Texas Tech University


STEMinars serve as an opportunity for TTU faculty and staff to join together in the spirit of collaboration and multidisciplinary exploration. STEM CORE has attempted to select topics perceived to be of general interest; however, please let us know if you have topics or people you would like to bring to TTU campus. All our STEMinars during the 22-23 academic year will be hosted in person and via Zoom and will focus on "Unconventional Collaborations".   

2022-2023 STEMinars:

Unconventional Collaborations

Presenter: Taysha Williams
Date: September 21, 2022
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm
Details: This event will take place in the TLPDC Rm 153 & via Zoom
Zoom Link: https://texastech.zoom.us/j/99777205184



The Texas Tech University Innovation Hub (the Hub) is a place to nurture smart ideas to create social or commercial value resulting in impact. The Hub serves as the center for innovation and entrepreneurialism which fosters public-private partnerships and provides a forum for the entrepreneurial educational programs as well as office and laboratory space for launching start-ups.  Our goal is to foster an innovation ecosystem that supports new ventures through mentorship, entrepreneurial programs, early-stage funding, opportunities for industry networking, and community engagement.  
In 4 short years, the Innovation Hub has launched 24 new ventures and supported over 64,000 students, faculty, and community members through programing and events at the Hub. In addition, our startups raised $54.1 million in investment capital since 2017.  This presentation will share highlights of Hub programming and opportunities for creative collaboration across campus.   

Past STEMinars and Resources

Note: Digital resources from previous seminar meetings will be linked from the table below as promptly as possible following each session. Please contact webmaster.stem@ttu.edu if you experience any technical issues with these links.


Presenter: Diana Hennel
Date: April 20, 2022
Time: 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Details: This event will take place via Zoom
Recording: Click this link to veiw STEMinar recording

The concept of stone soup comes from a European folk story where people of the town come together to create something amazing.  Your career will span decades and likely take a very winding path.  Along the way, you will have a variety of experiences that form the basis for your own version of stone soup.  In this talk, Ms. Hennel will share her experiences from her thirty year career, how she's taken some of her most significant successes and failures and used those to create her own concoction.  She will provide insight on how to identify those key ingredients and synthesize them to create a personal brand.

Presenter: Panel of TTU Female Students who have conducted Undergraduate Research
Date: March 8, 2022
Time: 3:30-4:30 pm
Details: TTU Library Room 153 or via Zoom
LINK: Click here to view this STEMinar recording

A panel of TTU female students will discuss their undergraduate research experiences empowering  women to pursue their own research goals. This discussion is aimed at increasing representation for women in undergraduate research. This event is co-hosted by the TTU Library.

Presenter: Open discussion after viewing “Picture a Scientist” Movie
Date: Watch at your leisure:  March 1-3; Zoom breakout discussion :  March 4 (12-1:00 pm)
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Details: After RSVPing, a link will be sent for you to watch the movie at your leisure.  Then join us for a discussion on Friday.
Abstract: Picture a Scientist chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 
Presenter: Dr. Emmanuel Fernandez and Dr. Juan Carlos Rojas
Date: Wednesday February 9, 2022
Time: 2 PM - 3 PM
Details: Dr. Fernandez and Dr. Carlos Rojas, TTU Costa Rica, will provide a great perspective on the comparison of engineering practices in academia and industry between the Unites States and Costa Rica.
Video Recording: Watch recording of this STEMinar here  
Abstract: Drawing on their first-hand multi-cultural experiences, Dr. Emmanuel Fernandez and Dr. Juan Carlos Rojas will share about the cultural differences and similarities that exist in professional engineering settings between the United States and Latin America.
Presenter: Open discussion after viewing "Picture a Scientist" Movie
Date: Watch at your leisure: November 14-16 Zoom breakout discussion: November 17 (12-1 PM)
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Details: After RSVPing, a link will be sent for you to watch the movie at your leisure. Then join us for a discussion on Wednesday.
Presenter: Open discussion after viewing "Picture a Scientist" Movie
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Details: After RSVPing, a link will be sent for you to watch the movie at your leisure. Then join us for a discussion on Wednesday.
Abstract: Picture a Scientist chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 
Presenter: Dr. Ken Griffith, Texas Tech University
Title: Conveying Science to a General Audience
Date: Wednesday October 27, 2021
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Video Recording

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View a transcript of the video here

Presenter: Dr. Jen Heemstra, Emory University
Title: You belong: Finding confidence in the face of self-doubt and imposter syndrome
Date: April 28, 2021
Time: 3 PM - 4 PM
Video Recording Login with your e-raider to view the video
Presenter: Team from National Technical Institute for the Deaf @ Rochester Institute of Technology
Title: Rochester Bridges to the Doctorate: Deaf and hard of hearing students in STEM
Date: April 21, 2021
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Video Recording

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View a transcript of the video here

Presenter: Dr. Ebony McGee, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University
Title: Black, Brown, Bruised: How racialized STEM education stifles innovation
Date: February 12, 2020

1 PM - 2 PM Presentation

2 PM - 3 PM Student Q & A Session

link To purchase book: Black, Brown, Bruised Book
Presenter: Open forum discussion after viewing newly released Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Selection "Picture a Scientist"
Details: To view the movie at your leisure between noon on Wednesday, November 11 - noon on Friday, November 14, please complete the RSVP form by November 2 and a unique link to view the movie will be sent to you. This discussion will be a follow up for those that were able to watch the movie.
Date: November 18, 2020
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM
Movie Trailer: Click here to view the movie trailer
Presenter: Dr. Isiah Warner, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Louisiana State University
Title: Strategies to Improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Among All People in STEM Disciplines
Date: October 7, 2020
Time: 12 PM - 1 PM. // Co-hosted with the Department of Chemistry
Video Recording: Watch the video recording here
Biography: Dr. Isiah Warner is Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Philip W. West Professor of Chemistry, and a Boyd Professor of the Louisiana State University system. He has more than 370 refereed publications in a variety of journals relevant to the general areas of analytical and materials chemistry. His particular expertise is in the area of fluorescence spectroscopy, where his research has focused for more than 40 years. Over the past 20 years, he has also maintained a strong research effort in the areas of organized media, separation science, and more recently in the area of ionic liquid chemistry, particularly as applied to solid phase materials for applications in materials science and nanomaterials. He has also conducted educational research that focuses on mechanisms for maintaining and enhancing student education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with a particular emphasis on encouraging under-represented students (women and minorities) to pursue terminal degrees in STEM. Through his leadership and mentorship, the LSU Department of Chemistry has become the leading producer of doctoral degrees in chemistry for African Americans in the U.S. and also lead in the percentage of women who receive PhDs. Under his direction, the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives has mentored countless numbers of students across ten programs from the high school to doctoral levels. Dr. Warner has been recognized as 2016 SEC Professor of the Year, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2016), Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2017), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2017), and Nature Mentor of the Year (2019). In the past, he has also received the Presidential Award (President Clinton) for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring and the American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantages Students into the Sciences. He has chaired sixty- nine doctoral theses and is currently supervising his final PhD student. More than half of his doctoral students are women and more than a third are under-represented minorities.
Presenter: Dr. Jobi Martinez, Executive Director, Racial Injustice Institute & The Center for Antiracism
Date: September 23, 2020
Time: 1 PM - 2 PM
Title: Pursuing Antiracism in STEM: A Reflection of a Two-Year Journey towards Racial Equity
Abstract: The STEM field has dedicated efforts and resources to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the field. Historically, DEI initiatives focused on representation; however, recently, institutions have included examinations of systemic racism in teaching, the curriculum, recruitment, hiring, training, and outputs of the STEM field and professionals. In 2017, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) issued calls for proposals for the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Grant. The University of Houston-Downtown's (UHD) College of Science and Technology was awarded the Inclusive Excellence Grant to pursue antiracism in STEM. Their innovative approach to inclusive excellence presented several opportunities and challenges for the college and the university.The webinar will focus on the use of antiracism in pursuit of racial justice and antiracism's implications on STEM. It will also highlight challenges and opportunities antiracism initiatives encounter as well as how STEM can participate in the pursuit of racial justice.
Resources: Watch the video recording here.
Presenter: Dr. Jessica Gottlieb
Title: Theory and Research in STEM Education
Date: November 13
Time: 2 PM - 3 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: This presentation will explore current topics in STEM education research, including common theoretical approaches and research designs. These topics will include efforts to boost participation and persistence in STEM with historically underrepresented groups of students, communities of practice in STEM education, and the use of theory in STEM education research.
Resources: Video Recording Slides
Presenter: Dr. Susan Nolen (University of Washington) and Dr. Milo Koretsky (Oregon State University)
Title: From acting like students to acting like engineers: Understanding what students do with realistic tasks
Date: October 23
Time: 2 PM - 3 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: With an NSF Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments (RED) grant, the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University seeks to create (1) a culture where everyone in the CBEE community feels valued and that they belong, and (2) to create a learning environment that prompts students and faculty to meaningfully connect curricular and co-curricular activities and experiences to each other and to professional practice. In this fifth year of the grant we are emphasizing embedding our learnings in the processes and routine practices of the School.

In this talk, we will provide an overview of the RED work and then a deeper dive into some of the curricular/instructional change efforts underway. One of these efforts is to re-design and re-situate existing studio activities for large-section engineering science courses to provide opportunities for more meaningful learning that connects to professional contexts. We are currently analyzing videotaped interactions as student teams engage in "Studio 2.0" activities to see how students take up these opportunities. Does student engagement resemble professional engineering activity (collaboration, systems analysis, consideration of multiple approaches)? Or do they continue to engage in more typical engineering school activity (search for single "correct" approach, dominance by one or two team members, narrow focus on current course topic)? Implications for task design, instruction and strategies for promoting instructional change in engineering faculty will be discussed. More information on the RED project may be found at http://cbee.oregonstate.edu/revolution.

Resources: Video Recording of Susan Nolen's Educational Theory presentation on Situational Motivation
Presenter: Dr. Eric Bruning
Title: Building Capacity for Scientific Computing in Graduate-level Coursework and Research
Date: October 16
Time: 2 PM - 3 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: This talk shares the story of how we grew capacity for scientific computing in a particular academic program, with a view toward dissemination of pragmatic steps that might inspire other programs across Texas Tech. While some R1 campuses across the US have a mature heritage and agenda-setting role in the culture of scientific computing, TTU is among those where communities of practice still reside within individual departments, with a need to grow a culture that befits an R1 institution while being resourced at the level of individual faculty effort. Hearteningly, sustained effort over a decade (supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant) has markedly improved the situation in the atmospheric science MS and PhD program. Intensive, 2-day workshops using the internationally-known Software Carpentry program have supported basic skill building for students and faculty regardless of discipline, while similar workshops focused on the discipline have become more necessary as undergraduate feeder schools have increased their emphasis on basic scientific computing skills. PhD student participation in scientific computing conferences has also extended the horizon of possibilities imagined by our student body by connecting them to a thriving, global open source community that builds the tools they use daily. At the same time, we have benefitted from keeping these efforts focused on the needs of a particular faculty cohort's research and pedagogical aims, so that routine practice can be included as part of each graduate course, and so that research progress is accelerated. Conversation and interaction with other groups having similar needs is welcomed.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Danny Reible
Title: Developing Reflective Engineering Through Artful Methods (DREAM)
Date: April 17
Time: 1 PM - 2 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 151
Summary: The holistic development of engineering students to think critically and be more reflective is the goal of DREAM using unique and innovative methods. The program seeks to improve engineering students' understanding of the implications of their work, especially ethical and socioeconomic challenges, through reflective thinking. The program employs the arts and humanities as well as discussion and introspective writing to help create engineers that are both more appreciative of and better equipped to deal with uncertainty and better address poorly defined and constrained societal problems. An example is Visual Thinking Strategies, which uses works of art to develop observational, critical thinking, and communication skills. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and supported by a National Science Foundation grant in Innovation in Graduate Engineering. It is a collaborative effort between the Dr. Reible, Ryan Campbell, Jeong-Hee Kim (Education), Roman Taraban (Psychology) and Chong Na (Civil Engineering), and with additional support from Sangmi Yoo (Art) and Jill Hoffman (Museum of Texas Tech).
Presenter: Kevin Potcner / JMP Academic Program
Title: JMP Statistical Discovery Software Info Session
Date: April 17
Time: 8:30 am - 9:30 AM; 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 151

Two separate one-hour workshops will be presented by Kevin Potcner (a Statistical Scientist from JMP) to help us develop our skills in using JMP software in our teaching and research. Topics covered will include: Data Visualization, Basic Statistical Inference, Building and Evaluating Statistical Models, and Multivariate Statistical Techniques. No prior experience in using JMP is required.

Kevin Potcner is an Academic Ambassador for JMP Statistical Discovery Software from SAS. He has 25+ years of experience developing corporate training programs and providing statistical consulting services to help scientists and engineers apply the statistical sciences to optimize processes. He has worked with a wide range of industries including biotech, medical device, pharma, automotive, semi-conductor, among many others.

Kevin has held teaching positions at The Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Florida, University of San Francisco and California State University. Kevin holds a BS in Printing Sciences and an MS in Applied Statistics both from The Rochester Institute of Technology.

Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Joseph Romano
Title: M.C. Escher & Mathematics (Part 2): Playing with Perception
Date: March 6
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: This is the second of two lectures about the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972). In the first lecture we examined some of the underlying mathematical themes of Escher's prints, in particular the notion of symmetry in the context of periodic tilings of the plane and other 2-dimensional surfaces. This lecture will focus instead on several of Escher's more playful prints involving ambiguous perspective and impossible objects. By explaining Escher's use of linear and curvilinear perspective, I hope to reveal some of the 'secrets' behind his 'tricks' of perception. But this will not diminish in any way the true magic of Escher's work. (NOTE: People who did not attend the first lecture should still be able to follow and understand this lecture without any problems.)
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Natasha Holmes, Cornell University
Title: Why do Traditional Labs Fail (And what to do about it)
Date: Monday, December 3
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: When you ask STEM faculty to reflect on their intro labs, responses include "boring", "forgettable", or "cookbook." What is so wrong with the traditional lab? In this talk, we'll discuss research that helps illuminate the problems with traditional labs and the impacts on students. We'll then move on to solutions: how do we restructure labs to provide better learning opportunities for our students? We'll discuss how we measure the impact of different techniques, some tactics for using labs to teach experimentation and critical thinking skills, and some examples of restructured lab courses.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dom Casadonte, Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell, Jerry Dwyer, Kris Petterson, Jessica Spott, Jill White
Title: Outreach 101
Date: Wednesday, November 14
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: If you are interested in starting your own outreach program, or writing one into a grant, but are looking for some practical tips and guidance, come join this session! Experienced panelist will give you several perspectives on outreach. They can help with contact information for people on campus, give you suggestions about what granting agencies want to see in your broader impacts statements, and can help you get involved in currently running programs. They can even help with suggestions about how to connect your research and your outreach program. Bring lots of questions!
Resources: Video Recording  
Presenter: Joseph Romano
Title: Mathematics in the artwork of MC Escher
Date: Wednesday, October 10
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who produced over 400 prints--mostly woodcuts and lithographs--during his lifetime (1898-1972). He is noted mostly for his symmetric tilings of the plane using recognizable figures (e.g., birds, fish, lizards), various representations of infinity, scenes with ambiguous or unconventional perspective, and the depiction of physically impossible objects. Although Escher never considered himself to be a mathematician, the majority of his artwork is based on rather sophisticated mathematical concepts, some of which even anticipated mathematical developments of his time. In this talk, Dr. Romano will focus on the mathematics associated with symmetry in the context of periodic tilings of the plane and other 2-dimensional surfaces. Please feel free to bring your own lunch.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Asheley Landrum
Title: Considering the HSI designation and STEM: How Instruction and Research Serves to Benefit All Students
Date: Wednesday, September 19
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: In today's world of science marches, funding cuts, and discussions of the ethical impacts of new technologies, its is more important than ever for scientists to be great communicators. Dr. Asheley Landrum, assistant professor of science communication, will discuss some best practices for communicating science to diverse audiences and how to be an advocate for your own work.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell & Ken Griffith
Title: Considering the HSI designation and STEM: How Instruction and Research Serves to Benefit All Students
Date: Friday, April 27
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: As TTU emerges as a designated Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI), faculty, staff and students are engaging in discussions on how best to serve our population. This new designation presents us with the opportunity to both reflect on our teaching practices, and as an R1 institution, research the efficacy of these practices as an emerging HSI. Join us for an engaging workshop where we will hear from a STEM student panel and also discuss Discipline-based Educational Research (DBER) opportunities. Additionally, we will introduce and discuss specific ways to seal the “leaks” in the so-called, “STEM Pipeline” that will lead to persistence and success for both underrepresented groups and traditional undergraduate student populations. Lunch will be provided and registration is requested.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Stacy Lowery Bretz
Title: Measuring Meaning Learning in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory
Date: Wednesday, April 4
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: While no chemist can imagine teaching chemistry without the undergraduate chemistry laboratory, the role of the laboratory in student learning has largely remained one of confirmation of principles presented in lecture rather than exploration and concept development for many students. The challenge of measuring student learning in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory remains problematic. Novak's Theory of Meaningful Learning states that the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains must be integrated in order for meaningful learning to occur. While the psychomotor domain is obviously integral to the undergraduate chemistry laboratory, the extent to which cognitive and affective processing are present for students is unknown. For meaningful learning to occur, students must actively integrate both the cognitive domain and the affective domain into the doing of their laboratory work. The Meaningful Learning in the Laboratory Instrument (MLLI) was designed to measure students' cognitive and affective expectations and experiences. An analysis of student expectations as compared with their experiences during laboratory learning as measured by the MLLI will be presented.
Resources: Video RecordingStacy's Website
Presenter: Margaret Wertheim
Title: Science + Women
Date: Monday, March 19
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: Wertheim's work on science and gender aims to help illuminate the obstacles women face to full participation in STEM fields, while also celebrating science and math as domains of wonder to which women can have access. Wertheim's interest in gender and science led her to write her ground-breaking book Pythagoras Trousers (1995), a history of the relationship between physics and religion that also explores how this entanglement has acted as a barrier to women. For 10 years in her native Australia, she wrote monthly columns about science and tech for women's magazines including Vogue Australia and Australian Elle, and may be the only journalist in the world to have held such a position. Her commitment to equity led her to conceive and write a six-part television science series aimed at teenage girls for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Titled Catalyst (ABC 1990), the series remains a landmark in TV science programming. More than 20 years before The Big Bang, Wertheim's series demonstrated STEM principles via activities designed to appeal to girls – mathematical patterns in pantyhose, electric motors in a hair-dryer.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Danny Caballero, Michigan State University
Title: How might Physics Education Research Facilitate the coming computational Revolution in education?
Date: Tuesday, March 6

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Reception/Refreshments/Discussion

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Talk

Location: Education, Room 156
Summary: Computation has revolutionized how modern science is done. Modern scientists use computational techniques to reduce mountains of data, to simulate impossible experiments, and to develop intuition about the behavior of complex systems. Much of the research completed by modern scientists would be impossible without the use of computation. And yet, while computation is a crucial tool of practicing scientists, most modern science curricula do not reflect its importance and utility. In this talk, I will discuss the urgent need to construct such curricula in physics and present research that investigates the challenges at a variety of all scales from the largest (institutional structures) to the smallest (student understanding of a concept). I will discuss how the results of this research can be leveraged to facilitate the computational revolution in education. This research will help us understand and develop institutional/departmental incentives, effective teaching practices, evidence-based course activities, and valid assessment tools. This work has been supported by Michigan State University's CREATE for STEM Institute, the National Science Foundation (DUE-1431776, DUE-1504786, DUE-1524128, DRL-1741575), the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), the Norwegian Research Council, and the Thon Foundation.
Resources: Video RecordingSlides
Presenter: Miranda Andrews, Chemistry Graduate Student
Title: A Millennial's Perspective on Sexism in STEM
Date: Monday, Feb. 19
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: Millennials are known for investing in experiences instead of material things. This shift in perceived value shapes our worldview, specifically our view of people, including gender and gender stereotypes. This worldview influences how we communicate with each other and how we deal with our differences. While instances of blatant sexism still occur, they seem few and far between. Most of the sexism that is experienced by young women today is a result of implicit bias, those thoughts that we as a society grow up learning to have. The STEM field in particular is full of opportunities for young women to wonder, “Did that happen because I am a woman or am I just imagining things?” This is a good sign, but it also means that the work we have to do to level the playing field for women in science will be that much harder. We have to root out that implicit bias, which is one of the most difficult types of bias to overcome. This talk will focus on my experiences as a member of the millennial generation with regard to overt and covert sexism and how implicit bias affects women in STEM.
Resources: Video RecordingSlides (.pdf)
Presenter: Dr. Benjamin Owen, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) at Texas Tech University
Title: Detection of Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Holes and Binary Neutron Stars
Date: Monday, November 27
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: Last year LIGO and Virgo published the first detection of gravitational waves, from a binary black hole merger, a century after their prediction by Albert Einstein. That detection got this year's Nobel Prize in Physics. This year we published the detection of the first gravitational waves from a binary neutron star merger, accompanied by the full spectrum of electromagnetic waves from gamma rays to visible light to radio waves. It made last year's detection look boring. I'll describe what we learned from both.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Rebecca Lindell, Tiliadal STEM Education Solutions
Title: Fixing the Disconnect: Aligning How Faculty Teach and How Students Learn
Date: Tuesday, September 26
Time: 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: Often a disconnect exists between what faculty wish to teach and what their students tend to be able to learn within their courses. This leads to frustration for both students and faculty. Solving this problem is possible, but requires change on both the students' and faculty members' part. During this talk I will discuss possible reasons for the disconnect; effects of the disconnect; and proven solutions to eliminate the disconnect. In addition, I will present how you can implement change in your courses to reduce the disconnect today.
Resources: Slides (.pdf) | Video Recording
Presenter: Brian Fisher, Lubbock Christian University
Title: Using Educational Tools to Foster Active Learning
Date: Monday, April 24, 2017
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: TLPDC, Room 153
Summary: The term “active learning” is has come to have many meanings in the education community; however, at the heart of every attempted definition is the notion that learning is inherently experiential. In STEM courses it is often beneficial to incorporate physical experiences for the students, such as laboratory experiments, manipulatives, or virtual worlds, in order to create these experiences which foster active learning. In this talk we will discuss how classroom artifacts can be transformed into vessels for exploring new ideas through the process of instrumental genesis. We will also discuss the spaces in which students can engage with these objects and how those spaces impact class discourse. As we explore these topics, I will share some physical manipulatives my colleagues and I have developed for use in multivariable calculus, as well as my experiences in incorporating tablet technology into the classroom.
Resources: Slides (.pdf) | Video Recording
Presenter: Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz & Michelle Pantoya
Title: Articulating Broader Impact Statements to Maximize NSF Merit Review Scores
Date: Friday, March 25
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Bob L. Herd Petroleum Engineering Building, Room 208
Summary: If you have trouble specifying activities that meet broader impact statements, you should join us for an informative workshop that will develop your skills in constructing convincing broader impact statements that will set your proposal apart. The broader impact statement is not enough, however, you need to specify a plan to achieve the broader impact. This session will provide practice in creating a broader impacts plan.

Video Recording | Broader Impact Seminar Slides
Sample Statements | Statement Sort
NSF Broader Impact Themes

Presenter: Camille Thomas
Title: Research Publishing
Date: 02/24/16
Summary: This is a presentation about open science, the move towards making science research, collaboration, and communication openly accessible and available to the public.
Resources: Slides (.pdf) | Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Beth Thacker
Title: Major Large-Scale Assessment of TTU Physics: Results from Conceptual Inventories and Free-Response Pre-/Post-testing
Date: 03/25/15
Summary: We report conceptual inventory and free-response (FR) assessment results from a major large-scale assessment at Texas Tech University (TTU). We studied the introduction of materials and instructional methods informed by physics education research (PER-informed materials) into a department where most instruction has been traditional and a significant number of faculty are hesitant, ambivalent or even resistant to the introduction of such reforms. The changes were made in the laboratories and recitation sections of the introductory classes, both calculus-based and algebra-based, introducing PER-informed materials and training the teaching assistants in student-centered instructional methods. Results from a small PER-informed, inquiry-based, laboratory-based class are also reported. We found that the highest conceptual inventory gains were achieved by the combination of PER-informed lectures and PER-informed laboratories and recitation sections in large class settings and by the hands-on, laboratory-based, inquiry-based course taught in a small class setting. The FR pre- and post-testing yielded qualitative information on multiple skills, including conceptual understanding, mathematical and laboratory skills, and also information on our students' explanatory abilities and the use of higher level thinking skills. We found that an increased use of PER in the lecture, laboratory and recitation sections resulted in higher pre-/post-test gains, with the students in the inquiry-based class performing better than the other students on most of the problems, and that FR assessment is a useful tool for gathering departmental information that goes beyond conceptual inventories that can be used to inform instructors and administrators of students' skills, abilities and content knowledge and as the basis for further research and curriculum development.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Sybil Hart
Title: Writing for Professional and Popular Audiences
Date: 03/10/15
Summary: Based on her experience as an author of trade and academic books, Dr. Hart will discuss some of the "how" and "why" of publishing for different audiences, coming up with good ideas, communicating with agents, editors, illustrators, and publicists, and some of the ups and downs along the way.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Susan Back & Mr. Archie Pitsilides
Title: NSF Proposal Process Strategies and Current Opportunities for Collaboration
Date: 01/27/15
Summary: The purpose of the presentation is to answer participant questions on developing successful strategies for proposals to the NSF. Insights offered would apply to NSF STEM proposals, as well as to proposals in other fields of study and to other federal agencies and private funding sources. The presentation will summarize: Proposal Strategies; Goals, Objectives and Evaluation Questions; Project Evaluation; Impact and Transportability; Broader Impacts. Additionally, the presentation will announce and review cross-disciplinary funding opportunities as time allows.
Resources: Slides (.pdf) | Video Recording
Presenter: Jessica Simpson
Title: Data Management: The Proposal and the Process
Date: 12/02/14
Summary: In the process of writing an application for a grant in recent years researchers may have needed to include a data management plan (DMP) as part of their grant proposal. Some funding agencies even require such plans as obligatory for funding, the NSF and the NIH being the most prominent. While many individuals will include this document because it is part of their requirements, a strong data management plan is an important part of the academic process. In this discussion I will go over the important elements of a data management plan and discuss resources and tools that are available to help create a great DMP proposal. This talk will benefit faculty new to creating a DMP, experienced faculty wishing to improve the quality of their DMP, grant support staff and anyone interested in preparing a project so that it has the most effective impact in their area of study.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Michelle Pantoya
Title: Research on the role of engineering in the elementary classroom
Date: 11/07/14
Summary: This talk will discuss how to integrate foundational engineering concepts into elementary curriculum. Highlights will include our work with teachers in the integration of engineering concepts, so as to be able to use those principles in their own efforts; how we measure the impact of this work, again so that they can draw general principles and apply it to their own projects; and, how we build on this work, so that we can seek future funding. The goals of our on-going research are to introduce engineering into K-5th grade using literacy and scaffolded Engineering is Elementary curriculum. These activities facilitate learning of science concepts and enhance student engagement in all STEM activities. I will discuss how and why engineering is the glue that holds STEM together and can be used as a method for increasing engagement and content understanding of STEM concepts. We have used the Engineering is Elementarycurriculum in Kindergarten classrooms to assess engagement and content learning of STEM concepts. Results from this pilot test will be presented as well as modifications to the research design for future research.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz
Title: Assessment and Evaluation of K12 STEM Outreach
Date: 10/09/14
Summary: This session will help STEM outreach providers with a process tool to design your evaluation based on your program goals and budget. She will also assist with turning your program goals into to a logical description of how your program works (theory of change) to ensure that your assessment plan, including assessment tools, captures key process and outcome benchmarks. Many funders require a well-developed theory of change; this session will help you develop one. It will also provide some general assessment tools that are commonly used to measure attitudinal and satisfaction of your program participants. If you have a set of tools you use already, Dr. Aguirre-Muñoz can provide you with feedback on the alignment between your tools and stated goals and theory of change.
Resources: Process Tool Document
Presenter: Dr. Mark McGinley
Title: Encyclopedia of Earth: A Valuable Tool for Informal Science Education?
Date: 09/24/14
Summary: This talk will focus on the Encyclopedia of Earth, an online peer-reviewed source of information about the environment. The Encyclopedia's scope of content includes all of the environmental sciences, including earth sciences, climate, biology, and the allied aspects of history, archaeology, environmental policy as well as engineering applications. The session will also serve as the kickoff for the 2014-2015 STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education Seminar Series.
Resources: Video Recording
Presenter: Dr. Jon Ulmer, Ms. Melissa Cook, Dr. Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell, Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz, & Dr. Jerry Dwyer
Title: Logistics of Summer Outreach
Date: 04/30/2014
Summary: Come spend some time with faculty who have experience with student and adult summer camps. Learn about planning, recruiting students (including underrepresented populations), evaluating your program, and hear from TTU Conference Services. Online registration is now closed.
Resources: Presentation Slides
Presenter: Dr. Jerry Dwyer
Title: The State of STEM Outreach & Engagement at TTU
Date: 11/21/2013
Summary: Dr. Dwyer will present an overview of STEM Outreach & Engagement activities from across TTU. The session is intended begin a campus-wide examination of the nature and value of STEM initiatives. He will also be outlining how the newly established STEM-CORE can serve campus partners in facilitating new and existing initiatives. Online registration is now closed.


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