SENCER News

 


Applications for SSI 2014 Post-Institute Implementation Awards Invited

SENCER/NSF Post-Institute Implementation Awards are intended to promote the implementation of projects with an emphasis on developing measurable and achievable goals and innovative plans to acquire evidence of project outcomes. Potential projects appropriate for sub-award applications include course/program development or redesign, campus-based faculty development initiatives, outreach to institutions or colleagues new to SENCER, or research into student learning, among others.

Grants are issued to institutions for a project term of two years and in the amount of $3,000. Applicants must have participated in SSI 2014 as an individual, a group of two or three, or a team of four or more to be eligible to submit an application. Full instructions on sub-award requirements and guidelines for submission, as well as a link to the application form, may be found here. Applications must be submitted using the online form by 11:30 p.m. (Eastern) on September 19, 2014. Please contact SENCER staff with any questions on the application or review process.

Agenda and Rolling Registration for Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session

Registration: Registration for the Symposium will remain open on a space-available basis throughout September. To register for the Symposium, please use this form.

Our Program: An expanded agenda for the Symposium, with information on the accepted panels and presentations, is available here. Click here for more information on the Washington Symposium.

 

SCI-New England to Host Fall Meeting on Big Data and Democratizing STEM Skills

On October 18, the New England SENCER Center for Innovation will host a regional meeting at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts. Continue reading.

SENCER-ISE Representatives Attend 2014 NSF AISL PI Meeting

Wednesday, August 20 through Friday, August 22, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education CAISE hosted the 2014 National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning (NSF AISL) Principal Investigator (PI) meeting. An AISL award and The Noyce Foundation support the SENCER-ISE initiative. Continue Reading.

SCI-MidAtlantic to Host Two Regional Conferences This Fall

SCI-MidAtlantic will host two fall meetings--"SENCER and Engaging Mathematics" on October 18 at LaGuardia Community College, and "SENCER and Teaching with Technology" on November 15 at Barnard College. Continue reading.

SIGMAA QL and SENCER: Perfect Together--Reflections on QL's 10th Anniversary at MAA's Summer MathFest

Back in February, I received an invitation from Andy Miller, a professor of mathematics at Belmont College and current past chair of the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA's) "SIGMAA" on Quantitative Literacy (SIGMAA QL). Andy asked me to participate in a panel to celebrate SIGMAA QL's 10th anniversary to be held at MAA's Summer MathFest, from August 6-9 in Portland, OR. Continue reading.

Professor Gary Booth of Brigham Young University and The Core Interdisciplinary Team from the United States Military Academy Honored with 2014 William E. Bennett Awards for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science

Gary Booth, professor of plant and wildlife science at Brigham Young University, and The Core Interdisciplinary Team from the United States Military Academy at West Point have been selected as this year’s recipients of the William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science. Monica Devanas, director of faculty development and assessment programs at the Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research at Rutgers University and a 2013 Bennett Award recipient, presented the awards during a dinner honoring leaders at the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute. Professor Booth was honored for his remarkable 40 years of dedicated teaching and to recognize his distinguished record as a long-time, unflagging, unfailing, and imaginative contributor to the SENCER community. As Dr. Devanas noted, the Bennett Award will "hold up Dr. Booth’s contributions to students and education as an inspiration to others." The award to the United States Military Academy honors their creation and implementation of comprehensive interdisciplinary program focused on the complex, contested, and capacious issue of energy. Of the Core Interdisciplinary Team at West Point, Dr. Devanas noted, "The discipline, dedication and passion that the West Point faculty and student leaders have brought to their work on interdisciplinary education has captured the attention, adoration, and affection of the SENCER community. Our West Point colleagues have provided a thorough, thoughtful, and careful implementation of SENCER ideals with equally thoughtful and careful assessment of each element in all their work." Continue reading.

West Point Shares Results and Recommendations Emerging from Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Few students are more directly connected to the real world implications of the college education they receive than those at our service academies. Since their first participation in a SENCER Summer Institute in 2011 and a house call by Dr. Barbara Tewksbury, the faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point have been building an interdisciplinary collaboration around the topic of energy. During their plenary presentation at SSI 2014, Col. Jerry Kobylski, Col. Diane Ryan, and recent West Point graduate 2LT Elizabeth Olcese discussed the origins, development, assessment results, and future plans for the "Energy Spine." The Core Interdisciplinary Team (CIT), started by Kobylski, Ryan, and Col. Joseph Shannon, is a voluntary effort by faculty who believe implementation of the SENCER approach will improve their cadets’ experiences and learning within STEM and help better prepare students for the challenges they will face after graduation. Continue reading.

Susan Rundell Singer of the National Science Foundation Advocates for 'Authentic Learning Experiences'

In her plenary address at SSI 2014 entitled, Learning through Authentic Experiences, Dr. Susan Rundell Singer, director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, began by identifying what she called "game changers" that have led to new efforts to influence education, not just in schools, but as she said, in learning that occurs "any time and in any place." Among the game changers she discussed were advances in the science of learning, the advent of an era of big data, increasing cost of education, exploding needs for highly trained and educated members of the workforce, and the influence of new technology affecting communication and learning. Continue reading.

KQED Plenary Addresses How Multimedia and Media-Making Can Help Improve Science Education Inside and Outside the Classroom

Multimedia and social media have become so integrated into our daily lives - from the smartphones in our pockets to the real time citizen journalism on our Twitter feeds. It only makes sense that the same technology be used to engage students both in science classrooms and after they’ve left them. During our SENCER Summer Institute, Sue Ellen McCann and Andrea Aust of KQED, the Northern California public media broadcast station, and David Bolt, author of The Digital Divide: Computers and Our Children’s Future, gave a plenary address concerning the uses and misuses of media in support of learning. Continue reading.

Applications for SSI 2014 Post-Institute Implementation Awards Invited

SENCER/NSF Post-Institute Implementation Awards are intended to promote the implementation of projects with an emphasis on developing measurable and achievable goals and innovative plans to acquire evidence of project outcomes. Potential projects appropriate for sub-award applications include course/program development or redesign, campus-based faculty development initiatives, outreach to institutions or colleagues new to SENCER, or research into student learning, among others. Grants are issued to institutions for a project term of two years and in the amount of $3,000. Applicants must have participated in SSI 2014 as an individual, a group of 2 or 3, or a team of 4 or more to be eligible to submit an application. Full instructions on sub-award requirements and guidelines for submission, as well as a link to the application form, may be found here. Applications must be submitted using the online form by 11:30 p.m. (Eastern) on September 19, 2014. Please contact SENCER staff with any questions on the application or review process.

Now Accepting Registration for 2014 Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session

There is still time to register for the 2014 NCSCE Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session!

The Washington Symposium offers the opportunity for you to learn from cutting-edge experts and one another, to participate in thoughtful discussions, and to communicate the results of your work to leaders and peers.

The Symposium will begin on September 28 at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Our program will feature keynote presentations by Dan Kahan, Professor of Law and Psychology and Director of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale University, who will address the significance of Improving the public communication of science, and Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics and Political Science and Director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University, who will help us consider "the evidence on evidence."

On Monday, September 29 the Symposium moves to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to a presentation from Jessica Wyndham, Associate Director for the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of AAAS, our Monday program will feature invited short papers and panel presentations, and project updates from current NSF and other supported initiatives in formal and informal education.

On Tuesday, Cannon Caucus Room of the US House of Representatives on Capitol Hill is where we will gather for the Capitol Hill Poster Session, the William E. Bennett Award presentation, closing remarks, and a buffet luncheon. Attendees who propose sessions or posters can be scheduled for a meeting with their member of Congress. National Center staff will help make these appointments, on request.

If your poster was accepted for presentation, registration will remain open until September 3, 2014. Late registrants will be considered on a space available basis only. The registration fee for those presenting posters at the 2014 NCSCE Washington Symposium is $300 and covers admission to all program sessions, program materials, and several meals, including a reception on Sunday, breakfast on Monday, and lunches on Monday and Tuesday. NCSCE staff will also work to arrange Congressional appointments for poster presenters, upon request. Participants are responsible for making their own lodging and travel arrangements, and lodging options have been identified by NCSCE staff here.

If you did not propose a poster but are interested in attending the program, you may register on a day-by-day basis, based on space availability. Registration for attendance at the program on Monday, September 29th is available for $25. Participants in Monday’s program will hear project updates from current NSF and other supported initiatives in formal and informal education, as well as presentations by SENCER Leadership Fellows and NCSCE Scholars. The day will also feature a presentation by Jessica Wyndham of AAAS on science and human rights. Registration will remain open until September 3, 2014.

A limited number of places are also available for attendance of only Sunday’s program, featuring Dan Kahan and Andrew Gelman. These places are available for $25 as well. For more information about attending on Sunday, September 28th, please contact Kyle Simmons directly at kyle.simmons@ncsce.net or by phone at (202) 483-4600.

Dan Kahan Delivers Spirited SSI Addresses on the Science of Science Communication

Dan Kahan of Yale University opened his plenary address during our SENCER Summer Institute 2014 by standing at the podium in front of the Humanities Lecture Hall, speaking into the microphone as you would expect. He quickly abandoned that stance, however. Preferring instead to bound up and down the aisles projecting his voice into the crowd, often with expansive arm gestures, it was clear that his passion for the science of science communication ran deep. Learning that he has run nine marathons did not come as a surprise! Dan is an active person with an even more active mind, so it’s fitting that he played such an active and pivotal role during SSI 2014. A member of the Cultural Cognition Project, Dan brought his seemingly endless supply of enthusiasm and energy to Asheville in order to communicate the importance of employing careful, thoughtful, and evidence-based methods of science communication that minimize ideological polarization. Continue reading.

 

Sherryl Broverman Describes How One SENCER Course Can Lead to Great Things

Where can a SENCER course take you? Somewhere you may never expect. In her plenary address at the close of our 2014 SENCER Summer Institute, Sherryl Broverman described how a SENCER course she developed on HIV/AIDS for Duke University led her to a rural Kenyan community near Lake Victoria. During the 2002 SENCER Summer Institute, Sherryl decided to collaborate with Rose Odhiambo and others at Egerton University in Kenya to link their courses on HIV/AIDS. Through this coupling and visits to the region, Sherryl’s knowledge about just how comprehensively and devastatingly the disease affects every aspect of the community grew. Indeed, even something so seemingly simple as the cost and general unavailability of sanitary pads triggers a whole web of problems for girls in the region—the lack of pads contributes to higher risk of infection and missed school days, which result in girls falling behind in their studies and dropping out of school. Sherryl used the knowledge she gained to push her work further. She founded WISER, or the Women’s Institute of Secondary Education & Research, to help educate girls and improve health. Continue reading.

 

SSI 2014 Sessions, Posters, Photographs Now Online

Thanks to the generosity of SSI 2014 presenters, we are able to share PDFs of many of the presentations from plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, work sessions, workshops, and invited posters. We will also add audio recordings of several of our plenary sessions to the site over the next week.


To access PDFs of session presentations, please click here.

To access PDFs of invited posters, please click here.


Please also continue to visit these pages over the next few weeks, as presentations and posters will be continuously added as we receive them from presenters. If you presented at the Institute and are willing to share resources from your talk, please email documents to Kyle at kyle.simmons@ncsce.net. We also invite you to visit this page to peruse photographs of SSI 2014 participants, plenary presenters, and poster presenters. If you have any photographs you would like to share, please send to NCSCE staff via email, or we welcome you to share them via Twitter with @NCSCE, @SENCERnet, @sencerise, or @MathEngaging.

 

Summer 2014 Journal Issue Addresses Interdisciplinary Collaborations, Service-Learning, Informal Science Education, and Civic Engagement in Asia

In the Summer 2014 issue of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal, you will find articles elucidating four very different approaches of the impact, both locally and internationally, of science education on civic life. In a strong example of the scholarship of teaching and learning, Elizabeth Olcese, Gerald Kobylski, and Charles Elliott of the United States Military Academy and Joseph Shannon of South Seattle College have documented their systematic and research-based approach to developing a valid assessment rubric for West Point's Interdisciplinary Core Program. Their article "Meeting the Challenge of Interdisciplinary Assessment" notes that preparing students to address increasingly complex civic and societal challenges will demand a STEM-rich education that places greater emphasis on interdisciplinary courses and curricula. However, the problem of defining, and then measuring "interdisciplinarity" has acted as a brake on the development of programs and courses that give students essential experience in integrating and synthesizing knowledge from multiple disciplines. The detailed report of their process and their account of the results of their initial implementation are valuable contributions to a larger conversation, both about efforts to increase the civic impact of STEM learning, and the strategies used to assess those innovations. Click here to read about other articles in this issue of the Journal.

Newest SENCER Backgrounders Address Synthetic Biology and Supporting Undergraduate Leadership

SENCER Backgrounders are intended to provide intelligent, general readers with high quality syntheses of some of the complex, capacious civic issues that SENCER courses sometimes use to teach basic science. The idea is not to explain the science, but to connect some of what is known, and as yet unknown scientifically, with some of what is at stake civically. A second goal is to identify where scientific knowledge sheds light in such a way as to make civic choices more optimal. At the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute, we announced the addition of two new backgrounders to the series. Click here to read more about the Backgrounder and access the full text.

What’s Happening in SENCER-ISE: Partners, Other Informal Science Educators Bring New Perspectives to SENCER Summer Institute

SENCER-ISE partners and informal science educators (ISE) had an increased presence at this year’s SENCER Summer Institute (SSI). Thirteen SENCER-ISE partners and partnership representatives participated in SSI. A few had been a part of the SENCER community for years, and others were newer to the community and still learning about its practices. All lent their expertise to SSI discussions, both large and small. SSI participants were provided opportunities to learn about the work done by the SENCER-ISE partnerships and other informal science educators throughout the Institute. Continue reading.

 

Engaging Mathematics Partners Get Chance to Engage in Collaborative Planning and Meet Others Interested in Their Work

SSI 2014 marks the second time the Engaging Mathematics partners came together as a group since the project’s kick-off meeting in January of this year. On the second day of the Institute, project Co-PI Cindy Kaus led a work session called “SENCER Mathematics Across the Curriculum.” The session attracted an interdisciplinary audience, which was indeed the goal - “My title worked!” Cindy proclaimed at the session’s start, after asking how many in attendance were professors of a subject other than math. During the session, project members and session attendees gave short presentations about the interdisciplinary civic issues within their courses. Continue reading.

 

2014 SENCER Models Now Available Online 

The three courses that have been selected as the SENCER 2014 models exemplify a number of exciting developments emerging in the curricula of participating institutions, including increasingly complex multi-disciplinary inquiry, the application of SENCER strategies to upper-division courses, and the extension of the SENCER approach to courses in non-STEM disciplines. Our first course in a social science, Economics, comes from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa. The Economics of Climate Change is an upper-division elective for majors that also fulfills the requirements in Social Sciences and Ethics for non-majors. Pollinators, from the University of Southern Connecticut, is a general education science course in the Honors College that addresses Colony Collapse Disorder as a case study in systems analysis and sustainability, demanding a highly integrated multi-disciplinary approach. Our third course is an introductory-level, general education course called simply The Chicken. This wide-ranging investigation of the many dimensions of the ubiquitous bird blends social and cultural analysis with substantial STEM content, including ontogeny, virology and epidemiology, genetics and evolution, avian behavior, probability and statistics, and nutrition. Click here for abstracts and full descriptions.

Jessica Wyndham of AAAS to Discuss the Intersection of Science and Human Rights at NCSCE Washington Symposium

Jessica Wyndham serves as the Associate Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights & Law Program, which, according to its literature, “addresses ethical, legal, and human rights issues related to the conduct and application of science and technology. At the 2014 Symposium, she will address the imperative of scientists to get engaged in issues of policy generally and human rights specifically. Whether in the context of persistent social inequalities or climate change, contemporary global challenges call for the collaboration of policy makers and scientists, and a rigorous assessment of how these issues impact human rights. At the same time, it is important to recognize that science and technology can sometimes also infringe on human rights. Scientists can make significant policy contributions by identifying the connections between human rights and their areas of technical expertise. They have a responsibility to bring their technical know-how and rigorous methods to important social, policy, and human rights matters, but they also need to be supported in their efforts to communicate with policymakers. Continue reading.

Follow SENCER on Twitter and Facebook

Connect with SENCER for daily updates, news from around the STEM world, and conversations on twitter @sencernet and on facebook here! We welcome your input and any info you’re interested in sharing on our pages.

 

 

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SECEIJ Site - August 19: The site for Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal is currently experiencing technical difficulties. We are working to resolve the problem and will have the site back up as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience!

 

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