Computer Science PD and Workshops


None scheduled at this time.  Keep checking back!



Math PD and Workshop opportunities

Listed below are the PD sessions that will be offered in the summer of 2016.  We do not have exact dates as of yet.  Dates will be posted as soon as we set them.


Fostering Algebraic Reasoning: Grades 5-10, 4 days

Cost: $60

Fostering Algebraic Reasoning is a timely and welcome resource for middle and high school teachers hoping to ease their students’ transition to algebra.  Drawing on his experiences with three professional development programs, author Mark Driscoll outlines key “habits of thinking” that characterize the successful learning and use of algebra.  He offers strategies teachers can use to cultivate these habits of thinking and guidelines for assessing students’ development.

Fostering Algebraic Reasoning is organized according to the critical challenges algebra teachers face.  Excerpts from discussions among the classroom teachers who participated in the professional development projects help place these issues in context.  Each chapter also includes activities to encourage teachers to reflect on how they think about algebra and how that thinking informs their practice.  There are also samples and analyses of student work to help teachers identify patterns of algebraic thinking along with questions and strategies that can be used to guide and extend students’ thinking.

Algebraic Thinking as a Bridge to Functions: Grades 3-6, 2 days

Cost: $30

This course will investigate the development of algebraic thinking to functional thinking using the multiple algebraic representations: table, graph, equation (with varying quantity represented), and problem situation.  Participants will consider how to build upon students’ use of algebraic properties when using operations to solve various problem situations to foment the use of the multiple representations to examine relationships between paired quantities.  The topics include:

  • Examining the behavior of arithmetic when quantities in the problem change
  • Generating tables of values that represent given rules ad comparing them
  • Creating ordered pairs and graphing them in the coordinate plane to analyze relationships between the pairs of numbers
  • Relating tables and graphs to simple equations

This course does not have a pre-requisite, but prior coursework dealing with the role of algebraic thinking in the development of operations and algorithms will be helpful.  This course sets a foundation for the course Functions – Grades 6-12.

Developing Proportional Reasoning: Grades 4-7, 2 days

Cost: $30

This course will investigate the development of proportional reasoning concepts and skills beginning with multiplicative comparison and relating measurement units in grade 4 to using proportional relationships to solve multi-step problems in grade 7.  Topics include:

  • Analyzing multiplicative comparison multiplication and division problems, including measurement conversion
  • Revisiting the multiplicative rate of 10 in the base ten number system, including decimals
  • Developing the concepts and language of ratios and rate, including unit rates and percent
  • Determining if two quantities are related proportionally, including representing proportional relationships with algebraic representations

This course does not have a pre-requisite, but connects nicely to ideas discussed in the course Other Problem Situations: Multiplication and Division.  This course sets a foundation for the course Functions – Grades 6-12.

Functions: Grades 6-12, 2 days

Cost: $30

This course uses, as a required text, the book Developing Essential Understanding of Expressions, Equations and Functions: Grades 6-8 from NCTM.  The sessions will explore the five big ideas from the text and extend these ideas through high school.  The five big idease explored in this course are:

  • Expressions
  • Variables
  • Equality
  • Representing and analyzing functions
  • Solving Equations

There is no pre-requisite for this course, but the course will align with two other courses in this series: Algebraic Thinking as a Bridge to Functions – Grades 3-6 and Developing Proportional Reasoning – Grades 4-7.

Linear Measurement: Grades K-3, 2 days

Cost $30

This course will investigate the big ideas behind linear measurement, how children think about these ideas, the developmental trajectory of their thinking, and what this means instructionally.  This course will include:

  • Investigating the big ideas of linear measurement with emphasis on zero point, point of origin, the unit, iteration, and partitions of units
  • Examining and making sense of students’ thinking as it relates to the big ideas
  • Analyzing students’ learning trajectory using the Theory of Measurement construct map
  • Reviewing tasks and experiences designed to help students develop deep conceptions of linear measurement that transcend other measurement concepts and mathematical concepts
  • Making conceptions behind the big ideas of linear measurement to standard units and measuring tools
  • Exploring connections of partitioning units to computation and the properties of operations

This course sets a foundation for all numerical data courses and all other measurement courses in this series.

Numerical Data: Grades 2-5, 2 days

Cost $30

This course will focus on students’ development of data displays and what the displays show and hide.  Students need to collect data in repeated measurement contexts and use that information to make conclusions about the data.  This class will use science as the foundation for data collection and for meaningful analysis.  This course includes:

  • Exploring the importance of repeated measurement contexts
  • Examining children’s understanding of linear measurement and the impact of that understanding on data collection
  • Analyzing the different displays students make and what they show and hide
  • Identifying the different properties of displays and the importance of these properties
  • Interpreting data displays by making connections to the goals of the data creation

It is strongly recommended that participants complete the course Linear Measurement – Grades K-3 before taking this course.  Also, this course aligns with both Data Modeling courses for Grades 6-7.


Science PD and Workshop Opportunities

Science Snacks for Elementary Teachers

Science Snacks for Elementary Teachers are “snack-sized” PD sessions with the hectic schedule of a teacher in mind! These sessions will be offered on the 1st Monday of every month (excluding holidays, which will then be held on Tuesday) from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the University of Central Arkansas STEM Institute (Evening meal provided at 4pm).

Click Here for more information!

Steam in the Rock Tour

Friday, October 23, 2015
8:30am – 3:30pm
Grade levels K-12
6 hours of professional development
Limited to 20 people
Lunch will be on your own in downtown Little Rock
Cost: $25.00

Click here for more information!




Grant Projects

Connecting Core Instructions (CCI) (Grant)
CCI Year II Survey
Year 3 Tentative Dates
Fall Saturdays: October 10 and November 14
Spring Saturdays: February 20, April 2 (make-up day), May 7
Summer dates:
June 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 July 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Register for year III




Students and Teachers in Action!!

Robotics for Students!

Students came to UCA on February 28th for an exciting time learning basic coding and robotics using the LEGO NXT robot software. Pictures from the event can be found here!

6th and 7th grade students from Greenbrier school visited Stem Institute. They saw the Math and Science resources that are available for their teachers to check out for free. Students were engaged in STEM activities. They used proscope to look at microscopic structures, conducted a chemical reaction experiment and separated colors of a black ink using chromatography.

Students doing STEM

All UCA STEM Institute videos are being moved to a centralized Youtube page. You can find it here!

STEM Center activities: Pictures up from the Arkansas Curriculum Conference and Science and Engineering Institute workshops!