Category Archives: Center for STEM Education

PowerPoint Presentation

SPIN Workshop

Find funding for your research with the world’s largest web-based database of sponsored program opportunities. In this hands-on workshop, conducted by Dr. Joseph Thomas, you will establish an account and learn to use SPIN to search for grant funding opportunities.  The SPIN database will also send alerts to users when funding that fits your research interests and goals becomes available.  Workshop participants will receive Distance Education Professional Development credit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
1:00 — 2:00 p.m.
Speight 242

Montague Franklin with Jennifer Stalls

Education Graduate Leads Middle Schoolers in Conducting Nature Research

Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

(L to R): Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Eighth-graders at C.M. Eppes Middle School hope to find out if a backyard weed actually contains some beneficial ingredients.

Their teacher, Jennifer Stalls, an East Carolina University alumna and graduate student in the College of Education, brought the real-world research question to her science classes as a participant in the Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development.

Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

(L to R): Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

Stalls is one of 42 educators from across North Carolina who completed a five-week summer research experience and two weeks of professional development as part of the annual program.

Stalls worked in the genomics and microbiology lab at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences with mentor Dr. Julia Stevens, who is studying the symbiotic relationship between invasive plants and bacteria in nitrogen fixing. The process is needed to convert gaseous nitrogen into forms that can be used by living organisms.

Stalls created a curriculum for her students to contribute to Stevens’ research by studying regional invasive species that could potentially replenish bacteria in crop fields.

Among the discoveries students are making is the notion that they like science.

Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

(L to R): Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

“I like that you can make so many things, so many discoveries with science. I like the medicine part of science,” said student Virginia Rahilly.

Stalls is one of six ECU alumni in the 2015-16 class of Kenan Fellows. Others and the schools where they teach are: Christopher Clark ’13, Chicod School in Pitt County; Taylar Flythe ’12, Ligon Magnet Middle School in Wake County; Denise Humphries ’93, Chinquapin Elementary School in Duplin County; Amy Kennedy ’07, Beulaville Elementary School in Duplin County; Julianna Martinez-Schultz ’10, Moore Square Magnet Middle School in Wake County.

Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

(L to R): Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

The Kenan Fellows Program was established in 2000 as the signature K-12 STEM education initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University.

Kenan Fellows are given opportunities for networking, professional growth and leadership development. For more information, visit

For the full article, please visit the ECU News Services Article Backyard Botantists


PIRATES Educators Work to Improve K-6 Science Education

GREENVILLE, N.C. (10/15/15) — On Saturday, October 10th fifteen College of Education alumni returned to East Carolina University to attend a workshop, “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” These teachers were among the first graduates of the newly developed Elementary Science Concentration at East Carolina University that focuses on the scientific content and knowledge needed for teaching science to K-6 students. Students enrolled in the concentration receive instructional strategies and specialized content knowledge within all domains of science.

The workshop was funded by a research start-up grant entitled PIRATES (Preparing and Inspiring Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science). The grant was awarded to Assistant Professor, Dr. Tammy D. Lee who spearheaded the development of this program in response to the need to improve STEM education in the early grades. PIRATES is designed to support the fifteen newly specialized science teachers over the course of three years. These beginning teachers will work with ECU science education faculty, ECU scientists, and North Carolina Museum of Natural Science staff to strengthen their knowledge and skills in systemic science education. The goal of the PIRATES program is to return these teachers to their classrooms and schools across North Carolina as elementary science education leaders.

Participant Ashley Barfield a teacher at Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh said, “The PIRATE grant will not only benefit me as a teacher but my teammates, students, and my school.”

“This grant will be a huge impact in my classroom because it will help my students to think critically about science in the real world by learning about systems,” added Amber Ellington a teacher at Falkland Elementary in Greenville.

Since the launch of the Elementary Science Concentration in the fall of 2012, enrollment has grown from seven students to over one hundred.

“This increased enrollment indicates the overwhelming interest of elementary pre-service teachers to become science teacher specialists,” said Lee.

For more information about East Carolina University’s Elementary Science Concentration or the PIRATES grant please contact Dr. Tammy D. Lee at

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PIRATES teachers participating in the “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” event on October 10. Pictured above from left to right: Kayla Sager, Christina Baik, Amber Ellington, Abby Wilkinson, Katherine Hart (red shirt), Ashley Barfield, Beth Wantz Kara Rouse, Danielle Alford, Rachel Fendrick Amanda Etheridge and Dail Berry. Kneeling: Bonnie Glass and Dr. Tammy Lee

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Graduate Program in Mathematics Education Launches 2015-2017 High School Cohort

With a vision of achieving 21st Century skills and productive, meaningful mathematics learning for all students of eastern North Carolina, the College of Education’s Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education’s are of Mathematics Education launched its first ever graduate school cohort of high school mathematics teachers. The vision for the program is that great mathematics learning can be accomplished when faculty, teacher candidates, and eastern North Carolina teachers of mathematics work together in rich mathematics teaching communities.

This fall, teachers and ECU faculty Dr. Maureen Grady and Dr. Charity Cayton are engaged in the study of the research literature, policies, and best practices for high school mathematics instruction. During the past summer, the teachers completed two graduate courses in mathematics with Dr. Chris Jantzen and Dr. Zach Robinson. Committing to the study of mathematics and mathematics education while engaged in the current challenges of teaching high school mathematics is demanding. The College of Education and the area of Mathematics Education are very proud of the 30 teachers who are building their careers and expanding their options with the Master of Arts of Education (MAEd) in Mathematics Education.

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC…3D Printing Now Available to ECU Community

It’s the first Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight an instructional technology resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Our first post of the school year highlights a new service in Joyner Library, 3D printing!

Do you know how common 3D printers are in North Carolina’s public schools? If it’s not now, it will be soon. NC State’s College of Education is busily working toward equipping every middle school in Wake County with a 3D printer. ECU’s own Innovation Design Lab is hoping to outfit seven (7) middle schools with a 3D printer by the end of the school year, and many other K-12 schools around the state have already started their own 3D printing initiatives.

3D printing in K-12 and higher education is definitely a trend. As a result, the TRC has been busy preparing two 3D printers for the College of Education and the rest of the campus community to use. I am proud to announce that, as of today, Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center is now accepting print requests for our 3D printers!

To help guide the ECU community, we have also developed a library guide for those who are unfamiliar with 3D printing, but would like to know more. Joyner Library currently has two 3D printers available for use, a FlashForge Creator Pro and a ZPrinter 310 (.pdf). We are also busy prepping a Lulzbot TAZ 5 for future use. This library guide will help you:

Contact us for help by email,

Stay tuned for workshops and other professional development opportunities that involve 3D printing in K-12 and higher education in the months ahead.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC.


Dr. Sharon Schleigh’s book recognized on the AAAS 2014 Best Science Books & Films List

Scientific Argumentation in BiologyDr. Sharon Schleigh, Science Education faculty in the MSITE program, has received recognition from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  The book she co-authored with Victor Sampson, Scientific Argumentation in a Biology: 30 Classroom Activities, was recognized as an outstanding science book in the category of life science, and listed in the AAAS 2014 Best Science Books & Films List. This National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Press, 2013 book, is also a top selling NSTA book for middle school and high school teachers across the nation.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of all people, with a mission to promote science literacy to help ensure that all students receive a high-quality science education. AAAS was the first permanent organization formed to promote the development of science and engineering at the national level and to represent the interests of all its disciplines. The AAAS Science Books & Films (SB&F) Best Books Lists are published annually each January. SB&F Best Books Lists are a comprehensive list of highly recommended books, DVDs, and software for children and young adults reviewed over the previous year. Educators and scientists have come to rely on these lists as a definitive guide to the best science resources available for the library and classroom.

Being recognized by this leading international organization for supporting their mission is certainly a great honor for Dr. Sharon Schleigh and for the MSITE Department! We hear that she has another book in the works and we are looking forward to reading it as well. Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Schleigh of the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education for this recognition. And thank you Dr. Schleigh, for your impact on science education in our community!

Dr. Grant Hayes

Dr. Grant Hayes Named New Dean of the College of Education

Dr. Grant Hayes has been named dean and distinguished professor of the College of Education at East Carolina University.

Hayes is professor of counselor education and interim dean of the College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida, where he has held numerous leadership positions since 1998.

He will join ECU, a longtime leader in preparing classroom teachers and education professionals, on July 30.

Hayes’ appointment follows a rigorous national search, said Dr. Ron Mitchelson, ECU provost.

“Our outgoing dean, Dr. Linda Patriarca, has laid a strong foundation of innovation and creativity that Dr. Hayes will build upon,” Mitchelson said. “Dr. Hayes brings a wide range of leadership experiences with him. He is primed to lead our college and will solidify our standing as the UNC leader in teacher preparation.”

Before joining the faculty at UCF, Hayes served in the Department of Psychology at James Madison University in Virginia. His experience as a professor, K-12 teacher and administrator spans more than 27 years.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining East Carolina University,” Hayes said. “The extraordinary professionalism of the faculty and staff throughout the university and its College of Education is well known to me and the entire community of higher education, and I look forward to being part of the East Carolina University family.”

Hayes has published extensively in the areas of technological applications in counselor education, counseling children and adolescents, and character education/moral development in schools and youth settings. He has lectured and presented at numerous national and international conferences, seminars, educational meetings and professional development events.

Hayes is a fellow of the American Counseling Association and a member of the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. He previously served on the board of examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the executive advisory board of directors of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, and the board of directors for the Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, where he received the Meritorious Service Award. He is a past-president of the Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development and recipient of the association’s Humanistic Processes Award.

Hayes earned his doctoral, master’s and educational specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina, and his bachelor’s degree from Limestone College.

Article Courtesy of Crystal Baity – ECU News Services

Science Olympiad

Despite the Ice and Snow, Science Olympiad Ignites Young Minds for STEM Careers

On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, the Center for STEM Education hosted the annual Science Olympiad Tournament for northeastern North Carolina middle and high school students. North Carolina Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. These tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of different hands-on, interactive, challenging and inquiry-based events that are well balanced between the various disciplines of biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering and technology. Notwithstanding the icy weather, this year we hosted 426 students (209 middle school & 217 high school) from 25 schools in the northeast region. There were also over 150 volunteers involved in the day’s activities from overseeing events/competitions, to managing registration. Faculty and students of the MSITE Department were well represented. Drs. Carmen Woodhall and Liz Doster were event leaders for Simple and Compound Machines,  while Ms. Tammy Lee and a plethora of her Elementary Science students created and ran the competition for Experimental Design. Ms. Bonnie Glass was the event leader for It Matters, where students display their knowledge of the properties and behaviors of different states of matter. Dr. Rhea Miles represented the MSITE Department by promoting program and certificate opportunities to the in-service teachers/team coaches and future MSITE students. The staff of the Center for STEM Education was the backbone of the tournament: Nancy Evans and Cheryl Miller, Allison Everett (photographer) and all the student workers at the Center! AWESOME job everyone!!!  It was truly a remarkable day for STEM!


The Gift of Giving: MATE Faculty Host Math Marketplace for Their Interns

Mathematics Education faculty presented their second annual Mathematics Education Market Place for BS Mathematics Education senior I interns. The Market Place provides an avenue for faculty to send the senior I interns off to their full-time, senior II internship with resources for teaching. This year’s event featured 20 bundles of resources, one for each student. Given that the bundles were not equal in terms of their composition, students first circulated through the room to examine the treasures before names were drawn randomly from a container. First student chosen then quickly selected her/his bundle, followed by the second student drawn, and on to the 20th student. After the 20 selections were made, there were some additional resources provided for students in reverse order of the initial drawing. Resources for the students included some items that were a part of every bundle (stapler, tape dispenser, scissors, pens, markers, protractors) and then unique items such as books, journals, mathematical games, mathematical tools and manipulatives, calculators, software, etc. Although a number of teachers and mathematics education faculty donated items for the Market Place, special thanks goes to Dr. Maureen Grady for organizing the event and Dr. Rose Sinicrope for generously providing funds for many of the office supplies.math-market-2 math-market-1






Dr. Brown to Deliver Commencement Address

Dr. Abbie Brown from the department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, will deliver the commencement address at this Friday’s graduation ceremony. In his address, Dr. Brown observes that earning a university degree is an exhilarating and satisfying personal investment, and that education helps one see, “the big picture” and more details within that picture. 

More information can be found in the article by Jeannine Manning Hutson