SSI 2014: New Program Additions Announced; Applications Invited
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 is our custom, we will program sessions directly responsive to the particular needs identified by those selected to attend. We invite you to use the SSI 2014 application forms to tell us the ideas and suggestions you have for the Institute. Continue reading.
Education Week Commentary 'Learning: A Holistic View' - An Interview with the Author, Alan Friedman
Dr. Alan Friedman, museum consultant and SENCER-ISE Project Director, joined the NCSCE community amid discussions of how SENCER could expand into the informal science education realm. Earlier this fall, Education Week published a commentary written by Alan called Learning: A Holistic View. In his commentary, Alan discusses the need to treat learning as an "interdependent ecology" and support "learning across life," among other things. These concepts are not foreign to NCSCE, and are thoroughly embraced by one the Center’s newest initiatives, SENCER-ISE. SENCER-ISE supports ten partnerships between higher education and ISE institutions to nurture and learn from these innovative collaborations as they develop and maintain civically minded projects. Continue reading.
Fall MidAtlantic Meetings Engage Participants in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Successful SENCER Projects, and Interdisciplinary Applications
On Friday, October 25, the SCI-MidAtlantic branch hosted its New Jersey-based meeting at Monmouth University. Catherine Duckett, Associate Dean for Sciences at Monmouth University was the co-host, inviting all STEM faculty from local institutions. The president of Monmouth, Paul R. Brown, addressed attendees with praise and encouragement for their work with STEM education and SENCER. The following day, October 26, Len Champney, department of political science, and Robert Spalletta, department of physics, hosted a gathering at the University of Scranton. Bob and Len came to the 2013 SSI and offered to host the meeting to better reach out to the Eastern Pennsylvania institutions. Continue reading.
WPI Students Join NCSCE Strategic Planning Efforts
As mentioned earlier, NCSCE has been engaged in strategic planning over the past year. We plan to continue to provide you updates as invite you to engage in our future planning efforts. We welcomed three students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to the NCSCE office in Washington, DC. The WPI team will work with the Center to conduct research for NCSCE’s funding and institutionalization options for moving forward. The team’s findings will be considered by our strategic planning group, as will the insights gained from planning discussions, survey results, interviews, and other sources. Continue reading.
SCEWestNet Texas Partners Grow Successful Program for Sustainable Schools
The City of Denton, Texas has been working with local public, private and homeschool groups since 2004 to encourage positive environmental stewardship. In the beginning a partnership between the City's Solid Waste department, Keep Denton Beautiful, University of North Texas, and Denton Independent School District (DISD) collaborated on a pilot recycling program at a local elementary school. The results were positive and the program received funding from the Solid Waste department to grow into what has been known as the Sustainable Schools Program, and all 35 DISD schools (pre-K-12) have robust recycling. Continue reading.
2014 ACS Annual Meeting to Feature SENCER Symposium
Dr. Richard D. Sheardy has been recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and will again host a symposium as part of the ACS annual meeting on SENCER. This year’s symposium will address "Science Education and Civic Engagement: The Role of Undergraduate Research." Specifically, the abstract states that "...Recent efforts [in the SENCER community] have focused on incorporating civic engagement into science majors' courses to enhance student learning and community awareness. This symposium will feature presentations describing how undergraduate research can accomplish these goals." The 2014 meeting will be held from August 10-14 in San Francisco, and a call for papers will be issued early in the new year.
Past ACS symposia on SENCER facilitated by Dr. Sheardy have included "Science Education and Civic Engagement: The SENCER Approach," and "Science Education and Civic Engagement: The Next Level." As a direct outcome of these symposia, SENCER was invited by the ACS Symposium Series to publish books on the topics. Sheardy and SENCER PI David Burns have served as editors of these books, the most recent of which was published online in December 2012 and in print in the spring of 2013.
TWU Leaders Present SENCER to Oklahoma University
SCI-Southwest Co-Director Richard Sheardy and SENCER Leadership Fellow Cynthia Maguire are leading a new partnership, introducing the SENCER approach to educators and administrators to Oklahoma University. On November 25, a virtual presentation on an overview of SENCER will be conducted with the Oklahoma University Writing Center. Just a few weeks later, on December 13, Dick and Cynthia will visit Oklahoma University to host a workshop on incorporating civic engagement in the classroom. The workshop has grown out of an idea proposed by the office of the director of Oklahoma Campus Compact. A future issue of the eNews will report on outcomes from the early stages of the new collaboration with Oklahoma.
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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