Annual Conference

Outdoor conference presentation. Photo by Cirrelsda Snider-Bryan

Using NMMNHS’s outdoor exhibit for a plant observation activity during the 2014 conference. Photo by Cirrelda Snider-Bryan.

Each fall, EEANM co-presents the Soar to Greater Heights STEM Conference with our partners, the NM Science Teachers Association and the NM Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The 2016 Conference will be in the fall in Socorro or Albuquerque. Full details will be posted on the conference website (hosted by NMSTA) as available.

At the conference, you’ll be able to enjoy…

  • A special welcome reception on Friday evening
  • A Saturday full of presentations in environmental education, science, math, technology, engineering and literacy
  • Networking with educators from around the state
  • Meeting experts in your field
  • Vendor/sponsor exhibit booths with lots of giveaway goodies!
  • Optional field trips and workshops (usually Friday and Sunday)

2015 Conference in Review

The 2015 Conference was hosted by EEANM, NMSTA and NMCTM. It took place November 13-14, 2015 in Hobbs, New Mexico. The conference included the following:

  • Friday evening – Special half-day workshops and reception at Lea County Center for the Arts
  • Saturday – Keynote speaker, exhibitors, presentations, workshops, silent auction, lunch and EEANM’s Annual Meeting
  • Sunday – Maker fair and industrial tour

Samples from Saturday’s Presentations

  • Environmental Education in the Classroom
    Emily Campbell, Madison Middle School, Albuquerque Public Schools
    Using current events can drive a thirst for learning for our students. See how one teacher took a current event and expanded a three day introduction to a Problem Solving elective and pushed it into a full unit by the request of the students.
  • Questions in Science
    Kelly White and Mike Sanchez, NM Museum of Natural History and Science
    There a variety of questions that fall on a spectrum from open- to closed-ended in nature. Join us in a materials-based exploration into questions and a lively discussion how to use them effectively with your students in the classroom.
  • Beyond the Classroom- Teaching Students Outside
    Christy Wall, New Mexico Wildlife Center
    In a world of standards and testing, teachers rarely have time to look beyond their classroom walls for inspiration. NMWC offers some practical advice on how to get your kids outside the classroom while still meeting standards.
  • Maya Math and Astronomy
    Amy Grochowski, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
    Participate in Maya math and astronomy from the Calendar in the Sky website. Complete a Maya math exercise and
    model light and shadow effects on the Maya temple El Castillo. Instructions for building your own model of El Castillo
  • Migrating Birds in NM
    Tish Morris, Bosque Education Guide, and Karen Herzenberg, Ranger Karen, LLC
    Try new activities about migrating birds in New Mexico. Students work with data from 36 years of NM bird banding to map band recovery locations, graph the seasonal ebb and flow of migrants, and delve into the ecological complexities of migration.
  • The ABQ BioPark to You! Classroom Programs & Resources to Help Life Science Concepts Stick
    Kathryn Venzor, Virginia Ludvik, Mary Ramsey — ABQ BioPark
    Animals, skulls and hides can illuminate the importance of adaptations and complexity of ecosystems and habitats. Learn how to bring the BioPark’s Zoo to You to your classroom; practice life science activities and access free online resources.
  • STEAM Through the Lens of A Garden
    Karen Temple Beamish, Albuquerque Academy
    The garden can teach students how to use math, computer, art and science skills to be better stewards of the land, while at the same time grow food. Come learn how to save seeds, estimate run-off potential for water harvesting and win seed art!
  • BirdSleuth – an Education Project by Cornell Lab of Ornithology
    Ellen Loehman, NMSTA
    Wild birds are everywhere – including outside your classroom. Discover lessons featuring birds for all age levels. The first
    20 teachers will receive educational materials and a free bird feeder.
  • School Gardens as Outdoor Classrooms
    Mary Erwin and Joseph Duran, Wilson Middle School
    Outdoor classrooms can become powerful ways to connect student interest and learning. We will share our experience of how it transforms both teacher and student learning.
  • Cultivating Creativity in the Everyday for Educators and Environmental Educators
    Kary Schumpert, Environmental Educator
    As educators, we are expected to think fast, teach much, and give lots. How can we prevent our well of inspiration and energy from running dry? Together, we will go through a variety of exercises to use for replenishing inspiration and creativity.
  • You Take My Breath Away
    Patrick Devine, New Mexico Museum of Space History
    Your compass needle won’t point north on Mars, and that’s why the Red Planet has no atmosphere. We use the Mars MAVEN mission to introduce students to the basics of magnetism. Activity includes basic lesson plans and affordable materials.
  • Alien Autopsy: Fake Bodies, Real Science
    Dave Dooling, New Mexico Museum of Space History
    Visit space station Antaeus and dissect Tortilla volante and Oceanus ericius from the deep ocean of Europa and take the recipe home. Our engaging activity uses ersatz creatures to teach the basics of astrobiology as well as terrestrial life sciences.
  • Explore and Connect
    Terri Sallee, Hobbs Municipal Schools
    Looking to engage learners and help them make connections for a deeper understanding of content? Come check out hands-on lesson ideas developed after an expedition to Norway and the Arctic changed the way I thought about teaching science.
  • Download the entire 2015 Conference Program.

2014 Conference in Review

The 2014 Soar to Greater Heights STEM Conference was hosted by EEANM, NMSTA and NMCTM. It took place November 14-16, 2014 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) and ¡Explora! in Albuquerque. The conference included the following:

  • Friday evening – Reception and activities at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ¡Explora!, including a show in the planetarium.
  • Saturday – Dozens of presentations and workshops, vendor/sponsor exhibit hall, networking, annual meetings and award ceremonies. See below for a list of the EE-related presentations from 2014.

Samples from Saturday’s Program

  • Enhancing Your School Garden with the Growing Gardens Team (GGT)
    Natalie Donnelly, FoodCorps and Albuquerque Public Schools
    Mary Erwin, Science Teacher, Wilson Middle School
    Learn how to get support for building or enhancing outdoor classrooms and leave with practical ideas and resources to gain momentum for your work. We will share tips to guide your garden and to sustain it over the long haul.
  • Sustainable Lands and Social Justice: Lessons from the Maya
    Elaine Hampton, University of Texas at El Paso
    For centuries, indigenous communities in southern Mexico have implemented sustainable agriculture. Now, global economic forces want those healthy lands. Learn how they use critical thinking to help sustain their lands and their culture. 
  • Nature Journals
    Molly Madden, EEANM and Friends of Whitfield
    Jamie Radenbaugh, Manzano Day School
    We will provide some simple suggestions for getting nature journals started with students and go outside to write/draw/record our observations, then  discuss  and share the many ways to connect the journals with ELA and Math Common Core Standards.
  • Our Magnetic Sun: The Environmental Connection
    Roger Kennedy, TAAS
    An introduction to the basics of solar physics and cycles will be followed by observation of solar features through various solar telescopes. The Sun-Earth system is very dynamic and interconnected, which has implications for Earth’s environment.
  • Fire Ecology, Management, and Behavior: The Basics
    James Biggs, New Mexico Highlands University
    This presentation provides an overview of relationships between wildfire and ecosystems, fire regimes, and wildfire characteristics both from a historic and current perspective.  Local fire ecology and climate change effects  also will be covered.
  • Citizen Science: Connecting Students to the Landscape through Scientific Research
    Kelly Steinberg, Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program
    Discover how NM students are taking part in citizen science by collecting data and learning about local environmental issues with the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program.  We will discuss ways in your school and community to become citizen scientists. 
  • Citizen Science & Geocaching
    Julie Dickey, Talking Talons Youth Leadership
    Join us for a hands-on adventure as we embark on a GPS scavenger hunt to find designated waypoints and participate in educational activities.  We will also conduct a citizen science activity using the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Urban Bird Survey.
  • Exemplary Teacher Professional Development
    Selena Connealy, NM EPSCoR
    This session will provide a short overview of the Learning Forward Professional Learning Standards and a participatory discussion about NM teachers’ PD needs. This session is appropriate for both teachers and PD providers.
  • You CAN Teach New Farmers Old Tricks:  Agricultrual Strategies
    Savanna Davenport, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
    Participants will play a game investigating the degree of success that common agricultural strategies have had across time and region, and under a variety of circumstances in order to understand and address contemporary agricultural challenges.
  • Get Connected!  Introducing NM STEM Connection…the NEW Statewide Collaborative STEM Education Website
    Karen Kinsman, UNM STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research & Education
    Get a tour of the NEW statewide, collaborative website called NM STEM Connection.  Visit the current features of the site, identify specific resources on the site, and GET CONNECTED! Explore STEM careers, find people/programs, access resources.
  • We Cannot Wait to Act: Simulating Global Climate Summits with Gifter and Talented Students
    Turtle Haste, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
    Dean Vesperman
    Middle school students simulate the United Nations Climate Summit to experience one of two roles: diplomatic world leaders attempting to solve a global problem and climate scientists as contributors of knowledge and resources for diplomats.

If you’re curious to learn more about our past conference, you can download the entire 2014 Conference Program [Large PDF].