NCSCE Awards Twenty-Eight Grants to Support Increased STEM Engagement, Learning Gains, and Professional Development
The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement recently granted twenty-eight SSI 2013 Post-Institute Implementation Awards to support weekend workshops, faculty development seminars, pilot programs, and course and course curriculum redesign in two and four year colleges and universities throughout the country. Several proposals address new areas of interest for SENCER and NCSCE, as our community grows and thrives. These proposals were selected following a competitive review process and represent exciting new ways to connect civic issues with STEM course and program content. Click here to read more about the funded projects.
Applications Invited for SSI 2014 in Asheville, Deadline March 24th
We look forward to returning to Asheville, North Carolina for the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute and introducing new members of our community to the lovely campus and its beautiful surroundings. As always, the program for the Institute will include all-Institute plenary sessions, workshops on effective pedagogies, examples of successful campus and community applications, and opportunities to meet formal and informal educators, administrators, students, and others from across the country interested in contributing to a civically engaged society and the improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
Program focus areas will include ideas and suggestions gleaned from the SSI 2013 evaluations. As in past Institutes, we will program sessions in response to the particular needs identified by the teams selected to attend. We invite you to use the SSI 2014 application forms to let us know your ideas and suggestions for the Institute. To read more about the Institute and access applications, please click here. Applications are due March 24, 2014 (please note the extended due date).
What’s Happening in SENCER-ISE: Project TRUE Teens Blog About Urban Ecology
Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation society are partnering on Project TRUE (Teens Researching Urban Ecology), an experiential based learning program that provides semester-long research internships to teens in the New York City area. A blog was created as part of the civic engagement aspect of the project. The teen interns generate the content for the blog, and it is managed by Jason Aloisio, Fordham University PhD candidate and City Zoo Urban Ecologist, and Debbie Dieneman, Coordinator of Volunteers at Prospect Park Zoo. Continue reading.
Annual Washington Symposium Planned for September 28-30
The SENCER DC Symposium will be held on September 28-30, 2014. Please save the dates, as more information, including submission deadlines for poster proposals and details on general guest registration, is made available in the coming months. The first day of the 2014 SENCER DC Symposium will consist of sessions at the National Academies designed to teach participants how to more effectively speak about their projects. The second day, also at the National Academies will focus on the intersection of Science and Policy, and will feature presentations from SENCER-Informal Science Education members, Engaging Mathematics project partners and other current SENCER project partners. The final day will consist of a poster session on Capitol Hill, as well as meetings between poster presenters and their members of Congress or their staffs.
As we plan for the annual Symposium, we are also excited to share that a new invitational conference will be held in May in Washington, DC. This event will be an invitational event, and more details will be made available soon.
SCI - South March 2014 Workshop
The SENCER Center of Innovation-South will be holding a workshop on Thursday, March 27th designed for college and high school faculty who teach STEM and STEM-related courses. This workshop is part of the 2014 Gulf South Summit at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. The Summit's theme is "Creating capacity collaboratively: Connecting learning and civic outcomes." The conference will be held March 26-28, 2014. The SENCER SCI-South workshop will begin with a panel consisting of faculty members from regional institutions representing a variety of disciplines who will showcase their SENCER courses. Ample opportunity will be provided for the panelists to respond to audience questions and for conversation about SENCER opportunities across the region. More information is available here.
The Noyce Foundation Issues Working Paper to Examine Cross-Sector STEM "Ecosystems" in Informal and Formal Science Learning
The Noyce Foundation recently released How Cross-Sector Collaborations are Advancing STEM Learning, a working paper by Kathleen Traphagen and Saskia Traill. In the report, Traphagen and Traill explore 15 "STEM learning ecosystems" across the United States. They note that STEM learning ecosystems, a new term used to describe formal and informal education collaborations, encompass "schools, community settings such as after-school and summer programs, science centers and museums, and informal experiences at home and in a variety of environments that together constitute a rich array of learning opportunities for young people," in out-of-school settings. Continue reading.
NCSCE Welcomes Director of Programs
Eliza Jane Reilly, longtime leader in SENCER, now joins the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement as Director of Programs. In this capacity, Reilly will facilitate coordination among the National Center's initiatives, support scholarship, and ensure high quality design and implementation of programs and symposia. She will manage all NCSCE publications, including Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal, and the SENCER Model Series.
Reilly has two decades of experience in the design and implementation of programs and materials to advance curriculum, academic leadership and faculty development. She has served as the Executive Director of the American Conference of Academic Deans and as a Director of Programs at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where she was one of the original staff members for the SENCER initiative. In the last decade she has focused on campus-based faculty development and curricular integration through directorships of the Center for Liberal Arts and Society and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, where she also had a faculty appointment in American Studies. Eliza holds a MA in the History of Art and a PhD in American History from Rutgers University. She has been an ongoing participant in SENCER and the National Center's other programs since 2001 and currently serves as the General Editor of the SENCER Models, the co-Editor of the journal, a consultant to Engaging Mathematics, and an advisory board member of SENCER-ISE.
NCSCE's GLISTEN Project Joins the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps
In the 1930s, during the darkest days of the Great Depression, millions of unemployed young men participated in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Seventy-two years later, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell launched a conservation corps for the new century, one reflecting the current diversity and talents of America’s youth: the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Principles for the 21CSC were developed by a Federal Advisory Committee appointed by Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, including GLISTEN Project Director Glenn Odenbrett. As members of the 21CSC, youth ages 15-25 (and older in the case of veterans and others serving in advanced capacities) will have the opportunity to provide "hands-on" service conserving and enhancing the nation’s federal, state, and local public lands and waters. Activities of 21CSC participants will include not only those performed by CCC members, but also technical activities such as GIS mapping and habitat surveys. Continue reading.
Engaging Mathematics Partners Launch New Initiative
On January 24-25, nineteen members of the Engaging Mathematics leadership team, including the partners, advisory board representatives, consultants, and Co-PIs, met in Jersey City, New Jersey to formally begin work on how to "make mathematics relevant to students' lives, to connect mathematics learning to the goals and interests that students bring to college, and to show how mathematics relates to other disciplines, important civic questions, and technological challenges." Continue reading.
SENCER Model Course Integrating Technology and Community Engagement Recognized at Conservation Land Workshop
David Green, a Leadership Fellow, has successfully applied the SENCER approach in innovative ways through his courses at Florida Gulf Coast University. Recently, Green was invited to present on his work at the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program’s Conservation Land Workshop. The course Professor Green featured in his presentation was selected as a SENCER model in 2013. "A Journey Down the Corkscrew Watershed: Interactive Smartphone-ready GIS Map" is available now on YouTube. Green’s course, "Environmental Biology: Ecosystems of Southwest Florida" is for non-majors and was designed to fulfill the general education requirement in science. During his talk, Green addressed his goals of providing students with basic scientific knowledge of crucial conservation and management issues as well as the critical thinking skills necessary to understand, communicate, and make evidence-based decisions regarding human use and impacts of coastal watersheds and ecosystems. Continue reading.
March Midwest Symposium to Address Teaching College Science Through Food, Health, and Sustainability Themes
SENCER’s Center for Innovation-Midwest and Roosevelt University are pleased to sponsor the Spring 2014 SCI-Midwest Regional symposium. The symposium will be held on Saturday, March 8th from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus. Conference attendees will explore the use of complex issues - food, health, sustainability, and the intersections among them - as tools for teaching in STEM fields and as opportunities for student civic engagement; learn about the goals of the SENCER project and how to design a "SENCER course;" share examples of pedagogies across the disciplines that enhance civic engagement, student learning and faculty collaboration; and strengthen the SENCER regional network by making new connections and renewing old ones. Featured speakers include Howard Rosing, Executive Director, Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning, DePaul University, and Mike Bryson, Director, Program in Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University. Continue reading.
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Upcoming National Symposia
SENCER Summer Institute
July 31 - August 4, 2014
University of North Carolina Asheville
Washington Symposium and Capitol Hill Poster Session
Dates to be announced