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Texas A&M engineering, science colleges host state high school teachers for daylong STEM event

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 6:21am
Texas A&M University

The Look College and the College of Science have hosted the annual event for the past five years. Teachers representing more than 60 school districts across the state of Texas attended the conference, held at the College Station Hilton and Conference Center Jan. 27.

The focus of the event is to increase awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in high schools; provide high school teachers with materials that can be implemented in their high school curriculum; educate high school teachers, counselors and administrators about how to best prepare their students for success in engineering and science at Texas A&M ; and provide participants opportunities to interact with Texas A&M faculty and staff involved in STEM outreach programs.

Teachers attending the event receive eight hours of valuable continuing education credit while being exposed to hands-on engineering and science that is relevant to their curriculum. The summit started with presentations by Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering, and Dr. Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Both administrators encouraged the teachers to join Texas A&M in its efforts to increase the number of STEM graduates to address the needs of our country.

The daylong conference offered each participant three hours of hands-on workshops that included a robotics demonstration, from concept to prototype, offered by Dr. Joe Morgan from the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution; math demonstrations on functions offered by Dr. Jennifer Whitfield and Dr. Sandra Nite from the Department of Mathematics; physics demonstrations by Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova from the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Carlos Montalvo, director of the Innovation Academy of Engineering, Environmental and Marine Science at Foy H. Moody High School, who presented on his experience using the engineering design process in high school curriculum developed from his participation in the Research Experiences for Teachers program.

Participants also visited resource tables from vendors and resource tables from all Texas A&M colleges on programs of interest to high schools. Finally, the program included student presentations and presentations on how to best prepare high school students for success in STEM majors at Texas A&M.

The conference was offered at no cost to the teachers through the generous donations of the  Nuclear Power Institute, ConocoPhillips, and the Subsea Tieback Foundation.

"The reputation of the summit has spread among the 9-12 STEM community of teachers as one of the most valuable and enjoyable continuing education programs available to them," said Dr. Robin Autenrieth, senior associate dean for academic affairs in the Look College. "The summit, in conjunction with our other outreach activities, is bringing to our campus highly qualified and diverse students."

For more information on 2012 Teacher Summit, visit http://stemsummit.tamu.edu/ or call the office of Engineering Student Services and Academic Programs at 979-845-7200.

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