Designing for STEM: Teaching Mathematics Outside the Box

Presentations now available

What Participants are Saying

  • I became much more passionate about math education and found a renewed interest in teaching. The conference showed me that teaching can be a complex and research-driven career with high-level challenges.
  • RME provided me with hands-on materials that I could use to teach students conceptually. Now, as I support teachers across Dallas county, I'm able to share these resources with thousands of teachers. 
  • It [RME Conference] has provided me with some insight on how to effectively coach my teachers in preparing students for college. I was able to demonstrate strategies that would help teachers create more rigorous lessons in math. 
  • I have really learned a lot and it has been great to think deeply and critically about math. Last year during lunch the speaker referenced a book titled "Making it Stick" and I immediately bought a copy and loved it! Such good information.  
  • I was really encouraged by a speaker who is an engineer a couple of years ago, Dr. Marc Christensen, who prompted us to encourage our students to solve a problem as many ways as we can think of. I still reread my notes from time to time. 
  • It affirms my beliefs in how student learn mathematics. 

Location and Date


Southern Methodist University

A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. 

Friday, February 19, 2016


Hughes-Trigg Building Map

Parking Map




Oswaldo Alvarenga

STEM Executive Director, Dallas ISD

Jennifer K. Bartkowski, 

CEO, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Allison Burney, 

Professional Development & Campus Based Partnerships Manager, Perot Museum of Nature and Science 

Frederick R. Chang, Ph.D.,

Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, SMU


David Chard, Ph.D.,

Dean, Simmons School of Education, SMU

Laura Cole, 

Middle School Technology & Engineering Design Teacher, Good Shepherd Episcopal School

Marti Copeland,

Director of Education, Dallas Zoo

Koshi Dhingra, Ed.D.

Founder & Director, talkSTEM


Lisa Dolliver,

Education Specialist, Trinity River Audubon Center

Anne Marie Fayen, 

Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute Elementary Coordinator, Perot Museum

Carole Hayata, Ph.D.,

Mathematics Research Specialist, SMU

Colin Johnson,

Educator Professional Development Supervisor, Dallas Zoo

Katie Krummeck,  

Director, Deason Innovation Gym, SMU

Kelly Kutach, 

Math Strategy Manager, Texas Instruments, Inc.

Logan LeCompte, 

Educator, REAL School Gardens  

Dave Monaco,

Head of School, Parish Episcopal School 

Julie McLeod, Ph.D.,

Assistant Head of School, Good Shepherd Episcopal School

Mitchell Nathan, Ph.D., 

Professor, Learning Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Jennifer Oliver,

Principal, Young Women's Leadership Academy, Grand Prairie ISD

Dawson Orr, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Education Policy & Leadership, Simmons School of Education, SMU

Ellen Pool,

Teacher, Cannon Elementary, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Vicente Reyes, 

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Dallas ISD

Rob Rouse, Ph.D.,

Clinical Assistant Professor, Teaching & Learning, SMU

Karen Thierry, Ph.D., 

Director of Research & Evaluation, Momentous Institute

Jennifer Turner,

Assistant Principal, Solar Preparatory School for Girls, Dallas ISD

Candace Walkington, Ph.D., 

Assistant Professor, Teaching & Learning, SMU



8:15 a.m.


Location: Hughes-Trigg Ballroom

8:45 a.m.

Welcome from Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller, RME Director & Professor, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development, SMU                            

Location: Theater

9:00 a.m.

Panel: What is STEM and Why is it Important?

Dean David Chard of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development will host a panel discussion with Oswaldo Alvarenga, Dr. Frederick Chang, and Dr. Koshi Dhingra on the importance of STEM from multiple perspectives including those of industry, the community, higher education, and K-12 education. 

Location: Theater

10:00 a.m.

Morning Break

10:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1 – Teaching Mathematics Through Garden-based Learning (Elementary School)

Dr. Rob Rouse and his colleagues at REAL School Gardens will present an interactive session on how elementary students can learn mathematics through outdoor and garden education. 

Location: Forum

Breakout 2 – Transforming Mathematics Activities into STEM Activities (Middle School)

Dr. Candace Walkington will present on what STEM integration looks like in the middle school mathematics classroom. The lesson and activities will incorporate the use of Geopanes that teachers can apply immediately in their own school setting. 

Location: Theater

Breakout 3 – Ten Minutes of Code (High School)

Kelly Kutach is the Math Strategy Manager for Texas Instruments and will present a session on coding in the high school mathematics classroom. This hands-on session will focus on helping students spark an interest in coding with a variety of 10-minute activities teachers can do with their students. 

Location: Promenade

11:30 a.m.

Luncheon & Keynote

Dr. Mitchell Nathan will share his experiences in integrating STEM into the K-12 mathematics classroom.

Location: Ballroom

12:45 p.m.

RME Impact Awards Presentation

1:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1 – reMAKING Math Education: Moving From Abstract Concepts to Hands-on Learning 

Katie Krummeck and her colleagues at Good Shepherd Episcopal School will discuss the burgeoning use of makerspaces to inform creative problem solving. 

Location: Forum

Breakout 2 – Informal Learning Spaces to Support STEM

Informal learning spaces can ignite a lasting interest with memorable experiences for students embedded in STEM learning. Non-profit leaders including the Girl Scouts of North Texas, the Dallas Zoo, Perot Museum, the Trinity River Audubon Center will participate in a moderated discussion on how integrating informal learning spaces into STEM education can meaningfully support students' learning. 

Location: Theater

Breakout 3 – Engaging Parents in Supporting STEM Education

How to meaningfully engage parents in their role in supporting STEM education can be a challenge. Dr. Karen Thierry from the Momentous Institute and teachers Anne Mechler, Brianna Sanford, and Sarah Sullivan will talk about the Institute's Family STEM Nights and the research behind family engagement. 

Location: Promenade

2:30 p.m.

Break & Registration for Prize Drawing

2:45 p.m.

Panel: Designing STEM-focused Schools - Planning, Doing, Achieving

Dr. Dawson Orr of the department of Education Policy & Leadership will host a panel discussion with Dave Monaco, Jennifer Oliver, Vicente Reyes, and Jennifer Turner about designing STEM-focused schools. The conversation will focus on efforts to plan, implement, and sustain STEM education. 

Location: Theater

3:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks & Prize Drawing

Location: Theater

Leanne Ketterlin Geller, RME Director & Professor, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development, SMU    

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