Northwest Node Connects New Faculty in Civic Engagement Efforts
Amanda Moodie, NCSCE
This article is the fourth installment in our series featuring updates on current activities from each of the seven nodes in the Science and Civic Engagement Western Network. SCEWestNet, funded by the W. M. Keck Foundation, is a two-year initiative to forge durable connections and robust curriculum development across 17 states of the West. Individual nodes are made up of at least three partner institutions and one lead institution in each of seven regions comprising the western United States. In this issue, we feature the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Peter (PJ) Alaimo, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Seattle University, serves as the nodal leader. Continue reading.
SSI 2013 to Feature Symposium on Science and Public Policy
Given the central role that public issues - and the development of public policies designed to address them - play in the civic engagement aspirations of the SENCER enterprise, a focused exploration of science and public policy seems essential.Â Responding to requests we received last year, we will experiment with a pre-Institute symposium designed to be useful to participants in SENCER initiatives, to creators of SENCER courses and programs, and to students. Continue reading.
New Initiative to Harvest and Disseminate "Pearls of Practice" from the SENCER Community
Have you ever tried to find just the right "gem" to enhance your SENCER course? Over the next three years, a team of SENCER practitioners will identify and refine such "Pearls of Practice," which will be published electronically in "strings" by civic themes. Other "strings" will gather pearls according to their intended use, by class size, format, or service-learning and other pedagogies. Leading this initiative are Cathy Middlecamp, a co-principal investigator in the new NSF SENCER III award and Glenn Odenbrett of the NCSCE staff. They will work in collaboration with Eliza Reilly, editor of the SENCER Model Series. Moving from "models to materials" was one of the four new areas of special focus in the newly-awarded SENCER grant. Our "MtoM" team has already launched review of the SENCER Models that focus on food availability and security, nutrition, diet, and health-related issues such as obesity and diabetes. For this first collection of "Pearls," the team will also tap the expertise of Marion Field Fass, Bennett award winner and author of the Slow Food SENCER Model. Continue reading.
Science, Human Rights and Your Involvement
Jessica M. Wyndham
Associate Director, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Since October 2012, we have explored through a series of articles the many and varied connections that exist among science, technology and human rights. It is my hope that this series will serve as a prelude to an ongoing and engaged discussion about our role in overcoming the barriers, creating the applications, testing the value, articulating the benefits and educating the next generation in how to further human rights through science and technology. Continue reading.
Stony Brook University Hosts SCI-Midatlantic Spring Conference
More than 80 educators and administrators from New York and New Jersey gathered at Stony Brook University on March 28 to discuss methods of improving STEM education. Participants were welcomed by Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. and learned about examples of how SENCER has been successfully applied on campuses in the region. Dr. Dennis Assanis, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, discussed interdisciplinary research and education with attendees. The program included presentations by David Burns on the background and theory of SENCER, Ellen Mappen on the SENCER-ISE initiative, and Monica Devanas on model course development. Invited presentations also included discussions on:
Envisioning a Theme Approach to General Education
- Dr. Robert Aller, Dr. Peter Manning, Dr. Gary Marker, and Dr. David Ferguson of Stony Brook University
The ‘Energy Spine’ at the United States Marine Academy
- Dr. Lori Sheetz and CPT Jacquie Jordan, United States Marine Academy
Nanotechnology: The Big Picture
- Gary Halada, LaGuardia Community College
A Sustained Effort to Improve Developmental Math Courses
- Marina Dedlovskaya, LaGuardia Community College
PowerPoints are currently being gathered from presenters and will be posted at the SCI-Midatlantic page as soon as available.
Northland College Students and Faculty Assess Pre-mining Environmental Baselines
Glenn Odenbrett, NCSCE
After a highly contentious debate and party-line vote in the Wisconsin legislature last month, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill that would permit mining in an Iron County area that includes the headwaters of the Bad River, a major tributary of Lake Superior. Proponents of the project claim it will bring hundreds of jobs to a region of the state plagued by chronic unemployment and to producers of mining equipment elsewhere in the state. Opponents, including leaders of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation downstream from the proposed mining project, warn of the inevitable pollution of the area’s waterways and degradation of its air quality. In the case of the Chippewa, such pollution could constitute a violation of the tribe’s water quality standards for the Bad River, which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the Clean Water Act. The tribe has threatened a legal challenge to the legislation, which could delay the beginning of mining activities for years, if not halt them altogether. Continue reading.
Washington Symposium Highlights Campus Achievements, Student Leadership, and New Initiatives
The 2013 Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session brought educators, administrators, students, and representatives of government agencies and non-profits together March 10-12 to consider the transformation of STEM education. Invited poster presenters represented colleges and universities from around the United States, as well as a diverse variety of disciplines and civic issues. We invite you to read about all invited poster presentations. The Symposium was hosted by the Board on Science Education and the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academies on March 10-11, and by the Honorable Rush Holt for the poster session in Rayburn House Office Building on March 12. Continue reading.
New Issue of Journal Now Available
We are pleased to announce the Winter 2013 issue of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal. This issue continues our mission of publishing articles that share innovations, insights, and assessment results with an international community of educators. Access the Journal.
Upcoming Workshop on Master’s Program Development
WPI and the National Professional Science Master Association (NPSMA) would like to invite SENCER faculty and friends to join us on the campus of WPI beginning on May 28 for a two-day workshop that will address the major questions related to identifying the skills data scientists need to structure and analyze large quantities of data and provide best practices in the development of professional master’s programs to meet increasing industry needs in the area. This workshop will bring together educators, business leaders and government officials to discuss the design of programs that dovetail into present and future professional career opportunities in the area of data science.
Please join in these discussions during the May 28-29 workshops on the campus of WPI. You can find more details of the workshop programs, speakers and schedule by clicking here.
New TUES III NSF Award Supports the Next Phase of SENCER's Work: Expanding Follow-up Activities, Regional Efforts, Assessment Services, Sustainability Planning, and New Curricular Resources
The National Science Foundation approved a new four-year grant to support the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement to enable new SENCER initiatives focusing especially on expanding resources, outreach to new institutions, deepening assessment, expanding regional centers, and enhancing follow-up with existing members of our community. In addition, the support will allow the Capitol Hill Poster Session, our online journal, and the implementation sub-award program to encourage SENCER projects. More than 150 implementation sub-awards will become available over the next four years. Continue reading.
Undergraduate Spotlight: Leading from the Middle
The dream of a fishable and swimmable Buffalo River is one that Rhiannon Starks was determined to make a reality long before she attended Erie Community College (ECC) and began working there as an undergraduate stewardship liaison (USL) for GLISTEN, the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship Through Education Network. While at ECC, Rhiannon was able to channel her passion for improving the environment in her own community into developing and facilitating service-learning components of new courses in the college’s environmental science major recently approved by the New York Board of Regents. Continue reading.
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Learn about planned SENCER Center for Innovation events
Upcoming National Symposia
August 1-5, 2013
Santa Clara University
Recent National Symposia
March 10-12, 2013