Several Simmons researchers and their co-investigators at other universities were recognized for their STEM projects by the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase, funded by National Science Foundation.
Associate Professor Annie Wilhelm, Beth Adams, STEM evaluation researcher, Tiffini Pruitt Britton, math education researcher (co-principal investigators), and their team received a Presenter’sChoice award for their video, Supporting Equitable Participation and Access. Led by Principal Investigator Jonee Wilson, assistant professor at North Carolina State, the video shows that aiming for equity involves identifying and outlining specific practices that support and empower students who have historically been underserved specifically in mathematics classrooms. This video also was noted for being one of the projects that registered the most discussion.
Associate Professor Candace Walker and her team received a Facilitators’ Choice award for their video, Stories of Algebra for the Workplace. The project examines how practitioners in STEM and STEM-related careers use algebra to do their jobs and then uses this information to build classroom activities for students enrolled in algebra courses. The team includes Simmons Ph.D. students Brooke Istas, Jonathan Hunnuicut, and Min Wang, and fellow researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, Worcester Polytechnic University, and Texas A&M created
The 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) STEM for All Video Showcase is an annual online event. Each year, it hosts between 100-200 three-minute video presentations from federally funded projects that aim to improve STEM (Science, Math, Engineering, and Mathematics) and computer science education. During the seven days of this online event, Principal Investigators, practitioners, administrators, researchers, policymakers, industry, and the public at large are encouraged to participate.
Faculty members Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Ph.D. (Education Policy and Leadership), and Candace Walkington, Ph.D. (Teaching & Learning), created winning videos about their STEM research for a National Science Foundation showcase competition, May 5-12. A voting public selected the top videos.
Professor Ketterlin Geller and her team, Research in Mathematics Education, received the Public Choice award, and Associate Professor Candace Walkington and her co-researchers received the Facilitators’ Choice award.
Ketterlin Geller’s video “Developing STEM Access in Students K-2 through MMaRS” illustrates research on two early predictors of mathematics success in K-2 students: numerical relational reasoning and spatial reasoning. Researchers describe what underlies the project and an elementary school principal articulates the importance of an assessment to identify student thinking and guide teacher instruction. View video here:
Walkington’s presentation, “The Hidden Village: Mathematical Reasoning Through Movement,” looks at a motion capture Kinect video game for learning high school geometry that was initially developed through a collaboration between the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU, the Guildhall at SMU, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The project was funded by The Institute of Educational Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education, in an award given to the University of Wisconsin. View video here:
Ann Batenburg, clinical associate professor of Gifted Education in the Simmons School, is a legendary Faculty-in-Residence member. For seven years, she has been baking cookies for Sunday night snacks in Virginia-Snider Residential Commons. According to her calculations, this means she has served 20,000 cookies! Furthermore, she came up with the idea for Sunday night snacks now observed in the residential halls on campus. She’s put a stamp on cookies and conversation!
During the COVID-19 restrictions, SMU Faculty in Residence and students are keeping Sunday Night Snacks and other traditions going via Zoom meetups and social postings.
To help parents reinforce their children’s early reading, Professor Jill Allor in Simmons’ Department of Teaching and Learning offers video guides, based on her research on beginning and struggling readers, including those with disabilities. In the segment below, watch how Clinical Assistant Professor Miriam Ortiz, reads with her six year-old child, Gabriel.
Professor Allor shows how to choose books that children can read out loud to their parents, and learn words they need to know. As an example, she uses the same book seen above in Miriam Ortiz’s video from the Friends on the Block book series.
In the next segment, Dr. Miriam Ortiz and her four year-old son, Daniel, read a level one book, Sam’s Lunch.
Dr. Allor explains how to help your reader, especially if your child stumbles on a word or has a disability. She recommends following four steps, “I, We, You and Repeat,” which she explains in this video:
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.
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.
Professor Peter Weyand, director of the Locomotor Performance Laboratory in Simmons, is featured in a Wired video and article, What’s the Fastest 100 Meter Dash a Human Can Run? The premise that reporter Robbie Gonzalez examines is if it is humanly possible to run the 100 meter dash in nine seconds flat. Usain Bolt, the fastest human, runs the 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds. A visit with Weyand in the lab determines the answer. Click here for the video and article.
Professor Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education and director of Research in Mathematics Education, has been tapped to participate in CADRE, a National Science Foudation funded steering committee to broaden participation in preK- 12 STEM education.
Part of her contribution includes co-writing briefs based on NSF supported research that underscores steps educators can take to improve STEM.
She is featured in a video about this work, produced by CADRE K-12.
Assistant Professor Alexandra Pavlakis was interviewed for Vialogues, a video platform designed for Q&A’s, at Columbia Teachers College. The highlighted research was an article published in Teachers College Record, Contextualizing the Impacts of Homelessness on Academic Growth.
She also looks at local implementation of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento), which aims to reduce barriers to school success for students experiencing homelessness. She believes scholars often overlook this implementation but may play an important role in explaining inconsistencies between single-site studies.