Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference

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Conference Program

January 13-14, 2022 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN

sserc logo

The Tennessee STEM Education Center at MTSU is excited to announce that the name of our conference is officially changing this year. For the last 15 years, The Tennessee STEM Education Research Conference has been a place to share research and connect with other researchers in a meaningful way. As the event has grown, so has the geographical reach. At the last conference, in January 2021, we had 24 schools from 11 different states represented. To reflect this and as we expand within the region and beyond, the committee has decided to change the name to the Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference.

We have debated this name change for several years and hope that it will encourage broader participation and help bring new voices, ideas, and research to the table. Thank you for your continued support of STEM education and we look forward to having you join us at the 2022 conference.

The 16th Annual Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference, formerly the Tennessee STEM Education Research Conference, will be held Thursday, January 13-Friday, January 14, 2022 at the Middle Tennessee State University Campus in Murfreesboro, TN. This will be an in-person event.

Also, please be aware that the Call for Proposals will be much earlier this year as to allow more time to prepare posters and presentations. We hope this will make the proposal process go more smoothly and be more convenient for participants. Expect the call to go out this summer instead of in the fall.

The goals of this conference include:

  • Share current research questions, methodologies, and findings within disciplinary and interdisciplinary STEM contexts
  • Facilitate discussions between researchers and educators
  • Promote local, state and national STEM education collaborations and partnerships
  • Develop improved teaching methods for STEM topics
  • Provide networking opportunities across stakeholder communities

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Early Career Panel

We also wanted to draw your attention to the Early Career Panel that will kick off this year’s conference. We are very excited about this brand new event that is being sponsored by East Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence in STEM Education. One of the priorities of the conference is to be welcoming and beneficial for graduate students and those who are early in their career. The poster session, which will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2022, is a part of the conference that often draws predominately from this category or at least is easily accessible to it. Now, this Early Career Panel will be an additional event that we hope will be a great way to kick off the conference. One of the things we hope to encourage through these events is opportunities to network. We want to bring together people at all different levels of their career so regardless of where you are, please plan to come to the panel and the poster session to support and connect with other researchers.


The Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference (S2ERC) is a primary research dissemination venue for STEM Education researchers and partners. The conference committee defines research as a process of systematic inquiry that entails collection of data; documentation of critical information; and analysis and interpretation of that data/information, in accordance with suitable methodologies set by specific professional fields and academic disciplines. The committee encourages submissions from educational researchers within the individual disciplines of science education, technology education, engineering education, and mathematics education, and is especially interested in submissions from researchers who are working to cross boundaries between STEM disciplines. A goal of the conference is to support interdisciplinary collaboration and to foster integrated STEM education research across the region. We encourage submissions from researchers studying all levels of STEM education, including preK-12 STEM education, undergraduate STEM education, and graduate STEM education. Moreover, the conference is intended as a welcoming environment for feedback and exchange among all levels of STEM education, including early-career educational researchers and graduate students.

Thank You to Our 2022 Sponsors

SERC 2022 Sponsors

2022 Conference Committee Members

Dr. Gregory Rushton, Tennessee STEM Education Center at MTSU
Ms. Mandy Singleton (Event Coordinator), Tennessee STEM Education Center at MTSU
Dr. Sarah Bleiler-Baxter, Middle Tennessee State University
Dr. Darek Potter, Oakley STEM Center at Tennessee Tech University
Dr. Holly Anthony, Tennessee Tech University
Mr. Carlos Galindo, Oakley STEM Center at Tennessee Tech University
Dr. Mitzy Erdmann, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Joe L. March, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Lynn Liao Hodge, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Dr. Joshua M. Rosenberg, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Dr. Cindy M. Lee, Clemson University
Dr. Anant Godbole, East Tennessee State University
Dr. Deborah McAllister, University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Graduate Student Apprentice: Josh Forakis, University of Alabama at Birmingham



Important Links

Parking Information

  • Address of main parking lot: 1611 Alumni Drive, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130
  • You can also enter "walker Library MTSU" into most GPS systems to have it navigate you to the Correct parking lot on the MTSU campus
  • No parking passes are Necessary Because Classes are not in session. As long as fire lanes, accessible parking, and normal laws, the university will not ticket attendees.
  • For those with an accessible parking permit, parking is marked on the map and clearly marked. Please be sure your tag or placard are visible.
  • Follow the signs from the parking lot to the building

parking map

A Statement on the Conference Being in Person

We have received an overwhleming amount of emails and calls asking if the conference will still be in person or if the plans have changed in light of the current Covid numbers and the new Omicron varient. We have spent much of the first several days back in the office after the break researching; talking to the committee, attendees, and different departments at the university; as well as feedback from participants. We are very aware of the concerns and have made some difficult decisions regarding the event in response to those concerns. We are changing several aspects of the event and are suggesting some procautions in order to increase participant safety:

  • We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated and/or boosted to protect against infection and against the most severe effects in the event of a breakthrough infection.

  • If you are not feeling well or have any of the syptoms for COVID, stay home and do not attend.

  • Although we cannot require masks due to current state laws and university policy, we urge attendees to wear masks and utilize social distancing whenever possible.

  • We have worked dilligently with our catering services here at MTSU to pivot from buffets and food service that is less cautious to individually packaged meals and snacks when possible. The Thursday evening banquet will now be a grab and go hot meal with multiple seating options on different levels of the building so there is plenty of room for social distancing or to take your meal someplace else that you will feel safe eating. 

  • The keynote speaker will be held in the largest auditorium space in our wonderful, state of the art Science Building after dinner to allow for mask wearing and social distancing instead of during the meal where these efforts would be more difficult. 

Conference Program

Conference Schedule


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Registration Opens           12:00pm
Poster Setup 12:00pm-4:30pm
Early Career Panel 1:00-2:30pm
Session 1 2:00pm-3:00pm
Break 3:00pm-3:15pm
Session 2 3:15pm-4:15pm


Poster Session





Friday, January 14, 2022

Registration Opens           7:30am
Breakfast 8:00am-9:00am
Session 3 9:00am-10:30am
Break 10:30am-10:45am
Session 4 10:45am-12:15pm
Lunch 12:15pm-1:30pm
Session 5



See Full Schedule Here

2022 Keynote Speaker: Marilyn Struchens

marilyn struchens

Keynote Speaker Sponsored by: Mathmatics and Science Education Ph.D. Program at MTSU

Title of the Keynote Address: The Impacts of a Foregrounding Equity Research Agenda

Abstract: Dr. Strutchens’ address will focus on the impacts of conducting equity-based research. She will discuss the underpinning themes and theories related to her research. She will also share the major impacts of her and her colleagues’ work on students, teachers, administrators, mathematics teacher educators, mathematicians, parents, and mathematics education as a whole. Furthermore, she will discuss how this work has implications for other STEM fields.

Marilyn Strutchens’ Bio: Marilyn E. Strutchens is an Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor and a Mildred Cheshire Fraley Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Auburn University where teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and serves as the Acting Department Head.

She is the chair of the Advisory Committee for the Directorate for Education and Human Resources or the National Science Foundation. She is a past Advisory Board Member for the AAAS initiative --Stimulating Research and Innovation in STEM Teacher Preservice Education, funded by the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships Program. Dr. Strutchens has also served as a Board Member for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) from 2015 -2018, president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators [AMTE] (2011 –2013) and a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences (2012 – 2014). She received the 2017 Judith Jacobs Lectureship from the AMTE.

Dr. Strutchens has participated in several national initiatives, including the NCTM’s Principles to Actions Toolkits (writing team) and AMTE’s Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics (writing team). She is the leader for the Clinical Experiences Research Action Cluster for the Mathematics Teacher Education-Partnership, a coalition of 100 universities organized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to transform secondary mathematics teacher preparation.

Dr. Strutchens was the Co-PI and co-director of TEAM-Math (Transforming East Alabama Mathematics). TEAM-Math was a National Science Foundation-funded Math and Science Partnership between Auburn University, Tuskegee University, and 14 school districts in East Alabama. She also directed TEAM-Math’s Secondary and Elementary Teacher Leader Academies funded by NSF’s Noyce program, and the TEAM-Math and AMSTI-AU Professional Mathematics Learning Communities Partnership. 

A major theme of her work is linking research to practice and practice to research. Her goal has been to conduct research that illuminates what happens in the classroom to effect positive and equitable change. Her work shows the importance of hearing the voices of the key constituents involved in the mathematics education of students and the school, societal, and race/ethnicity factors that influence students’ achievement.

She served as the editor or co-editor for several books including Educating Prospective Secondary Mathematics Teachers, AMTE’s Second Monograph Series, the 2012 special equity issue of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Focus on High School Mathematics: Fostering Reasoning and Sense Making for All Students, and Changing the Faces of Mathematics: Perspectives on African Americans. She has also authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and journal articles.

She has an undergraduate degree in fashion merchandising and a masters’ and Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.

2020 Conference Photos

Audience Poster Pic 1 2020 RC

Posters 4 RC 2020 Greg and Lisa Posters 3 RC 2020

Poster 5 RC 2020 Poster 7 2020 RC

Poster 10 RC 2020 Poster 11 RC 2020

Poster 12 RC 2020 Poster 13 RC 2020

Poster 14 RC 2020 Poster 9 RC 2020

Poster 15 RC 2020 Audience 2020 RC

Presentation 1 RC 2020 Presentation 2 RC 2020

Presentation 3 RC 2020 Banquet 1 RC 2020

Banquet 2 RC 2020 Banquet 3 RC 2020

Instructions for Proposal Submission and Presenter Information

Submissions Are Now Closed

Submit Abstract Here

Proposal Submissions are Now Closed


Disclaimer: Creating an account on the AwardForce website to submitt an abstract does NOT register you for attendance at the Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference 2022. This account is only for submitting your abstract. Registration to attend the conference will open in October and must be completed by December 31, 2021 by 11:59 pm CST in order to be included in the program and present at the conference should your abstract be accepted.

Instructions for Submitting Your Abstract

  • Go to
  • To submit your abstract, you must create an account on the AwardForce website by entering your information in the middle fields as shown below. Your email and password will be used to log back into the site. If you have submitted to the conference previously, for either the 2020 or 2021 conferences, using AwardForce you already have an account associated with your email address. If you remember your password, you can login or click "Reset Password," to gain access to your account.
  • If you created an account, you will see a notification that looks like this:
    p3 updated
    You MUST go into your email and click on the verification email to continue registering. You will need to click on the link that is in the email and it will take you back to the website. Your account is now verified.
  • After you have filled out all of the required fields to create an account or logged into your existing account, you will be taken to a portion of the site that looks like this:
  • Click "Start Application"
  • Here you will use the drop down tab under “Event” and select the Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference 2022. Enter your "Title of Proposal." Once this is done, you will be able to fill in your name and after and click “Save + Next.”
  • As you fill out the application, each time you click “Save + next,” your work to that point is saved to your account. You may begin your application and come back later to complete it without starting over again. Simply log back into your account using the email and password you created.
  • After providing all required information including about any co-authors and details about your submission, attach your abstract as a PDF before completing the process by clicking “Submit Application."
    awardforce submit
  • You have now succussfully completed the submission process for Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference 2022 and will be notified when judging is finalized. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the Tennessee STEM Education Center at MTSU at or call our office at 615-904-8573.

Abstract Guidelines

Abstracts should be limited to between 250-500 words, not including references. Include in the abstract a brief overview of the significance of the research, the research question(s), data collected, and a summary of the primary findings.The First Call for Abstracts deadline is Friday, September 17, 2021 by 11:55pm CST. If there are still presentation slots available, a second call will follow.

Abstract Example

The primary goal of professional development programs is to support teachers in increasing student achievement. In many cases, this requires a significant change in how mathematics is taught (Sowder, 2007). In turn, this demands not only a change in teachers’ beliefs (Pajares, 1992) but also a new vision for what mathematics teaching entails (Ball & Cohen, 1999). Unfortunately, professional development often fails to support teachers in making these changes as it does not provide opportunities for teachers to view reform-oriented teaching practices with students similar to their own (Santagata, 2011).

With this limitation of professional development in mind, we designed our professional development project to include demonstration lessons. In demonstration lessons, project participants (who were middle grades mathematics teachers) visited a school site where a fellow participant taught. Within this participant’s classroom, project staff members taught mathematics lessons to the participant’s students while visiting project participants observed the lessons.

Project staff members included mathematics education faculty and graduate students from the university. Through this experience, project participants not only had the opportunity to observe reform-oriented teaching practices but also observed this work with students who were very similar to their own. Project participants attended three demonstration lessons during a single academic year. Recognizing the unique opportunity this provided, we sought to document the impact of these demonstration lessons by gaining insights into the participants’ views. Specifically, the following research questions were posed.

  1. 1. How does viewing reform-oriented demonstration lessons impact teacher practice as reported by teachers?
  2. 2. What are teachers’ perceptions of the benefits of demonstration lessons in established classes?

Researchers have indicated that teachers need opportunities to observe reformoriented instruction (Borasi & Fonzi, 2002; Santagata, 2011). Including observations of reform-oriented instruction in professional development programs seems to be a logical means for providing these needed opportunities. The significance of this study rested in its examination of demonstration lessons as a setting for observing reform-oriented instruction and the potential demonstration lessons held as a viable option for supporting teacher learning in professional development.

Five participants were selected for interviews. Interviews consisted of a set of openended questions that primarily focused on the transfer of information from demonstration lessons to the individual classrooms of the teachers. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed utilizing an open-coding process. Results indicated that observing demonstration lessons provided participants with a vision of reform-oriented instruction that could be transferred into their own classrooms. As a result of these observations, participants reported that they returned to their classrooms with a goal of improving their questioning techniques and supporting their students in thinking deeply about mathematics. Meeting this goal was supported by their use of the demonstration lessons.


Ball, D. L., & Cohen, D. K. (1999). Developing practice, developing practitioners: Toward a practice-based theory of professional education. In L. Darling-Hammond & G. Sykes (Eds.), Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of policy and practice (pp. 3–32). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Borasi, R., & Fonzi, J. (2002). Professional development that supports school mathematics reform. Foundations series of monographs for professionals in science, mathematics, and technology education. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62, 307-332.

Santagata, R. (2011). From teacher noticing to a framework for analyzing and improving classroom lessons. In M. G. Sherin, V. R. Jacobs, & R. A. Philipp (Eds.), Mathematics teacher noticing: Seeing through teachers’ eyes (pp. 152–168). New York: Routledge.

Sowder, J. T. (2007). The mathematical education and development of teachers. In F. K. Lester, Jr. (Ed.), Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 157-224). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Poster Guidelines

The poster size should be 30” x 40” and can be displayed landscape or portrait. Posters should NOT be trifold. Posters will be displayed on tripods which will be provided. You are responsible for having your poster printed and either foam mounted or purchasing a foam board to which you can attach your printed poster.

Information from the submitted abstracts should be used to guide the content of the poster. Posters should include the research question, data, findings, and other information needed to convey research to others. Abstracts on the poster should be 100-200 words in length. Poster text should be legible from a few feet away.

poster illustration

We encourage individuals presenting posters to stand at or near their poster for the duration of the poster session to facilitate discussion and questions. Posters should convey the research clearly during times the presenter is away.

The Poster Session Will be Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 4:30pm-6:00pm

2022 Hotel Options

These are some of the local hotel options, their distance from the MTSU campus, and approximate rates. Please consult individual hotels for further information on amenities, availability, and pricing.

Hilton Garden Inn Murfreesboro

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 4.9 mi
  • Address: 1335 Conference Center Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 225-2345
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $123 per night

Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville SE Murfreesboro

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 5.2 mi
  • Address: 1200 Conference Center Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 890-4464
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $150 per night

Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville SE/Murfreesboro

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 7.1 mi
  • Address: 1409 Conference Center Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 225-9250
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $194

Holiday Inn Murfreesboro, an IHG Hotel

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 7.1 mi
  • Address: 1453 Silohill Ln, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 751-5300
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $161.50

Courtyard by Marriot Nashville SE/Murfreesboro

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 4.9 mi
  • Address: 1306 Greshampark Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 907-3105
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $121 per night

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 3.8 mi
  • Address: 2262 Armory Dr, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 890-5951
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $85 per night

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 3.6 mi
  • Address: 175 Chaffin Pl, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 849-1150
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $99 per night

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 3.3 mi
  • Address: 1850 Old Fort Pkwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 895-5555
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $108 per night

Holiday Inn Express

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 3.6 mi
  • Address: 165 Chaffin Pl, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 849-9000
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $109 per night

Tru by Hilton

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 3.8 mi
  • Address: 909 N Thompson Ln Bldg B, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 895-3636
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $104 per night

Best Western Chaffin Inn

  • Distance from MTSU Campus: 4.8 mi
  • Address: 168 Chaffin Pl, Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Phone: (615) 895-3818
  • Approximate Rate: 1 Bedroom, $129 per night
Tennessee STEM Education Center

820 Fairview Ave,
Suite 102
MTSU PO Box 82
Murfreesboro, TN 37132