As a future workforce takes shape, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) plays a foundational role in education. To examine how business and education are collaborating on STEM, Dallas Innovates, a publishing venture between the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce and D Magazine Partners, invited a panel of experts to talk about the advancement.
Dean Stephanie Knight joined eight other leaders in the conversation, “STEM, STEAM, STREAM: In Dallas the Ingridients Are Here.” Read the three-part series:
Ann Batenberg, clinical associate professor of gifted education in Simmons, provides a framework for how gifted education is working in the U.S.
In a Parents magazine article, she discusses how a lack of federal laws pertaining to gifted education has lead to a lack of identifying and serving students. She also says using local norms may be better determinants than national testing. “High test scores have proven to be better at predicting the income level of a student, not their academic achievement,” she adds. Read more.
Associate Professor Doris Luft Baker collaborated with The Dallas Morning News on workshops to inform a group of Spanish-speaking parents about early childhood development and learn to disseminate the information on social media.
Luft Baker studied the groups over the duration of the workshops and concludes the mothers who attended the workshops significantly increased their early childhood knowledge, and children whose mothers attended the workshops significantly increased their Spanish expressive vocabulary.
However, Luft Baker did not find significant effects of the workshops on parental technology knowledge and literacy knowledge. Her article is featured in the Bilingual Research Journal.
Virtual reality surgery developed by Simmons professors Tony Cuevas and Eric Bing was featured on WFAA TV to show how technology designed at SMU can save lives in Africa.
A lack of surgeons and an increase in women’s cervical cancer on the African continent led Bing and Cuevas to develop training for doctors to increase surgical skill, speed, and accuracy. They traveled to Zambia and designed the virtual operating room based on what they saw in use there.
The desire to save women’s lives is a big impetus, especially for Dr. Bing. His mother, who lived in the U.S., died from cervical cancer. Read more.
Child Care Associates (CCA), a significant Fort Worth nonprofit supporting the development of children from zero to five years of age, honored Simmons’ Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at its second annual luncheon, October 16.
CORE received the North Texas Early Childhood Leadership Award for improving children’s educational outcomes by helping establish research-based quality standards in classrooms, and by measuring outcomes accurately. CORE also was cited for engaging fully with its partners.
“Early education is a bright spot for education for those investing in education and innovation,” says CCA’s CEO Kara Waddell. “CCA created the award in 2018 to spotlight individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in advancing outcomes for young children.”
The early childhood organization also recognized philanthropist Happy Baggett, who has raised the visibility of early education as a key economic development factor in place-based planning.
Simmons Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller joins SMU Lyle’s Assistant Professor Corey Clark, also deputy director of research at Guildhall, and Associate Professor Eric Larson to research teaching computer science and computational thinking through the popular video game, Minecraft.
With a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, they will examine the fields of game design, human-computer interaction, machine learning, curriculum design, and education assessment by integrating STEM+C (computing) based curriculum directly into Minecraft.
Ketterlin Geller is engaged in research and scholarship focused on supporting all students in mathematics education through application of instructional leadership principles and practices.
Associate Professor Annie Wilhelm and fellow researchers from North Carolina State received a $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct a four-year study of elementary and middle school mathematics instructional practice to respond to the growing needs of students who historically have been underserved in mathematics classes.
The project, Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI), seeks to move the conversation beyond ambitious instruction and take initial steps towards specifying and measuring practices to support students in gaining access and more equitably participating in mathematics classes.
The goal is to provide foundational knowledge for improving mathematics teaching and learning, and address the critical need for research that directly links instructional practices to student achievement and participation.
Toyota, Dallas Independent School District, and SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development formed a partnership one year ago to develop a new STEM-focused school in West Dallas. This past year, the partnership successfully laid the foundation for collaboration and planning.
“Our partnership works because Toyota helps us understand industry goals,” says Simmons Dean Stephanie Knight. “Dallas ISD, one of the largest school districts in the country, knows how to help public school students thrive and the West Dallas Community stakeholders provide insight into its needs. SMU is charged with providing research and evaluation that will enable us to improve public education.”
Six core teams have been actively engaged in co-design, focusing on curriculum, professional learning and distributed leadership, building design, community development, and research and evaluation. These teams also have participating members from West Dallas communities.
Additionally, support teams have focused on developing data infrastructure to support research and continuous improvements, developing communications strategies, and anticipating long-term sustainable funding.
Planning for the school is supported by a three-year, $2M grant from Toyota to Simmons. The school is expected to open in 2021.
The Simmons School welcomes two new faculty members and administrators, Anthony Petrosino, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, and Tim Jacobbe, Professor and Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning.
Petrosino served most recently as an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where he co-founded the nationally recognized UTeach program for teacher preparation in STEM.
He is a recipient of more than $17M in research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the McDonnell Foundation. He currently has two active NSF funded projects. Petrosino is a learning scientist whose research focuses on scientific and mathematical reasoning in the context of experimentation, data modeling, and the development of expertise in STEM related fields.
Jacobbe, formerly an associate professor at the University of Florida’s College of Education, focuses his research on statistics and mathematics education. He assesses statistical concepts and the development of resources impacting the way teachers and undergraduate students learn content.
His contributions to statistics education were recognized by the American Statistical Association when they named him a Fellow for outstanding contributions to the field in 2016.
Both he and Petrosino will work on the development of the new West Dallas STEM school, which is planned in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District, Toyota and Simmons.
Peter Weyand, Glenn Simmons Endowed Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology, explains why Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter in the world and how his record holds. Weyand, a renown biomechanist, is cited by the Sporting News’ article, August 2019.
Weyand directs SMU’s Locomotor Performance Laboratory to explore the scientific basis of fitness, performance, and health using whole-body biomechanical and physiological approaches.