SME Seminar/Lecture Videos


Mathematics for Life: Are You Teaching Students What They Really Need?  March 31, 2015  4pm

What is Relativity? An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Ideas and Why They Matter.  March 31, 2015 7pm

Dr Jeffrey Bennett 

Astrophysicist, author, and educator Jeffrey Bennett’s extensive experience includes teaching at every level from preschool through graduate school, proposing and helping to develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC and serving two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, where he helped create numerous programs designed to build stronger links between the research and education communities.


Seminar Series for Life-long Learners

older education lecture series sponsored by the SME department.

Especially designed with classroom teachers, school administrators, educational professionals, higher education faculty and staff, young adults, parents and grandparents in mind, these presentations are free and open to the public! 

2006-2007 Multimedia Archive

(Use RealPlayer to view video)


Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire – Mr. Rafe Esquith (January 31, 2007)

Rafe Esquith, author of Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, has taught fifth grade at Hobart Elementary in Los Angeles for twenty-two years in a neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs, and drugs. His students are first-generation immigrants who live in poverty and speak English as a second language. They also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, score in the top one percent on standardized tests, and go on to attend Ivy League universities. He will demonstrate some of his teaching techniques, share his insights into student learning, and sign books.


CASPER: Seamless Integration of Research and Education – Dr. Truell Hyde (December 7, 2006)

Baylor University’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) is home to experimental and theoretical research in space physics, complex plasmas, shock physics and nanotechnology. Experimental studies are conducted on the campus of Texas State Technical College Waco (TSTC), in facilities designed to bring undergraduate and graduate physics and engineering students together with technical students from TSTC’s manufacturing, nanotechnology and laser electro-optics programs to conduct research and to learn. This unique environment provides a perfect setting for National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs each summer. The CASPER paradigm draws together individuals in the context of real-world research. This talk will provide an overview of CASPER and its TSTC partner with illustrations form research, curriculum, and outreach activities.


Explorations in Biodiversity in Africa, the New World Tropics, and the Southern Ocean – Dr. Gregory G. Dimijian, M.D. (November 14, 2006)

The presentation will explore animal and plant biodiversity in the savannahs of East and Southern Africa, the tropical rain forests and cloud forests of the New World, and Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Emphasis will be on the striking differences of habitat and the species latitude gradient from poles to equator, with photographs that Dr. Dimijian and his wife, Mary Beth, have taken over the past few decades. The talk will discuss the biology and behavior of many of the animals, and stress the fragility of these ecosystems.


2005-2006 Multimedia Archive

(Use RealPlayer to view video)

Teachers – Life in the Eye of America’s Cultural Storms – Dr. Scherry Johnson (September 26, 2005)

It is a rare dolt who tries to tell a surgeon how to perform an operation or a CEO how to run a corporation, but almost everyone who has attended high school feels free to tell teachers what and how to teach!  In a diverse country like America, where shrill talk-radio drowns out reasoned conversation, teachers must be the voice of sanity and logic.  This means that we must know why we teach what we do and why strong public schools are essential to our way of life.  Join us for an hour of straight talk about teaching in today’s America. 

Inquiry in the Science Classroom – Ms. Barbara Curry (November 14, 2005)

The 1996 National Science Education Standards define scientific inquiry is a set of interrelated processes by which scientists and students pose questions about the natural world and investigate phenomena.  Since publication of the standards, implementation of inquiry-based science instruction has been emphasized. Teachers have struggled, in part due to the difficulty of finding a good teaching model, but also as a result of test-driven curricula.  This lecture will help give teachers a better idea of what inquiry-based science instruction looks like and how it can work in their classroom.

Mathematical Induction: An Elegant and Powerful Method – Dr. Titu Andreescu (February 13, 2006)

Mathematical induction is a very important method of proof and finds uses in various domains of mathematics and science. Through rich and interesting examples we will discuss how this method plays out in the classroom and its. particular importance in its connection with mathematical contests. During the presentation, Dr. Andreescu will also illustrate how this method could be successfully employed in solving Olympiad caliber problems.

Science and Mathematics Education from a Global Perspective – Dr. David Daniel (March 20, 2006)

Science and mathematics are the foundations of technology, engineering, business, and nearly all management systems that affect our institutions and daily lives. The U.S. has enjoyed a position of global pre-eminence in these areas for the past 50 years, but that position is threatened. Why? In large part because emerging countries that we used to regard as “third world,” principally in Asia and Eastern Europe, understand the significance and value of strong math and science education. We will explore causes and solutions.


2004-2005 Multimedia Archive

(Uses RealPlayer)

Science, from Nobel to Neighborhoods – Dr. Russell Hulse (April 11, 2005)

Dr. Hulse’s career in science began as a youngster who was captivated by how science opened his eyes to the fascinating world around him. That fascination eventually led to an exciting scientific adventure as a graduate student, and a discovery for which I was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics. He will tell the story of that discovery, and how the experience of receiving the Nobel Prize led him to a new focus on bringing the excitement and adventure of science to a new generation of kids (and adults) through community-based science education. (Conference Center, CN1.112)

Scale in the Solar System – Dr. Mary L. Urquhart (February 28, 2005)

Learn about hands-on activities that will aid in understanding scale in the solar system. We will create a 1 to 10 billion scale model of the planets and Sun using everyday materials, model the Earth-Moon system with ‘play dough’, and see how a scale model of Saturn can help with visualization of the ringed planet! (Conference Center, CN1.112)   

Improving Education in Science Five Minutes at a Time – Dr. Homer A. Montgomery (January 24, 2005)

Radical pedagogical modifications in the classroom are difficult to execute. Implementing five-minute manipulative sessions meets little instructor resistance and improves scores on exams. Examples include the use of common hardware store objects to help students understand cladograms and learning about sauropod physiology by manipulating potatoes, balloons, toothpicks and PVC pipe. (School of Management, SM1.118)

Critical Thinking: A Novel Way of Learning – Dr. Fred L. Fifer, Jr. (November 1, 2004)

Not everyone is born a ‘good’ critical thinker, but everyone can improve his/her skills with a little practice. Becoming comfortable with some simple strategies is a major enabling tool applicable to many venues. Four areas related to this topic are [1] Trial & Error, [2] Word Pictures, [3] Big Numbers, and [4] Relativity. Come enjoy participating in some critical thinking activities – ideas you might use tomorrow! (Conference Center, CN1.112)

Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving – Dr. Thomas R. Butts (September 27, 2004)

To many mathematically literate people, mathematics is synonymous with solving problems. On the other hand, persons not enthralled with mathematics may describe any mathematics activity as problem solving. This discussion will focus on mathematical problem solving as a Process, as an Instructional Goal, and as an Instructional Method. (Conference Center, CN1.112)

International Learning Environments Research in Science Education (April 11, 2002)

Professor Barry J Fraser, Director of Science and Mathematics Education Centre;
Director of National Key Centre for School Science & Mathematics | Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
(Conference Center, CN1.112)