NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

teachHOUSTON Students and Faculty Attend Western Regional Noyce Conference

Western Regional Noyce Conference Over 30 UH teachHOUSTON students, graduates, and faculty attended the Western Regional Noyce Conference held in San Diego, March 4-6. The conference registration, travel, and lodging were funded by an NSF Noyce Grant. Ten UH participants gave presentations over strands which included best practices in mathematics education, best practices in science education, teaching in high needs schools, best practices in social justice and equity for STEM education, and PI/Staff Noyce research and Noyce projects. Faculty attending the conference were Amanda Campos, Paige Evans, and Mariam Manuel (Department of Mathematics, teachHOUSTON) and Donna Stokes (Department of Physics and NSM Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Student Success).

teachHOUSTON Receives $1.2M Grant for an Accelerated Teacher Certification Program

The teachHOUSTON program in the Department of Mathematics was awarded a $1.2 million NSF grant entitled Transforming STEM Professionals into Culturally Responsive STEM Teachers (STEMPro). Fifty-eight STEM professionals, including career changers and recent graduates, will receive secondary STEM teacher certification through an accelerated program. The curriculum is inquiry-based, includes culturally responsive materials, and takes advantage of a STEM Learning Community for promoting certification completion in nine months. The grant team consists of PI Paige Evans and Co-PI’s Jacqueline Ekeoba, Ramona Mateer, and Leah McAlister-Shields (teachHOUSTON); Rebecca Forrest (Physics); and Virginia Rangel (College of Education).

Office of First Year Programs Hosts NSMeet Spring Open House

The NSMeet Spring Open House was held March 5 from 10 am-2 pm. The event invites high-achieving students who have been accepted to NSM to engage with faculty from the six departments, connect with current and newly accepted NSM students, learn about student organizations, and tour the UH campus. Presentations from NSM’s academic departments were given to the students and their families highlighting the amazing opportunities NSM has to offer in terms of research, community diversity, and career potential. Thanks to the department presenters for their time and dedication to recruiting great students to NSM. The presenters included, Drs. Lisa Farmer (Biology/Biochemistry), Arkadusz Czader (Chemistry), Shishir Shah (Computer Science), Dan Hauptvogel (EAS), Nicholas Leger (Math) and Lisa Koerner (Physics).

Scholar Enrichment Program Hosts TC Energy Connect Event

TC Energy joined the Scholar Enrichment Program virtually on March 1 to give students an opportunity to hear from a group of industry panelists about their experience with TC Energy. Students heard the stories from engineers and managers who interned with the company during their undergraduate career and eventually accepted full-time positions at TC Energy. The students asked the panelists questions and received advice on pathways to securing employment in the energy sector. The students also received information on current opportunities (internships, full-time positions) available at TC Energy.

Science and Engineering Fair of Houston Held February 25–26

Science and Engineering Fair of Houston The 63rd Science and Engineering Fair of Houston, in partnership with the UH STEM Center, UH College Sponsors, and Chevron as the presenting industry sponsor, successfully hosted the 2022 in-person program at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 25–26. There were 715 projects prepared by 851 6th-12th grade students. SEFH advanced 126 projects and 155 students to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair and will send 12 Senior Division Grand Award projects and 16 students to the Regeneron Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, Georgia in May. Eighteen public and private school districts were represented with 45 high schools, 55 middle schools, 9 home schools, 14 private high schools, and 14 private middle high schools.

Science and Engineering Fair of Houston A total of 449 industry/university professionals volunteered to judge entries at the fair. Forty-three Special Awarding Agencies participated, providing awards to students that inspired their continued efforts in scientific research. The NSM Dean’s Choice Special Award was presented to one outstanding project in the Senior Division. The award went to a student from Harmony School of Innovation in Sugar Land, Texas, whose chemistry-based project focused on drug experiments related to treating sickle cell anemia. The Houston Geological Society Special Award went to three outstanding students from the Junior or Senior Divisions. A special thanks to EAS volunteer judges Martin Cassidy (Research Scientist), Daniella Easley (Ph.D. student) and Alicia Staszyc (Ph.D. student).

Dr. Heather Domjan, SEFH Executive Director, said “Our team received overwhelmingly positive commentary for hosting the 63rd SEFH, especially with the challenges of the pandemic. Providing this annual platform served as an equitable opportunity for students to engage with industry professionals, conduct research that is inclusive to student needs, and celebrates the participants’ diversity who have a passion to find a need and fill it through scientific research.”