Webinar of the Week: A Lesson in Science Communication from Texas Woman's University
In this webinar, Cynthia Maguire of Texas Woman's University describes her institution's Dual Poster Project. The project requires students to create two posters, one that communicates their research to a technical, scientific audience within their discipline, and a second poster targeted at a more general audience, requiring students to communicate simply and clearly. Continue reading.
New Award Recognizing Exemplary Regional Collaborations Honors Hawai'i Team
We find ourselves inspired to create a new award program that acknowledges and honors exemplary multi-institutional, regional, or statewide work around compelling civic issues. The first recipient of this new award is a team from Hawai'i. While considering their work, it became clear that their actions and accomplishments seem best suited to be recognized by an honor that acknowledges quality of the inter-institutional collaborations and deep partnerships established to improve the quality of both formal and informal education. Continue reading.
Webinar of the Week: Middle Tennessee State University Students Help Address Antibiotic Resistance
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University R. Drew Sieg describes teaching introductory biology through authentic research experiences tied to the Small World Initiative. His work is inspired by the high rate of students who drop out of STEM majors after taking introductory science courses. By replacing cookie-cutter lab courses with authentic research, Drew increases student engagement, and the likelihood of students graduating with a STEM degree. Continue reading.
Kyle Simmons Recognized as a "40 Under 40" Meetings Industry Leader by Connect Magazine
Kyle Simmons, NCSCE's own Faculty Development Events Manager, was recognized as a meetings industry leader in Connect Magazine's "40 Under 40" feature in the August/September 2015 issue. Connect Magazine is a national magazine that provides resources and ideas to meeting planners. Kyle is responsible for planning NCSCE's annual meetings, the SENCER Summer Institute and the NCSCE Washington Symposium, as well as helping envision new meetings, such as the recent NCSCE Department Chairs Workshop. Continue reading.
Longtime SENCER Collaborator and Model Producer Dr. Matthew A. Fisher Named American Chemical Society Fellow
Dr. Matthew A. Fisher, associate professor of chemistry at Saint Vincent College, was recently appointed Fellow of the American Chemical Society for his scholarship, leadership, and sizable contributions to national, SENCER-based curricular reform efforts. Continue reading.
SENCER Publishes Three New Model Courses in 2015
SENCER's three newest models cover topics in the natural sciences, geology, and health, and exhibit a variety of learning strategies, such as project-based learning, active and collaborative learning, and media making. Our 2015 model authors include Kathleen M. Browne, Alison Olcott Marshall, Kesey S. Bitting, Rachel A. Bergstrom, and Marion Field Fass. Continue reading.
SENCER-ISE Partnership, Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation Society Featured on CAISE Perspectives Blog
The SENCER-ISE partnership between Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation Society is featured on the CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) Perspectives blog. The partners discuss their collaboration on Project TRUE: Teens Researching Urban Ecology, which uses a tiered-mentorship model to introduce New York City high school students to urban ecology and increase the rate of students pursuing STEM majors by facilitating collaborations with college mentors already in STEM disciplines. Continue reading.
SSI 2015 Agenda and Session Schedule Now Available Online
As the annual SENCER Summer Institute approaches in just over one week, the SSI 2015 agenda and the schedule of educational sessions have been made available online. This year's Institute will be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from July 30th - August 3rd. Continue reading.
SENCER-ISE Partner on the Benefits of Informal Science and Place-Based Education
Jennifer D. Adams was recently featured in Brooklyn College Magazine's issue on "Women Who Shape the World", a broad-ranging article on social and academic challenges faced by girls and women. In the article, Adams points to the Lang Program, a seven-year extracurricular program for students from the fifth through twelfth grade offered through the American Museum of Natural History. The program engages students in learning science in "hands-on" classroom settings, and through research projects and career exploration. Adams helped initiate the program around the year 2000 and has examined the benefits participation in Lang brings to students, especially to young women. Continue reading.
SENCER Launches Webinars on Course Design, Interdisciplinary Education, Assessment, and More
The SENCER community is rich with resources and faculty who effectively and successfully engage students in STEM courses using timely and relevant real-world problems. Our faculty are "natural treasures" who can advise on practical applications, interactive teaching strategies, and group projects that immerse and captivate a wide spectrum of students. Let us introduce you to some of these outstanding faculty through our SENCER webinars.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu Site Visit, Hawaiʻi Public Radio Interview, and Hawaiʻi Strategy Institute Presentation
During SENCER's last days in Hawai'i, the team met with University of Hawai'i at West O'ahu faculty and local community organization representatives to discuss scaling up and combining the efforts of their science and civic engagement programs, participated in an in-depth interview about SENCER, STEM education, civic engagement, and Hawai'i on Hawai'i Public Radio, and presented at a strategy institute targeted specifically for Hawaiian community colleges. Continue reading for the final installment documenting SENCER's time in Hawai'i.
SENCER Seeks Participants for NSF Assessment Project
Will you be teaching a course that covers topics in chemistry, physics, or biology this upcoming fall semester? Are you looking for ways to show that your course is working and effective? Would you like to feel confident that students retain what they learn in your course long after they leave your classroom? If so, we'd love for you to join our assessment project. We are partnering with the College Board to combine their field-tested AP science questions with our well-established SALG student survey to measure the Enduring Understandings of SENCER courses, a goal of our current grant from the National Science Foundation. Continue reading to learn how you can help SENCER reach its goal.
Call for Applications and Nominations to the SENCER Leadership Fellows Program
Founded in 2008, the SENCER Leadership Fellows program recognizes members of the SENCER community interested in taking on more advanced involvement through formal roles in the project. Leadership Fellows are appointed for 18-month, renewable terms, and work on projects of their own design. Fellows also contribute to the overall direction of the SENCER initiative. Applications and nominations to the Fellows program are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. The deadline to submit in time for the next review of both applications and nominations is July 1, 2015. For more information, please contact SENCER Staff. Continue reading.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College Site Visits
During their time in Hawai'i, the visiting SENCER team members took a short flight over to the Big Island to visit the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Hawai'i Community College. While there, the team spoke with students enrolled in experiential, hands-on marine science courses, and faculty and administrators looking to make course- and institution-level improvements. Continue reading.
NCSCE Announces Theme and Seeks Proposals for the 2015 Washington Symposium and SENCER-ISE National MeetingThis year's Washington Symposium theme, From Nice to Necessary: Science in the Service of Democracy, will feature papers, presentations, and/or poster sessions that intersect science and public policy. The meeting will be held on September 27-29, 2015 in Washington, D.C. This year's Symposium will also be held in conjunction with the SENCER-Informal Science Education national meeting, an opportunity for participants to present and learn more about SENCER's informal science efforts. Submit a presentation proposal and learn more about joining us in D.C. for this year's Symposium. Continue reading.
RVCC Students Present Second Set of NJ Audubon Citizen Science Forest Health Workshops
SENCER-ISE partners, the New Jersey Audubon and Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), held their second round of Citizen Science Forest Health Workshops this April. During the workshops, NJ Audubon staff and RVCC students led Citizen Science volunteers in species identification and methodology training activities. The RVCC students and Citizen Scientists will be conducting bird and forest health surveys throughout the Piedmont area of the Raritan River watershed in May and June.Continue reading.
CAISE Spotlight Blog Features Sciencenter and Cornell University SENCER-ISE Partnership
The Sciencenter and Cornell University partnership has been featured on CAISE's Perspectives blog as part of its Spotlight series on university and museum partnerships. The Cornell University's Early Childhood Cognition Lab and the Sciencenter are partnering to research early childhood learning and share their findings with parents, caregivers, and teachers. Continue reading.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: Windward Community College Site Visit
While at Windward Community College, the visiting SENCER team participated in discussions about civics and science education, toured campus rain gardens that protect surrounding water sources from runoff, spoke with students in a traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability class, and experienced ancient Hawaiian culture at Waikalua Loko Iʻa', a 400-year-old fish pond. Continue reading.
NCSCE Grants 25 Implementation Awards for Projects that Reform STEM Education, Increase Community Engagement, and Build Civic Capacity
NCSCE awarded 25 SSI 2014 Post-Institute Implementation Awards that promote student engagement with STEM education, civic issues, and community outreach. The Implementation Awards, made possible through the National Science Foundation, are designed to support innovative projects that incorporate SENCER Ideals into undergraduate and graduate education. The 2014 awards sponsor projects that make STEM more accessible to women, minorities, and students in small, rural schools; reform institutional core curricula to broaden the scope of central, civic issues; and involve students in community-based research. Project themes include Mars exploration, sustainability and urbanization, stormwater runoff, assisted reproductive technologies, genetically modified organisms, the history and practice of science, and more. Projects were selected following a competitive review process. Continue reading.
Unique SENCER Program Gives Unlikely Students LIFE
Established in 2007, Lipscomb's LIFE (Lipscomb Initiative for Education) Program strives to enhance the lives of Tennessee Prison for Women inmates—both in prison and when they are released—by helping them develop better self-confidence, expand life experience, and develop good study habits. In this article, LIFE faculty member and SSI 2015 plenary speaker Dr. Autumn Marshall discusses the inner workings of the program, and her experiences working with the students it serves. Continue reading.
NCSCE Welcomes Formal and Informal Educators to SSI 2015
Following a competitive application process, 39 groups and teams and 18 individual representatives have been invited to gather in Worcester, Massachusetts for the 15th annual SENCER Summer Institute. In addition to a core of SSI alumni, 26 groups and teams have members new to SENCER, eight comprised completely of educators new to our community. This year's group of applicants also includes representatives from three K-12 institutions. The SSI 2015 applicants are interested in advancing a wide variety of projects, from developing modules and content for existing courses to institution-wide curricular overhauls, all with a focus on improving outcomes for STEM students across educational levels. Many of this year's applicants cited climate change, sustainability, infectious diseases, or data literacy as the capacious, unsolved issue that will engage students in these projects. Continue reading.
NCSCE is pleased to announce the faculty who will facilitate the program for the NCSCE Chairs meeting. This meeting is intended for anyone who sees greater potential for academic leadership and innovation in the role of department chair, from expereienced chairs and deans, to new or aspiring chairs. The goal of the meeting is to explore, in an open and supportive environment, the intellectual and cultural dimensions of departmental leadership, the barriers to full faculty participation in leading academic and curricular change, and how to support faculty and administrators as they strive to create engaged and responsive departments. Continue reading.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: Kapiʻolani Community College Site Visit and SENCER Reception
While in Hawaiʻi, the SENCER team visited Kapiʻolani Community College to meet with faculty, administrators, and Chancellor Leon Richards. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's Dean of the College of Social Sciences Denise Eby Konan hosted a SENCER reception, where state figures, local educators, and students learned more about the initiative while browsing student posters and networking with the SENCER team and other guests. Continue reading.
SCI-Central Plains Presents at Campus Compact Meeting
On March 26, a team from the Central Plains SENCER Center for Innovation led a breakout session about SENCER, science, and civic engagement during the 5th Annual Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Summit. Their session explored SENCER models developed to help students prepare for lives of engagement and service. Continue reading to learn more about the event.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: Faculty Institute
During the SCI-West Faculty Institute held at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, SENCER representatives and members of Hawaiʻi's two SENCER teams, Hui o Moku and the Native Hawaiian Initiative, gave presentations and led discussions about their programs, courses, expereiences, and resources. The Institute gave the SENCER team the chance to learn about the important and inspirational work Hawaiʻi does to advance science and civic engagement, and to share methods and resources that SENCER can provide to further support existing and future projects. For a closer look at the day's discussions and presentations, continue reading.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: SENCER, Sustainability, and the Hawaiian Islands
A team of SENCER representatives and practitioners traveled to Hawaiʻi for ten intensive days of meetings, conversations, consultations, and site visits with the state's students, educators, community partners, administrators, and public figures. The goal of the trip was for the SENCER team to learn about the important and inspirational work Hawaiʻi does to advance science and civic engagement, and to share methods and resources that SENCER can provide to support existing and future projects. Contine reading to learn about SENCER's participation in Hawaiʻi's 3rd Annual Higher Education Sustainability Summit.
Winter 2015 Journal Issue Now Online
Winter 2015 Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal articles explore the integration of technology in the classroom, collaborations between libraries and teachers, and improving student understanding of microbiology through authentic data collection. To access the full text of all journal articles, please go to the website.
Wm. David Burns and Victor Donnay to Present at the Chicago Symposium Series and the SCI-Midwest Spring 2015 Meeting
NCSCE Executive Director and SENCER Principal Investigator David Burns, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College and Engaging Mathematics Advisory Board member Victor Donnay will be giving presentations on SENCER and Engaging Mathematics as part of the Chicago Symposium Series on "Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science: Research and Practice." 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.
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.
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