The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will host the 23rd Annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access Wednesday, April 20 in the UAPB STEM Academy and Conference Center. With the theme, “Literacy Across STEM Areas,” the conference will also serve as the host site for the March Arkansas STEM Coalition meeting.
“I am excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Arkansas STEM Coalition during this conference,” Conference Co-Chair, Mrs. Sheena T. Meadows said. “This marks the 23rd year, and its longevity is a testament to relevance of the conference and its themes over the years.”
Dr. Vera Lang-Brown, conference chair is elated about this year’s theme. Literacy, known by many people, is defined as the ability to read and write. Teaching literacy has broadened to include developing “students’ ability to listen, speak, think critically, and perform in content areas” to improve their academic performance. Based on the work of several researchers (Marzano, 2005; Vacca,Vacca, & Miraz, 2013; McConachie & Petrosky, & 2010; & Fisher, 2010), literacy should be a basis for building high quality STEM education in P-16 schools. The conference will provide participants’ research and best practices on the impact of applying specific literacy strategies needed for students to master STEM S-subjects in preparation for college, careers, and life.
The objectives of the one-day conference are to: address research-based instructional strategies and best practices for applying literacy skills in teaching STEM subjects; model literacy strategies teaching STEM subjects to raise student achievement; demonstrate how ACT Aspire Standards in literacy align with teaching across STEM subjects; engage education faculty’s participation in professional experiences to enhance pre-service teachers’ skills and competencies in literacy relevant for teaching students in the STEM subjects; facilitate discussion and networking among Arkansas and regional educators, parents, business leaders, policy makers, and philanthropists on preparing P-16 students for state, national, and global competitiveness; and serve as a clearinghouse for evidence based strategies in developing and supporting P-16 faculty and students and STEM baccalaureate majors as they pursue life-long careers in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics disciplines.
The conference will feature various workshops and keynote speakers with Mr. Marshal Hurst, from the Arkansas Department of Education and Coordinator of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC)/Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) Rollout, as keynote luncheon speaker.
Other workshops will be conducted by STEM literacy researchers, ADE literacy specialists, and student teachers from UAPB. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from local educators, administrators, and business leaders through the Arkansas STEM Coalition collaborative. UAPB student teachers will also participate in a round table discussion to share their experiences and demonstrate how they apply specific literacy strategies to teach STEM subjects to increase students’ academic performance.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. General registration is $75 for participants and $40 for students. Registration forms can be obtained via www.uapb.edu/edaccess. For more information, contact Mrs. Kaidra Dockett at (870) 575-7008, Dr. Vera Lang-Brown at (870)575-8275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.