TRC 21st Annual Meeting

TRC 21st Annual Meeting — Telling Our Story

June 16 – 18, 2015 | Renaissance Austin Hotel

Telling  Our Story

TRC Telling Our Story

Take a look back at the sights and sounds of the 2015 TRC 21st Annual Meeting, as teachers share their TRC Stories. Learn more


Post-Annual Meeting Links

Sched Online Schedule

Sched Online ScheduleTRC is using the online service Sched as our main schedule and session guide for the 21st Annual Meeting. You may access the TRC 21st Annual Meeting Schedule using any web browser. A mobile app is available for Apple iOS and Android users.



Welcome to the Twenty-First Annual Meeting of the Texas Regional Collaboratives for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching (TRC). For twenty four years, thousands of TRC teacher leaders, educators, professors, administrators, policy makers, and corporate partners have come together, stayed together, and worked together to build capacity in our schools and support excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for all students.




Pre-Annual Meeting Event


Shell-TRC Partnership Sponsored Field Trip to the Hill Country Science Mill

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hill Country Science MillThanks to the Shell-TRC partnership, a group of participants will spend a day of exploration at the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas. The visit will include a behind the scenes into our Zebrafish Breeding Program, where attendees will learn how this little fish helps advance biomedical research.

More information



Keynote Speaker

Brenda Williams

  • Fifth Grade Science Teacher, Argyle ISD
  • University of North Texas Regional Science Collaborative

Teach Science? Are You Serious?

Brenda WilliamsBrenda Williams never thought she would be a good science teacher. She doesn’t have a strong math and science background because as a child she struggled to understand these subjects. Brenda always felt her brain was wired for reading and language arts; not math and science.

Through her three year association with the University of North Texas Regional Science Collaborative, Brenda discovered she learns best when she is an active participant and not a passive learner. Brenda is living her philosophy of education and has become responsible for her own learning as she finds success in teaching.

Visit Speaker Information Page


Kick-Off Luncheon: Teaching and Mentoring Awards

Tuesday, June 16

12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

TRC Excellence AwardsThe TRC 21th Annual Meeting will Kick-Off at noon on Tuesday with a luncheon honoring TRC teachers for excellence in teaching and mentoring. Awards are sponsored by TRC corporate and foundation partners and given each year to a select group of educators nominated by their Project Directors for exceptional leadership and student support.


Showcase, Reception, and Dinner

Tuesday, June 16


Showcase and Reception

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

TRC ShowcaseThe Showcase and Reception features Math and Science Education displays and demonstrations from around the state along with complimentary refreshments.



Dinner and Program

7:00 p.m.

Sheryl RoehlThis year’s Keynote Speaker is Brenda Williams of the University of North Texas Science Collaborative. The program will also include the presentation of the TRC 2015 Distinguished Service Award.






General Session Speakers


Theresa G. Coble, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Forest Recreation and Interpretation
  • Stephen F Austin University

An Interpreter’s Guide to Climate Change, Or What Happens When Inbox Spams, Logs Jam, and Poems Slam, Shazam!

Wednesday, June 17, 8:00 a.m.

Theresa G. Coble, Ph.D.

Through NASA-funded research that examined the elements of effective climate change communication at national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests, Dr. Coble has synthesized tools for effective communication about complex and controversial science topics. Dr. Coble’s upbeat and unconventional presentation incorporates hands-on activities, slam poetry, and an exploration of how best to “frame” messages about climate change and other controversial science topics. 

Visit Speaker Information Page


David W Niesel, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Are we winning the battle against infectious diseases?

Thursday, June 18, 8:00 a.m.

David W Niesel, Ph.D.You may be surprised to learn that infectious diseases remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world today. This is a far cry from the U.S. Surgeon General William Stewart’s bold pronouncement in 1967 that “it is time to close the book on infectious diseases and declare the war on pestilence won.” Although the consequence of infectious diseases falls most heavily on developing countries, people from industrialized countries increasingly feel its impact as well. The relatively recent emergence and rapid spread of infections such as HIV/AIDS, MERS and Ebola, and the resurgence of older diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, dengue, and yellow fever, underscores our vulnerability. Add to this the possibility infectious organisms may be deliberately released through biological terrorism and it is clear we must be prepared to fight infectious microbes long into the future.

Visit Speaker Information Page



Featured Sessions

Tuesday, June 16, 2:30 p.m.


Engage with Industry to Inspire, Mentor, and Evaluate

  • Stasi Gaveras
  • Business Development, Nepris, Inc.
  • Sabari Raja
  • Co-Founder & CEO, Nepris, Inc.

Nepris SpeakersThe future of CTE and PBL curriculae calls for an increased emphasis on industry engagement. Whether linking curriculum for real world application, career exposure, or industry professionals mentoring and evaluating student projects, industry engagement bridges the gap between curriculae and real-world skills. Learn how districts have opened access to industry for their classrooms with Nepris. Nepris is a web-based platform that allows every teacher to easily request industry professionals to virtually connect with their classroom.

View event details on Sched


Adventures with Audubon

  • Brian Ellis
  • Professional Storyteller and Author, Fox Tales International

Brian EllisCome spend an hour in the studio of one of America’s greatest naturalists and wildlife artists. Listen to tales of his adventures as he finishes something no one had every accomplished before: drawing every bird in North America. With an emphasis on the scientific process and lessons in inquiry, Brian “Fox” Ellis steps into Audubon’s shoes to enchant you with stories of his travels and travails in the wildest places on the planet. He will bring to life bird behavior and world history as he saw it in the early 1800s.

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Building a STEM-Computer Science Foundation

  • Phillip G. Eaglin, Ph.D.
  • Founder and CEO, Changing Expectations

Phillip EaglinGet an introduction to teaching coding that reinforces K-8 Math and Science TEKS. The session will also focus on using resources to expose students to coding and computational thinking practices in math and science classes. Learn how TRC grant funds may be used to support presenter travel costs to request FREE 7-hour workshops for math and science teachers (including elementary teachers) in your region. Support and teacher kits are provided after attending 7-hour session!

View event details on Sched


The Texas Biotechnology Pathway

  • Jennifer Lazare
    Associate Professor, Biotechnology/Biology, Austin Community College/AISD
    Angela Wheeler
    Assistant Professor, Biotechnology, Austin Community College

ACC Biotech SpeakersIn 2009, TEA approved several existing CTE courses for 4th year science credit, one of them being Advanced Biotechnology 130.363. This opened new options for science teachers to engage students in technology applications with the support, training, and funding from the TEA CTE department while fulfilling graduation requirements for all graduation plans. This session will provide information on how to start your own biotechnology program. Additional information on teacher biotechnology certification and training, classroom resources, and the new entry-level certificate being offered to Texas high school students will also be discussed, as well as the status of the addition of a new biotechnology course (Biotechnology 2) to the CTE catalog.

View event details on Sched


How the World’s Largest Volcano was Built

  • William Sager, Ph.D.
  • Professor of Geophysics, University of Houston

William SagerTamu Massif, a 120,000 square mile feature on the seafloor southeast of Japan, is the largest single volcano on the planet, but the processes that created it remain mysterious. Learn how the University of Houston’s Dr. William Sager and his colleagues plan to make high-resolution sonar images of the area’s bathymetry, while creating magnetic field maps with the use of a magnetometer aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor this fall. Sager and his team of researchers will then look for characteristic patterns in the magnetic data they collect, which should reveal significant clues about how the volcano formed and its internal structure. 

View event details on Sched



Luncheon Speakers

Wednesday, June 17, 12:00 p.m.


TEA Update

  • Jo Ann Bilderback
    Math/Science Manager, Curriculum Division, Texas Education Agency

Jo Ann BilderbackJo Ann Bilderback, Math/Science Manager in the Curriculum Division of the Texas Education Agency, will highlight some of the hot button topics and issues that Texas science and math teachers should be aware of in the coming academic year. 




Oracle-TRC Partnership

  • Tyra Crockett
    Senior Manager, Field Marketing, Oracle

Tyra CrockettTechnology is everywhere. It touches nearly all aspects of our lives – our car, our refrigerator, our social lives. While today’s youth are prolific consumers of technology, very few have opportunities in school to use computer science to be innovators and creators. This disparity between what we are equipped in Texas schools to provide to students and what the 21st century economy demands, exists even though most well-paying careers require some competency in computer science. To help Texas tackle this challenge, Oracle Academy began a partnership in Fall 2014 with the TRC to provide online courses in Java for Texas teachers. This valuable program, designated Keep Calm and Java On, trains secondary educators in the Java programming language, which is the language required for AP Computer Science across the nation. This presentation will discuss the Oracle Academy – TRC Partnership as well as other resources available to all educators through Oracle.



TRC Vendor Fair

Wednesday, June 17

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

TRC Annual Meeting Vendor FairSTEM-related vendors will have educational materials on display and be available to answer questions. Attendees are invited to meet and mingle with vendor representatives in a relaxed, reception atmosphere without the crowds of a trade-show or the pressure of a sales call. A complete list of vendors will be release, after vendor registration closes.



TRC Earth & Environmental Science Resource Fair

Wednesday, June 17

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

EarthTo further support the TRC’s 2015-16 focus on middle school earth science, this year the 21st Annual Meeting will feature the Earth & Environmental Science Resource Fair which will run concurrently with the TRC Vendor Fair. Organizations from around the state will be on hand to share their time, resources, and materials with Annual Meeting attendees.