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StrandSession Information


The Analysis or Equity and Identity in STEM – A New Course
This session will be an overview of a newly developed course called, “The Analysis of Equity and Identity in STEM.” It is geared mainly toward teachers interested in either developing a similar course or looking to incorporate DEI learning into STEM classes.


Biz Glenn, Magnet Science Educator, Montgomery Blair High School

Ensuring Legally Defensible Enrollment Strategies
Is your school prepared for the coming legal challenges? In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently effectively ended race-conscious admission programs at colleges and universities nationwide. The implications of this will ripple across our K-12 enrollment strategies, opening the door to new and daunting legal challenges. As such, we will share legally defensible enrollment strategies that both safeguard our school and achieve the strategic enrollment goals that advance our mission.

Aaron Brazelton
, Director of Admissions & Advancement, The Alabama School of Cyber Technology & Engineering

Step Up to STEM: Building a Community of Scholars Through Innovative Summer Programming
Summer programs provide a significant opportunity to expose secondary students to innovative STEM topics and build community among students who are underrepresented in STEM fields. In this presentation, we will share the 10-year evolution of the Step Up to STEM summer program, a free residential program for rising 9th- and 10th-grade African-American, Hispanic, and Native American students from across North Carolina. Drawing on examples from the history of the program, we will share insights into our programming and demonstrate how the Step Up to STEM program has fostered a community of scholars on the NCSSM campus and beyond.

Letitia Hubbard
, Instructor of Engineering & Mentorship Research, North Carolina School of Science and Math
Gerri Cole, Associate Director of STEM Outreach, Equity, and Engagement, North Carolina School of Science and Math
Amber Smith, Instructor of Mathematics, North Carolina School of Science and Math

Strategies for Increasing Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Experiential Mentorship for Gifted High School Students
The North Carolina School of Science and Math has a 43-year history of engaging students in mentorship experiences with university, industry, and community partners. Members of the NCSSM-Morganton Mentorship & Research team will outline the strategies implemented to increase EDI and to develop relevant industry partnerships for mentorship. Through a holistic approach of program design, curriculum development, and collaborative relationships, NCSSM’s program emphasizes improving outcomes for under-resourced and URM students while increasing access to research and experiential learning. Offering perspectives from both instructors and administrators, this session is valuable for mentorship program development or to innovate EDI strategies for existing programs.

Collyn Gaffney, Lead Instructor of Mentorship & Research, North Carolina School of Science and Math – Morganton
Tonya Little, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs, North Carolina School of Science and Math – Morganton

Helping Students Understand the Complexity of Ecological and Environmental Issues Through Use and Creation of Environmental Impact Statements
When we discuss environmental issues in our classes, students immediately gravitate toward the most obvious solutions with the most benefit to the ecology and environment of an area. However, problems are not always that straightforward. We have started using Environmental Impact Statements as a model for discussing complex, real world environmental issues from diverse perspectives, including those of underrepresented populations. In this session, we will showcase our curriculum, and discuss different ways this model can be used depending on time and subject focus. We will also share examples that we, and our students, have researched, which can be used in many ways beyond this project to raise awareness of some of the ecological issues our world is facing today.

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

10 A.M. SLOT

Ink And The Infinite: Teaching Intersections of Math and Literature
Often teachers find themselves teaching their subjects in isolation and struggle to help students see the connections and intersections of different subject areas. Possibly one of the most difficult connections is mathematics and literature. This session will present lesson ideas for helping students see those connections by looking at examples of mathematics in fiction. We will read one short story, discuss the mathematics present in the story, and then examine some other sources that teachers could use to create enrichment and extension lessons for students who want more out of their mathematics and literature classes. The session will also cover some previous experiences the presenter has had implementing these ideas.

Taylor Belcher, Math & CS Instructor, South Carolina Governor’s School For Science and Mathematics

Lights! Camera! Drama! – Integrating Creative Arts into Residential Life Programs
The main thrust of this presentation is to stimulate participants’ interest in creating some arts-based hall programs that are meaningful, relevant and impactful. These arts-based programs will seek to help remedy the social, psychological and emotional challenges encountered by students.

Dr. Colin B. Finn, Assistant Dean of Residential Life, Arkansas School for Maths, Science & the Arts

Data-Powered Research: Integrating Research and Data Science
In college and the workforce, we see an emergence of integrated STEM disciplines. The Governor’s School has addressed this need for a new integrated approach to teaching research skills by integrating the research and methodology course with an introductory data science course. In our presentation, we will discuss how modern research demands new skills from our students. We will address how we integrate the research methods course and data course alongside the mentorship experience. We will share instructional strategies that challenge students to apply the research and data science skills to their mentorship experience to prepare them for modern research.

Gaelan Venturi, Instructor, New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology
Vikki Wismer, Director, New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology
Laura Vobrak,
Instructor, New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology
Alternatives to Traditional Education: Non-Baccalaureate STEM Careers
Almost 50% of high school students are no longer considering Bachelor’s degrees, and more than 50% are open to other career pathways. Yet, 85% of students feel pressure to pursue a college degree! Join Dr. Steven Coyle, as he will focus on your students and how you can give them the information they need to make important career decisions. Learn how to get more of your female students involved in STEM careers. Learn how to get industry involved in your school and how to get parents more engaged in your programs. Find out about new scholarship opportunities that will benefit your students.

Dr. Steven Coyle, National Director Counselor/Academic Relations, Universal Technical Institute

Solutions to the Challenges of Cross-Curricular Projects
Creating cross-curricular content is scary. Adding PBL on top of that can seem like a daunting task. In this session, gain insights into the logistics and trouble shooting of creating cross-curricular PBL. Participants will also have the opportunity to view sample projects highlighting how authentic, engaging cross-curricular projects give students the opportunity to learn “on the job” to solve challenges. Participants will hopefully walk away with an understanding of how to spearhead cross-curricular PBL.

Chelsea Olson
, Biology Teacher, Raisbeck Aviation High School
Ji Hea Shin, Chemistry Teacher, Raisbeck Aviation High School