Click on the strand below to see all the sessions in that strand or scroll down to see all Monday’s sessions.

Strand Session Information

10 A.M. SLOT


Utilizing Student Engineering Design Projects to Solve Problems for Community Partners
A snapshot of the journey of 10th-grade engineering classes to develop solutions through utilization of the engineering design process in a project-based learning environment. Explore how 10th-grade engineering classes at Eleanor Roosevelt High School utilized the engineering design process to identify problems and develop solutions for community partners.

David Eisenberg
, Engineering Teacher, Eleanor Roosevelt High School / Prince George’s County Public Schools / Maryland

Diverse Minds Unite: Using MBTI/MMTIC to Foster Collaboration in Professional Learning Communities and Student Teams

In the session, we will explore how the MBTI/MMTIC tools can be used to elevate communication through recognizing and appreciating different communication styles. Learn strategies for adapting communication to different personality types and active listening techniques to promote understanding and collaboration. By understanding their own preferences for type, individuals can gain insights into their strengths, communication style, problem-solving approaches, and preferred work environments. This framework highlights the value of diverse perspectives and preferences of team members and can be used to identify areas of potential conflict and strategies for effective teamwork and communication.

Dr. Kimberly Lane, Office of Magnet & Curriculum Enhancement, Wake County Public School System
Joshua Hunter, Senior Administrator for Magnet Curriculum Support & Outreach, Wake County Public School System

Case Method Institute: Using Cases from Harvard to Teach History and Civics in High Schools
Learn about how the case method is reinvigorating high school history and civics education nationwide. Case studies from the acclaimed Harvard course “The History of American Democracy” present historically rich narratives about real-world problems faced by decision-makers and ask students: “What would you do?” U.S. history teacher Dr. Michelle McCargish, who trained in the case method with Harvard Professor David Moss, will discuss what makes this pedagogy a transformative experience in her classroom. High school history, government, or civics teachers who attend will be invited to the Case Method Institute’s PD program, led by Professor Moss, free of charge.

Presenter: Michelle McCargish, Professor of History, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics

Breaking Barriers: Strategies for Building a Diverse and Inclusive Student Body
In this session, participants will learn practical strategies for building a more diverse and inclusive student community through modern student recruitment and equitable admissions practices. We will discuss the importance of identifying and addressing barriers to diversity in the admissions process, as well as ways to leverage technology and data to attract and enroll a diverse student body. We will share case studies and best practices from across the country, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions and Q&A to share their own challenges and successes in this important work. Join us to learn how you can break down barriers and build a more diverse and inclusive student community in your own institution.

Matt Coats, Chief Evangelist, SchoolMint
Charli DeWhitt, Enrollment and Marketing Consultant

Retaining Girls and Untapped Talent in Math Through Infused Social Responsibility and Leadership
National trends show that girls and students from historically untapped racial and ethnic groups are at the greatest risk in middle school of falling off the pathway to study advanced mathematics. Not only are they less exposed to role models in mathematics who look like them, but the framework and organization of other courses out competes a traditional delivery of math. Dive into redesigned algebra courses, its framework and lesson examples organized around a set of core leadership practices empowering students to use math as a tool for social responsibility and improving the world around.

Lisette Morris, Executive Director, The Ingenuity Project, Inc.
Justin Kuk, Math Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools

Challenges and Rewards of a Campus Native Pollinator Garden
School native pollinator gardens are multidisciplinary learning tools merging science, mathematics, and design while serving as habitat for wildlife. Campus gardens allow students to take ownership of the landscape and gain experiential knowledge of plant-pollinator interactions and conservation while creating an outdoor classroom and research laboratory. Gardens can be installed in a variety of spaces, and external funding is often available. In this session, we will share tips from ASMSA’s student-run native garden, including how to get started, successes and pitfalls, student project ideas, observations, and ideas for incorporating a campus native plant garden into coursework.

Lindsey Waddell, Geoscience and Chemistry Instructor, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
Allyn Dodd, Biology Instructor, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

Building an Intentional Campus Community
Community. We hear this word thrown around all the time. What does it mean to build community on a high school campus and how do you build intentional community among students, faculty, and staff. This fall, the North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics opened its doors in Morganton bringing together 150 juniors from across the state and over 70 new faculty and staff members. Opening a campus, we quickly learned that community norming and formation are incredibly important things in a school. Come learn and discuss ways to build a positive and inclusive community through policy and intentional programming.

Jenny Merrill, Dean of Students, NCSSM-Morganton


11 A.M. SLOT


Equity Maps: Ensuring Equity in Discussions
Ensuring that all voices are heard during classroom discussions and administrative meetings is essential. Research shows that that those who are male and those who are white are more likely to dominate discussions, which stifles diversity of opinion and devalues others’ voices. Therefore, having an accountability measure that can assess the level of equity of conversation can result in more lively discussions, diverse perspectives, and more genuine conversation. Equity Maps is an application that teachers and administrators can use to measure equity of discussion to attain these results.

Jonathan Lancaster, Social Studies Teacher, The Bergen County Academies

Creating the Space for Successful Co-Teaching
In this session on co-teaching and interdisciplinarity, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics American Studies instructors Jane Cantwell and John Zimmerman will provide attendees with proven methods and strategies for scaffolding and nurturing successful co-teaching partnerships, methods to develop interdisciplinarity in Humanities classrooms, and demonstrate a model co-taught lesson. Attendees will leave understanding the nuts and bolts of building and sustaining a professional collaboration through co-teaching, enriching student engagement through partnership, and leading a classroom in which co-teachers are more than the sum of their parts.

John Zimmerman, Instructor of American Studies and Humanities, North Carolina School of Science and Math
Jane Cantwell, Instructor of American Studies and Humanities, North Carolina School of Science and Math

Strategies for Connecting Alumni to STEAM Efforts
This presentation will provide steps to include STEAM alumni in school STEAM programs. In addition to sharing knowledge and experience, including alumni is a great way to highlight diversity and inclusion in STEAM-related industries.

The presentation will also illustrate some examples of outreach programs and how to network while building more capacity among the community as well as collaboration on and off campus.

Nicole Smith, Director of Equity and Inclusive Education, St. Teresa’s Academy

Adapting Agile Software Development Processes to Increase the Collaboration, Transparency, and Effectiveness of a School-based Instructional Support Team
Scrum and Agile Software Development tools have been used for six years to increase the effectiveness of our school’s Instructional Support Team (IST). Within project management, Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining products in a complex environment. The core of scrum is three pillars: transparency, inspection and adaptation. The format for the adapted weekly Scrum meeting is that each person shares top items from their priority list for the week, any area where they are stuck, and any opportunities for collaboration. Participants will experience a Scrum meeting firsthand and develop a list of potential Agile tool applications.

Amanda Baskett, Director, Rockdale Magnet School

Unlocking Your School’s Potential
Attracting the Resources You Need Through Visionary Rebranding
As a visionary leader, do you feel you’re missing out on potential resources, partnerships, and community support? Are you struggling to have strategic partners and businesses see the value and impact of your STEM-focused school? You’re not alone. In this exclusive session, Shajan M. Karottu (aka Shaj), Founder of ILS (In the Light Studios, The Educational Brand Marketing Creative Agency), will reveal a game-changing approach that has transformed and continues to transform schools in the Chicagoland area. We’ll dig deep into one crucial element many schools overlook and absolutely need to succeed. If you’re truly committed and passionate about transforming your school community and desire to bring about some long-needed change, get ready to unlock a powerful tool to revitalize your institution’s identity, culture, and impact.”

Shajan M. Karottu, CEO and Founder of ILS (In the Light Studios) and ILS Consulting Agency | Author, INSPIRE, The Principal’s Brand Marketing Guidebook | Executive Producer, Who Killed My Son

Projects with Data: A New Paradigm for Student Evaluation
Through this interactive session, we will focus on project-based approaches with a view toward data analysis. Participants will be asked to examine how traditional pieces of a math curriculum can be embedded into a real modeling problem, and how evaluations of such work could be constructed.

Reed Hubbard, Instructor of Mathematics, NCSSM-Morganton
Eric Taylor, Instructor of Mathematics, NCSSM-Morganton

An Inclusive Model to Expand Experiential Learning Opportunities
Experiential learning is a powerful means by which to achieve and enhance student learning outcomes. This session will investigate how teachers and schools can optimize current experiential learning offerings, while also increasing opportunities and equitable access to opportunities.

This session will explore:
1. The value of experiential learning for enhancing student learning outcome;
2. Principles that inform best practices in experiential learning design;
3. A framework through which teachers and schools can expand experiential learning opportunities for all;
4. Strategies to increase equitable access to experiential learning opportunities.

Paul Gaszak, Dean of Student Support and Equity, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Integrating Computational Methods into Physics: Numerical Analysis and Big Data
Problem solving is key in physics, but what happens when the problem gets “too complicated” to solve with paper, pen, and calculator? We will share our insights from teaching a computational physics course that introduces the use of numerical methods to solve problems in physics and explore how physicists use large data sets to model new phenomena. Our course is unique as a prior knowledge of coding is not required as the course integrates computational techniques as new physics challenges arise. We hope to share how you too can introduce numerical methods or big data sets into your classroom.

Megan Alvord
, Instructor of Physics, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Durham
Adam Benoit, Instructor of Physics, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Morganton


1:30 P.M. SLOT


Automated Grading of a Large-Scale AI Course
While about one-quarter of the students at TJ are pointed toward computer science, about 50% take the university level, post-AP computer science elective AI (Artificial Intelligence). Regardless of the content of such a course, which can run up to 30 students per class, manual grading is a bottleneck that considerably impacts teaching time and pacing. Five years ago, I introduced automated grading into TJ’s AI class, and it has been quite successful. There have been over 500,000 submissions to the system, averaging about 1,000 submissions per student over the school year. This presentation examines many of the details including the course content, and how the grader is not just a grading tool, but also a teaching tool.

Peter Gabor, Ph.D., Teacher / Lab Director, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Reflective Learning with Respect to Equitable Grading Practices
Teachers at Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science center committed to more equitable grading practices in the 2021-22 school year. As part of this practice, grades reflect student mastery of content, and are therefore a fluid measure throughout the semester. After each assessment, students embarked on a process we call reflective learning. It involved a critical item analysis by the student on each learning target over which they were assessed. We will discuss the impact of this practice on both teachers and students, as well as on student grades.

Scott Hanson, Lead Science Teacher, Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center
Karen Payson, Lead Math Teacher, Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center

Producing a Musical Cast Recording: How We Executed this Project and How You Can Too
Our school recorded an original Musical Theatre Cast Album using Apple Logic Pro recording software and student musicians. This audio engineering project combined Humanities and Engineering to create a world premiere recording. The process came as a result of the skills we developed through distance learning during COVID, but now you can see how we implemented our project with students back in the residential community. Participants will explore and participate during this session using a customized Canvas course for performing this project on your campus.

Chad Cygan, Instructor of Music, Faculty Senate President, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Fostering Community Engagement: Integrating Admissions, Residential Life, and Student Involvement to Boost Enrollment
Our workshop merges admissions, residential life, and student involvement strategies to create a compelling community experience that attracts prospective students early and establishes multiple touch points. We’ll explore innovative methods for pulling students into the campus community earlier, fostering meaningful interactions through increased touch points, and empowering current students as influential ambassadors in the recruitment process. Attendees will develop a comprehensive plan to enhance enrollment by combining these initiatives. Let’s unite admissions, residential life, and student involvement to create an inclusive campus culture that magnetizes prospective students and strengthens enrollment.

Ryan McDonald
, Director of Admissions, Maine School of Science and Mathematics
Cyndi Trapnell, Director of Residential Life, Maine School of Science and Mathematics

Maximizing Student Engagement in a Flipped Classroom
We will discuss various techniques for maximizing student engagement in a flipped classroom. You will walk away with a number of strategies to encourage students engagement both inside and outside of class.

Strategies discussed will help answer the following questions:
(1) How can I ensure my students are watching the assigned videos?
(2) How do I know that they are actively watching the video and retaining the information presented?
(3) How do I encourage student involvement during class?
(4) How can I maximize my students understanding of the content?
(5) How do I determine my students level of mastery?

Rachel Elia, Mathematics Teacher, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

Microquizzing: Implementing Standards-Based Grading in the Math Classroom
Standards-Based Grading ensures an equitable classroom experience for all students. Microquizzing allows teachers to cut down workload while helping students target their specific learning needs. In this session, participants will learn how to implement microquizzing by utilizing the power of learning management systems like Canvas.

Eric Taylor
, Instructor of Mathematics, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

The More the Merrier: Finding, Securing, and Maintaining Mentors
High school students in research programs show an array of interests across STEM fields. Catering to individual students’ needs and interests can be a feat too grand for any one teacher or staff member to fulfill. External mentors and partnerships with local universities and businesses, however, can fill this gap. This session will review how the Ingenuity Project has been successful in finding, securing, and maintaining mentors from year to year. Specific tips and resources will be shared, along with time for attendees to consider how they might improve their own mentor search, in light of resources available.

Nicole Rosen
, Research Director, The Ingenuity Project, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Revolutionizing Research Partnerships and STEM Education Through syGlass: A Virtual Reality and Citizen Science Education Platform
In this presentation, we introduce syGlass, an innovative education platform that leverages immersive technology and real scientific image data to transform the way we learn and engage with complex scientific concepts. By embedding high-resolution 3D and 4D virtual reality images into instructional materials, syGlass offers students an unparalleled experiential learning experience.

Attendees will discover how syGlass opens new possibilities for exploring intricate scientific phenomena, such as the human body and mitosis, fostering a deeper understanding and learning retention of STEM subjects. We will explore the integration of citizen science into syGlass, where students engage in real-world active research, contributing to scientific advancements and developing essential problem-solving skills. Participants will gain insights into how this hands-on involvement in research projects inspires a sense of responsibility and empowerment among students, preparing them for a future of meaningful contributions in the scientific community.

Jason Osborne, Chief Business Officer, syGlass
Bernadette Barragan, Director of Educational Content & Professional Learning, syGlass



Please note Deep Dives are 90 minutes long. Roundtables are 45 minutes long, allowing you to attend 2 during this timeslot if you wish.


90-MINUTE DEEP DIVE 3 – 4:30 P.M.
Strategies for a More Equity-Minded Classroom: How Do You Know it’s Working?
As we continue to challenge notions that equity is “extra work” in STEM education rather than embedded into this work, join us for a sharing session of ideas tried and lessons learned at IMSA. Specific examples will include changes to the construction of syllabi and innovative instruction and assessment practices. We will also share how we are collecting, disaggregating and analyzing data for the purpose of Isolating specific student needs to co-construct instructional coaching plans with faculty.

We will engage the participants to share their strategies and ideas and recommend ways to continue the work after the conference ends.

Comfort Akwaji-Anderson, Chief of Schools, Cedar Rapids Community Schools District
Anita White, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

90-MINUTE DEEP DIVE 3 – 4:30 P.M.
Demystifying Data Science: How to Get Started
Data science has become a buzzword in education, research, and industry so the true meaning is often difficult to determine. This session will demystify what is meant when discussing data science in K-12 education, and how the field can set students up for success in a data-driven world. The session will highlight lessons and tools that introduce students to this exciting field that combines statistics and computing. Attendees will complete several of the student activities during this hands-on session. No previous experience in data science or programming will be required to engage in and enjoy these experiences. Please bring your favorite computing device (laptop, tablet, phone, etc.) to fully engage in this session.

Taylor Gibson, Dean of Data Science & Interdisciplinary Initiatives, NCSSM

Residence Life Roundtable Discussion
This session is a roundtable discussion for residential STEM schools to share fresh strategies being implemented in student affairs programs in addressing the integration of daytime and evening programming, approaches to student accountability, and innovative place-making strategies in creating student engagement spaces on campus. We invite open conversation for schools to share their success stories in these areas and discuss “what’s next” as we design our institutions’ next residential learning environments. 

Discussion leaders:
John Hoyle, President, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science
Kevin Abel, Dean of Students, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science

Math Interventions for STEM Schools in the Post-COVID Era
At secondary schools around the country, math performance has generally trended downward since 2020. This poses a challenge for STEM schools who wish to balance selectiveness and equity during admissions and also prioritize student wellbeing through out the school year.

In this roundtable session, representatives from the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science will share course enrollment trends they have observed in math, from increased student numbers in foundational classes to decreased interest in math research. They will pose tentative solutions to some of these issues while facilitating a discussion with employees from their sister schools.

Mitch Frye
, Academic Dean, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science
Kristal Webb, Math Instructor, Alabama School of Mathematics and Science

45-MINUTE ROUNDTABLE 3:45 – 4:30 P.M.
Incorporating Dual Coding Theory into Pedagogy in Advanced Science Courses
Dual Coding Theory, the idea that cognition includes both verbal and nonverbal processing, is an evidence based concept that has been discussed for decades. However, most educators have only been exposed to DCT on a theoretical level or as it relates to early language development, if they are familiar at all. Often educators employ DCT techniques without even realizing it, but may benefit from more explicit incorporation of the approach to their pedagogy. In this session, I will give some background on DCT from a neurological and cognitive perspective, and share how I’ve become more purposeful in using DCT practices in my pedagogy, specifically in biology courses where the abstract nature of the content can be a challenge for students.

Sarah O’Leary-Driscoll
, Biology Faculty, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

45-MINUTE ROUNDTABLE 3:45 – 4:30 P.M.
An Admissions Roundtable: An Open Discussion About Current Admissions Trends
Join the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Admissions leadership in an Admission Roundtable discussion. This will be a roundtable discussion to talk about the hot topics in Admissions, recruitment, and selection for NCSSS schools across the country. Share your success stories and your challenges in this ever-changing world of recruitment.

Robert Andrews,
Associate Director of Admissions, NCSSM
Mattie Gaddy-Parks, Director of Admissions, NCSSM