In the News

Meghana Bollimpalli featured on ArkansasOnline this week with a wonderful quote: 

“Nothing in the sciences is really independent work. It’s more teamwork — putting a lot of ideas together,” she said. “I’m really thankful for teachers, my school, parents and my mentors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock who helped me out with this. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Intel International Science & Engineering Fair Winners from Central Arkansas!!!

CHEM025 — Green Synthesis of Phosphorous, Nitrogen Co-Doped Carbon Materials from Renewable Resources for Supercapacitor Applications via Microwave Assisted Technique

Received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000 for her novel, low-cost approach for synthesizing materials that could greatly cut the production and energy costs of making electrodes for devices like supercapacitors. She found that combining common substances like tea and molasses with nitrogen and phosphorus in a commercial microwave formed a powder that could be used as a coating for electrode-like materials, giving them similar properties of more expensive metals like platinum.


EAEV084 — Adsorption of Nitrophenols (NPhs) Using N-Doped Carbonaceous Material

  • Anusha Bhattacharyya, Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, AR, United States of America

Won a comprehensive, full-ride scholarship, combining a monetary award and an environment focusing on knowledge, learning and research to Arizona State University. The New American University Intel ISEF Scholarship is renewable for four years.

Congrats Meghana and Anusha!


CARSEF Senior Division Overall Finalists ~ Going to Pittsburgh, PA!

The following students were selected as Senior Division Overall Finalist which earns them a trip to Intel ISEF in Pittsburgh, PA this week (May 13-18, 2018). Good luck and make Arkansas proud!

  • Mohammed Abuelem – Plant Sciences – Pulaski Academy
  • Meghana Bollimpalli  – Energy and transportation – Little Rock Central High School
  • Sanjana Padala – Environmental Management – Little Rock Central High School
  • Hetvi Shah – BiochemistryLittle Rock Central High School
  • Chengyue “Oscar” She – Cellular and Molecular Biology – Little Rock Central High School

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion ~ Shootin’ ROCKets

On Saturday, May 8th, the STEM Education Center joined with the Junior League’s Little Readers Rock to teach students and parents about Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. Students were trying to determine, will more water or less water produce a higher blasting rocket? Rockets consisted of M&M plastic candy containers adorned with stickers and fins. For explosives to propel the ROCKet, we relied on Alka-Seltzer tablets and a little (2-3 mls) or a lot (8-9 mls) of water along with a quick shake. After nearly a 100 ROCKets and students ~ the data was analyzed and…. we learned that just a little water consistently produced the highest launch. Why? Water is heavy. More water also reduces the amount of space in which the pressure has room to expand. And, less water is less heavy and creates more space for the pressure to expand, thus creating the greatest force. Ahhh.. but when the force goes down blowing off the cap, a force in the opposite direction actually propels the ROCKet upward in the opposite direction ~ Newton’s 3rd Law of motion. Thanks to our student volunteers & soon-to-be Trojans ~ Will and Gavin for joining in on our fun and learning!

Note the YELLOW ROCKet in the right picture above and the ORANGE ROCKet in the picture below.


2017-18 Student Advocates Awards 

On April 30th, UA Little Rock hosted its annual Student Advocate Awards reception in the Donaghy Student Center. Among those faculty and staff recognized was Dr. Jim Winter for his work and dedication to the STRIVE Program. The STRIVE Program, funded by the Arkansas legislature, is a long-standing STEM education program designed to place middle school, junior high, and high school STEM teachers in “real world” projects to promote problem-solving instructional approaches.


UA Little Rock STEM Education Center Airs on THV Channel 11!

To promote the Junior League’s Little Readers Rock and the Arkansas Literary Festival Partnership the STEM Education Center joined JL’s treasurer, Jennifer Goss, to explore Newton’s 3rd law of motion! Armed with junior rockets, water, and Alka-Seltzer tablets our unique rockets were launched with much anticipation. Click HERE to see our exciting news clip and be sure to watch all the way to the end of the segment for the final surprise! See you on Saturday!

Click HERE if you need a refresher on Newton’s Laws of Motion ~ thanks to NASA.



On April 13th, the STEM Education Center hosted it’s fifth Girls STEM Leadership Conference on the campus of UA Little Rock. Roughly 90 girls from Mabelvale Middle School (LRSD), Pulaski Academy, Quest Academy, eStem Junior High, and Episcopal Collegiate enjoyed three STEM sessions, lunch, and panel discussion to end the conference. Based on surveys completed by the girls and comments from their teachers ~ the day was a fun and successful! Below are the panelists that discussed STEM futures issues with the girls representing STEM fields in bioinformatics, data and information quality, nursing, chemistry and hydrology, gifted and talented STEM education, and geomorphology and sedimentology.

Left to right: Elizabeth Pierce, PhD [UA Little Rock], Marcio Bryant-Howe, PhD [UAMS], Browyn MacFarlane, PhD [UA Little Rock], Joanna Rostad-Hall, BSN, RN [UA Little Rock], Beth McMillan, PhD [UA Little Rock], and Jane Hurley, PhD [Central Arkansas Water].

Interested in your girls participating in our Girls STEM Leadership Conferences? Contact Kent Layton, for more information about next year’s plans and best dates for your school as we plan to identify schools and dates Summer 2018 so that plans for next year can take our conferences and the girls’ STEM experiences to the next level!



Each year, the STEM Education Center recognizes one individual and/or agency outside of UA Little Rock that has made a significant contribution to our unit at the annual College of Education and Health Profession’s Award Ceremony. This year’s recipient is Jane Hurley, Education and Outreach Specialist at Central Arkansas Water.

Since our brainstorming work on the Power of Water NCLB Grant began in Winter 2016, Jane Hurley has been the “lighthouse” of our collaborative efforts working tirelessly to design an institute for teachers that would be exciting, yet meaningful; rigorous, yet presented at a level that teachers could transfer and align their new knowledge in the classroom; and comprehensive, but not overwhelming.

During out time together, Jane ~ a chemist by trade ~ has proven to be an amazingly innovative professional with value-driven insight and incredible passion for STEM in the K-12 environment, whether in a lab or in the watershed. In less than a year at her new position as Education and Outreach Specialist at Central Arkansas Water, she has blazed the trail to become highly informed about K-12 STEM in the region and the state as well as connecting Central Arkansas Water’s outreach efforts to schools throughout central Arkansas.

Even more impressive ~ before we could wrap up the first Power of Water Institute funded by a NCLB STEM Grant in December, Jane shared Central Arkansas Water’s interest in continuing to support central Arkansas teachers with an ongoing Power of Water Institute each summer in collaboration with the STEM Education Center ~ which we have planned for Summer 2018 and just recently opened registration.

We simply can’t fathom a more dedicated and high-performing individual for this award than Jane Hurley. From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of the students and teachers in central Arkansas, the STEM Education Center, and the College of Education and Health Professions, thank you for all that you do for STEM education, our schools, and our communities.