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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Monday, April 4, 2011

Noyce regional conference brings teachers, faculty focused on STEM education to IUPUI

April 4, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 100 recipients of a scholarship that focuses on preparing more math and science teachers and higher education faculty will be on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus this week.

The Midwest Noyce Regional Conference will bring the Noyce Scholarship recipients together at IUPUI Thursday and Friday (April 7 and 8). This is the third consecutive year the Urban Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (UCASE) at IUPUI has hosted the event at the University Place Conference Center and Hotel. UCASE is a joint project of the IU School of Education at IUPUI, the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI, and the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

Noyce Conference

Dan Heumann, from West Virginia University, and Kate Parker, from the University of Kansas, work on a science project during a workshop at the 2010 Noyce Midwest Conference at IUPUI.

The conference is paid for by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. Noyce Scholarships support graduate degrees for prospective science and mathematics teachers who may be undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines or STEM professionals making a career change. Recipients of the Noyce Scholarship commit to teaching in a high-poverty school after earning a degree or certification.

Attendees are coming from as far away as Fargo, N.D., and Kansas City, Mo. for sessions built around the theme of "Developing STEM Teachers' Professional Skills." A range of topics includes project-based learning in mathematics and science, national math and science standards, managing problem behavior from students, and legal information public school teachers should know. Several faculty members from IUPUI and IU Bloomington will lead conference sessions.

"This year, the conference places a strong focus on STEM instructional aspects from two different perspectives," said Kim Nguyen, operations director for the UCASE. First, sessions will focus on how schools and colleges of education participating in the Noyce program are best preparing STEM teachers.

"The conference was intentionally designed to highlight pedagogical innovations that address social justice and teaching effectiveness," Nguyen said.

To that end, participants will be a part of sessions led by Suzanne Eckes, associate professor in the IU School of Education, whose research focuses on legal issues surrounding equity for marginalized groups in traditional public and charter schools. Other presenters include Luciana C. de Oliveira, assistant professor in curriculum and instruction at Purdue, who researches the challenges English language learners have understanding academic language in the classroom as well as equity in teacher education.

The second perspective of the conference focuses on Noyce Scholars who have become leading teachers in their discipline within their first four years of teaching. Sessions on innovations they've created include recent Noyce Scholars at IUPUI including Chris Hiller, a teacher at Decatur Central New Tech High School, who will speak about teaching biology and English in a co-instructional format in a New Tech school. Also, Kylee List from Warren Central High School will team with Warren Central colleague Linda Monroe to show how other teachers can learn project-based learning through a "CSI" or Crime Scene Investigation approach.

The Noyce Scholarship program first began at IUPUI in 2005, funding the "Transition to Teaching" (T2T) program for math and science teachers coming from another career. A Noyce Scholars program focused on undergraduate science majors began in 2007, followed by a new math and science T2T program in 2009.

At IU Bloomington, the IU School of Education and the IU College of Arts and Sciences earned NSF grant funding for the Indiana Noyce Science Scholars program that began last fall following a math-focused collaboration between the colleges that started in 2006.

More information about the conference is available at