ESC Students and Alumni Recruiting at NCSTA

East Carolina University Provides Strong Leadership in Science Education

The North Carolina Science Teachers’ Association (NCSTA) held its annual professional development conference November 12th & 13th 2015.  There were over a thousand science educators, teachers, university professors, and informal science representatives from across the state in attendance this year.

East Carolina University alumni demonstrated their continuous impact on science education by receiving four awards from the North Carolina Science Teachers’ Association.  Beth Wantz won the Most Outstanding Science Student Teacher award.  Beth graduated in May 2015 and has served as a camp counselor for ECU Summer Science Camp for the last three summers.  She is currently teaching Kindergarten at H.B. Sugg in Farmville.  Kelsey Phillips won the Most Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher award.  Kelsey teaches fifth grade at W. H. Robinson in Winterville.  Kelsey was also a counselor for ECU Summer Science Camp.  Both Kelsey and Beth concentrated in Elementary Science, and they are both working with Assistant Professor Dr. Tammy Lee with her grant entitled PIRATES (Preparing and Inspiring Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science), which is an induction model for beginning elementary science teachers.  Kelsey and Beth presented for the first time at the conference on how to integrate science into all subject areas.  Blair Driver received the award for the Most Outstanding Middle School Science Teacher.  Ms. Driver has been an Assistant Director and counselor for the ECU Summer Science Camp.   Currently, Blair is working with Dr. Rhea Miles on her Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership Program (SEADAP) in which they and other teachers presented on latest classroom applications.  Ms. Driver received more recognition earlier in the week when she was named Pactolus School Teacher of the Year.  Finally, Marcus Pate was recognized as the Most Outstanding High School Science Teacher.  Mr. Pate teaches Earth and Environmental Science at South Central High School in Pitt County.  He was a graduate of ECU in 2013 and is known for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.

Science Education faculty and Elementary Science Concentration students were also busy at the conference recruiting for the awesome programs in MSITE and across the College of Education.  Ten Elementary Science Concentration students worked the recruitment booth and attended sessions.  They will be providing a poster session for the MSITE department on Wednesday, November 18th, at 5:00pm in Flanagan.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  East Carolina University is moving Science Education in the right direction!

Beth Wantz

Beth Wantz

Blair Driver

Blair Driver

Kelsey Phillips

Kelsey Phillips

Marcus Pate

Marcus Pate

Marcus Pate, Beth Wantz, Kelsey Phillips, and Blair Driver

Marcus Pate, Beth Wantz, Kelsey Phillips, and Blair Driver

Bonnie, Rhea, and Tammy

Bonnie, Rhea, and Tammy

Elementary Science Concentration Students at NCSTA

Elementary Science Concentration Students at NCSTA

NSTA Conference

Annual Conference of the National Science Teachers Association

Dr. Sharon Schleigh sent us this note about the NSTA Conference. We had great fun with the NSTA attendees in Philadelphia this week. It was wonderful to meet with the many people who are excited about ECU and how many were alums or knew alums.  This was very exciting!

NSTA Conference

NSTA Conference


Participation at AECT

Instructional Technology Faculty at AECT

As in the past, IT faculty were busy presenting their work and serving the Educational Technology field at the Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.   In particular, IT faculty addressed the following topics and issues.

  • Measuring your Academic Impact: Articulating Faculty Productivity Using Social Network Analysis (with Tim Green and John Cowan)
  • Informing our Field: How we Examine, Document and Disseminate Information about Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (Presidential Session)
  • iPads in Teacher Education
  • How K12 Art Teachers Use Technology to Support Teaching and Learning
  • Dissemination Technologies and their Potential Uses in the Classroom and other Educational Settings
  • Studies of ID practices: An updated review and synthesis
  • Locating, Tracking, and Sharing Instructional Resources
  • Learning to Develop Instructional Apps

Additional information about the conference program is available at or through a search at

Participation at AECT

Participation at AECT

2015-11-06 11.54.04_500_305

MAEd High School Mathematics Cohort Students Present at NCCTM Conference

The North Carolina Council Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) held their state conference Nov. 5-6, 2015 in Greensboro, NC. A delegation of 20+ MAEd High School Mathematics Cohort students were among those representing ECU as presenters at this event. These students are all practicing teachers with a range of experience from first year to 20+, representing local school districts, including Beaufort, Craven, Carteret, Edgecombe, Greene, Nash-Rocky Mount, Onslow, Pitt, and Wayne. The theme for the conference was Principles to Action in Action, and their presentation focused on Principles to Practice in High School Math Classes. They shared original, research-based mathematical tasks and lesson materials that capture the mathematics teaching practices outlined in Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM, 2014). The active engagement between presenters and attendees provided participants with a greater appreciation of the exciting happenings in eastern North Carolina high school mathematics classrooms and graduate education at ECU!

Group Picture of Mathematics Education Chort

Mathematics Education Cohort Students at NCCTM

Gamma Chapter Participants

Gamma Chapter Meeting of Mathematics Education Students

On October 8, 2015, the Gamma Chapter was honored to have former students of East Carolina University come back and talk about their experiences from college to now.  Guest speakers included teachers from elementary school to high school (see list below).  They answered the many questions current students wanted to know about what to expect in the future.  Students got the opportunity to ask them questions about anything from classes they took, internship, job searching, and their careers now as teachers.  Each grade level was broken into smaller groups based on what grade they are going to teach. Students had fun interacting and conversing on a professional yet personal level.  We would like to give a big thanks to all the teachers and faculty that attended.  Hope to see you at our next meeting, November 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm.  We will have a panel of math teachers and school principals discussing classroom management. You don’t want to miss it!
Guest speakers:

  • Lee Harrison – Class of 2013; Southwest Edgecombe HS
  • Ashley Knox – Class of 2015; New Bern HS
  • Aaron Rountree – Class of 2015; JH Rose HS
  • Trayshawn Stepney – Class of 2015; Southside HS
  • Kim Coltrain – Class of 2013; Vanceboro Farmlife Elementary
  • Brittany Powell – MAT Elem Educ, Class of 2013; Vanceboro Farmlife Elementary
Gamma Chapter Meeting

Gamma Chapter Meeting


Dr. Rhea Miles, Co-Principal Investigator, Leads SEADAP Grant Program to Teach Students about the Science of Drug Addiction

The Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) program aims to expose students from 6th through 12th grade to the real-world applications of the scientific method in order to teach them about drug addiction.  The SEADAP program, now in its second year, continues to implement hands-on curriculum educating students about the science of drug addiction and the adverse effects of widely abused substances while exposing students in in research activities to increase their interest in STEM careers.

Students are led in the design of their own experiments on planaria, a type of flatworm, with nicotine, alcohol, and sucrose solutions to conduct investigations from lab manuals that specifically address the National Science Education Standard & Common Core, while building partnerships with medical scientists, addiction specialists and professional educators, to educate the general public about drug abuse.


ECU recently hosted its second group of educators from Pitt, Martin and Greene county public schools, continuing to expand the Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership Program into North Carolina’s STEM curriculum.

High school students from Pitt and Greene county conduct research investigations at ECU, studying the effect of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and sucrose on planaria under the direction of Dr. Miles in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education.

Seventh-grade students in Martin county study the effects of drug addiction on flatworms through the SEADAP grant.  (photo credit:  Cliff Hollis, ECU News Services)

Teachers in Philadelphia attend a professional development conference at Temple University’s Center for Substance Abuse Research led by SEADAP principal investigator, Dr. Scott Rawls and co-principal investigator, Dr. Rhea Miles.


For more information on the SEADAP Program contact:
Dr. Rhea Miles


Perceptions of Science Teachers on State, National, and International Assessments

According to a new study by Dr. Rhea Miles and Dr. Tony Thompson published in the National Teacher Education Journal, reflections on standardized assessments are prompting science teachers to improve their teaching practices.

Full details are available in the study.

“I Had No Idea!” A Snapshot of Science Teacher Perceptions of Student Performance on State, National and International Assessments.  National Teacher Education Journal (Fall 2015), 8(3), pp. 61-66.

Abstract: A survey was used to explore science teachers perceptions of state (North Carolina), national (NAEP), and international assessments (TIMSS, PISA). Although familiar with state assessments, findings indicate that most science teachers were unaware of national and international assessments and felt their own students would not do as well as high-achieving students in other US states or nations. In addition, slightly less than half of the teachers felt their teaching corresponded with the ‘world class’ standards represented by NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA. This study also found that reviewing national and international assessments caused individual science teachers to question the nature and quality of their own curriculum, teaching, and assessments; as a consequence, several teachers used these “global” assessments as an innovative influence on improving science education “locally” in the their own classrooms.


Instructional Technology Graduates and Faculty at NC3ADL Conference

Several Instructional Technology graduates and two Instructional Technology faculty members (Dr. Patricia Slagter van Tryon and Dr. Bill Sugar) recently attended the conference of the North Carolina Community College Association of Distance Learning (NC3ADL), which was held in Raleigh the last week of October. Drs. Slagter van Tryon and Sugar proudly passed out really cool ECU swag. Instructional Technology graduates including Katherine Bennett (Wake Technical Community College), Jacob Brintle (Wake Technical Community College), James Cook (Forsyth Technical Community College), Jamie McLeod (Sandhills Community College), Susan Peck (College of the Albemarle), Athena Smith (Cleveland Community College) and others were seen at the conference. Four Instructional Technology graduates currently serve on the NC3ADL Board of Directors, including Kimberly King (Nash County Community College), Angela Herring (Wilson County Community College), Dori Stanfield Lloyd (Davidson County Community College), and Randall Shearon (Wayne County Community College).

Patricia Slagter van Tryon

Patricia Slagter van Tryon



Tabitha Bailey Presents Work at NC3ADL

Drawing on her Distance Learning studies in Instructional Technology at MSITE, Tabitha Bailey has been helping Students Engage, Develop, and Grow with eLearning (The EDGe) at Stanly Community College. The EDGe is designed to increase students’ technological, self-efficacy, and communication skills to help students be successful in online, hybrid, and web-assisted classes, and beyond. Tabitha Bailey and Rita Love recently presented their work at the Annual Conference of the North Carolina Community College Association (NC3ADL). They discussed the EDGe, the limited open online course at its core, and the initial impact it is having on students. See the full post of their conference session at

PIRATES Teachers

PIRATES Educators Work to Improve K-6 Science Education

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 Dr. 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

Danielle Alford, Benson Elementary School
Christina Baik, Stokes Elementary School
Ashley Barfield, Abbotts Creek Elementary School
Dail Berry, Mattamuskeet Early College High School
Kara Rouse, Lenoir County Public Schools
Amber Ellington, Falkland  Elementary School
Amanda Etheridge, Lucama Elementary School
Rachel Fendrick, Palmer Elementary
Katherine Hart, Northwest Elementary
Kayla Sager, Angier Elementary School
Bethany Wantz, H.B. Sugg Elementary School
Abby Wilkinson, Ayden Elementary


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