4th Annual Symposium on STEM Education
This page includes abstracts for all of the posters that will be featured at the Symposium for STEM Education. To return to the Posters and Presenters list, click on the link in the left navigation column.
Poster Session A will last from 10:00 - 10:45 AM
A1: Screencasts for Flipped Engineering Classes
Our flipped classroom approach utilizes screencasts to provide lecture materials (i.e. introductory topics, example problems, etc.) to students prior to class. Students receive instruction through videos at their own pace and come to class prepared to work through problems and conceptual questions. Instructors utilize class time to work out examples similar to those in homework and tests, and address students misconceptions using conceptests and clickers. Class time is spent working with students rather than lecturing, and this all starts with creating useful screencasts. We will primarily focus on the why and how of creating screencasts to use in engineering courses, and how we plan to flip some of our courses using some of the 675 screencasts we have already created and posted online at our site, www.learncheme.com, YouTube, and iTunesU. To date, we have had over 750,000 views/downloads of our videos and are currently averaging over 100,000 a month.
A2: Impacts of Curricular Change: Implications from 8 Years of Data in Introductory Physics
Introductory calculus-based physics classes at the University of Colorado Boulder were significantly transformed beginning in 2004. They now regularly include: interactive engagement using clickers in large lecture settings, Tutorials in Introductory Physics with use of undergraduate Learning Assistants in recitation sections, and a staffed help-room setting where students work on personalized CAPA homework. We compile and summarize conceptual (FMCE and BEMA) pre- and post-data from over 9,000 unique students after 16 semesters of both Physics 1 and 2. Within a single institution with stable pre-test scores, we reproduce results of Hake's 1998 study that demonstrate the positive impacts of interactive engagement on student performance. We link the degree of faculty's use of interactive engagement techniques and their experience levels on student outcomes, and argue for the role of such systematic data collection in sustained course and institutional transformations.
A3: BSI Undergraduate Research - Outcomes and Evaluation
UCB’s Biological Sciences Initiative (BSI) (http://www.colorado.edu/Outreach/BSI/) envisions scientific literacy among all citizens, increasing their understanding of the relevance of science to their lives and empowering them to make informed health, environmental and political choices. To promote diversity and inclusiveness in the sciences and scientific literacy, BSI provides research, classroom and professional development experiences to those interested in the biosciences at all levels, while particularly serving those with limited opportunities and/or from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.
UCB’s Biological Sciences Initiative (BSI) provides substantial research experiences for undergraduates – research experiences that are often sustained over multiple years, from entry-level to advanced, providing increasing sophistication in tasks, skills and knowledge that promote their growth as young scientists. This support has resulted in 349 peer-reviewed publications, coauthored by 273 UCB undergraduates, in scientific journals such as Nature, Journal of Cell Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Developmental Biology and Genetics.
This poster details both quantitative and qualitative data that help build the body of evidence for the value of undergraduate research. Quantitative data regarding graduate school and career paths is shown. Qualitative data, gathered from in-depth survey and interview analysis, indicate students in all BSI programs made strong intellectual, personal, and professional gains from participating in research. Students made their strongest gains in the professional socialization of “becoming a scientist.” They also made strong gains in developing the intellectual skill to think and work like a scientist, as well as gains in confidence in their personal and professional abilities. The BSI undergraduate research students also gained a multiplicity of research-related skills, with especially strong gains in communication skills. Students’ substantial gains from research seemed to emanate from their access to original, authentic scientific work within a research group.
A4: Teaching New Tools to Majors: Computational Instruction in Upper-Division Physics
Scientific programming is a key skill for our majors to develop in a research environment that relies increasingly on computational models and complex data analysis. Broad consensus of physics faculty at CU-Boulder is that instruction in scientific programming should not be limited to a single course (i.e., a computational physics course), but rather be embedded in the major sequence. This sentiment is echoed by a survey of physics majors. At CU-Boulder, we have begun systematic instruction in scientific programming in our middle-division classical mechanics and upper-division senior laboratory courses. We will outline our approach to computational instruction in both courses, present materials developed to achieve our learning goals, present our preliminary observations of student challenges and students' impressions of computation in these courses, and outline research directions for systematic instruction in scientific programming.
A5: Connecting K-12 Students and Teachers to CU Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
CU Science Discovery’s mission is to heighten interest and increase literacy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing engaging hands-on experiences that connect K-12 students and teachers to current CU science. Science Discovery capitalizes on CU-Boulder’s scientific resources, facilities and expertise to excite young students about STEM, expose them to a variety of STEM careers and professionals, and inspire a future generation of scientists and engineers. Through its infrastructure and programs, Science Discovery offers STEM faculty, graduate and undergraduate students exciting opportunities to participate in education outreach. Faculty can develop and teach classes, host high school students in their labs, and help ensure the scientific accuracy of educational materials, all while fulfilling Broader Impacts or other outreach requirements. CU students can develop and test new curricula, teach classes and workshops, and conduct research in informal learning environments. Through hands-on summer classes, after-school classes, school presentations, teacher workshops and field science programs, Science Discovery involves numerous CU faculty and students and impacts more than 20,000 students, teachers and community members throughout Colorado each year.
A6: Assessing Engineering Students' Beliefs of Personal and Professional Responsibility
Engineers are working to address complex issues such as global warming, urban overcrowding, and poverty reduction, which require skills that go beyond technical skills to include professional skills and systems thinking. How to instill these skills into engineering students is unclear. Different pedagogical approaches are being used towards the achievement of these goals including Project Based Learning and Service-Learning, but there are few tools that are able to assess the effects of these approaches on students’ professional development.
Our study focuses on developing a tool to identify what students’ beliefs are regarding their future roles as engineers in society and where those beliefs come from. We are developing a survey instrument to gauge students’ understandings of professional and personal social responsibility. This survey tool went through four iterations in a pilot study at CU Boulder last year. Some interesting findings from the pilot study include higher construct averages among students who have participated in Engineering Without Borders over students who haven’t. Also, students who place higher importance on “helping people” in their future careers had higher construct averages over students who placed higher importance on “salary.”
The finalized online survey instrument is currently being administered at five institutions across the country. We are assessing graduate, senior and first-year students in Civil, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering departments. These results will be used to establish validity and reliability for the tool, as well as to examine possible differences in beliefs across institutions, previous volunteer experiences, gender, age, academic rank, major and other factors.
Additionally, we have conducted 25 interviews with students in order to gain deeper insights into the results from this survey tool and into the complex and diverse pathways that students take in the development of those beliefs. These interviews are being transcribed, coded and analyzed using emergent methods consistent with ethnographic research.
A7: An analysis of student learning and attitudes from two hands-on lab styles and two methods of visualization for plant biodiversity labs
Biodiversity education is a worldwide priority called for by the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. There is thus a pressing need for engaging, inquiry-oriented, hands-on, learning experiences in biodiversity. We evaluated the impact on student learning and attitudes of two hands-on lab styles (guided versus the learning cycle) and two modes of visualization (digital photography versus drawing) for plant biodiversity labs in a first-semester, university, general-biology lab class for science majors. Lab design for both styles had a three-week pre-lab, a hands-on lab, and a post-lab that included both reflection and argumentation. Labs in both styles were designed to address the same learning goals. Learning was assessed with a formative lab report, a formative/summative practical quiz in lab, and a summative multiple-choice exam in the concurrently run lecture. Attitudes were assessed with a pre/post Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science (CLASS) survey and a post survey more specifically addressing the lab styles. 466 students participated in the study. We used generalized linear mixed models to determine the effect of lab-style and visualization on (1) lower-order scaffolding, (2) higher-order integrative reasoning, and (3) attitudes towards the lab treatments and biology as a science in general. Results indicated that the learning cycle, relative to the guided style, had a negative impact on lower-order scaffolding and overall attitudes towards lab, and did not improve higher-order integration and attitudes towards biology as a science. Digital photography, relative to drawing, had a negative impact on student attitudes towards lab, did not influence attitudes towards biology as a science and did not impact learning.
A8: What we learned when transitioning psychology labs from a cookbook to inquiry-based format
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness and success of the revised physiology laboratories in Integrative Physiology (IPHY). These laboratories serve about 500 IPHY majors and non-majors each year, and employ a combination of human and animal experimentation to explore basic physiological principles. Under the direction of a formal Physiology Lab Revision Committee, the physiology laboratories in IPHY were transformed from an expository or “cookbook” style of instruction into a more inquiry-based approach. Compared to the “cookbook” style of instruction, inquiry-based methods provide little direction to the students and require students to develop their own hypotheses and procedures (Leonard 1989). These types of lab activities more closely model how scientists actually engage in research (Hofstein and Lunetta 1982), and help students develop independent, critical and analytical thinking, and scientific reasoning abilities (Kolkhorst et al. 2001; Gerber et al. 2001; Marek & Cavallo 1997).
In Spring 2011, the Physiology Lab Revision Committee developed learning goals and revised the existing physiology laboratories towards an inquiry-based approach. As the inquiry-based style of instruction can be very cognitively challenging for students, the laboratories were designed to start out with a more guided approach to help students develop the necessary skills, and then become progressively less guided and more student-directed. The revised physiology laboratories were incorporated into the curriculum in Fall 2011. Interviews were performed in the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters to assess how the students and teaching faculty responded to the revised physiology laboratories. The results of these surveys will be discussed.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education provided funding for this project.
A9: Differences in discourse in physical and life sciences can be confusing for biology students
We sought to understand why students have a difficult time understanding the flow of matter and energy through biological systems, as evidenced by their poor performance on published concept inventories. Students who take our biology courses typically take introductory chemistry and physics courses during their first two years of college. To explore whether the various and sometimes conflicting discourse about and explanations of matter and energy in these STEM subjects may contribute to confusion in biology learners, we synthesized the research literature about student understanding of matter and energy, analyzed textbook treatments of matter and energy, and conducted interviews of biology, ecology, chemistry, and physics faculty. We found both similarities and differences regarding contexts and discourse practices among the disciplines with respect to matter and energy. All the disciplines apply the laws of thermodynamics to constrain ideas about what is possible and not possible, but whether laws of thermodynamics are an explicit part of the course varies among disciplines. We found that delineation of system boundaries differs among disciplines. For example, in chemistry class, a student may implicitly be required to draw boundaries around a molecular reaction, while in biology, the boundary might be the body of an organism, and in physics the boundary might be the entire universe. Boundary delineation is important because it cues students to think about how far to trace matter and energy. For example, if students look only at what is occurring within the body of an organism, they will fail to trace the energy that leaves the body as heat. We found that physical science faculty focus more on following movement of matter and energy, while life science faculty focus more on the processes (e.g. cellular respiration) that transform matter and energy. Finally, we found that many science textbooks are not organized in a manner that parallels or facilitates the teaching about the flow of matter and energy as a core concept.
A10: Defining a Construct for Assessing Deep Learning in Middle School Physical Science
The notion of deep learning is often associated with the ability to perform difficult tasks or to succeed on the more difficult items on an assessment. But definitions of deep learning based on such notions lack the operationalization necessary to develop valid assessments. In this research, deep learning is defined in terms of two dimensions: knowledge and cognitive process. A potential third dimension, degree of transfer, is also considered and discussed. Using both knowledge and cognitive process dimensions, a set of constructs were created to specify the development of assessments of middle school students’ deep learning of physical science. This work focused specifically on four topics within that domain: 1) particulate model of matter, 2) atoms and elements, 3) energy and energy transformations, and 4) force and motion. These two-dimensional constructs served as a basis for item design. The transfer aspect of deep learning was characterized based on teachers’ rating of each item relative to their teaching of the topic. Pilot testing of the force and motion items shows that item difficulty is correlated with deep learning as specified by the construct and with degree of transfer as characterized by the teachers. Pilot testing of the other three topics is currently being conducted.
A11: Challenging Traditional Assumptions of High School Science through the PhET Curriculum
This study seeks to illustrate aspects of a physics classroom experience in an underserved high school through the perspective of the students. This context was chosen with the intent of determining factors that lead to successful secondary physics education outcomes for populations historically underrepresented in STEM. Two class periods of physics were observed and interviewed in an urban high school while using the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum. Findings indicate that students came to value and positively identify with the activities of physics through instruction that fosters a more dignified student experience than traditional approaches. Specifically, this experience was characterized by the valuing of students’ naïve and developing understandings and shifting the authority for validating science knowledge from the instructor to laboratory evidence and social consensus.
A12: Beliefs about physics intelligence differentially influence women and men's self perceptions and performance in physics
The current work builds on our prior work in order to better understand the many possible antecedents of students’ sense of belonging in physics, and why this sense of belonging tends to be lower among women than men. To do so, we measured students’ preexisting beliefs about the nature of physics intelligence as well as students’ tendency to endorse the cultural stereotype that women are less apt at physics than men. We sought to understand how these two belief systems (a) relate to one another and (b) their respective effects on students’ sense of belonging and self-efficacy in physics. 656 students who were enrolled in an introductory, calculus-based physics class at CU Boulder completed a survey assessing our constructs of interest at the beginning of the academic semester. We found that beliefs that physics intelligence in inborn was moderately positively correlated to students’ tendency to endorse the negative gender stereotype. At the same time, these constructs had distinct effects on their sense of belonging and self-efficacy in physics, which are further differentiated by gender. Structural equation modeling indicated that women’s tendency to more strongly endorse the negative gender stereotype had a direct, negative impact on their self-efficacy in physics; stereotypic beliefs did not affect men’s self-efficacy. Beliefs about the nature of physic intelligence (whether it is learned vs. inborn) did not have a direct impact on students’ self-efficacy in physics. However, stronger beliefs that physics intelligence is inborn predicted a lower sense of belonging in physics (this was especially true for women), which had a negative indirect effect on students’ self-efficacy. We aim to discuss pedagogical strategies that may alleviate students’ tendency to believe that physics intelligence is immutable and/or more apparent in men than women.
A13: Educational Programming at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) is the largest university recipient of NASA educational funding. Our programming reaches both informal and formal audiences, including the general public, and we create a vast array of K-12 science educational products and services. This poster will highlight some of our products and programming, as well as the partnerships which make this level of programming possible.
A14: Transforming Upper-Division Electrodynamics
We are researching student learning in the context of advanced undergraduate electrodynamics, and developing course materials and assessments for an active-learning curriculum. We describe our development of a set of research-based instructional materials designed to actively engage students during lecture (including clicker questions and other in-class activities); and an instrument for assessing whether our faculty-consensus learning goals are being met. We also present preliminary results from several recent implementations of our transformed curriculum, and offer some insights into student difficulties in advanced undergraduate electromagnetism.
A15: University of Colorado Museum's Fossils in the Classroom Project
The aim of the Fossils in the Classroom Project is to engage elementary students and teachers in communities across Colorado in the study of the ancient prehistory of Colorado through hands-on experiences with fossil animals and plants that once lived in the state, and to get students turned on to science through paleontology. In 2009, the Colorado Department of Education adopted new state academic standards that, for the first time, specifically included the study of fossils. Unfortunately, there were very few resources available to address this new standard, and teaching resources were limited. The University of Colorado Museum’s Fossils in the Classroom project directly addresses this new Colorado State Curriculum Standard related to fossils for 4th grade students and provides a much needed resource for students and teachers statewide.
Our team (with the assistance of CU undergraduates and graduate students) built 25 kits containing real and cast fossils, tools, and five detailed lesson plans with associated student exercises and teaching instructions, which were then distributed to five to school districts across the state, reaching more than 1,300 students. Lesson topics ranged from how fossils form to interpreting climate change, vertebrate tooth anatomy and diet, and fossil footprints and track ways.
Our project targeted school districts with programmatic ties to CU-Boulder and that have a significant proportion of students on free and reduced school lunch programs, as data indicates that these schools have lower rates of science literacy. The museum provided the fossil kit and on-site, in-district training to teachers on how best to use the kits in their classrooms, a critical step in getting teachers to actually use the materials and exercises as intended with their students. Lastly, a poster featuring places to see fossils plotted on a geologic map of Colorado was developed and distributed to all 4th grade classrooms throughout the state in a broad scale effort to increase science literacy and promote paleontology in the classroom. This poster reaches an estimated 64,000 students state-wide. Results of evaluations from teachers indicate the successful nature of this project, and interest continues, as the museum has further produced 26 kits for three additional school districts this year.
A16: The Process of Transforming an Advanced Lab: Goals, Curriculum, and Assessments
A thoughtful approach to designing and improving labs, particularly at the advanced level, is critical for the effective preparation of physics majors for professional work in industry or graduate school. With that in mind, physics education researchers in partnership with the physics faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder have overhauled the senior-level Advanced Physics Lab course. The transformation followed a three part process of establishing learning goals, designing curricula that align with the goals, and assessment. Similar efforts have been carried out in physics lecture courses at the University of Colorado Boulder, but this is the first systematic research-based revision of one of our laboratory courses. The outcomes of this effort include a set of learning goals, a suite of new lab-skill activities and transformed optics labs, and a set of assessments specifically tailored for a laboratory environment. While the particular selection of advanced lab experiments varies widely between institutions, the overall transformation process, the learning goals, and the assessments are broadly applicable to the instructional lab community.
A17: CU Teach Collaborative
New teachers frequently assert their most powerful learning moments occur during hours spent in local classrooms. Yet many lament the paucity of quality teaching pre-service teachers encounter in university practicum and student teaching experiences. The low number of truly outstanding veteran math and science teachers is partially explained by the high attrition rate of new teachers. We recognize that in order to provide high quality practicum and student teaching experiences, we need to “grow our own” Mentor Teachers. Accordingly, this project aims to recruit and cultivate a Collaborative of outstanding math and science teachers who span the full career trajectory from pre-service to novice to veteran teacher. The activities of the Collaborative will support teachers at each point in their career. For example, veteran math/science teachers will have opportunities to develop their mentoring/coaching skills; veteran teachers will provide master lesson demonstrations in methods courses and learn how to coach novice teachers to implement inquiry-oriented teaching practices; veteran and novice teachers will learn side by side in courses that deepen their content knowledge for teaching; and novice teachers will have a group of like-minded colleagues to support their growth in those tenuous and difficult initial years of practice. By design, we will develop a cadre of master teachers who are able to support novice teachers in their development as inquiry-oriented math and science teachers. Through the Collaborative we will create a pathway for recent CU Teach graduates to stay connected with CU Teach as they grow into potential Mentor Teachers. Our vision for the CU Teach Collaborative creates a professional trajectory for both veteran and novice teachers in which all teachers are recognized and honored for their unique expertise, knowledge and leadership skills.
A18: Middle School Teachers' Ideas about the Practice of Developing and Using Models in Science
Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards is likely to present significant challenges to science teachers, because the K-12 Framework for Science Education guiding their development presents ideas about science teaching that are likely to be unfamiliar to many teachers. Key among the unfamiliar ideas is the practice of developing and using models as a means of developing and expressing understanding of core ideas of science. Teachers are likely to view calls for engaging students with models in light of prior conceptions, which in turn will shape their implementation (Spillane, 2004; Spillane, Reiser, & Gomez, 2006). This research focuses on teachers’ ideas and beliefs about the practice of developing and using models, with the aim of informing the design of professional development related to the Framework.
Preliminary analysis comes from coded pre-assessment data from 53 middle school science teachers in a large urban school district. These data reveal diverse teacher interpretations of models and modeling activities. Teachers most commonly described modeling as a demonstration by the teacher rather than a means for students to develop explanations. Modeling activities were also described by teachers as being synonymous with hands-on activities or science experiments, both contributing to the aim of making abstract phenomena concrete. Additionally, only a pair of responses at pre-assessment indicates uses of models consistent with the Framework.
A19: 1: Influencing Students' Relationships with Physics through Culturally Relevant Tools, 2: Secondary Science Teachers' use of Formative Assessment in the Classroom
Study 1: This study investigates how an urban, high school physics class responded to the inclusion of a classroom set of iPads and associated applications, such as screencasting. The participatory roles of students and the expressions of their relationships to physics were examined. Findings suggest that iPad technology altered classroom norms and student relationships to include increased student agency and use of evidence. Findings also suggest that the iPad provided a connection between physics, social status, and play. Videos, observations, interviews, and survey responses were analyzed to provide insight into the nature of these changes.
Study 2: In this study I aim to find out how a teacher’s formative assessment practices change over the course of a year given early professional development on assessment, structured support from a science instructional coach, and weekly collaboration planning meetings with coworkers. I am also looking to see how a teacher’s own reflection on the assessment they use in the class influences their teaching practice. This study involves eight science teachers who teach grades 6-12 at one urban public high school. Preliminary findings suggest that within this team of teachers, the knowledge about and use of formative assessment is varied and spans across all levels of understanding.
A20: Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) in the service of science: Fostering Consensus building while reading science texts
In the April 2010 edition of Science, Catherine Snow described the challenges that adolescent students, especially those who are English language learners, face when reading science texts. Snow explained that secondary science teachers must view themselves also as explicit teachers of literacy practices so that students can develop the language skills necessary to comprehend highly specialized academic texts. Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) Colorado is a leading-edge initiative that brings the unique approach of explicit strategy instruction to middle school content area classrooms like science.
The consensus-building approach of CSR aligns with scientific discourse practices in that students work together to generate global understandings of conceptual information presented in texts while they consider and debate arguments. The teacher acts as facilitator through small and large group discussions.
In a CSR lesson, students work together in small groups to read text using methods of monitoring comprehension, reviewing and synthesizing information, asking and answering questions, and taking steps to improve understanding and build consensus about conceptual knowledge.
Previous findings have demonstrated the efficacy of CSR instruction in improving reading comprehension of informational texts (e.g., Klingner et al., 2004; Vaughn et al., 2011). In 2010, the Denver Public Schools in partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder and Padres & Jóvenes Unidos was awarded a large-scale grant to implement CSR across middle school classrooms within the district.
CSR facilitates access to higher-level science texts and enhances conceptual understanding.
A21: Introduction to Engineering: Preparing First-Year Students
Based upon research into how the first-year experience influences engineering-discipline major choices and retention a 1-credit course, designed to introduce the engineering profession and to prepare students to make an informed discipline-major choice was piloted in fall 2011. A second, 2- credit pilot is currently underway with an enrollment of about half the incoming freshman class that includes the majors of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, and those choosing the open option. In the original pilot, each student attended a 50-min plenary session and a 50-min discipline module each week. These are now expanded such that each student now attends a 75-min plenary session and a 75-min “discipline module each week. The overall course goals remain: 1) To broadly introduce the engineering profession and potential career opportunities, 2) to present the College’s major disciplines and enable an informed major choice, 3) to present the academic expectations of the College, and to discuss strategies, tools, and life-style choices for success. Specific learning objectives for the plenary sessions include: 1.) Envision a career in the engineering profession, 2) learn about the College’s disciplines and majors, 3) learn about the transition to university and college life, and 4) organize for academic success. The discipline module objectives now include: 1.) Describe what it is like to be in a CEAS engineering major, 2) describe how engineers benefit society, 3) describe engineering career options, 4) describe what aspects of the major would be personally satisfying or rewarding, 5) describe what aspects of the major would not be a good fit, and 6) describe how engineering disciplines relate to each other (interdisciplinary concepts). We report on the outcomes of the 1-credit fall 2011 pilot, and the lessons learned that are incorporated into the 2-credit fall 2012 pilot.
A22: Leveraging Horizontal Expertise to Cultivate STEM Knowledge and Practices among CU Undergraduate and Elementary School Students
This poster depicts a partnership among professors, researchers and students at CU Boulder in Computer Science and Education with k-5 students at a local Lafayette elementary school serving low income and Hispanic students. The partnership aims to leverage university expertise to cultivate STEM knowledge and practices among CU undergraduates and elementary school students. CU undergraduates and grade 2 – 5 students work, play and learn together as they engage with STEM and new media technologies within intergenerational ensembles at an after school club. A goal of the partnership is to expand practices among all partners, and to generate new perspectives on teaching and learning across contexts. Together we are working to find ways to engage elementary aged students in computational thinking and science content areas through the new media practices and technologies that permeate youthful media ecologies.
A23: Development of a Scientific Teaching Observation Protocol
The Summer Institute for Undergraduate Biology Education (SI) is a professional development workshop that brings together faculty members from diverse institutions to develop their teaching skills. The SI is guided by the philosophy that biology education ought to reflect the nature of scientific inquiry, incorporate our understanding of how people learn, and ensure equal learning opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds.
In 2007, the SI curriculum was formalized with the publication of the book Scientific Teaching. This book synthesizes a large body of education reform literature and presents the reader with a coherent framework for implementing research-based teaching practices. Scientific Teaching has gained widespread influence in the education community, serving as the basis for professional development workshops and as a resource for individuals interested in improving their teaching.
With this approach increasingly being used to guide reform efforts, a tool is needed to objectively measure the degree to which Scientific Teaching has been implemented in the classroom. Such a tool will be essential for capturing behaviors associated with this model and will ultimately lead to better understanding of how Scientific Teaching affects student learning. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a valid and reliable observation protocol to objectively measure the extent to which a faculty member implements Scientific Teaching.
Thus far, our work has focused on defining Scientific Teaching in observable terms. We started by deconstructing Scientific Teaching and reconstructing its core pedagogical goals. We then built an exhaustive taxonomy in which each of these goals is characterized by a general approach for how students will achieve the goal and instructor behaviors that support the general approach. Future work will consist of drawing from this taxonomy to construct an instrument that can objectively measure the presence of these supporting behaviors in the classroom.
A24: Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P)
The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-P) is a cornerstone program of APLU-SMTI (the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative), which is chaired by CU Boulder Chancellor Phil Distefano.
The MTE-P coordinates 38 partnership teams, 68 universities, 9 community colleges, and 87 K12 school systems, from 30 states, into a "Networked Improvement Community" of four main working groups, whose common goal is "To transform the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers to ensure they can promote mathematical excellence in their future students, leading to college and career readiness as described in the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSS-M)."
One of the partnership teams is CPSME, the Colorado Partnership for Secondary Mathematics Education, whose membership comprises CU Mathematics and School of Education faculty, as well as personnel from the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain school districts. CU Boulder also leads one of the four main working groups (the "mathematics teacher content preparation" working group).
A25: Boulder Area STEM Education Coalition (BASEC) and the Latin American Center for Arts, Science, and Education (CLACE)
BASEC facilitates communication and collaboration among businesses, government, education, communities, families, and the media to promote STEM and STEM Education in the Boulder region. CLACE develops bilingual programs for local students and families culturally and linguistically different from the norm. Our arts, science and literacy curriculum promotes proactive interactions between diverse communities.
A26: K-12 Engineering Education Initiative: Programs that Make a Difference
The College of Engineering and Applied Science's K-12 engineering education initiative is highlighted. Run primarily out of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program within the College, the initiative includes their 13-year old NSF-funded GK-12 program and after school engineering enrichment program that touches approximately 2,200 students annually, the award-winning NSF-funded teachengineering.org digital library that is used by 90,000 users monthly, and a successful summer program that creates engineering pathways for K-12 students.
Poster Session B will last from 10:45 - 11:30 AM
B1: Teaching the Greenhouse Effect
The greenhouse effect comes up in most discussions about climate change – whether or not a person accepts the evidence about anthropogenic climate change. It is a key concept related to climate change. To support students’ understanding of the greenhouse effect, educators need scientifically accurate and pedagogically effective lessons. Research shows that hands-on experimental exercises are one powerful way to reinforce student learning. Unfortunately, the greenhouse effect is a challenging concept around which to design hands-on activities. There are two basic approaches readily available to teachers (a hands-on experiment and a numerical Phet-simulation). However, a recent paper has questioned the underlying physics of the only commonly used hands-on experiment (Wagoner et al., 2010), leaving educators confused about if and how to use the experiment to teach the greenhouse effect.
We are testing the effectiveness of these two instructional approaches with an introductory Earth Science class at the University of British Columbia. Student knowledge is assessed with in a pre-test prior to the intervention in a combination of multiple-choice questions and a concept sketch. A 50 min lesson introduces the concept of the greenhouse effect to all students. The class is split for the two different interventions. The same assessment will be administered as a post-test as well as a retention test about 6 months later to assess the knowledge gain of students. After this initial pilot testing we will work with high school teachers in Colorado and administer the same instruction sequence and study the knowledge gain in high school students and the most effective approach to teaching the greenhouse effect.
Our results will enhance educators’ ability to teach this key concept in climate science and support them in their teaching using hands-on activities related to the greenhouse effect.
B2: Highlights from the CIRES Education Outreach Group
The Education and Outreach group of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is active across the spectrum of geoscience education, including teacher and scientist professional development, digital learning resources and courses, graduate student fellowships, exhibits, student events and after-school clubs, and project evaluation. Our climate education projects are bearing fruit; for example, the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) digital resource collection contains over 500 resources. CIRES scientists are engaged in our work through broader impacts components on research projects as stars of the video screen, presenters, reviewers, and learning resource providers. We support young scientists through GK-12 fellowships, conduct climate communication training, and provide educational expertise to research projects. We have a series of workshops scheduled throughout the year, including workshops on climate, and workshops to review climate and energy learning resources. The ICEE project is developing self-directed online modules for teachers through NASA and NSF broader impacts funding. A traveling exhibit about the changing Earth tours rural libraries nationally. Kits and curricula to be used after school that are available or under development are focused on space weather, geomagnetism, weather, and water.
B3: Integration of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Courses into the Engineering Curriculum and Beyond
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires core classes in the humanities and social sciences for accredited engineering programs. A unique set of course offerings at the University of Colorado Denver speaks to these requirements by addressing race, gender, and cultural differences in the context of societal change, contemporary issues, and technology. Professional engineers are responsible for the design of safe and reliable infrastructure, public health and safety, and the environment. As a result, it is critical that engineering graduates understand the impacts that technology has on individuals, society, and the environment. This paper discusses two Science, Technology, and Society (STS) courses in the area of cultural diversity and international perspectives. This paper briefly overviews science, technology, and society (STS) as an emerging field, describes the content and purpose of the two STS courses at the University of Colorado Denver, discusses the research that has emerged from these courses, explains how the courses have been used to satisfy ABET criteria for accrediting engineering colleges and schools, and considers the effectiveness of these courses in broadening the education of engineers.
B4: Educating the 21st Century Transportation Engineer
This overviews the deep-seeded inconsistencies with the way we currently educate transportation engineers and fact that these skills have shown to be inadequate in solving the energy, climate, and sustainability problems that 21st century transportation engineers will face. In establishing the proper role for the field of transportation engineering for both today and in the future, I take a hard look at where we have gone wrong in the past. For instance, with the introduction of the interstate highway system, transportation projects in the post-war period were designed and built by a series of highly specialized people. Only after a transportation engineer laid out a road would an urban planner come in figure out what to do with the remaining land. While the process grew to include more specialists such environmental engineers, the end result was almost always a sequence of highly specialized people performing highly specialized tasks. The overarching problem is that our cities are far more complex than any single specialty can come to terms with. The present and future of transportation engineering is not for the highly specialized, nor for the short-sighted; 21st century transportation engineers can and should have their specialty, but that area of expertise needs to be grounded in the context of the ability and need to integrate seamlessly with many other disciplines. The necessary skills for today's transportation engineers range from the math and science expertise that were fundamental to the engineers of the past to being not only competent but proficient in urban planning, architecture, environmentalism, and even psychology. Transportation engineers also have to be adept communicators because while many of the projects of the past were planned behind closed doors, today's transportation projects are directly tied to stakeholders and the public process. This requires a well-rounded and multi-disciplinary background and outlook.
B5: Colorado Collaborative for Girls in STEM Education (CoCoSTEM)
The Colorado Collaborative for Girls in STEM (CoCoSTEM) is a statewide network established to advance gender equity in STEM. A member of the NSF-funded National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), CoCoSTEM brings together girl-serving STEM organizations in order to maximize access to shared resources, strengthen the capacity of existing programs by sharing exemplary practices, and use the leverage of a collaborative network to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM. Over the next five years, CoCoSTEM and NGCP will focus their efforts on building the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM, including girls with disabilities; providing professional development focused on sustainability, organizational effectiveness and shared leadership; and increasing K-12 school counselors’ access to and use of relevant, high-quality resources that increase awareness of barriers to girls’ interest and engagement in STEM.
B6: Learn More About Climate Initiative
The Learn More About Climate initiative is a collaboration among many of CU-Boulder's leading climate scientists that offers educational resources for teachers, citizens and policymakers. The LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu website includes short videos, interviews with scientists, model lessons for teachers, and opportunities for community members to connect with campus projects, research, and resources. The initiative also provides support and exposure for climate-focused campus programs interested in connecting with each other and external groups.
B7: Outreach and Engagement at CU-Boulder
The Outreach and Engagement Website serves as a gateway for campus and community members to learn more about the range of outreach initiatives that CU-Boulder has to offer. It promotes and highlights outreach activities, events, and success stories and allows audiences to connect directly with campus programs. STEM Symposium participants will have an opportunity to learn how to access outreach projects specific to their interests and to ensure that their campus projects reach a range of audiences that include the general public, CU administrators and faculty, legislators, and the media.
B8: Development of a Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment
Students majoring in molecular biology take a semi-prescribed series of courses aimed at helping them to master central concepts, develop practical competencies, and pursue interests in various sub disciplines. We are developing a capstone assessment to measure how well students understand core molecular biology concepts and their ability to apply these concepts to novel scenarios. Targeted at senior-level students, this assessment has been designed to cover fundamental concepts that faculty value as essential, as determined through interviews of twenty faculty members. For each concept, we have generated multiple-response items consisting of a question stem followed by 4-5 true-false statements. This question format is aimed at better capturing the range of student thinking, including mixed conceptions, and better controlling for related knowledge that affects the ability of the student to address the core concept. Both open-ended and think-aloud interviews of students have been used to generate distracters for the questions, and the questions have been pilot-tested and refined through multiple administrations. Once complete, the MBCA will provide a tool that can be used to measure student learning and discover areas of conceptual difficulty.
B9: The CU Science Education Initiative: Departments and Faculty Take Action to Improve Science Education
Funded by Chancellor DiStefano and President Benson, the Science Education Initiative (SEI) at University of Colorado Boulder aims to engage and support faculty in applying a scholarly-approach to teaching, and ultimately, to achieve sustainable institutional change towards effective, evidence-based science education. The program funds departments to take a four-step, scientific approach to undergraduate education: 1) Establish what students should learn; 2) Scientifically measure what students are actually learning and thinking; 3) Use instructional approaches guided by research on learning and evidence of student thinking; and 4) Disseminate and adopt what works. Over the past 6 years, the SEI has funded 7 departments, including the departments of Geology, Integrative Physiology, Chemistry, MCD-Biology, Physics, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Outcomes include substantial adoption and adaptation of research-based instructional practices by faculty across numerous courses that were previously taught in a traditional style, impacting over 10,000 student-courses per year.
B10: ELEvATE: Educative Learning and Progressions as Tools for Teacher Development
This poster presents the rationale, design for, and preliminary results for the ELEvATE research project, a four-year study of how a learning progression for natural selection supports high school biology teachers in enacting formative assessment in their classrooms. The study is currently in its third year, and nine local high school teachers at three schools have worked for the past two years to build their own knowledge of natural selection based on a learning progression of that content, to develop formative assessments, enact those assessments, and then reflect upon the enactment of those assessments with their colleagues and the research team. To date, the study has seen significant increases in student learning of the content of natural selection from pre-posttest. More importantly, the increase in student learning was larger during the second year of the study than the first. Although causal attribution of these changes cannot be made due to the design of the study, the project is already revealing an influence of the learning progression on teachers' classroom instruction. The research presented in this poster is that which was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers this past summer.
B11: National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT) Overview
The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 300 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing community, evidence, and action.
Although women today comprise half the world’s population and more than half of the U.S. professional workforce, they play only a small role in inventing the technology of tomorrow. The lack of girls and women in computing and technology represents a failure to capitalize on the benefits of diverse perspectives: in a world dependent on innovation, it can bring the best and broadest problem-solvers to the table; and at a time when technology drives economic growth, it can yield a larger and more competitive workforce.
NCWIT Alliance member institutions tap into a learning community infrastructure that encourages reform across the full education and career spectrum. Together, we can make more progress than if each organization acted alone.
NCWIT research-based resources build capacity for people to implement change, raise awareness, and reach out to critical populations. NCWIT provides a wide range of multimedia resources for reform at every level that are attractive, easy-to-use, and free.
NCWIT unites the computing community with an amplified voice for the increased participation of all groups. NCWIT programs and campaigns support policy reform in K-12 computing education, improve the visibility of women in computing, encourage high school girls to pursue a computing career, shine a spotlight on the successes of entrepreneurial women, and more.
B12: The Mutual Benefits of Partnership between the University of Colorado and the Boulder Valley School District
Partnerships between the University of Colorado and local school districts, such as the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 Fellowship Program for STEM graduate students, provide many benefits for the university and the community. They help improve Town-Gown relationships; they train graduate students to be better science communicators; they stoke K-12 student’s interest in STEM; and they provide content knowledge professional development for teachers. Project EXTREMES (Exploration, Teaching and Research for Excellence in Middle and Elementary Science) is a successful collaboration between CU (CIRES, EBIO, Computer Sciences) and the Boulder Valley School District. Twelve graduate students serve as Fellows in each of 5 of BVSD’s more diverse elementary and middle schools. Elementary students are exposed to field research at the Mountain Research Station. Throughout the school year, Fellows visit the classrooms to expose them to their cutting-edge research, as well as participate in after-school science clubs and field trips to scientist’s labs at the university. Entering the final year of funding, we are exploring ways to broaden this model across the university.
B13: Measuring the Success of Girls at the Museum Exploring Science (GAMES)
Girls At the Museum Exploring Science (GAMES) is a unique program designed to encourage interest and excitement about science in 4th and 5th grade girls. This study aims to investigate the role of informal education programs in increasing science participation among women, as well as ways in which schools and universities can collaborate to close the achievement gap by effectively serving populations who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.
The GAMES program consists of six weekly after school visits to the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History (CU Museum). While at the Museum, the girls explore the sciences of archaeology, botany, entomology, paleontology, and zoology through hands-on activities using real museum specimens and direct interaction with scientists and museum professionals.
The CU Museum provides transportation to and from school, snacks, follow-up activities, and tool kits for the girls. The program is free to all participants. We have minimized barriers to participation so that we can reach girls whose socioeconomic circumstances might prevent them from participating in after school programs at facilities away from their school.
In addition to the after-school sessions, the program culminates with a visit to the CU Museum by the girls’ families. This session allows the girls to demonstrate what they have learned and lets us introduce their parents to museums as a community resource for family education and entertainment.
GAMES is proud to be celebrating our 10th year in 2012-13. We are working with the Boulder Valley School District to locate past participants who are currently in middle and high school. Using student focus groups, adult interviews, and assessment document analyses, we will attempt to determine whether positive associations with science continue and whether the program affects academic and career choices. Preliminary data will be presented.
B14: Using a Learning Progression Approach to Describe How Students Develop Increasingly Sophisticated Understandings of Biodiversity over Grades 6-12
Well-grounded learning progressions can serve as a basis for dialogue among science education researchers, developers of standards documents, assessment developers, and curriculum developers. This approach is endorsed by both the National Research Council (2005, 2007) and the National Assessment Governing Board in the framework for the 2009 NAEP science test (NAGB, 2006). We have approached our work on student understanding of biodiversity, and environmental science literacy in general, through the lens of learning progressions. Our work has involved a collaborative effort of ecologists, science education researchers, and teachers. We first proposed a set of candidate progress variables. Progress variables are topics that we believe are important for understanding biodiversity (e.g. dispersal, abiotic-biotic interactions) and that all students, regardless of grade-level, can engage in conversation about. For each biodiversity progress variable, we defined the upper anchor of our learning progression. The upper anchor of a learning progression is a description of the discourse, practices, and accounts that experts believe graduating high school students can and should have to be literate citizens. The lower anchor and the intermediate level descriptions in our progression were then created through empirical research involving written and interview assessments of students. Our learning progression framework has been interactively refined over the course of 6 years. We will present our research findings and a case for why our findings are useful for science educators.
B15: Exploring Informal Science Education through the Arts
Our research is just underway having received our STEM grant this past semester. The poster will describe the two primary initiatives we are undertaking towards developing models for informal science education.
1. Visual and sonic representation of scientific data
2. The development of computer applications (apps for iPhone or iPads for example) that allow the user to explore interactive simulations of physical phenomena, particularly in the realm of sound and waves. An extension of this idea is the development of a music/science curriculum integrating pre-existing commercially available apps.
We will also be inviting anyone in the science community to share their research with us for possible collaboration….a sort of “WE WANT YOU” …..or more pointedly “WE WANT YOUR DATA” [Yes, we will have a picture of Einstein pointing his finger out like Uncle Sam]
Lastly, we are interested in a broader pursuit in regard to creativity and the commonalties that the creative process shares across both the arts and the sciences.
B16: Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, a NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship in Boulder
The Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging program at the University of Colorado Boulder is funded by NSF through their Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program. This IGERT, which started in August of 2008, involves students and faculty from 6 different departments, ECEE, Physics, App. Math., MCDB, Chem. & Biochem., and ME. The students are required to take two specific classes and a lab, with which they acquiring a common language and knowledge, and 3 more elective classes that they choose. They are also required to attend and participate in the seminar series, a highly regarded activity that not only reunites the program students on a weekly basis, but also attracts faculty and field professionals working in companies in the Boulder-Denver area. Having the class requirement organized in this way allow most of the students to fulfill this obligation without having to take more classes than the required by their home departments. Other key aspects of this traineeships are the requirement semester long rotations in research labs, that allow the participants know how different research group work, and the industrial internship, that expose them to other working environments relevant for their professional futures. Of the 30 students that have been, or are still are, involved with the program, 9 have already graduated with Ph.Ds
B17: Art for the Sake of Improving Attitudes Toward Engineering
Since 2003, a course called Flow Visualization (Flow Vis) that incorporates art and engineering has been offered to mixed teams of engineering and fine arts photography and video students at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The course is focused on the art and physics of flow visualization.
A survey instrument is being developed that explores student perceptions of and attitude towards fluid physics or other engineering topics such as design. The survey has been administered to students in the Flow Vis course, a traditional junior level required fluid mechanics course, an upper division technical elective called Sustainable Energy, and an upper division technical elective called Perception of Design which incorporates a similar emphasis on aesthetics as the Flow Vis course. Survey results indicate that students in the flow visualization course exhibit a positive affect shift; they believe that fluid mechanics is more important to themselves as engineers and to society. Students in the traditional fluids course, however, exhibit significant negative shifts in affect, while students in Perception of Design and Sustainable Energy exhibit no shift in attitude.
These preliminary results suggest that whether a course is elective as opposed to required has an impact on the maintenance of attitudes through the semester. The observed lack of positive shifts in the Perception of Design course indicates that the significant positive shifts seen in the Flow Visualization course are only partly explained by this elective factor.
B18: Conceptually-oriented, scaffolded, and socially-interactive course design with embedded Socratic formative assessments
Scientific concepts are generally counter-intuitive and require hard and slow, rather than fast and easy thinking. Moreover, and particularly in biology, these ideas can have personally and socially disconcerting implications. To help students master difficult ideas and skills requires a scaffolded, targeted approach with clear and well articulated goals defined in terms of a coherent curriculum and realistic performance expectations (and the implied knowledge required to perform them). It also requires that student are encouraged to engage, and practice using the ideas and facts to be mastered. We take it as demonstrable that, in most cases, both textbook and course design fail in providing these opportunities . To address these limitations, we have redesigned two “core” courses along these lines: introductory evolutionary and molecular biology (Biofundamentals: http://virtuallaboratory.colorado.edu/Biofundamentals-2012/) & general chemistry (Chemistry, Life, the Universe and Everything: http://besocratic.colorado.edu/CLUE-Chemistry/). In the case of Biofundamentals, there is no textbook , rather the text is on the web and socially interactive, using the Highlighter.com system; this system provides, for essentially the first time, data on how students use and respond to the text. In addition, both courses exploit beSocratic formative assessments that can span an unprecedented range of question types, including student produced graphs, drawings, and textual responses designed to provide interactive practice. We will demonstrate these course design and implementation innovations.
B19: Using PhET Simulations in STEM Education: From Middle School Mathematics to Undergraduate Chemistry
The PhET Interactive Simulations Project has developed over 120 simulations for teaching and learning science and mathematics, all of which are available free of charge at http://phet.colorado.edu. The simulations are interactive, game-like environments in which students learn through scientist-like exploration and experimentation. They emphasize the connections between real life phenomena and the underlying science and mathematics, make the invisible visible (e.g., electrons, atoms, field vectors), and utilize the visual models that experts use to aid their thinking. PhET simulations are created by a team of scientists, developers and educators, and are informed by student interviews. Here we present recent developments in new simulation topics and research projects, as well as highlight the use of PhET simulations in classroom, lecture, and laboratory environments to effectively enhance student learning and engagement.
B20: Inquiry Hub: Customizing Curriculum and Digital Resources for STEM Education
The Inquiry Hub (iHub) is an online instructional tool designed by teachers, for teachers, to assist in planning and implementing differentiated instruction for diverse student populations. Through an ongoing participatory design process, classroom teachers provide feedback on the system and propose new development ideas based on their current needs. The iHub provides educators with access to materials aligned to standards and the curriculum, including publisher materials (i.e. electronic text books, assessments), vetted digital STEM resources (i.e. animations, videos, images, and data) from the Digital Library for Earth System Education and the National Science Digital Library, and teacher-contributed materials (i.e. PowerPoints, images, homework assignments). Teachers are given the opportunity to learn more about the practices of their peers through resource ratings and shared materials. Currently the iHub is used by middle and high school Earth and physical science teachers in six school districts in Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. This year the tool is being expanded to include high school Algebra and Biology.
During the 2011-2012 school year, over 100 middle and high school Earth science teachers participated in a research study that investigated links between the iHub, teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and practices, and their students’ learning of and engagement with science content. Data included pre/post online teacher surveys, phone interviews, classroom observations, and tool usage (weblogs). Student data included pre/post assessments on two units of study and an engagement survey. Science district coordinators in all six districts were also interviewed twice during the school year. Preliminary data indicates that teachers value and enjoy using the iHub to find relevant resources, display and use the student text book in class, and use resources shared by other teachers.
This poster will present information about the iHub, the participatory design process, results from the research study, and future work.
B21: Digital Devices and Student Performance
The recent increase in use of digital devices such as laptop computers, iPads and web-enabled cell phones has generated concern about how technologies affect student performance. Combining observation, survey and interview data, we assess the effects of technology use on student learning. We report initial data, gathered in eight large introductory science courses, showing a significant negative correlation between in-class phone use and final grades, with use of cell phones corresponding to a drop of 0.36 + 0.08 on a 4-point scale. These findings are consistent with research  suggesting students cannot multitask effectively. In addition, we report findings from a final round of data collection, aimed at replicating our initial finding in six additional courses representing a more diverse set of learning environments. Findings from this final iteration address many outstanding questions, including the effects of various classroom layouts and course levels on digital device use in the classroom, as well as whether students accurately report the frequency of their in-class cell phone use.
B22: ECSITE - Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education
ECSITE- Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education Computing, computational thinking, and computer science have become essential to many fields, but this fact has not been communicated clearly to the public. In particular, K-12 students and teachers are largely unaware of the current ubiquity of computing and the revolution it has on the different areas of science. There are two ways this is apparent - the dramatic decline in the number of students directly entering computing related majors, and the only limited integration of computing into existing curricula.
The ECSITE project is a National Science Foundation GK12 program at the University of Colorado, Boulder designed to bring greater understanding of Computer Science and Computational Thinking to students in K-12 schools. Through direct contact between graduate students and GK-12 students and teachers, ECSITE aims to accomplish its short and long term goals: to train future researchers to communicate effectively with the public; to inform and excite K-12 students about the value of computing in fields of research; to prepare teachers to communicate connections in computing and their fields; to teach computational thinking to K-12 students, to develop materials that can be used to replicate our program in other settings; to increase enrollment in Computer Science, particularly among women and minorities; and to break the stereotypical view of the computational profession.
B23: CU-Boulder Learning Assistant (LA) Model
The CU-Boulder Learning Assistant (LA) Model is celebrating its first decade of STEM undergraduate course transformation and K-12 teacher recruitment/preparation! We will highlight structures that have led to growth and sustainability of the program as 12 STEM departments now use LAs to transform their undergraduate courses. We will also share data that have led to 30 other universities emulating our model nationally and internationally.
B24: XSci - Experimental Science Education Research Collaborative
The poster will feature XSci's programs as well as its latest initiative the Colorado Experiential STEM Learning Network. The CESLN is part of a larger national STEM network that will also be identified known as STEMx. The poster will also include CESLN's 1st year initiatives.
B25: Baker RAP Fosters Involvement of CU Freshmen in Science Research and Internships
Baker Residential Academic Program is an academic program in Baker Hall that focuses on Natural History and the Environment. We specialize in offering freshman introductory courses in Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Environmental Studies. We offer internships for academic credit during which students can learn about various professions in the sciences: Wild Animal Experience, Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Aquarium, Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation, etc. We hold a research symposium each fall to encourage students to begin doing research with professors in various majors. We have noted that such opportunities have led previously open-option students to choose a major in a science field. Our poster will highlight some of the internships and research being conducted by our students.
B26: Engineering for Society: A Proposed Undergraduate Engineering Degree and Teacher Licensure Pathway
Engineering for Society (EfS) is a new, proposed degree program that fuses an undergraduate ABET-accredited general engineering degree with a teacher licensure pathway. Graduates from the EfS degree program would be prepared to earn secondary (grades 7-12) science or math teacher licenses. The EfS degree aims to integrate design-focused engineering curriculum, extensive science or math content, education courses, and student teaching in a nationally-replicable model. This poster will address the need and vision for the EfS degree program.