The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host the 21st annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access Wednesday, April 23, in the Kenneth L. Johnson Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host the 21st annual Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access Wednesday, April 23, in the Kenneth L. Johnson Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex.


The theme will be "Preparing K-16 for STEM Success."


The conference will feature keynote speakers Cindy Moss, director of Global STEM Initiatives for Discovery Education, and Arkansas state Sen. Linda Pondexter Chesterfield, D-District 30.


Moss is a champion for STEM engagement and career and workforce readiness, she has more than 21 years of experience in district leadership, classroom instruction, and inquiry based learning. She was selected by the National Science Foundation to serve on the federal commission which created the "National Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the US Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education System." In 2012, Moss was recognized as one of the top "100 Women in STEM."


Chesterfield is serving her second term in the state Senate. In the current 89th General Assembly, she is chairman of Joint Energy and Arkansas Legislative Councils (ALC)-Policy Making, vice chairman of Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor, Legislative Joint Auditing, Executive Committee of Legislative Joint Auditing and a host of other committees. Chesterfield was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2002 for District 36 where she served three terms. She is the former president of the Arkansas Democratic Black Caucus and is the organization’s current treasurer. Led by Chesterfield, SB214 Act 905 established cyberbullying legislation. On June 19, 2013, the Arkansas Municipal League honored Chesterfield with the Distinguished Legislator Award for her exemplary service benefiting cities and towns of Arkansas.


Presentations will be conducted by STEM researchers, students and pre-service teachers from UAPB, Missouri State University, Indiana University, and Mississippi Valley State University. Topics include the development of STEM projects; building strong partners to support STEM initiatives; effective use of instructional technology, the impact of getting undergraduate students engaged in research writing and developing STEM projects; the integration of arts in STEM (STEaM); and teaching STEM across the curriculum. UAPB student teachers will also participate in a round table discussion to share their experiences and demonstrate how they have implemented innovative teaching strategies and projects in their classrooms.


Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. April 23. The cost of registration is $75 per person with limited partial scholarships available for students. Registration forms can be obtained at www.uapb.edu/edaccess. Details: Contact Allyson Jackson at 575-8475 or Vera Lang Brown at 575-8275 or edaccess@uapb.edu.