Do Now U: The Fate of Polio: Eradication or Elimination?

Duke University students Virginia Reid, Celia Mizelle, Andrew Padilla, and Thomas Luo in professor Sherryl Broverman's course published a Do Now U article for KQED on why Polio--which is now found only in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria--should be eliminated (stopping transmission of the disease in specific geographic areas), or fully eradicated (reaching zero cases worldwide). Continue reading.

Webinar of the Week: A Future Shared with Robots

Should insurance companies be allowed to use your purchasing history to set prices on your policies? Should self-driving cars be allowed on public roads? What are the implications of robotic police? These are some of the questions Frank Wattenberg explores during his webinar, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence - Shaping a Future Shared with Robots. Continue reading Continue reading to learn how Frank leads his students in hands-on robot building and in-depth discussion about the civic implications of a robot-human society. Continue reading.

2015 NCSCE Washington Symposium and SENCER-ISE Meeting Displays the Strength of Educational Partnerships

The Washington Symposium and SENCER-ISE national meeting, From Nice to Necessary: Science in the Service of Democracy, was an opportunity for members of the SENCER community, and others interested in the intersection of science and public policy, to share the results of their projects and demonstrate their impacts on campuses as well as communities. This year's program had a particular focus on the work of SENCER-Informal Science Education and its partnerships. The program took place at George Mason University's Arlington Campus on September 27th and 28th, and on Capitol Hill on September 29th. Continue reading.

Do Now U: How Would You Balance Wildlife Conservation and Economic Growth?

The first Do Now U post, "How Would You Balance Wildlife Conservation with Economic Growth?", created by George Mason University students, Joy Vander Clute, Claire Haftt, Andrea Freddy, and Sarmad Butt in professor Tom Wood's course, is now available on the KQED Education website. In their post, Jon, Claire, Andrea, and Sarmad use science media and resources to lay out the environmental conservation arguments for why the greater sage grouse, an "iconic species of the American West," should not have been removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species list, and the economic counter-points for why the bird species no longer needed the protective listing. Continue reading.

Autumn Marshall Delivers SENCER Summer Institute Plenary on Lipscomb University's Campus and Community Work

Dr. Autumn Marshall, associate professor and academic chair of the nutrition department at Lipscomb University, delivered the final plenary address of the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute. Her presentation, "A Little Bit of Leaven," explained the three "strands" of Lipscomb's SENCER work: integrated science courses on campus, the introduction of an associate's degree at the Tennessee Prison for Women, and competency-based education. Continue reading.

Science Slams - An Original Format to Increase Science Communication

Sarah Kuppert, a recent graduate of George Mason University's Department of Environmental Science and Policy, won her school's Science Slam Grand Slam contest this past May. For the contest, Sarah had to communicate her research on Environmental DNA to a lay audience in a comedic, accessible way. By participating in the Slam, Sarah gained valuable experience in science communication. She urges other schools to host Science Slams, because in addition to letting students practice talking to a broad, non-scientifically literate audience, students who participate can win grants, add an impressive accomplishment to their resumes, and learn about the research conducted in other departments. Continue reading.

SENCER-ISE University of Connecticut and Connecticut Science Center Partnership Featured on CAISE Blog

The partnership between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Science Center, supported by SENCER-ISE, has been featured in the CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) Perspectives Blog as part of its Museum/University partnership series. Continue reading.

Webinar of the Week: Adapting Large Lecture Formats to SENCERized Teaching

Garon C. Smith's introductory chemistry course is the largest course on the University of Montana campus. To SENCERize such a large course, Garon adopted what he calls the "Trojan Horse" model. In his webinar, he describes how this model can be used to quickly and easily transform a traditional introductory, majors-sequence science course to fit with the SENCER ideals. Continue reading.

Victor Donnay Makes Mathematics Engaging, Interdisciplinary, and Relevant to the Real World
During his plenary address at the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute, Victor Donnay, who is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College and an advisory board member for NCSCE's Engaging Mathematics initiative, helped attendees see the connection between mathematics and the real world, a goal he also has for his students. Continue reading.

Webinar of the Week: Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Amy Shachter, Senior Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs of Santa Clara University, SENCER Co-Principal Investigator, and SCI-West Co-Director, describes how her campus strategically implemented themes of sustainability into courses across the Santa Clara curriculum. Santa Clara uses its Penstemon Project to help faculty outside the traditional, environmentally-focused disciplines find ways to incorporate sustainability into their curricula, either as class content or in the way their class functions. Continue reading.

Science Goes Social: KQED and NCSCE Partner on Do Now U
NCSCE and KQED are partnering on a new pilot project, Do Now U. Do Now U will engage undergraduate students in online discussions about current scientific issues through the use of social media. Do Now U represents an expansion of the KQED Do Now project aimed at high school students. Six SENCER professors have joined the Do Now U pilot project to engage student groups in creating and contributing to posts centered around the broad theme of "health." Each Do Now U post will start with a topical question. The student groups will then create blog posts that include digital media and related links to educate the public about the issue. Other students and members of the public will then be able to participate in a peer-to-peer conversation through the KQED website and Twitter. Do Now U will improve students' science communication skills and digital literacy. Continue reading.


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