SCI and SCEWestNet Regionalization Leaders Plan for Future
On January 24, in conjunction with the previous day's SCI-Southwest regional meeting, a group of SCI co-directors, SCEWestNet nodal leaders, and NCSCE staff met at Texas Woman's University to reflect on the progress of their dissemination and membership development efforts, and to establish benchmarks and goals for the next academic year. Continue reading for more information about the meeting.
SCI-Southwest Holds Spring Meeting on Bringing Civic Engagement and Undergraduate Research Experiences into Chemistry Courses, and Incorporating Themes of Sustainability Across the Curriculum
On January 23, 43 attendees from seven institutions gathered in the Ann Stuart Science Complex at Texas Woman's University (TWU) for the SENCER Center for Innovation - Southwest spring regional meeting on civic engagement, undergraduate research, and sustainability. The meeting was structured around a morning and afternoon program, and featured a poster session highlighting faculty and student work related to SENCER and undergraduate research. Continue reading for more details about the meeting, and to access slideshow presentations from the day's talks.
Engaging Mathematics Presents Invited Poster at Largest Math Meeting in the World
The Engaging Mathematics initiative was invited to the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2015 to participate in a poster session for projects supported by the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education. Initiative partners Dr. Lynn Gieger (Oglethorpe University), Dr. Rikki Wagstrom (Metropolitan State University), and Rikki's math education student Jodin Morey also gave individual talks during the meeting. Continue reading.
SENCER Seeks Help in Launching New Pearls of Practice
SENCER is developing a new line of classroom activities called Pearls of Practice. Each Pearl is designed to engage students in learning by increasing their receptivity to science and social/civic issues. Pearls range in size, with some taking no longer than 15 minutes to complete, and others constituting a semester-long project. Our Pearls developers seek reviewers to class test and peer review, and welcome new submissions. Continue reading for more information on SENCER's Pearls of Practice.
Deadline Extension: International Journal's Special Issue on Civic Engagement and Informal Science Education
Science Education & Civic Engagement: An International Journal's call for manuscript submissions for the special issue on civic engagement and informal science education has been extended to Monday, March 30, 2015. This issue of the journal will focus on work done by informal science educators and institutions and will also highlight contributions made to the field by the late Alan J. Friedman, founding director of SENCER-ISE. Please send all inquiries and manuscript submissions to the journal's managing editor, Marcy Dubroff at email@example.com. Continue reading to access the original call for submissions.
SENCER Leader Named Executive Dean
Congratulations to Dr. Debra Meyer, who was recently appointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Dr. Meyer has been a leader in the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement community since the inception of SENCER; most recently coordinating a summit at the University of Pretoria for faculty members, researchers, and other academic leaders interested in infusing civic issues into their STEM courses. Please click here to read the full announcement regarding Dr. Meyer’s appointment from the University of Johannesburg.
SENCER Leadership Fellow Dr. Eugene Allevato of Woodbury University Seeks Input for Study of Attitudes Toward Visually Impaired Students
Dr. Eugene Allevato, a SENCER Leadership Fellow, is working with a visually impaired psychology student in his statistics course at Woodbury University. This student is conducting a project to understand faculty attitudes, experiences, and concerns about educating visually impaired students. Dr. Allevato and his student have created a survey to explore the issue, and would be very appreciative to any faculty member who would take a few minutes to complete it: Visually Impaired Student Survey.
National ‘Digital Bug Box’ Competition Offers $1 Million Prize
The National Science Foundation and the American Institute of Biological Sciences have announced the launch of the Beyond the Box National Digitalization Innovation Competition. Individuals and teams are invited to submit ideas of ways to accurately and efficiently capture digital images of insect specimens by September 4, 2015. The winning entry will receive up to $1 million for the development of a hardware and software system that automates digitalization of pinning insect specimens, without damaging the specimens, one of the most challenging biocollections digitalization tasks. Continue reading.
Save the Date for the 15th Annual SENCER Summer Institute
We are pleased to announce that the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute will be hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts from July 30 - August 3, 2015. Addressing the challenges educators face in our current climate will the core focus of our program. The rich mix of all-Institute plenary sessions, workshops on effective pedagogies, and examples of successful campus and community applications will provide invited participants with the insights to resolve challenges at their institutions and improve student skill, interest, and confidence in STEM. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet educators from formal and informal education sectors, administrators, students, and others from around the world who share an interest in contributing to a civically engaged society and improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. SSI 2015 plenary speakers will be announced through our websites, social media outlets, and eNews over the next several weeks. Continue reading.
SENCER Leadership Fellow Profile: Dr. Merrilee Anderson Uses Abandoned Mine Drainage as a Teaching Tool for Biology, Chemistry, and Civic Engagement
When drainage from abandoned mines runs off into streams, acidic conditions are created that are toxic to macroinvertebrates, algae, and fish. Dr. Merrilee Anderson, SENCER Leadership Fellow and professor of science and mathematics at Mount Aloysius College, uses streams near her school affected by abandoned mine drainage to engage students in real, local issues while teaching concepts and promoting research in biology, chemistry, and environmental science. Continue reading.
Engaging Mathematics Faculty Member Writes Chapter for New Book Published by MAA
How do you "do" the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)? How do you use it to drive curriculum development? Dr. Rikki Wagstrom, who is an associate professor of mathematics at Metropolitan State University, a SENCER Leadership Fellow, and an institutional partner for NCSCE’s Engaging Mathematics initiative, wrote a chapter for a new book published by the Mathematical Association of America describing how she used SoTL to design her Mathematics of Sustainability course, a pre-requisite for college algebra. Continue reading.
EBOLA AND THE ACADEMY: Thoughts, Suggestions, and Resources
How can robots help treat Ebola and manage its spread? The White House charged Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and three other institutions with hosting a conference dedicated to answering this question. NCSCE Director of Programs Eliza Reilly attended WPI’s invitation-only conference and reports on the proceedings. SENCER Leadership Fellow Katayoun Chamany continues her curation of Ebola resources to provide a list of articles, infographics, and a perspective piece exploring the virus’s implications. Continue reading.
SCI-West and Great Lakes Regional Meetings Rescheduled for Spring 2015
Both the SCI-West and SCI-Great Lakes regional meetings originally scheduled for November 15, 2014 have been postponed until spring 2015. The SCI-West meeting will be held at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. Case Western Reserve University will host the SCI-Great Lakes meeting. A formal announcement will follow when dates for each meeting are set.
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