WSCC to host STEM conference Saturday

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Area teachers and youth leaders are invited to Walters State’s Community College “Expanding Your Horizon: Role Model Matters” adult conference from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on May 17 at the Morristown Campus. The event is free and prepares teachers and others to share information about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields.

The workshop will cover the Techbridge curriculum and participants will be certified to use the curriculum in classrooms and after-school programs.

“This workshop will provide individuals with the necessary skills to effectively teach young girls and teens about STEM skills and encourage girls to take the classes and consider careers in STEM areas,” said Dr. Lisa Eccles, associate professor of biology at Walters State. “Our conference will be the first time Techbridge has been taught in East Tennessee, so this is a great opportunity for anyone interested in encouraging girls to think seriously about STEM.”

Maria Toncray, director of the Tennessee EYH Alliance, will be training others at the workshop. Her goal is to mold more role models for girls interested in science and technology. Toncray is a certified Techbridge Role Models Matter trainer and a high school science teacher.

“Most of us can think of at least one person that mentored us. Unfortunately, we can usually think of more that discouraged us. That is why it is so important for all adults who interact with children to be properly trained as an effective role model,” Toncray said.

Techbridge Role Models Matter is a curriculum for grades five through 12. Adults will learn and practice the habits of effective role models and gain valuable tips and tools for coaching presenters in the high school, in after-school programs and other forums.

“Those who participate in this training will know how to support family outreach, develop STEM facility skills and integrate career exploration early,” Eccles said.

Adult participants and parents can learn more and register at http://www.expandingyourhorizons.org/conferences/Walter-StateCommunityCollege/. The American Association of University Women and Clayton Homes have provided additional funding for the event.

Walters State joins Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis as Tennessee Expanding Your Horizons sites.

For more information, contact Eccles at 423-318-2768 or Lisa.Eccles@ws.edu.

-From Contributed Reports

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