Biological Sciences and Computer Science Undergraduates Win Prize for Poster at UTeach Conference

College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

Precious Azike and Joshua Pooranmal won an award for their poster discussing what they learned while teaching and observing a classroom as part of the Terrapin Teachers program Two University of Maryland undergraduates won a prize for their poster at the 12th annual UTeach Conference held in Austin, Texas, in May 2018 for their work in the Terrapin Teachers program.
“I’m extremely impressed by the work of all of Terrapin Teachers’ talented students,” said Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics Professor Caren Chang, who became co-director of Terrapin Teachers in July 2018. “The poster presented by these two students reflected our program’s work on issues of social justice and classroom equity. I’m so pleased the students raised these important topics at the UTeach Conference where their poster was honored with this prize.”
Terrapin Teachers is a UMD program that aims to increase the number of highly qualified secondary science and mathematics teachers. In addition to earning a science or math degree, students who complete the program are eligible for certification as a middle or high school teacher. Based on the national UTeach model, Terrapin Teachers is a joint initiative between UMD’s College of Education and College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.
Biological sciences junior Precious Azike and computer science senior Joshua Pooranmal created their poster, “Developing Critical Perspectives in Step 2: Maintaining an Open Disposition While Shifting from Student to Teacher,” to showcase how Terrapin Teachers helped them become better teachers through self-reflection.
The students drew on their experiences observing and then teaching a class at Nicholas Orem Middle School in nearby Hyattsville, Maryland, as part of the Terrapin Teachers course TLPL 102: “Inquiry Teaching of STEM in Middle Schools.” Azike taught an eighth-grade science class about rising global temperatures. Pooranmal taught a seventh-grade math class about mathematical expressions and equations.
After teaching their respective classes, Azike and Pooranmal reflected …

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