RGV STEM Education Consortium

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

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

3rd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference

The 3rd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference will be held on February 13 - 15, 2020. Share the conference flyer.

Agenda at a Glance

Be the Disruption: Toward Transformative Practices in STEM Education

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, College of Education and P -16 Integration, and RGV STEM Education Consortium invite you to the 3rd Annual STEM Education Conference. This conference is for anyone involved in P-16 STEM education. This year’s conference will continue addressing transformative practices in STEM education. The conference will focus on disrupting inequities to move us toward diverse, inclusive, and equitable practices in STEM. Following are highlights of this year’s conference.

  • Keynote speakers will discuss the importance of bringing creativity into STEM, including integration of the arts.
  • Interactive workshops and presentations will focus on mitigating biases in STEM classrooms. Conference participants will be encouraged to critically reflect on how we think about our students to confront fixed mindsets and deficit-based models that persist in STEM education.
  • Discussions on how we are preparing college students for academic success in STEM; beginning with early childhood education and preschool.
  • In the spirit of “Be the Disruptor”, this conference will explore and discuss approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment of P-16 STEM education that are inclusive, broaden participation, are equitable, and that have demonstrated high impact.
  • RGV High School Student Ambassadors will lead a panel discussion sharing their experiences in science and math classrooms in the RGV.
  • STEM research presentations, including Latinx social justice issues in STEM and P-16 teacher workshops.

3rd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference

Call for Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted for the 3rd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference. This year’s conference theme is “Be the Disruption: Towards Equitable Transformative Practices in STEM Education”. To receive full consideration, proposals must be submitted by December 5, 2019. Any proposal submitted after that date will be considered if space permits. If you have any questions, contact Angela Chapman at angela.chapman@utrgv.edu.

Concurrent Session Threads

I. Practitioner based teacher professional development on a variety of topics for P-16 STEM educators, including formal and informal.

Workshops are 90 minutes in length and may consist of hands-on activities, lecture, demonstration, and/or discussion. Proposals should have embedded in the content appropriate disciplinary core ideas, science, mathematics, technology, and/or engineering practices, and/or crosscutting concepts. Workshop topics may include, but are not limited to instructional strategies, active learning, inquiry-based instruction, or contextual factors related to the conference theme, and using assessment data to drive instructional practices. When appropriate, workshops should be aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

II. Research and scholarship

  1. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM: Social, cultural, political, historical, gender, LGBTQ, race, ethnicity, linguistics and other research related to DEI in STEM.
  2. Learning environments, contextual factors that affect learning in STEM: Research that focuses on but is not limited to interactions (teacher-student, student-student), culturally responsive learning environments, role of technology in STEM education, formal and informal learning in STEM.
  3. Learning for understanding and conceptual change in P-16 STEM: Research that addresses how students learn, student understanding, and conceptual change.
  4. Curriculum, evaluation, and assessment in STEM: Research related to curriculum development, innovations, evaluation, and assessment.
  5. STEM teacher practices: Topics may include, but are not limited to, teacher inquiry, reflective practices, action research, preparation of STEM teachers.

Concurrent Session Formats

I. Paper Presentation: Each 90-minute session consists of up to three individual papers related to the same thread as determined by the steering committee. Each presenter will discuss a research study, theoretical paper, position, or innovative idea related to strand II (described above, 30 minutes per presenter). Discussion, interactive, and other formats will be considered.

II. Poster Presentation: Each presenter will prepare and display a visual representation of research (completed or in-progress), issue, or practice related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Posters must be 36” x 48” or less and wall-mounted. Presenters will participate in one-on-one conversations about their research during the poster session.

III. Interactive workshop: Each 90-minute session will allow for sharing research in a way that is more informal and intimate. This can include panel discussions, roundtable discussions, simulations, or other interactive formats.

Submission Guidelines/rubric

Required elements for strand II (research and scholarship)

Be sure to include each element listed below. The entire proposal (with references) should be no more than 20,000 characters including spaces. Be prepared to add or copy and paste the following information into the appropriate sections of the online registration form. Also, for strand II be sure to remove any identifying author information to ensure a blinded peer-review.

  1. Session title (15 words or less)
  2. Short description (50 words or less) as it will appear in the program
  3. Substrand (II-1, II-2, II-3, II-4, II-5)
  4. Format: poster, paper, interactive workshop
  5. Special requests: (AV equipment, room or table set-up, etc.)
  6. Clear focus/problem
  7. Theoretical or conceptual framework: The research study or theoretical paper described in the proposal is grounded in an appropriate conceptual and/or theoretical framework in STEM education.
  8. Methodology/design of the study or organization: For research studies, describe the methodology and research design. For philosophical viewpoints, describe the logic and coherence of arguments as it relates to the theoretical or conceptual framework. For position papers, the position is well-grounded in relevant literature. For innovations, there is a clear connection to the appropriate framework (theoretical or conceptual) and pedagogical perspective.
  9. Findings/conclusions (if research study) and contributions (for philosophical, theoretical, position paper, or innovations): The work contributes to the knowledge base in STEM education either through using evidence to answer one or more research questions, communicating a philosophical viewpoint, synthesis of existing literature and the implications for practitioners, and/or by providing evidence of the innovative effectiveness.

Required elements for strand I (teacher workshops)

  1. Author(s) information: Name(s), title(s), professional organization (if any), email address.
  2. Session title (15 words or less)
  3. Intended audience (be sure to indicate all that apply):
    • Early child/P-2 educators
    • Elementary (3-5) educators
    • Middle school (6-8) educators
    • High school (9-12) educators
    • Informal STEM educators
  4. Discipline: (may choose more than one)
    • General science
    • Technology
    • Biology
    • Special education
    • Chemistry
    • Bilingual education &/or English Language Learners
    • Physics
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Engineering
    • Informal
    • Computer science
    • Other (please indicate)
  5. Workshop Summary (50 words or less) as it will appear in the program.

About Conference

Welcome to the 3rd Annual RGV STEM Education Conference. February 13 - 15, 2020.

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.

Dr. Jennifer Adams

Dr. Jennifer Adams, Associate Professor, University of Calgary Creativity in STEM

Dr. Jennifer D. Adams was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After college she worked in physical therapy for two years before entering the field of education. Dr. Adams taught high school Biology in the New York City Public Schools and concurrently worked as a field instructor for New York City Outward Bound. Dr. Adams then moved on to the American Museum of Natural History where she worked as a manager of teacher education. Dr. Adams completed a MS in nutrition at Brooklyn College, CUNY and an MA in education at New York University followed by a PhD in urban education with a Science, Math and Technology specialization at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2017, Dr. Adams was an associate professor of science education at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Dr. Adams enjoys running and dance.

Dr. Adams’ research has focused on two areas: 1) urban place-based and environmental education and 2) informal science learning a) teacher learning, identity and agency and b) youth agency and identity. Underlying her work are critical and decolonizing stances towards science and science teaching and learning. Her research will now extend into examining the intersection of creativity and STEM in postsecondary science teaching and learning contexts. Dr. Adams will emphasize design towards increasing the creative capacities of STEM learners and theorizing a critical stance towards creativity and STEM.

Dr. Xicoténcatl Martínex Ruiz

Dr. Xicoténcatl Martínez Ruiz, Insituto Nacional De Ciencias Penales Youth, Peace, and STEM+A(rts)

Dr. Xicoténcatl Martínez Ruiz is the Coordinator of Academic Systems and Editorial Coordinator in the Office of Academic Affairs at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, IPN, (National Polytechnic Institute, México), and Editor in Chief of the Journal Innovación Educativa, an Indexed, peer review Journal. He is an invited professor of ancient cultures of Asia in the Instituto de Investigaciones Mora, México. He has initiated and directed the editorial collection “Paideia Siglo XXI” at IPN, and was the director of the project Cultural House of India in México, founded by Octavio Paz. He was a visiting researcher in the University of Madras in the Radhakrishnan Institute for Advanced Studies in Philosophy, India; in Bazzano, Italy; Maharashtra, India and Sèvres, France; over these years has been lecturing in the three continents. Advisor for the National System of Education in Mexico (SEP-Educación Media Superior), and for the development of policies focused on humanistic culture for engineers and scientist at the IPN 2013-2015. He has published several journal articles, book chapters, books and translations from Sanskrit into Spanish and English. His projects underway are narrowed down to Philosophy of Education, Non-violence and mindfulness in contemporary education, Eastern and Western approaches in education, ethics and humanistic prospective.

Dr. Bhaskar Upadhyay

Dr. Bhaskar Upadhyay, an associate professor of science education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is a Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of the Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Award for his research and community engagement work in urban schools and indigenous communities in the US and Nepal. His work in STEM education explores issues of social justice, equity, racism, indigeneity, citizen science, and sociopolitical change. He is currently serving a three years term as an Executive Board member of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST). He has published peer reviewed research papers and book chapters in science/STEM education. He is coediting a book titled “Stories for sustainable and resilient communities: STEM education from Indigenous perspectives”. Currently, he is working on three projects funded by NSF and the Spencer Foundation. Each of the projects is exploring how students and teachers from marginalized or underrepresented groups engage in culturally and racially inclusive STEM learning environments. Furthermore, in these projects he is also investigating how teachers' pedagogical decisions support STEM learning for social change and sociopolitical consciousness and how students utilize STEM knowledge and skills for local sociopolitical activism. In one of the NSF projects he is partnering with an indigenous tribe, Bell Museum, and middle school indigenous students to create a planetarium show on indigenous water stories that blends indigenous sociocultural and STEM knowledge, Western STEM knowledge, and activism.



DoubleTree Suites by Hilton
1800 S 2nd St, McAllen, TX 78503 USA