The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is gearing up to host its 24th Annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access Wednesday, April 26, in the UAPB STEM Academy and Conference Center.


With the theme “The Cutting Edge: Technology and Computer Science in Education,” the one-day conference will address the latest technology and computer science topics in education that will prepare students for college, careers, and life.


The objectives of the conference are to: Address research-based instructional strategies/techniques for “integrating embedded K-8 computer science standards across multiple content areas;”


Discuss the social, ethical, and economic issues related to computing technology; Provide opportunities for Arkansas educators to gain information on how to receive ADE Computer Science endorsement to teach computer science content; Engage education faculty’s participation in professional experiences to promote the development of preservice teachers’ skills and competencies in the latest technology and computer science relevant for teaching P-12 students; Connect uses of mathematics and computer programming as tools in creating effective solutions to complex problems;


Facilitate discussion & networking among Arkansas and regional educators, parents, business leaders, policy makers, and philanthropists on preparing P-16 students for college and careers in computer science; and Serve as clearinghouse for evidence based strategies in developing and supporting P-16 faculty and students and STEM baccalaureate majors as they purse life– long careers in science, technology, engineering, and /or mathematics disciplines.


New to this year’s conference is a free preconference event on Tuesday, April 25 about the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship. Presented by Patrick Riccards, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the presentation will specifically highlight how the teaching fellowship is addressing and preparing the growing demands of the next generation of math and science teachers. The preconference is free and open to the public, however, space is limited to 100 attendees.


Special keynote presenters for the conference will include Anthony Owen, Arkansas’s State Director of Computer Science, and Dr. Ivy Pfeffer, the Computer Science Director for Arkansas Department of Education.


General registration for the conference is $75 for participants and $40 for students. Registration can be done online at www.uapb.edu/edaccess. For more information, contact Mrs. Kaidra Dockett at (870) 575-7008, Dr. Vera Lang-Brown at (870)575-8275 or edaccess@uapb.edu.