Third Nebraska Summit on Math and Science Education convenes in February
Discuss models, strategies for inclusive programming, in person
With greater attention being focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM education, Nebraska PK–12 leaders continue to respond to changing student demographics in ways that will produce culturally relevant curriculum and responsive practices that support all students. The third Nebraska Summit on Math and Science Education will assemble teacher, district, and state leaders in math and science education to discuss successful models and strategies for more inclusive programming and meet with local and national educational leaders. The pre-session will offer hands-on robotics activities for mathematics and science classrooms.
The Summit will be held in-person on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive in Lincoln, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. A conference pre-session will take place on Sunday evening, Feb. 20, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites. Registration is now open. The registration fee for the conference is $60 per person. Lunch and meeting materials are provided as part of the registration fee. Note: Masks will be required to be worn indoors by participants at the Summit, both on Sunday and Monday.
The Summit features three distinguished plenary speakers: Felicia Moore Mensah of Columbia University, Amanda Morales of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and Mona Toncheff, past president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. In addition to the keynote speeches, concurrent breakout sessions will address issues in elementary, middle, and secondary math and science education; teacher preparation; professional development for math and science teachers; STEM education for multi-language learners; and assessment.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln. The conference will cover a one-night stay for Sunday, Feb. 20, and breakfast at the hotel for a limited number of participants. The online link to reserve a room is included in the registration form.
The complete schedule of events will be updated below as details are finalized. Plenaries will be recorded for later viewing for those cannot attend the Summit in person.
- PK-12 STEM teachers;
- Principals and school administrators;
- District and ESU administrators and staff developers;
- State Department of Education; and
- Faculty, staff and students at institutions of higher education.
- Dr. Beth Lewis, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education;
- Dr. Michelle Homp, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education;
- Dr. Mindi Searls, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education;
- Dr. Amanda Thomas, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education;
- Lindsay Augustyn, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education; and
- Stephanie Vendetti, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education.
The Summit features the following three distinguished plenary speakers:
Felicia Mensah is professor of science education and chair of the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Columbia University. Dr. Mensah is also the co-editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and associate director of the Center for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development.
Research interests of Dr. Mensah, a former associate dean in the Teachers College at Columbia, are in diversity and social justice education with an emphasis on improving science experiences and for PreK–16 teachers and students in urban classrooms. As a prolific writer and well-established researcher, Mensah’s work addresses issues of diversity and equity in science teacher education, with culturally relevant teaching, multiculturalism, and critical theories guiding her teaching and research.
She conducts professional development workshops and institutes with elementary, middle, and high school science teachers as well as provides outreach activities for schools, such as hosting elementary students to attend science courses at the university. She has an exceptional record in advising graduate students and developing early scholars, sponsoring more than 50 doctoral dissertations and serving on more than 120 dissertation committees. Additionally, she works to mentor and support junior faculty in obtaining tenure and promotion and improving classroom practice. Mensah won the Early Career Award, Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) in 2012.
Amanda Morales is associate professor of multicultural education and ESOL in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Dr. Morales received the 2020 Latina/o/x Research Issues Special Interest Group Early Career Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association, which recognizes those who have conducted outstanding research on Latina/o/x issues in education.
Dr. Morales is a Latina from Western Kansas whose research and practice builds on her prior work as an assistant professor and the diversity coordinator for the College of Education at Kansas State University (KSU), and her experience as a program manager in the Center for Intercultural Multilingual Advocacy at KSU. Prior to her work in higher education, Amanda was an assistant director of visitor programs at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth, Texas, for over five years where she did school, public, and community-based programming as well as teacher professional development.
She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and grant proposals that address issues of equity and access for culturally and linguistically diverse students across the K–16 education continuum. Amanda’s current research explores the lived experiences of immigrant, migrant and first-generation college students in the Midwest, as well as teachers of color in predominately White institutions.
Mona Toncheff, MEd, a mathematics education consultant and author, works with educators and leaders nationwide to build collaborative teams - empowering them with effective strategies to ensure all students receive high-quality mathematics instruction. She previously worked as both a mathematics teacher and as a mathematics content specialist for the Phoenix Union High School District in Arizona. Mona is the Immediate Past President of National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics: Leadership in Mathematics Education and past-president of Arizona Mathematics Leaders. Mona was named 2009 Phoenix Union High School District Teacher of the Year and in 2014, she received the Copper Apple Award for leadership in mathematics from the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics.
Toncheff has supervised the culture change from teacher isolation to professional learning communities, creating articulated standards and relevant district common assessments and providing ongoing professional development on best practices, equity and access, technology, response to intervention, high-quality grading practices, and assessment for learning. As a writer and consultant, Mona works with educators and leaders nationwide to build collaborative teams, empowering them with effective strategies for aligning curriculum, instruction, and assessment to ensure all students receive high-quality mathematics instruction.
Toncheff is currently an active member of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics board and has served NCSM in the roles of secretary (2007–2008), director of Western Region 1 (2012–2015), Second Vice-President (2015-2016), First Vice President (2016-2017), Marketing and E-news Editor (2017-2018), and President-elect (2018-2019) and President (2019-2021). In addition to her work with NCSM, Mona has served as the president of Arizona Mathematics Leaders (2016-2018) and is the current past-president.