Middle Grades

Super Sunday Session

A Force of Nature: Using Engineering Processes to Transform Middle School Learners

Sunday, November 12
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: 217 A

Engineers are at the very center of innovation. They create, problem solve, and advance ideas. Inspired by the life's work of Jacques Cousteau, this session explores forces in nature to engineer solutions for local animal and plant life. Can an engineered prosthetic help a Venus flytrap catch more flies? How could we engineer a communication system for a squirrel with no tail? Poor opossum has no pouch! Using creative engineering processes, we can design a fix for that! Join us for a transformational exploration of how engineering-design challenges improve creative problem-solving abilities with middle school learners. Newly developed literacy- based curriculum geared to Next Generation Science Standards and web-based/print resources will be provided.

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Christine Deitz

Associate Director
Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education

Dr. Christine Deitz is the current Program Chair for the Middle Grades Network. She is a past A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Award recipient, Curriculum Award winner, Doctoral Student of the Year, and the past Chair of the Middle Grades Network for the National Association for Gifted Children. She is the Associate Director for the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. A National Board Certified teacher since 2004, Christine has 26 years of public school experience, and worked exclusively with diverse populations of high-ability children for the past 21 years. She is a nationally-recognized educator, author, and consultant for gifted education.

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Kristy Kidd

Project Director, STEM Starters+
Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education

Kristy Kidd is the STEM Starters+ Director, a Jacob K. Javits research and demonstration project, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Kristy has 21 years of experience teaching elementary and middle school science in the Little Rock Public Schools. She has also served as a building gifted and talented facilitator for the Little Rock Schools, an adjunct professor of early childhood science methods for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and most recently as the k-12 math and science specialist for the eStem Public Charter Schools. She is the recipient of the Milken National Educator Award which honors top educators around the country for their achievements in education. Kristy is also a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the recipient of the Arkansas Museum of Discovery SPARK! Star Award which honors Arkansans who have been influential in STEM fields.

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