Southern Arkansas University’s STEM Center for K-12 Education specialists presented at 4 national conferences this past year. Susan Johnson, science specialist, attended and presented at the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Conference in Buffalo, New York in Sept. 2017. Susan has used case studies in her biology classes for years. While attending the conference, Susan was able to present her strategies for aligning case studies with the Next Generation Science Standards vision of 3-dimensional learning- learning that combines science and engineering practices, with crosscutting science concepts and science content. She also presented a case study on the Flint, MI water crisis she initially wrote for her Introduction to Biology course. She later used the Flint case to show teachers how to develop a cross-curricular study for middle school and high school students.
In Oct. 2017, Stacy Allen, math specialist, and Susan Johnson attended the International STEM Educators Association Conference in Branson, MO. This is a relative new, small conference with approximately 300 k-12 teachers. Here, they presented two workshops as a team. The first workshop integrated math and science in a lesson on graphing and interpreting data, the second modeled how to develop cross-curricular units of study. At this conference, Susan and Stacy met teachers from northern Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and the Virgin Islands. Several of the Arkansas teachers invited the specialists to provide professional development trainings at their schools. The STEM Center now provides teacher professional development in Clarksville and Mountain Home, Arkansas.
The National Association of Biology Teachers Conference was held in Nov. 2017 in St. Louis MO. Stacy and Susan presented a workshop on another lesson Susan developed, titled “Developing a Model for Negative Mechanisms of Thermoregulation.”
The last conference they attended was the National Science Teacher Association’s National Conference in Atlanta, GA in March. This conference draws over 1,000 attendants from Hawaii to Maine, and around the globe. Here the team presented a workshop on graphing and data analysis (Apparently, no one knows how to graph! J ) The second workshop, titled “ABC, Activity before Content” modeled for teachers how to use a lab investigation before introducing vocabulary and science content. Over 80 teachers participated in ABC, clearly illustrating how active learning can be incorporated into a large classroom.