UTeach Dallas in the News

Listed below are current and previous news stories about UTeach and UTeach Dallas.

UTeach Dallas Staff Member Earns Association Award

Dr. Kim Distin

Dr. Kim Distin receiving award at the UTeach Annual Conference May 2018

August 29, 2018  UTDallas Intercom

Dr. Kim Distin MAT’09, program coordinator, materials manager and intern coordinator for UTeach Dallas, recently received the 2018 Outstanding Staff Award from the UTeach STEM Educators Association.

Distin has been the program coordinator for UTeach Dallas since its inception in 2007. Her duties include overseeing class, lab and lesson materials management; web and social media; data reports; and alumni tracking. Before joining the UTeach Dallas program, she taught high school science in the Dallas area for 10 years.

Based in the Department of Science/Mathematics Education, UTeach Dallas prepares science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers for U.S. classrooms. The program allows college students majoring in STEM fields to combine their degrees with secondary teaching certifications without adding time or cost.

UTeach Dallas Project Spawns Partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

 Alluring Middle School Lesson Plans Combine Bass Fishing, Conservation to Teach Science, Math

January 29, 2018  UTDallas News 

The University of Texas at Dallas is partnering with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on a project that incorporates bass fishing and conservation into science and math curricula for middle schoolers.

The project began last year as lesson plans drafted by UT Dallas students as part of their training to become science and math teachers. The students were in a program called UTeach Dallas, where undergraduates earn their degrees in a STEM field — science, technology, engineering and math — concurrently with teacher training and certification. Many graduates go on to teach in North Texas schools and earn master’s degrees.

Each year, teams of those students are challenged to design science and math lessons that meet state standards.

Last spring, UTeach Dallas instructors added a twist to the challenge: Design a unit of lessons that could be used in the classroom to complement the Toyota ShareLunker bass conservation program, which is run by the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  Read the full story. 

Innovations in Project-Based Instruction

June 12, 2017 UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA) Newsletter – UTeach Institute page

When faced with the choice to “go big, or go home” in facilitating Project-Based Instruction (PBI) at UTeach Dallas, Master Teachers Kate York and Katie Donaldson have definitely chosen the former. Pre-service teachers enrolled in this course over the past five semesters have broadened their PBI skill set by engaging in global and informal science collaboration projects. Not only has this allowed students to delve more deeply into their content acquisition and add to their instructional pedagogy toolbox, it has also strengthened their 21st century skills.  Read full story

UTeach Dallas Celebrates 10th Anniversary

May 5, 2017  City of Richardson – Week in Review 

UTeach Dallas Celebration at Berkner HS
Richardson Mayor Pro Tem Mark Solomon visited the engineering class at Berkner High School as part of the UTeach anniversary celebration. The instructor of the class is a UTeach Dallas graduate.

UT Dallas’ UTeach program marked its 10th anniversary today (and the 20th anniversary of the national UTeach program) with a celebration at Berkner High School. Special guests, including Richardson Mayor Pro Tem Mark Solomon, and media representatives were invited to visit classrooms to see the program in action and learn about its positive impacts. UTeach, which began at UT Austin in 1997 and expanded to UT Dallas in 2007, strives to rectify the shortage of qualified U.S. workers available to fill jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) by encouraging STEM majors to become teachers. Area school districts, including RISD, help train the STEM majors by providing teaching internships, and eventually hire many of the graduates. (There are 24 UT Dallas graduates currently teaching at RISD schools.)

Friday’s event included a visit to an engineering class taught by a UT Dallas graduate, where students demonstrated the use and importance of engineering automation and discussed skill sets needed for those planning careers in STEM. About 370 UT Dallas students participate in the program each year, reaching 38,000 area secondary students since the program began.

For more information about UTeach and UTeach Dallas, visit

3-D Models Become Integral Visualization Aids for Calculus Students  

Using the 3-D models, the active learning sessions help students mature in the subject by forcing them to explain things to each other, Zweck said.

February 6 , 2017  UTDallas News 

… “I’d been thinking about how to solve this visualization problem, and I read the title of a blog post about 3-D printing your own flip-flops,” Zweck said. “I realized, if you can print your own flip-flops, you can print anything.” That year, the National Science Foundation announced a call for researchers to improve the success of first- and second-year STEM students in mathematics courses. Dr. Mary Urquhart, the head of the Department of Science and Mathematics Education in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Dr. Sue Minkoff, a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences who also teaches Multivariable Calculus, already shared an NSF grant with Zweck that supported the UTeach Dallas Robert Noyce Scholarship Program. “We partnered with Dr. Urquhart to secure an $80,000 supplement to the Noyce award,” Zweck said. “That paid for the models to be produced, and for the undergraduate teaching assistants that help facilitate our small-group problem-solving sessions.”… Read the full story. 

This story was also referenced in a Dallas Morning News article on 3D Printing: Why some North Texas hospitals are turning to 3-D technology to prep for surgery

UT Dallas Joins National Network to Grow STEM Teaching Force

UTeach students

From left: UTeach Dallas students Brea Baygents, Bernadette Charba, Alex Kangethe, Udit Bhatt and Zachary Regetz learn the ins-and-outs of managing a middle school science lab experience.

March 21, 2016   UT Dallas News Center   

UT Dallas has been selected to join a national network of organizations and universities dedicated to bringing 100,000 new exceptional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers into classrooms by 2021.

University Plants Seeds of Science at Dallas Arboretum for Earth Day

April 16, 2015

More than 50 faculty and students from the UT Dallas School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will be cultivating budding scientists this month when they present dozens of activities for children at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. In celebration of Earth Day, the Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden partnered with the University to stage science and mathematics activities for K-12 students from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the garden. Each activity is run by a different UT Dallas group or an external collaborator.  …Faculty from the departments of biological sciences, physics, and science and math education also will participate. Representatives from UTeach Dallas, an academic program at the University that trains science and math teachers, will also be on hand. … Read the full story


Communities Foundation of Texas Awards More Than $1.3 Million in Grants to Improve Middle School Education in North Texas

February 17, 2014
$74,812 to provide gender equity training to pre-service teachers through theUTeach Dallas program. UTeach recruits students from UTD’s pool of undergraduate STEM majors to consider a career teaching in middle and high school math and science classrooms. Read full story here


5 More Universities Will Create STEM Teacher-Training Programs

Feb 2, 2014      U.S. News & World Report  

Universities are responding to President Obama’s State of the Union call to better educate the future workforce.  Five more universities will start UTeach programs in the fall of 2014 to simultaneously award undergraduates STEM degrees and teaching credentials.  Read full story here  


UTeach Dallas: Transforming Science and Math Education

April 2013     The President’s Viewpoint  

In 2007, Amiee Himler enrolled in UT Dallas’ School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a field she loves—mathematics. The Terry Scholar was given an opportunity to try out a new initiative at the University called UTeach Dallas, and she fell in love again—with teaching. …..  Read full story here  


A Dozen Universities Share $12 Million to Bolster the UTeach Program

April 18, 2013    Dallas Morning News

The National Math and Science Initiative has awarded $12 million in challenge grants to UTeach programs at 12 universities.

Each school will get $1 million to help implement the program, which recruits and trains college students to become math and science teachers.

The schools are Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Northern Arizona University, Temple University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Irvine, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Florida, University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Texas at Dallas and Western Kentucky University.

The grants were announced at an event at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. Read Full Story here.


UTeach is Transforming Teacher Preparation in North Texas

April 3, 2013      National Math + Science Initiative Blog

A special event was held today at the Perot Museum of Science and Nature celebrating the impact of the UTeach program on education in the DFW area. The three UTeach programs in the North Texas region have experienced rapid growth in recent years:

  • UTeach Dallas at UTD has grown from 24 students the first semester to its current 350 students, a 1350 percent increase.   Recent graduates are all employed in school systems or science learning centers or have gone on the graduate school.  The 100-plus graduates since the program’s inception could potentially impact about 79,000 middle and high school students by 2019.   Read full story


UTeach Dallas Meets Fundraising Challenge, Receives $2 Million

Grants Will Further Advance Math and Science Teacher Training in Growing Program.  

April 3, 2013

Dallas-area foundations and industry partners in science and technology have provided $2 million to support an innovative program at The University of Texas at Dallas aimed at training the teachers who will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors and entrepreneurs. read full story  


Letter to the Editor: UTeach is the key for our STEM education goals

August 22, 2012      Dallas Morning News

Re: “DISD’s Math Deficit — Here’s how to start improving high school scores,” Friday Editorials.

Your editorial encouraged Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles to look to UTeach for well-prepared teachers of mathematics and science. This is far from impossible. University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas began UTeach replication in 2008. University of Texas at Arlington is in its third year of replication. Together, we will graduate 100 new secondary mathematics and science teachers this year.  Read full letter here


“Communities Foundation of Texas Grants Over $2 Million to Improve Middle School Education.”

October  15, 2012    Communities Foundation of Texas Press Release.

“The Communities Foundation of Texas has announced eight grants totaling more than $2 million to seven nonprofits working to improve middle school education in the Dallas area.  Awarded through the foundation’s community impact funds, the grants will support efforts to recruit and train high-quality teachers and administrators to serve in at-risk middle schools across North Texas. Grant recipients include the University of Texas at Dallas (UTeach Dallas), which was awarded $500,000 over three years to actively recruit, through its UTeach Dallas program, STEM majors to teach in high-need urban middle school math and science classrooms;”… full press release  


UTeach featured on NBC Nightly News

Published on Sep 28, 2012 view the video here


Annual Physics Camp Aims to Hook Girls on Science

June 18, 2012   UT Dallas News Center

Giant slingshots, model rockets and home-made hot air balloons are all part of the plan at the annual UT Dallas Physics Camp for Girls to inspire more girls to study science. Read the full story


Students Watch Venus Cross Between Earth and Sun

Jun. 06, 2012

“As a planetary scientist, I am very excited about this. An astronomical phenomenon like this is a very rare event, and it will also coincide with the research found with NASA’s Kepler [telescope].” — Dr. Mary Urquhart, head of the Department of Science and Mathematics Education Read the full story


Math and Science Teacher Program Gets a Boost

JPMorgan Chase Makes $50,000 Gift to Support UT Dallas Certification Plan

Apr. 18, 2012

An innovative program at UT Dallas aimed at improving the quality of math and science teachers recently received part of a $200,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase through the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Read Full Story


UTeach Grad Strives to Build Science Excitement

Feb 8, 2012

UTeach alumnus Gianfranco Herrera knows kids can be a tough crowd when he is presenting one of his science demonstrations. But more often than not, they’re in awe.  Read the full story  


Featured on Change the Equation

It’s no wonder school districts pay a premium for secondary math and science teachers: There just aren’t enough to go around. Read feature  


Grant Aids Push to Train Math and Science Teachers

Dec. 1, 2011

UT Dallas’ efforts to train and support top-notch science and math teachers in traditionally underserved areas has received a big boost,  thanks to a grant that provides tuition support and training resources. The Teacher Enhancement Academy in Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) provides tuition support of $480,000 for 30 educators currently teaching in high-needs schools who have committed to remaining with those schools an additional two years after completing their master’s degrees.  Read the full story


TI Program Energizes Science and Math Teachers

July 25, 2011 Eighteen educators from area school districts spent part of their summer at UT Dallas in a program sponsored by Texas Instruments to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Read the full story


UT Dallas Wins Communications Awards – UT Dallas News 

 Mar 24, 2011
For the third year in a row, the UT Dallas Office of Communications has earned multiple awards for innovative print design projects in a contest judged by peers in higher education…  A poster promoting the UTeach program was awarded silver in the Visual Design – Poster category, and the UT Teach Banner took bronze in the Visual Design – Illustration category.  …. Read the full story

Obama Launches Initiative to Train 100,000 New STEM Teachers

February 8, 2011

During his State of the Union address in January 2011, President Obama “announced an initiative to train 100,000 new teachers in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering, or STEM subjects. He plans to expand ‘promising and effective teacher preparation models’ for STEM teachers.”   Read the full story.


Teachers working to boost science emphasis to overcome lagging interest, lower test scores

August 12, 2010     Dallas Morning News

…. In middle and high school teachers probably have a degree in some science but may be teaching out of their field because of the shortage of science teachers, he said. Texas teachers can be certified as a generalist in high school science. That means they may have a degree in chemistry but be teaching biology. Time is also an issue.

“To teach a subject like cell division, I can tell a student everything they need in a couple of days. But for them to actually see it, to see the cell mitosis, to count the number of cells – I can’t devote that time,” said Bill Neal. He heads the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The UTeach programs – Hale will lead one at UTA starting this fall – are working to bring more science and math majors into teaching. They also concentrate on innovative teaching methods…. Read full story here

President Obama Mentions UTeach in National Address

April 21, 2010

“And we also need to reward states that are placing outstanding teachers in schools and subjects — like math and science — where they’re needed most. That’s one way to foster the next generation of math and science teachers. And by the way, everyone has a role to play in training these teachers. So universities and nonprofit organizations can launch programs like UTeach at UT Austin that allows aspiring teachers to get a math or science degree and teaching certificate at the same time. And businesses can follow the examples of Intel and Microsoft by developing the software tools and cutting-edge technologies that prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s teachers…”


Gift to Boost Ranks of Math and Science Teachers

February 9, 2010

A $500,000 gift from the O’Donnell Foundation will support the UTeach Dallas endowment and provide flexibility to support scholarships, internships, and other aspects of the program. Read the full story.  


The Education Front Blog: Obama’s math and science campaign

January 8, 2010     Dallas Morning News

What was encouraging about President Obama’s speech Wednesday about producing more math and science teachers is that, in the midst of terror threats, a consuming health care debate and a troubled economy, he was signaling the equal importance of getting American students ahead of their peers internationally in math and science.

We’re behind by many measures, and, as Obama made a great point:

Whether it’s improving our health or harnessing clean energy, protecting our security or succeeding in the global economy, our future depends on reaffirming America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation. And that leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today, especially in math, science, technology, and engineering.”

The president also drew heavily upon the work of the Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative in explaining his campaign to produce more math and science teachers. Education Front readers may recall that we had NMSI head Tom Luce as a guest blogger back in August.

Luce explained how the organization is expanding its UTeach program so more universities can attract students into teaching math and science. The president talked about that same program in his speech, describing the expansion of UTeach to 20 universities as the type of work he wants his $250 million public/private effort to emulate. Read full story here


UTeach Dallas Awarded Support for Master Teachers

Texas Instruments Foundation Funding to Help Mentor Future Science Teachers

September 10, 2009

Increasing the supply of qualified math and science teachers in America’s secondary schools received a big boost Wednesday when the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation awarded a $450,000 grant to UTeach Dallas. Read the full story.  


UTeach Dallas Lauded as a Bridge to the Future 

Tech Titan Award From left: Barbara Curry, senior lecturer; Bill Neal, master teacher; Dr. Mary Urquhart, associate professor; and Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas.

Tech Titan Award From left: Barbara Curry, senior lecturer; Bill Neal, master teacher; Dr. Mary Urquhart, associate professor; and Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas.

Tech Titan Award Recognizes Program to Interest Students in Math and Sciences

September 1, 2009

The Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC), the largest technology trade organization in Texas, has awarded UTeach Dallas the 2009 Tech Titan of the Future award in the university category at a ceremony. The award recognizes educational programs designed to address critical shortages of students interested in technology disciplines. UTeach Dallas was created to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors interested in becoming new secondary science or mathematics teachers. Replicated at 14 universities around the country, the original UTeach program was founded at UT Austin.    Read the full story.


Grant Means More Masterful Math, Science Teaching

Funding to Help 25 Experienced Teachers Earn Grad Degrees and 25 Undergraduates to Mentor With Them

July 31, 2009

Science and mathematics education in Texas will soon enjoy a major boost, thanks to a $699,663 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The grant award stems from the Coordinating Board’s Educator Quality Division and supports a proposal put forth by Dr. Robert C. Hilborn, head of UT Dallas’s Science/Mathematics Education Department, and a team of 11 UT Dallas faculty educators.  Read the full story  


Nobel Prof Gives Schools High-Powered Science Help

Physicist says Project-Based Learning Helps Build Interest and Aptitude Early

May 28, 2009

The scientist who co-discovered the first binary pulsar is tackling a new challenge these days: how to invigorate science education in the nation’s K-12 classrooms. Dr. Russell Hulse, along with Dr. Joe Taylor from Princeton University, received the 1993 Nobel Prize in physics for discovering two dense, collapsed stars closely orbiting each other.  One of these stars is a pulsar, which can be detected by its emission of regular pulses of radio waves. The discovery of the first binary pulsar provided the first way to test Albert Einstein’s prediction that moving objects emit gravitational waves. … UT Dallas also has four of its UTeach students participating in the classrooms, helping the teachers and the students. …  Read full story  


NSF Grant Supports Teacher Training Initiative

$749,225 Earmarked for Science and Math Majors Participating in UTeach

Oct. 2, 2008

UT Dallas has received a $749,225 grant from the National Science Foundation to support The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Named in honor of the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and of Intel, the Robert Noyce program will provide five years of summer research stipends and internships and 45 $10,000 scholarships for UT Dallas science and mathematics majors who intend to become K-12 teachers. Read the full story  


Foundation Gift Helps UT Dallas Scholars Thrive

July 10, 2008

The Greater Texas Foundation has given $200,000 to support three key UT Dallas programs. This gift will provide need-based scholarships to students in the Academic Bridge Program and to community college students transferring to UT Dallas through the Comet Connection program. The gift will also offer program support for UTeach DallasRead the full story  


UTeach Dallas Receives $200,000 from Fort Worth Foundation

May 5, 2008

Efforts by The University of Texas at Dallas to graduate more math and science teachers for Texas middle and senior high schools have received a $200,000 gift from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. UTeach Dallas, which enrolled its first cohort of students in January, is aimed at drawing more math, science, engineering and computer science majors to the profession of teaching. Students are exposed to the inside of a classroom as early as their freshman year and can complete their major and teacher certification within four years. UTeach Dallas also provides students with financial support and pairs them with a mentor teacher.     Read Full story


Gov. Perry: UTeach, UT Dallas to Help Close Math and Science Gap

Rick Perry

Governor Rick Perry announces the UTeach Dallas replication grant at UTDallas. Dec 2007

December 06, 2007

DALLAS – Gov. Perry today participated in the presentation of a $2.4 million grant over a five year period from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to the University of Texas (UT) at Dallas to replicate the UTeach program, which will certify UT Dallas undergraduates to become high school math and science teachers. UT Dallas is one of 12 sites nationally to be awarded a replication grant. “Texas is once again leading the nation with winning ideas, such as the UTeach program, which will help us close the math and science gap in today’s schools, before it becomes a salary gap in tomorrow’s workplace and an opportunity gap for Texas families.”    Read the full story.     




Aiming to Multiply Math, Science Teachers

UTD Founds Training Program with Funds from Dallas Nonprofit

December 5, 2007  Dallas Morning News

Math and science whizzes aren’t necessarily good at teaching. And teachers don’t always know their calculus or chemistry. 

The University of Texas at Dallas aims to marry those skills with a new teacher training program that campus officials will announce today. The program, modeled after one at UT-Austin, is designed to address a shortage of math and science teachers and ultimately turn more young people on to careers in those fields. Read full story: 2007-12-05_Aiming_to_multiply_math science_teachers_DMN



Governor Says UTeach Funds Will Help Reverse Math-Science Trend

$2.4 Million from NMSI to Help Head Off Shortage of Instructors in Texas

Dec. 5, 2007   UT Dallas News Center    

Gov. Rick Perry visited Wednesday to help UT Dallas celebrate $2.4 million in funding for a program to help the state increase its ranks of math and science teachers. The university will receive the money over the next five years following a competition that included submissions from more than 50 universities nationwide.  Read the full story