RGV STEM Education Consortium

 Feedback from Educators
 Educators attend break out session

Welcome to the RGV STEM Education Consortium web site. If you would like more information about the consortium, please contact Dr. Angela Chapman.

Name Phone (956) Email Campus
Dr. Angela Chapman
Assistant Professor
665-2178 rgvstemed@utrgv.edu Edinburg
EEDUC 2.626

Conference Agenda

View the 2nd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference full program.

Dr. Kenneth Tobin

Dr. Kenneth Tobin, Presidential Professor, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

In 1964, Kenneth Tobin began teaching high school science and mathematics in rural Western Australia. He continued as a teacher and curriculum developer for a decade, after which he became a teacher educator at Graylands Teachers College, later to become part of Edith Cowan University. In Australia, Tobin has had faculty appointments at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) and has been an adjunct professor at Queensland University of Technology, and Murdoch University. Tobin came to the United States in 1987 and was a tenured professor at Florida State University (10 years), University of Pennsylvania (6 years), and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (15 years), where he is presently Presidential Professor of Urban Education. Since 1973, Tobin has been involved in research on teaching, learning, and learning to teach science. His present research focus is on mindfulness, emotion, wellness, and sustainability. His emphasis is on educating the public, birth through death, emphasizing literacy for sustainable and happy/healthy lifestyles. Specifically, his ongoing research focuses on breathing while talking.

Since 1973, when Tobin published his first journal article, he has published 210 refereed journal articles, 29 books, and 140 book chapters. Tobin’s Google Scholar Citations lists 16,634 citations and an h-index of 67. Tobin’s 2017/18 publications include five co-edited books, one with Stephen Ritchie (Eventful learning: Learning emotions); two with Lynn Bryan on critical issues for science education and reframing research in science education; and two with Malgorzata Powietrzynska, both concerning mindfulness and wellness. In similar vein, Tobin was guest editor of a special issue of Learning: Research and Practice on Mindfulness in education. He has also published 3 journal articles and 6 book chapters in 2017/18.

Dr. Konstantinos Alexakos

Dr. Konstantinos Alexakos, Professor and program coordinator for Adolescence Science Education at the School of Education, Brooklyn College, CUNY. His research focuses on teacher research, emotions, mindfulness, and critical social issues such as race, gender, and sexuality with the goals of improving learning, teaching and personal wellness, as well 7 as creating spaces for discussing challenging topics, valuing difference, and learning from each other.



Dr. S. Lizette Ramos de Robles

Dr. S. Lizette Ramos de Robles, Professor of Biology and Environmental Health Sciences at the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. Her research focuses on sociological and cultural aspects of discourse in the teaching and learning of science, especially in multilingual contexts. To understand scientific literacy more deeply, she uses sociocultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. In addition, her research also focuses on socio-environmental aspects related to Environmental Health, specifically climate change literacy.



Dr. Alejandro J. Gallard Martinez

Dr. Alejandro J. Gallard Martinez, Professor and Goizueta distinguished Chair in the Middle and Secondary Department and the Director of the Georgia Center for Educational Renewal at Georgia Southern University. Alejandro’s interests include researching societal complexities promulgated by contextual mitigating factors (CMFs) that contribute to students’ lack of success (or success) in general and in the STEM fields. His frameworks include global perspectives on differences, otherness, polyphony of voices and meaning making that reflects categories used to situate people in social life. His current research efforts include working with an international team to understand the characteristics of Latinas who are successful in STEM fields.

Agenda at a Glance

What will happen?
A full day of discussions, workshops, and activities designed to address how to address STEM learning for P-16 students in the Rio Grande Valley, including:

  • STEM Teacher workshops with activities and curricula that can be implemented in your classroom.
  • Roundtable discussions: What we do in preschool matters in college: P-20 vertical alignment across the disciplines. What are we doing as a Hispanic Serving Institution to broaden participation in STEM?
  • Research in STEM Education: posters and concurrent sessions
  • Implicit Bias in the STEM Classroom workshop
  • Panel Discussion by La Joya ISD High School Student Ambassadors

View the 2nd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference full program.


  • Thursday, February 7, 2019

    A small group meeting discussion, before day 1 of the 2nd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference.

Conference Day 1

  • Friday, February 8, 2019

    Start Time End Time Session
    7:30 AM 4:00 PM Check-in and onsite registration
    8:00 AM 8:30 AM Introductions and welcome remarks,
    Dr. Parwinder Grewal, Executive Vice President
    for Research
    8:30 AM 9:30 AM Opening Keynote Address, Dr. Kenneth Tobin,
    Introduced by Dr. Alma Rodriguez, Dean for the
    College of Education and P-16 Integration
    9:45 AM 11:15 AM Concurrent Session 1
    11:15 AM 12:45 PM Lunch Plenary Session, Dr. Konstantinos Alexakos
    1:00 PM 2:30 PM Concurrent Session 2
    2:30 PM 3:30 PM Short Session
    3:30 PM 3:45 PM Break
    3:45 PM 5:15 PM Concurrent Session 3
    5:30 PM 9:00 PM Social events, meet in lobby or on your own

Conference Day 2

  • Saturday, February 9, 2019

    Start Time End Time Session
    7:30 AM 12:00 PM Check-in and onsite registration
    8:00 AM 9:30 AM Concurrent Session 4
    9:30 AM 11:00 AM Concurrent Session 5
    11:00 AM 12:30 PM Lunch Plenary Session, Dr. Ramos de Robles
    12:30 PM 2:00 PM Concurrent Session 6
    2:00 PM 3:15 PM Closing Keynote Address, Dr. Alejandro Gallard
    3:00 PM 3:15 PM Closing remarks, recognitions, Dr. Patricia Alvarez McHatton

About Conference

Welcome to the 2nd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference. February 8 - 9, 2019.

The conference started as an idea from Dr. Chapman, a UTRGV Assistant Professor, to help STEM students from the Rio Grande Valley prepare academically, socially, and psychologically for their postsecondary education. One challenge, as Dr. Chapman states, is developing a way to leverage students’ cultural and linguistic capital to help learn math and science. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Hispanics are underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate STEM programs and are not sufficiently exposed to STEM subjects at the K-12 Level. The long term goal of this consortium is to ensure that high quality science experiences are accessible for all students. One of Dr. Chapman's research projects will include a developing and testing science curriculum that helps students develop a deeper understanding of academic vocabulary, as well as examining the social, psychological and cultural factors that influence student participation and learning in science.

The Inaugural RGV STEM Education Conference (November 2017) hosted more than 150 educators, students, and other stakeholders. Participants addressed the challenges faced in their classrooms according to their respective STEM subject. Educators also had the chance to view posters from the UTeach Undergraduate Research projects. These students discussed topics regarding what they learned during their early field experience in Edinburg CISD High Schools; topics included teacher certification versus alternative certification, technology impact in the classrooms, collaborative learning, and other differing areas of STEM.

In order to fulfill the long-term goal we have started collaborating with high school teachers from the McAllen District and La Joya ISD to develop curriculum to help students master academic vocabulary. The objective is to work collaboratively to develop asset-based science curricula that help students develop understanding of the high level, discipline specific vocabulary. The ‘multiple vocabulary strategies model’ has transformative potential to help both science teachers and students in their classroom. Dr. Chapman hopes to improve the learning of science and math, and to aid bilingual and ELL student’s recognize and utilize their knowledge of Spanish as a form of linguistic capital. This objective is targeted to influence and prepare Hispanic students to pursue careers in the STEM field.

Challenging Our Assumptions: Towards Transformative Practices in STEM Education

  • Initiative Funded by

    The Greater Texas Foundation is funding this initiative.
  • Break Out Sessions

    • Free inquiry-based, hands-on STEM Teacher Workshops - chemistry, physics, math, biology, engineering, computer science! Teachers will earn CPEs!
    • From preschool to college: critical discussions across the STEM disciplines
    • Project based learning workshop for K-12 STEM educators
    • Panel Discussion by La Joya ISD High School Student Ambassadors
    • Much more!
  • Conference flyer

    Print the conference flyer to post or inform an educator about this event.
  • Request Information

    For more information, send an email to rgvstemed@utrgv.edu.


Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel
101 N. Main Street, McAllen, Texas 78501 USA