NMSSI Course Catalog 2022

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All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise noted.


NMSSI Courses for Mathematics Teachers
MATH 800P - Number and Operation for K-3 Math Specialists
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7641

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 6-10 and June 13-15, 7:30-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
This first course of the Primarily Math program will strengthen teachers’ conceptual knowledge of number and operation in the K-3 mathematics curriculum. The course connects the intuitive mathematical understandings that children bring to school and links them to an understanding of place value in the K-3 curriculum. The significance of base 10 in our place value system, along with its role in arithmetic operations and their properties is a major emphasis of the course. Selected cases and student work samples serve as the primary vehicles through which teachers study connections between the mathematical content and student learning and development in the primary classroom. Topics addressed in the course are aligned with NCTM Standards and the NCTM Focal Points. The course offers a foundation for developing “habits of mind of a mathematical thinker,” particularly as they relate to problem solving, reasoning, and writing mathematical explanations. Teachers can apply to the Primarily Math program until April 15, 2022. Note: Teachers will need to attend homework sessions in the afternoon, so it is not recommended to take any other courses in the afternoons.
MATH 801P - Geometry, Measurement & Algebraic Thinking for K-3 Math Specialists
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7642

Locations and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 16-17 and June 21-24, 7:30-noon (Zoom, with breaks)
This course of Primarily Math promotes a deep understanding of geometry, measurement and algebraic thinking and its role in the K-3 mathematics curriculum. Emphasis is placed on mathematical argument related to geometric relationships, measurement, spatial reasoning, patterns, relations and functions. Teachers can apply to the Primarily Math program until April 15, 2022. Note: Teachers will need to attend homework sessions in the afternoon, so it is not recommended to take any other courses in the afternoons.
MATH 800T - Math as a Second Language
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6533

Location and Date:
Online (Asynchronous): June 6-July 8 (5 weeks)
This course is a study of numbers and operations from a teacher’s perspective. From an early emphasis on counting, cardinality and our place value system, the course will emphasize the arithmetic operations with an emphasis on fractions, decimals and the rational number system. An emphasis will be placed on units of measure and how numbers serve as adjectives that modify nouns (units). The course also focuses on problem solving and reasoning and developing the “habits of mind of a mathematical thinker.” Teachers in grades 4-6 can apply to the ITEAM program until April 15, 2022. Seventh- and eighth-grade teachers considering a master's degree should visit the MAT page and the TLTE MA page.
MATH 802T - Functions, Algebra and Geometry
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 9012

Locations and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 21-24 and June 27-July 1, afternoons, 1pm-5pm (Zoom, with breaks)
This course offers an introduction to the concept of a function and addresses both algebra and geometry topics. The course will deepen teachers’ understanding of the concepts of variable and function, problem solving, measurement, and geometric modeling, with emphasis on the connections between these concepts. Math 802T is part of our effort to assist teachers as they develop a strong foundation in mathematics focused on the mathematics that must be understood deeply to teach well at the middle grades. Teachers in grades 4-6 can apply to the ITEAM program until April 15, 2022. Seventh- and eighth-grade teachers considering a master's degree should visit the MAT page and the TLTE MA page. Teachers with secondary certification may prefer to take Math 810T or Math 811T. If you have taken Math 810T or Math 811T, please request permission from your advisor before taking Math 802T.
MATH 805T - Discrete Mathematics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3082

Locations and Dates:
In Person: June 6-10, 8am-5pm, in Hastings at ESU 9, Clay Conference Room
This course is designed to deepen knowledge of discrete mathematics as it relates to topics covered in middle through high school curricula. Many of the course topics are introduced through "hands-on" explorations including methods of counting, graph theory (networking) and voting theory, which is particularly relevant in an election year. Teachers will be introduced to different voting methods for determining the winner of an election along with several (sometimes conflicting) notions of fairness. The course also develops an understanding of the role of precise mathematical language, reasoning, and proof in the development of discrete mathematics. The exploratory exercises in the course provide useful vehicles for promoting communication as groups will collaborate to explore problems and present various solutions.
MATH 807T - Using Mathematics to Understand our World
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6529

Locations and Dates:
Online (Asynchronous): May 16-July 8 (8 weeks)
This course will examine the mathematics underlying several socially relevant questions from a variety of academic disciplines. Mathematical models of problems will be constructed and studied using a variety of topics and basic skills in algebra, functions, statistics and probability. Sources will include original documentation whenever possible (such as government data, reports and research papers) in order to provide a sense of the very real role that mathematics plays in society. Note: Math 807T is not open to teachers who have completed Math 809: Mathematical Modeling.
MATH 808T - Concepts of Calculus
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7646

Locations and Dates:
In Person: July 11-15, 7:30am-4pm, in Kearney at ESU 10
Students in this course will develop conceptual knowledge of the processes of differentiation and integration, an understanding of their applications and an understanding of the relationship between the two processes. Topics will include average and instantaneous rates of change, slopes of tangent lines, limits, derivatives, extrema, derivatives of polynomials and exponential functions, anti-derivatives, areas, integrals and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and connections to the middle level curriculum. This course serves to introduce the basic concepts of calculus to middle level teachers and is designed around a series of explorations through which students are led to discover the main ideas of calculus. Thus, problems sets which guide participants through concrete examples conveying the fundamental concepts of calculus will form the basis of the course. The primary goal is to help teachers develop a fundamental understanding of the key mathematical ideas in calculus in order to broaden their mathematical perspective and gain insight into the topics in middle level curriculum which are related and foundational to its development. Graphing calculator strongly recommended (TI 84 and above). This course has been successfully taught to teachers of grades 5-8 as part of the Math in the Middle program.
MATH 811T - Functions for High School Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7647

Locations and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 6-10 and June 13-17, 8am-noon (on Zoom with breaks)
A study of functions in the pre-calculus, high school mathematics curriculum from an advanced viewpoint. Functions will be investigated by examining their utility in more advanced courses and applications, enabling teachers to better understand the important aspects and appropriate emphasis of a concept. Content will include polynomial, circular (trig), and exponential functions, and their connections to calculus.
MATH 812T - Geometry for Geometry Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7648

Locations and Dates:
In Person: July 11-15, 8am-5pm, in Lincoln on the UNL City Campus
The main goal of the course is to strengthen your mathematical background for teaching Geometry. We will focus on fundamental concepts of Euclidean geometry, and use explorations to contrast them with non-Euclidean geometries (including spherical and hyperbolic geometries). We will make extensive use of simple, concrete materials and dynamic geometry software.
MATH 893 - History of Mathematics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 7649

Locations and Dates:
In Person: June 21-24, 8am-5pm, in Gretna (school TBD)
This course will study mathematical topics and their development over time. The purpose is to convey that mathematical concepts, as we know and teach them, did not suddenly spring to life, but are the culmination of smaller discoveries and inventions that sometimes required centuries to assemble. This process of creating and discovering new mathematics happens every day. Due to the course only meeting for four days, pre-course readings will be made available in Canvas the week before.
MATH 893 - Using Technology to Aid in Problem Solving
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 6530

Locations and Dates:
Online (Asynchronous): June 6-July 8 (5 weeks)
A series of mathematics problems and strategies that are enhanced by explorations using technology (e.g., Desmos, Geogebra) are addressed. Attention will be paid to how technology can strengthen the teaching of mathematics. Note: Teachers who have already taken TEAC 880E: Teaching Mathematics with Technology, for grades 7-12, cannot take this course for credit toward their degree.
STAT 811T - Statistics for Middle-Level Teachers
Audience:K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 9120

Locations and Dates:
Web conferencing, June 13-17, 8am-5pm (Zoom with breaks)
The goal of the course is to introduce you to basic statistical concepts. The course will emphasize concepts applicable to the middle-level classroom and numerical literacy. It will also provide the basis for further study in statistics and school-based research.
TEAC 807B - Equitable Practices in Mathematics Education: Teaching for Social Justice
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 5792

Locations and Dates:
Web conferencing, June 21-July 1, 1pm-5pm (Zoom with breaks)
This will take an interdisciplinary approach to understand what counts as social justice by looking at examples of classroom practice. The class will be anchored by examples of social justice and instances of social inequality in the teaching and learning of mathematics to better understand our/your own practice. This course will be an analysis of the application of equitable practices to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. Class will be a hybrid webinar learning experience over the span of two week. The class structure is a as follows; the first hour of class will be asynchronous, followed by a real time 2.5-hour zoom (synchronous) learning component, and a final 30 minute asynchronous opportunity to connect learning to practice. This class is intended for anyone teaching mathematics and other mathematics education stakeholders across all Pk-20 levels, with the primary goal of working towards all students and people have access to rich mathematical learning experiences.
TEAC 849G - Assessment in Mathematics Education
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 5796

Locations and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 6-10 and 13-17, 1pm-5pm (Zoom with breaks)
This class will focus on examining mathematics classroom assessment and grading practices and policies. Emphasis will be placed on understanding assessment and grading from both a theoretical and practical perspective and implications for planning and enacting equitable mathematics instruction. Activities and assignments will include readings, discussions, written reflections, and a culminating assessment and grading philosophy and plan. The format of the two-week class will involve approximately 2 hours of synchronous instruction (virtual meetings) each day. The remaining work can be completed asynchronously. Required Text: Feldman (2018) Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms
TEAC 808J - Improvement of Instruction in School Mathematics: Special Topics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 5793

Locations and Dates:
Online (Asynchronous), July 12-August 11 (5 weeks)
This class will focus on international approaches and perspectives on mathematics education in PK-12 environments. Course activities will include readings, video cases, online discussions, and reflections that lead up to a comparative analysis of mathematics education in two or more countries. The format of this course is online asynchronous over the second 5-week summer session. Required readings will include journal articles available online or through UNL Libraries.

NMSSI Courses for Science Teachers
ASTR 892 - Life in the Universe for STEM Teachers
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3206

Location and Dates: Online, June 6-July 8 plus Web Conferencing June 27-July 8, 9am-noon (Zoom with breaks)
This course on astrobiology focuses on the question "Are we alone in the Universe?" and applies scientific reasoning to the possibility of life somewhere other than Earth. It will study how life arose, how it has evolved over time and the conditions necessary for life to exist. It includes topics and pedagogical strategies in astronomy, biology, geology, paleontology and chemistry, and utilizes an integrative interdisciplinary approach needed to study today's complex problems. The first three weeks of the course will consist of asynchronous activities (e.g. readings, modest exercises); the last two weeks will include synchronous meetings on Zoom for at most 3 hours per day. These sessions will address major ideas, exercises, teaching resources, pedagogical pitfalls, and contemporary journal articles. A project-based post course assignment will be given. All due dates will have considerable flexibility. This course may also be appropriate for seventh- and eighth-grade teachers.
BIOS 891 - Modern Genetics & Inheritance
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3201

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: June 13-24, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (Zoom)
This 2-week graduate course for middle and high school science teachers will review major principles of genetics and inheritance and investigate modern technological advances that have expanded our understanding and application of genetics to everyday life. The course will also focus on how to help teachers build a framework for developing an inquiry-based approach to teaching the basics of inheritance, genetics, and bioethics. Students will also have the opportunity to interact and discuss modern research and approaches in genetics with experts in the field.
GEOS 898 - Methods in Geoscience Field Instruction
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 8047, Section 591

Location and Dates:
In Person, travel: June 11-26
This course, directed toward in-service teachers, comprises a 16-day inquiry-based field course and science-immersion discovery experience in Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota. The primary aims of this course are to improve educators' ability to teach inquiry, gain knowledge and understanding of geoscience, and to demonstrate effective teaching methods that teachers can integrate into K-12 science learning environments. The major goals of GEOS 898 are:

  • To enhance the 'geoscience experience' for in-service science educators and their future students;
  • To demonstrate inquiry concepts and skills that K-12 educators are expected to understand and employ;
  • To inspire science educators to use inquiry and geoscience as unifying themes in their teaching activities;
  • To provide all participants with a 'tool-kit' of effective inquiry-based teaching practices in all science fields.

Through a collaborative teaching and learning structure, all course participants will learn about geology, geoscience education, group dynamics, and more about themselves. The course will follow a route through Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota and will expose you to scientific principles and practices through discovery- and inquiry-based learning. You will observe and study a variety of natural phenomena (with a focus on Earth processes and geological history). You will utilize science process skills to include: documentation, classification, question formulation, development of hypotheses and models, debating interpretations, and developing higher-level questions, etc. Evening discussions will be conducted around the campfire where we will explore effective teaching practices. You will work to develop tools and techniques to teach others what you have learned. You will collaborate with your peers to evaluate, compare, criticize and adjust your work. At the end of the course we will visit a site where you will engage in an authentic geologic exercise and apply the skills you have learned over the previous 10 days to construct a geologic history for the region. A video about the course provides information and testimonials from former participants, watch it here (may not work in Google Chrome).

Department consent will be required to register; e-mail dharwood1@unl.edu. All costs for food, accommodation, and transport are provided at no cost.
GEOS 898 - Weather, Climate and Climate Change
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 3202

Location and Dates:
Web Conferencing: July 11-22, 12:30pm-3:30pm (Zoom with breaks)
This course will cover the scientific principles that govern our planet's weather and climate, and will demonstrate ways to teach these concepts to students using experiments and observations. Participants will leave the course with the confidence, knowledge and resources to teach their students about weather, climate, and climate change.
NRES 898 - Teaching about Earth's Changing Climate
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 9365

Locations and Dates:
Web conferencing, June 13-17, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Zoom with breaks)
This professional learning opportunity shares a new high school climate science curriculum module focused on supporting students’ 3D-learning through the use of NASA’s web-based climate data and global climate modeling tools. The program will provide experiences with the use of EzGCM an online toolkit that makes an authentic NASA global climate model accessible to high school teachers and students via curricular resources that have been developed and tested for the past 4 years in partnership high school teachers, climate scientists, and science education researchers. You also need to sign up to reserve your spot through this link: https://forms.office.com/r/y8GQ68GwZr.
PHYS 892 - Vectors in Introductory Physics
Audience: K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Class #: 9046

Locations and Dates:
In Person, in Lincoln on UNL City Campus, 245 Jorgensen Hall: July 18-29, 9am-noon
Vectors are reviewed by exploring problem-solving strategies for the (typically "harder") starred end-of-chapter problems in high school textbooks and extended into 3-dimensions with the introduction vector algebra that defines "cross" and "dot" products. All material will be presented at a level understandable to those with only a background in algebra. **This course is 2 graduate credits.** In the fall, you can choose to take PHYS 891: Physics Origins of Calculus Concepts for 2 additional credits. Building upon the interpretation of simple straight line to curved graphs of time-varying motion, force, and energy, the basic algebraic definitions of physical quantities are used to gently introduce the calculus concepts of differentiation and integration. All material will be presented at a level understandable to those with only a background in algebra.