The 2015 program won't be available until January 2015, but the 2014 program is available below to see what kinds of opportunities are included!

Also watch for information about out conference app for your smart phone coming soon!!

Thursday's Featured Speaker:  NSTA Author Dr. Sharon Price Schleigh

Thursday 11:00 - Exhibition Hall B

The Role of Argumentation in the Efforts to Reform STEM Education

This talk will provide an overview of the ways we have taught and learned science and where we stand now in terms of progress toward science education reform. The emphasis of the talk will include an overview of the research behind the focus of argumentation in science education and provide a clear presentation of how the role of argumentation aligns to teaching from the NGSS. The talk will also touch on the difficulties that lie in the direction of science education reform from the teachers' perspective and suggestions to assist in meeting the calls of reform and alignment to the NGSS.


Dr. Sharon Price Schleigh is a co-author of the NSTA book titled: Scientific Argumentation in Biology: 30 Classroom Activities.  She has also has been an educator for over 20 years, teaching all ages from pre-school to university in a wide variety of educational environments.  She received her doctoral degree from Arizona State University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Purdue University and was nominated as ASTE Outstanding Science Teacher Mentor in 2011 and 2012. Her research interests include understanding how people think about and engage in science.  Dr. Schleigh has been a leader within science education, including many disciplines of science and with a strong focus in content related to astronomy & physics education. She initiated the Research Engaged Science Teacher Education Program to improve STEM (RESTEP to STEM), funded by NASA and the NC Space Grant to promote astronomy/science education with pre-service teachers.

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Jeff Mathews, Principal Peachtree Ridge High School

Friday 11:30 – 12:20 - Exhibition Hall B

The Journey of Advancing A STEM Experience

The journey toward a building a STEM experience takes more than a program. It is a true paradigm shift for any group involved. This talk will take you on a journey which has helped advance STEM though designing a focused experience, specifically at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. It will provide history and accentuate what was done well and highlight those decisions that did not turn out so smoothly. The Georgia STEM Certification process will be discussed and scalability of multiple practices will be visited. The talk will also touch on best practices in a STEM classroom and suggestions on how to get started on the STEM journey.

Dr. Jeff Mathews, current principal of Peachtree Ridge High School, very recently served as the principal of The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) for six years. Dr. Mathews is instrumental in leading committed educators to advance STEM experiences on multiple platforms. The
experiences elevate innovation, creativity, as well as nurture the talents of students through a unique, challenging and integrated curriculum. His experiences include working with advanced STEM studies and internships with business, industry, and university level leaders. GSMST was the first high school to receive STEM School Certification from the GA Department of Education and the STEM Education Award for GA high schools from the Technology Association of GA. The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report both named GSMST as the #1 high school in GA and the U.S. News and World Report also ranked GSMST as the #3 public high school in the nation for 2013. Dr. Mathews is additionally involved in the vertical alignment of a STEM experience for the Peachtree Ridge Cluster consisting of four elementary schools, two middle schools, and Peachtree Ridge HS.

Dr. Mathews received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Berry College where he also played baseball. He holds a M.Ed. in science education from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in teaching and learning from Georgia State University. Dr. Mathews began his teaching career as a science teacher. He has been a High School Teacher of the Year and a district finalist as well as an Air Force Association State Teacher of the Year. He and his wife, Cristy, have two children, Witt (11 yrs. old) & Madeline (10 yrs. old).

Guest Speaker:  Cary Woodruff

Thursday 2:00 – Exhibit Hall B:  News from the front line:  A Dino Diggers report 

Friday 2:00 – Exhibit Hall B:  How can we "Walk with the Dinosaurs?"

Cary Woodruff grew up in rural central Virginia, graduated from Louisa County High School (class of 2005), received a BS in Earth sciences with an emphasis in paleontology from Montana State University, and is currently working on an MS in geobiology at Montana State University under famed paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner. Cary was invited as only one of 10 international graduate students to present at the 2nd International Workshop on Sauropod Biology and Gigantism in Bonn, Germany in 2011. He has had several papers published ranging from the first burrowing dinosaur Oryctodromeus cubicularis to the majority being dedicated to sauropod dinosaurs and their growth. Cary described and named a new sauropod dinosaur Rugocaudia cooneyi, which is the northernmost sauropod ever found in North America to date. In addition Cary has given several presentations at professional conferences, working groups, and organizations worldwide.

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