBL planning and implementation skills through valuable and purposeful reflection and exploration of Professional Learning Communities and Mentors. This session will help in directing the novice and intermediate PBL insructor to the advanced. Session will include models of PBL in all stages with its components carefully outlined and evaluated through self-reflection, student-reflection, and peer-evaluation.     (scheduled session list)
Active Learning in the STEM Classroom  ( General )    Claudia Gutierrez, STEM Center of South Texas, Region One ESC     Active Learning engages students as they develop 21st Century skills that will help them become successful not only in school but in college and career. With the inclusion of new, online tools – educators can develop interactive lessons that incorporate hands-on learning, eTools for academic success, cooperative learning techniques, and deeper content knowledge     (scheduled session list)
Advanced IPad  ( General )    Bonnie Beall, Ingenuity Center- East Texas T-STEM Center, University of Texas at Tyler     This session is for participants who are familiar with the iPad but want a closer look at specific apps. We will look into apps for math and science content as well as apps designed to help with productivity. Participants are asked to bring their iPads.     (scheduled session list)
BLT Sliders: Biotech in a Bag  ( High School )    Michele Marquette, Office of Educational Outreach, University of Texas Medical Branch     Sliders are small tasty treats and our BLT Sliders are no different! We have miniaturized some of our favorite activities from our Biotechnology Lessons for Teachers – Institute and bagged them for you to sample! Set up and take “A Mean Clean”, “Dair-EZ”, and “Bag: Bagged”! Quick, easy, inexpensive and FUN, these mini biotech activities are sure to become a staple on your classroom menu! Come and get ‘em while they’re hot!     (scheduled session list)
Circles - There's No End to Them !  ( Middle School )    Kay Olds, Region 5 ESC     A hour full of hands-on activities involving anything and almost everything with CIRCLES ! Fraction Circles, Dice, Bicycle tires, tennis balls, and beans,are used to learn about equivalent fractions, diameter, circumference, and volume. We will also use data from a bar graph to tranform it into a circle graph.     (scheduled session list)
Clay Modeling in the Science classroom  ( Other )    Jean Langevine, Ball Preparatory Academy     As instructive as studying and drawing diagrams can be, much more is learned when students work with the understanding that they are producing something rather than merely manipulating it. The objective of this presentation is to have participants experience how using modeling clay can provide a kinesthetic, three-dimensional, constructive, and sensory approach to learning biology, human anatomy and several general science concepts. Participants will use modeling clay to create a variety of science models to take back to their classroom to use as teaching tools. Participants will build model body systems into manikins and take away resource materials on how manikins can be effectively and creatively used for both teaching human body systems and also as an evaluation tool. At the end of the presentation participants will have concrete ideas on the use of clay modeling as an alternative or a supplement to animal dissection.     (scheduled session list)
CPO STAR SUCCESS with Plate Tectonics  ( Middle School )    Sally Dudley and Kat Woodring, CPO Science- A Division of School Specialty Science     See the new Texas M.S. Earth Science TEKS in action. In a series of engaging activities, participants utilize bathymetric maps to plot major earthquakes, locate the Ring of Fire, predict movement of 7 major tectonic plates, and evidence to support Wegener’s hypothesis. The final product is a world map that helps internalize Earth’s dynamic movements. Free CD. Doorprizes.     (scheduled session list)
Current STEM Happenings  ( General )    Stephanie Brierty, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     Don't have time to keep up with all of the news, blogs, newsletters, etc. but still want to stay STEM relevant? This session will allow you to review and digest a variety of current STEM newsletters, articles, research, magazines, and more! Bring your own if you would like to share as well!     (scheduled session list)
Cuttin' Up in Science  ( High School )    Rosemary Martin, Supporting Science, Inc.     Come see how these colorful manipulatives engage students while making them think at high levels. Use them for learning, reviewing, tutoring or assessing. A great differentiation tool for special populations! Door prize and lots of cuttin' up!     (scheduled session list)
Developing an Internship Program  ( High School )    Amber Greer, Ball Preparatory Academy     Ball Preparatory Academy has developed and implemented a successful Internship program. This has been extremely valuable for our students and our community. Internships are a powerful way to connect real world experiences with STEM education. This presentation will share research, resources, successes and strategies to help make your internship program the best it can be.     (scheduled session list)
How Humanities Courses Fit in a STEM Academy  ( High School )    Carissa Hairrell, Ball Preparatory Academy     "How Humanities Courses Fit in a STEM Academy" is a workshop that connects English language arts and social sciences to STEM disciplines in grades 9-12. This presentation will cover common needs assessed from current T-STEM teachers and administrators across the state. The following strategies will be shared: * marketing focus in cross-curricular PBLs * research papers for other disciplines and a common process for revision * how to include math/science TAKS items in the ELA and/or social studies classroom * combining college-going culture and admissions into the senior-level English class. The format of the workshop will be several short, easy to understand, examples of what has worked for one academy, but at the same time easily adjusted to any STEM academy.     (scheduled session list)
It’s not Rocket Science… (Oh wait, yes it is!) Fly Rockets to Learn!  ( General )    Shella Condino, John Chandler, and Adelina Sanchez, Presidio High School     Looking for a program that engages students in learning physics, develops communication and presentation skills, requires teamwork, and will make them more college ready? Lift off with Model and High Power Rockets! Learn how to create a successful aerospace enrichment program that engages students in a learning opportunity that involves design, construction, test and launch of model and high power rockets. This unique hands-on experience allows students to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their designs and gives previously abstract concepts tangibility. The program also encourages students to pursue STEM related careers. This educational experience culminates with participation in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world’s largest model rocket contest. Teams that finish in the top 24 in the TARC national finals are eligible to submit rocket research proposal to NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) Advanced Rocketry Program. At SLI, students design, build, test and launch reusable rockets with associated scientific payloads.     (scheduled session list)
Let's Talk: Gender Equity in STEM  ( General )    Susie Wheeler, STEM Equity Pipeline (NAPE)     The STEM Equity Pipeline has developed a proven model to increase the number of females in STEM fields. This presentation will give an overview of this model, as well as give recommendations for teachers and administrators to combat root causes that prevent female students from enrolling or persisting in STEM programs. Discover ways to recognize what may be hindering young women in STEM.     (scheduled session list)
Live .. from the International Space Station!!  ( High School )    Tonya York and Monica Trevathan, NASA Johnson Space Center     Wouldn’t it be amazing to have access to activities happening on the International Space Station (ISS) right this very second, and incorporate that into a classroom lesson? Recently NASA has provided educators that opportunity through an interactive 3-D web based display called International Space Station Live! (ISSLive!). ISSLive! Consist of a 3-D mission control room, onboard crew activities timeline, experiments that are currently being performed, selected console data, and lessons for the math and science classrooms to enhance existing classroom concepts. ISSLive! Is a unique tool for science, technology, engineering and math education. It provides live data from the International Space Station and real world application that can be used to engage students. By gaining insight into the daily activities and equipment onboard the International Space Station, teachers will be able to demonstrate a current and real application of the concepts students are learning inside the classroom.     (scheduled session list)
Meeting the Middle School STEM Challenge  ( Middle School )    Gary Nicholson, PASCO scientific     Participate in an engineering design challenge that integrates PASCO probeware technology in this hands-on workshop. Come away with many ideas for rich, project-based activities that will help your students learn and apply science, technology, engineering, and math skills--all clearly mapped to relevant national standards in the STEM disciplines (NSES, NCTM, NETS, and ITEA).     (scheduled session list)
Physics Demonstrations About Resonance  ( General )    Lavent Sakar, Harmony Public Schools     Resonance , forced oscillation and harmonic frequencies seems to be complicated concepts for students to understand. The most exciting resonance demonstrations will be presented in a workshop format. We will also discuss how to assign these demonstrations to the students so that the students will be able to teach each other. Resonating bowl , singing rod , activities with tuning forks , sound tubes , new designed demonstrations with wave generators ,resonating speakers and many others     (scheduled session list)
Rigorous Rotation Review for 8th Grade  ( Middle School )    Rosemary Martin, Supporting Science, Inc.     Try out the new 8th grade review "stations" from Science Cut Ups. Activities include card sorts, organizing data, quick technology links, foldables® and much more. Just laminate, cut and your interactive stations are ready for students! All Readiness and Supporting Standards are covered. Door prize and lots of cuttin' up!     (scheduled session list)
Robotics K-12  ( General )    Monique Micheaux, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, University of Texas Medical Branch     Participants will be given a demo and overview of the robotics available for students K-12.     (scheduled session list)
Scientific Method; Unleashed, Uncut, and Outdoors  ( General )    Wynn Simon, Texas Tech Outdoor School, Texas Tech Lubbock     Many of today's urban youth are in need of effective STEM and natural resource understanding. The Outdoor School offers an inquiry based STEM program with an innovative curriculum. Investigate natural and innovative methods of environmental sciences through multiple best learning practices. TTU Outdoor School highlights curricular units and pedagogy. This curricular unit offers Quail CSI(Crime Scene Investigation) where students utilize and understand the scientific method in an unique way using the forensic crime scene approach to determine predators of the quail. As an example: suspect=predator; hypothesis=investigation; method=study; evidence=data; trial results/analysis; and the verdict (guilty/not guilty)= discussion/interpretation. Scientific Method: Unleashed, Uncut and Outdoors Demonstrating innovative curriculum that incorporates multiple best learning practices to improves instruction for all students and teachers from all environments.     (scheduled session list)
STAAR and PBL: A Natural Connection  ( General )    Janet Newton, Joules Webb, and Karissa Poszywak, Transformation 2013     How do you want colleges and businesses to describe your graduates? Problem-solvers, Innovators, self-reliant? What we know: TEA has explained that STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) is a more rigorous standardized testing program for elementary, middle, and high school students. The new STAAR program will emphasize “readiness” standards, considered most important for success in the grade or subject that follows and for college and career. We also know: By definition, Project Based Learning is an inquiry-based instructional approach, in a real-world context, where students generate the pathways and products that meet defined, standards-based outcomes. After review and investigation, participants will draw a strong connection from Project Based Learning to the STAAR. The connection will be evident particularly with the content standards and process skills. This session will provide confidence and support for PBL implementation.     (scheduled session list)
STEM Projects with Renewable Energy  ( General )    Gus Perez, STEM Center of South Texas, Region One ESC     This session is designed to explore renewable energy sources that include investigating energy in many forms (supply, transfer, accumulation, conversion, and consumption). Participants will build a custom wind turbine using LEGO NXT Mindstorm kits and collect real-time data using software measurement and data analysis tools. Participants will rotate around learning stations designed for experimentation with three main energy sources- solar, wind, and water- to generate, store, and use power.     (scheduled session list)
Strengthening Your School & Community Alliances using Project Base Learning  ( High School )    Natalie Rose and Marcus Walker, A. J. Moore Academy High School     This presentation seeks to provide four different but major Project Based Learning (PBL) experiences that will forever tie your school and community together. The major projects include a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site (VITA), supported through the IRS and run by students, an Ebay classroom store, a micro loan lending project KIVA, and a live Securities trading experience. All projects are tied directly to curriculum reinforce math and technology skills and provide the link between schools and communities further strengthening the bond while providing real-life experiences.     (scheduled session list)
The Wonderful World of PBLS  ( High School )    Anne Fruge, Eric Bilyeu, and Meredith Jones, Texas High School     PBLS, TEKS and Technology! Oh my! A fledgling STEM program addresses challenges of integrating STEM principles into English and history courses. Handouts will include detailed assignments, rubrics, and experiences from humanities teachers trying to navigate TEKS, STEM, TAKS, EOC and the other obstacles on the way to creating a successful STEM classroom.     (scheduled session list)
Virtual Laboratory- Introduction and Classroom Use  ( General )    Marguerite Sognier1 Blake Godkin2 and Clifford Houston1, 1Southeast Regional T-STEM Center and 2Cambridge Strategics     Come learn about and experience a realistic virtual laboratory that will be available for you and your students to use! This virtual laboratory incorporates aspects of a gaming environment, is based on a realistic case study, and students must perform experiments to solve the case and treat the patient!     (scheduled session list)
Year Two-The Good, the Bad, and the Best PBLs  ( General )    Mary Lankford and STEM Student Ambassadors, Sinton ISD     Sophomore teachers will present student Project Based Learning (PBLs) portfolios created earlier this year.  Our purpose is to reflect on the positives, what went well and pin point the not so well to better prepare us for the coming year.  This includes the actual learning process, did we achieve, exceed or fall short of our goals.  More importantly, you will hear from our 2nd year STEM students and gain some insight from their perspective on how STEM is measuring up and on college readiness. Each branch of STEM, Science, Math, English, History and Engineering teachers will share along with our five Sophomore STEM Student Ambassadors.     (scheduled session list)

View a list of conference sessions.