Southeastern STEM Education Research Conference

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New logo for conference

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

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 primarily an in-person event but we are exploring offering virtual options as well. 

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


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.

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
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  

Conference Schedule

Coming Soon...

2022 Keynote Speaker

Coming Soon...

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 and Guidelines for Proposal Submission

Submissions Now Open!

Submit Abstract Here

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSION: Friday, September 17, 2021 by 11:55 pm CST

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.


  • Go to
  • To submit your abstract, you must create an account on the AwardFroce 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 the “Submit Application."

awardforce submit            

  • You have now succussfully completed the submission process for the 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. How does viewing reform-oriented demonstration lessons impact teacher practice as reported by teachers?

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. 

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 60 cumulative minutes during the two hour poster session to facilitate discussion and questions. Posters should convey the research clearly during times the presenter is away.  

The Poster Session Will be Friday, January 13, 2022 Time TBA

Tennessee STEM Education Center

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