5th Annual Symposium on STEM Education
This page includes abstracts for all of the posters that were 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, 3:15 - 4:00 PM
1A: General Engineering and CU Teach Engineering
A key strategy to address the STEM education and preparedness crisis is to create a cadre of teachers armed with deep content knowledge and pedagogical expertise across the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, who are equipped to teach the rich engineering content specified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Children learn through experiences, and the earlier we create STEM-based experiences, the better. K-12 engineering curricula is an effective way to introduce young students to relevant and innovative STEM content through exploration of the designed world around them.
Engineering design, by its very nature, is a proven pedagogical strategy that promotes learning across disciplines. The creative problem solving nature of engineering provides a motivating environment for improved learning of fundamental science and math principles that students explore early in their education, promotes critical thinking through complex real-world problems, builds upon valuable visualization and creativity skills, and potentially increases interest in STEM topics among youth. Thus, early exposure to engineering can lead to more technologically-literate citizens and increased diversity of engineers that will help shape our nation’s future. The national Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), just released in April 2013, were developed to help improve K-12 STEM education by requiring students at all levels in K-12 to actively engage in science and engineering practices, thereby deepening their understanding of the core ideas and interrelationships in these fields over multiple years. The ultimate intent of the NGSS is to increase public understanding and appreciation of the role science and engineering play in everyday life. The benefits of engineering in K-12 education reaches beyond improved learning and achievement in mathematics and science — enhancing understanding of real-world issues and, ultimately, influencing the way people view and value their world.
The General Engineering Plus CU Teach Engineering degree creates secondary math and science teachers steeped with engineering design knowledge and pedagogy strategies to integrate engineering concepts and context for grades 7-12 students.
2A: 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, Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education, 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, the ECSite project 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 amount women and minorities; and to break the stereotypical view of the computational profession.
3A: Transforming K-12 STEM Education by Bringing CU Faculty Research to Teachers: Biological Sciences Initiative Makes it Easy!
By collaborating with CU-Boulder faculty, Biological Sciences Initiative has been able to enhance K-12 education through Professional Development workshops that highlight CU-faculty research. Over the last 23 years, BSI has offered Professional Development workshops for K-12 teachers that have incorporated research from many labs representing most STEM departments (as well as other CU system researchers). These topics include stem cells, cancer, neuroscience, sound and hearing, the fossil record, protein evolution, genomics, forensics, evolution and climate change and many more. Curriculum co-developed by BSI Outreach Scientists and CU-faculty and graduate students are hands-on, inquiry-based, and tied to the state and national science standards. Several CU-Boulder faculty members have written Broader Impacts components including these collaborate workshops into their NSF grants. Last year our 8 BSI workshops reached 166 teachers and 11, 736 students. These workshops have been evaluated by Ethnography and Evaluation Research and have been shown to be effective in providing a connection to the university, comfort with teaching cutting-edge research content, classroom activities related to this content as well as necessary background activities. Some activities include working with real CU-researcher datasets that can be downloaded and allow teachers to incorporate data use aspects of the Next Generation Science Standards. BSI’s Professional Development workshops for teachers offer a way to transform K-12 STEM education while meeting broader impacts and outreach goals of communicating CU-faculty research to the community.
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.
4A: Encouragement Works!
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing is a talent development pipeline initiative of the National Center for Women & Information Technology designed to increase female participation in technology careers by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to high-potential, technically inclined young women. Since 2007, NCWIT has inducted more than 2,200 young women into the Aspirations in Computing community and helped usher them into careers in technology.
Evaluation and anecdotal data show that participants consistently report greater confidence in their technical abilities; increased enthusiasm about computing; and greater awareness of the career opportunities available to them.
-2,200 young women have been recognized for their aspirations and achievements in computing and technology since 2007.
-1,000 of these young women were inducted into the program in 2013 alone.
-11,000 young women who self-identified as interested in computing and technology have been reached through Aspirations in Computing.
-1,400 volunteers have participated as application reviewers.
-60% of participants are non-White or mixed race; 13% attend Title 1 (federally funded) schools.
-50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands participate in the Award for Aspirations in Computing.
-41 scholarship opportunities were offered to Award for Aspirations in Computing recipients in 2013.
-71% of participants now in college report a major or minor in traditionally male-dominated STEM fields.
-1,100+ young women are members of the Aspirations in Computing Community Facebook group, with more participating in local meet-ups around the country.
-800 girls will receive 25,000 hours of program hours through NCWIT AspireIT in its pilot year.
-100+ educators have been recognized and have received over $100,000 in professional development funding.
Find out more about Aspirations in Computing at www.aspirations.org.
5A: User Interface Computation as a Contextualized Approach for Introductory Computing Instruction
A trio of practices have been shown to be highly successful for retaining students and lowering failure rates in introductory computer science courses. These practices are peer instruction (PI), pair programming, and media computation. Combining these three practices helps address four areas that effect whether a student will decide to pursue a STEM education: context, engagement, competition, and community. Competition is lowered and a sense of community is increased (both shown to be highly valued attributes by females) with the inclusion of PI and pair programming. Media computation, a contextual teaching and learning (CTL) method, has been successful because it provides a context that students recognize and is relevant in their everyday lives (digital media). Additionally, learning to manipulate media can be an engaging experience (e.g., changing photos by manipulating pixels).
While media computation and other CTL methods (robotics, games, etc.,) have been shown to be successful for introductory computer science courses, the search for a universally appealing context continues. My doctoral research involves exploring this problem by creating a novel CTL method called User Interface Computation (UIC) that allows creating programs by using source code and desktop screenshots to interact with Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). Like media computation, UIC will allow for creativity and also provide a relevant context because students are already familiar with GUIs.
This fall, I will be creating the UIC curriculum for the spring 2014 semester CSCI 1300: Computer Science 1 Programming course that I will also be teaching. To continue to address the issues of competition and community, the practices of PI and pair programming will be retained and UIC will replace media computation as the programming context. Through qualitative analysis of student views of UIC during the course and quantitative measures of retention and failure rates the effectiveness of UIC will be explored.
6A: Incorporation of Screencasts in an Upper Division Integrative Physiology Course to Overcome Variability in Students' Incoming Competency and Preparedness
Screencasts are short (<10 minute), narrated videos which can be used to supplement teaching and improve student learning (e.g., Lloyd & Robertson, 2011; Pinder-Grover et al., 2011). This semester I am incorporating screencasts into an upper division Integrative Physiology course (Neurophysiology) with the goal of addressing some challenges I face with variability in students’ incoming competency and preparedness.The first challenge is that there are considerable differences in how much and how well students remember the basic physiological principles from the prerequisite Human Physiology course. A good grasp of these concepts is necessary to students’ success in Neurophysiology. However, some take Neurophysiology one to two years after the prerequisite course. In the past, I have spent the first week reviewing key concepts (with additional lecture throughout the semester as we revisit other topics). That is too long for some students, and not nearly long enough for others. This semester I am incorporating screencast reviews of key concepts, which students can view as needed. My hope is that these screencasts will provide support for students who need a review, while removing the need to cover the content during lecture with all students. A second challenge I will address with screencasts is that students vary widely in their incoming competency and comfort level with the basic mathematics we use in the course. In the past, I have worked through sample problems in lecture. However, this is too much for some students, and not enough for others depending on their background. I am using screencasts demonstrating problem solutions that students can review at their own pace. This should provide weaker students with more support, while not boring stronger students. In this presentation, I will provide a progress report on these screencasts, student reactions to the screencasts, and any challenges faced.
7A: Flipping Engineering Courses Using LearnChemE Resources
LearnChemE is a website hosting a library of resources for active learning in chemical engineering courses. Over the past couple years we have developed over 1,400 conceptests ranging in topics across eight different courses. We have also developed over 900 screencasts in nine different chemical engineering courses (some overlap with other disciplines - thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, computing, material science). Recently we have added interactive screencasts that students can interact with by answering questions within the videos. These new resources have received overwhelming enthusiastic responses from students. Also added recently are Mathematica based simulations hosted on he Wolfram Demonstrations project site. We present how these resources can be used to implement active learning approaches in engineering courses and move towards a flipped classroom experience.
8A: Scientific Practices: Equalizing Opportunities for Linguistically Diverse Students
This research explores the hypothesis that curricula designed around evidence-based inductive reasoning can equalize opportunities for linguistically diverse students. Specifically, we evaluate how linguistically diverse learners and native English speakers perform on conceptual physics assessments and the extent to which they use models and evidence to justify claims and ideas. Results indicate that within this learning context, all students demonstrated conceptual learning gains as well as reliance on evidence and models to support their claims. Female students from linguistically diverse backgrounds, a group that has remained underrepresented in science, demonstrated the most frequent use of evidence and models as rationale to support their claims and these students demonstrated above average performance on end of course assessments of conceptual understanding. Linguistically diverse males did not rely on evidence and models to the same extent. We discuss these differences and propose rationale for aspects of the learning environment that may have led to these findings.
9A: Tracking the Growth and Impact of the Learning Assistant Program at Boston University
At Boston University, the Learning Assistant (LA) program has expanded tremendously in just three years: from one introductory Chemistry course with eleven LAs in the Spring of 2011, to over twenty courses across five Departments and three Colleges, with a total of 200+ students passing through the training program. We focus here on the substantial new growth areas of this program, as well as the variety of refinements applied to the existing components. We also describe our efforts to measure systematically the impact of the LA program on students in classes with LAs, as well as on the LAs themselves. Beyond the program itself, we discuss the far-reaching impact of LAs on other complementary, student-centered STEM-education programs as a catalyst for educational transformation.
10A: Rethinking the Locus of Evaluation to Promote Scientific Induction
For over a century, physicists and physics educators have attempted to transform physics education to engage students in scientific induction. These efforts have largely failed to bring about evidence-based, inductive reasoning on a broad scale. This study investigates the role of nontraditional evaluative structures in promoting authentic scientific reasoning among students, as contrasted with more commonly observed failure-avoidance behaviors, in two physics classes. Prominent evaluative structures in this context consisted of (1) individual and small group reconciliation of students’ ideas and explanations with available laboratory evidence and (2) whole class consensus building of explanations that can best explain the evidence collected. Findings suggest that the relocation of evaluative authority of students’ ideas and explanations to laboratory evidence and social consensus, rather than with teacher and text, can promote more authentic engagement, enjoyment, and a sense of identification with physics.
11A: Assessment of Communicating Science 2013: A Workshop for Graduate Students
Effective science communication is imperative for the sharing of scientific ideas, continued funding and support from policy makers, and education of the public. Science graduate students are a prime group to target for communication training, as they will be our future scientists and educators. To this end, Communicating Science 2013, a workshop for graduate students, was held in June. This workshop taught STEM graduate students from around the nation to effectively communicate science to both their peers and the public. To learn about grad students' attitudes toward science communication and establish the workshop's efficacy, we surveyed the participants both before and after the workshop. This assessment probed topics such as communication preparation the participants have already received, how science communication is perceived in their home department, and what participants hoped to gain from the workshop. We report the results here.
12A: Involving Multiple Communities in the Preparation of Future Science Teachers
Because of the challenges of recruiting students into science teaching and because of the complex nature of the teaching profession, we have taken an approach to preparing the next generation of science teachers that involves input from a diverse set of local communities. Through the APS PhysTEC and the NSF Noyce Program we have strengthened our collaborations with Two Year Colleges and inservice teachers in the area and have co-designed activities and experiences with these communities that build on their specific strengths and experiences. Specifically, we have created two types of early teaching experiences that involve local schools and have created a Learning Assistant (LA) Program that involves three of the Two Year Colleges in Chicago. We describe how these new collaborations provide students with diverse experiences in the teaching of science to students who plan to teach in the urban school district.
13A: Engaging K-12 Teachers, and the General Public in Mars Science with the MAVEN Mission
LASP uses both mission funding and small grants to engage teachers in professional development opportunities, create innovative cross-disciplinary curricula that adheres to the common core and NGSS, and provide research opportunities for undergraduates. This poster will specifically focus on education and outreach, developed at LASP, for the MAVEN mission, NASA's next Mars mission. MAVEN's educational programming includes art-literacy-science and science-technology curricula, hands-on and inquiry based teacher professional development, and a robust social media outreach component. Our overall goal is to improve space science education by creating flexible and innovative programming that can be used in a variety of settings and STEM courses (from physics to planetary science), and reflects best practices.
14A: ASSETT Support Initiatives and 3-D Printing Demo
Arts and Sciences Support of Education Through Technology (ASSETT) is driven by teaching and learning needs and activities in the College of Arts and Sciences. Consistently guided by a pedagogy-centered perspective, ASSETT works to develop and maintain reliable, dedicated IT resources that support and advance the quality of teaching and learning across the College of Arts & Sciences.
Our first priority is to understand the different needs and priorities of students, faculty, and staff across the College. Second, we keep teaching and learning–not technology–at the center of everything we do. We aim for something called “technological imagination” — we try to help people think in new ways about technology. Third, we work cooperatively with units both inside and outside of the College who provide technology support to the campus or who are important partners with A&S. These include OIT, the libraries, ALTEC, the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program, the Graduate Teaching Program, and the College of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. Building relationships, keeping lines of communication open, and exchanging information will help all of us to better support teaching and learning on campus.
This poster will highlight ASSETT’s support initiatives and projects that advance the teaching and learning mission of the College of Arts and Sciences. These initiatives include development awards, a college social network, and original applications, such as an OCR scanning tool, a Syllabus Library, and the Places Classroom Inventory tool, developed to support students, faculty and staff. Additionally, we will set up a demonstration of a mobile 3D printer. In this demonstration we hope to increase understanding of what 3D printing is and spark discussions with attendees about possible uses of the printer in their teaching and learning.
15A: A National Assessment of Undergraduate Physics Labs: First Results
The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) is a short multiple-choice survey that assesses students' attitudes about conducting physics experiments in an instructional setting and in professional research. The survey is given at the beginning and at the end of a course, whereupon students are also asked about what helped to earn a good grade in the course. A variety of aspects of experimentation are explored, including students' sense-making, affect, self-confidence, and the value of collaboration. Over 4000 E-CLASS responses have been gathered from over 30 courses at 17 colleges and universities. We will present a broad overview of our findings, including which student views are the least expert-like, which views shift most over the course of a semester, and which have largest differences between introductory and upper-division courses.
16A: A Conceptual Assessment to Gauge Student Mastery of Molecular Biology at Graduation
Students majoring in biology typically take a semi-prescribed series of courses aimed at helping them master central concepts and cultivate higher-order cognitive skills. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge student understanding of core molecular biology concepts and their ability to apply these concepts to novel scenarios. Targeted at senior-level students, the MBCA utilizes a multiple true-false (T/F) format where each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements. Questions were developed with extensive faculty and student input, including content validation through faculty feedback and response validation through student interviews.
Consisting of 18 questions and 72 statements, the MBCA was piloted to 330 upper-division students at four different public universities. Scored at the individual statement level, this assessment produces a wide range of student scores and statement difficulties, with advanced students achieving a 60% overall average. An internal reliability measure provides evidence that the MBCA yields reliable scores for the given subjects (α = 0.78).
Data from the MBCA indicate that advanced students have only partial understandings of many areas within molecular biology, evidenced by the 20% rate at which students correctly answer all four statements associated with a question. Furthermore, these students display incorrect conceptions that have been previously documented in introductory students, suggesting that certain ideas persist despite multiple years of instruction. For example, advanced students demonstrate incorrect ideas related to genetic variation and molecular diffusion, and they struggle to dissect certain mechanistic processes, such as meiosis and translation. Statement discrimination values further identify the degree to which concepts are understood by high performing and low performing students.
Intended for use by molecular biology departments, the MBCA can help pinpoint areas of conceptual difficulty and lay the groundwork for targeted improvement of undergraduate biology programs.
17A: President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative Research: Written Constructive Feedback and Student Learning in Inquiry Biology Labs
In large universities of the USA first-time graduate-student teaching assistants (GTAs) are commonly utilized to teach introductory science labs. Training time for these GTAs is limited and should be focused on factors with the greatest influence on student learning and, for graduate student retention, students’ attitudes towards their GTA. Written feedback from the GTA is one such factor. The goal of this study was to gather baseline information on the types, quantities and variation of written feedback by GTAs in college introductory biology lab, how it differentially impacts student learning, and how it influences student evaluations of the GTAs.
We quantified and obtained average scores for GTA feedback, student performances and student evaluations of their GTA in general biology lab on a quiz in 2010 (N= 19 GTAs) and lab reports in 2011 (N = 17 GTAs). Results indicated GTAs provided little positive feedback, most feedback was targeted and asked students to expand on explanations. Student learning was best explained by GTA grading and the number of comments in 2010 and the grading only in 2011. There was a significant negative relationship between average student performance for a given GTA and average student evaluations of their GTA in 2011 and feedback was not an explanatory variable. This study indicates that a workshop on assessing and the use of more extensive rubrics for assessment by GTAs may be more helpful than an extensive workshop on feedback.
18A: Multiple-Choice Assessment for Upper-division Electricity and Magnetism
The Colorado Upper-division Electrostatics (CUE) diagnostic was designed as an open-ended assessment in order to capture elements of student reasoning in upper-division electrostatics. The diagnostic has been given for many semesters at multiple universities resulting in an extensive database of CUE responses. To increase the scalability of the assessment, we used this database along with research on students’ difficulties to create a multiple-choice version. The new version explores the viability of a novel test format where students select multiple responses and can receive partial credit based on the accuracy and consistency of their selections. This format was selected with the goal of preserving insights afforded by the open-ended format while exploiting the logistical advantages of a multiple-choice assessment. Here, we present examples of the questions and scoring of the multiple-choice CUE as well as initial analysis of item difficulty, discrimination, and overall consistency with the open-ended version.
19A: Digital Devices and Student Performance
With two years of data now fully analyzed, we have more information about how digital devices can distract students and how they overestimate their own ability to multitask. The data we would present shows clearly how different faculty policies affect student behavior, and we will also present the results of 24 student interviews that explored student attitudes about their use of technology.
20A: Snow Day Math
Snow Day Math is math exploration app which allows students to discover mathematical properties without the fear of incorrect answers. A unique way to really play with numbers, Snow Day lets users pull apart and explore numbers in undirected and free exploration. In Snow Day the "numbers come out to play." Ongoing research has show evidence of student internalizing the mathematic model, and gains in assessment performance.
21A: New Directions for PhET Interactive Simulations in STEM Education
The PhET Interactive Simulations Project (http://phet.colorado.edu/) has developed over 120 free online interactive simulations for teaching and learning in science and mathematics from middle school through college. The simulations are interactive, game-like environments in which students learn through exploration and experimentation. Using extensive research and student interviews, the PhET team of scientists, developers and educators design simulations to 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 and representations that experts use to aid their thinking. Here we present the scope and breadth of PhET simulation use in various educational environments, emphasizing the key design elements that foster student engagement and learning. We additionally highlight the latest educational research insights and newest directions for the PhET project, including next-generation touch-enabled simulations and alignment of our mathematics suite with common core state standards.
22A: Skill Development in Design Spaces at the Design Center Colorado
The CU Boulder Mechanical Engineering Senior Capstone Design Course, housed in the Design Center Colorado, serves for many engineering students as an opportunity to develop crucial skills in professionalism and design that are necessary for succeeding in industry post-graduation. This study delves into the effectiveness of a senior Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Course for the development of professional and technical skills including: project management, design, engineering methods, communication, and teamwork. A triangulated assessment was performed to evaluate the development of student skills using a survey administered during the middle and end of the Senior Capstone Design Course. This survey was administered to the students, team Project Directors and team Industry Clients. After analysis, it was found that teams made a significant gain pre to post in engineering methods, project management, and design skills. Communication skills remained at an acceptable level while teamwork skills dropped significantly in the second semester due to difficulties resolving interpersonal conflicts.The poster will include a discussion on the differences between faculty, industry, and student ratings.
23A: Increasing the Salience of Negative Gender-Math Stereotypes Lowers Perceptions of Women's Math Ability
Stereotype threat is a cause of women’s underperformance on individual math tests (Steele, 1997). Our research examines the effect of stereotype threat on perceptions of math ability in a group problem-solving context. Stereotype threat was manipulated through group gender composition (with groups of either one female and three males or four females). All participants completed a tutorial prior to a group math task. In each group a female target completed a tutorial that gave her added math expertise in the group math task relative to others. After the group math task, targets in the stereotype threat condition rated themselves and were rated by others as worse at math, and as making less useful contributions to the group than in the non-threat condition. In the non-threat condition the target’s math expertise was recognized relative to others but not in the stereotype threat condition. Implications for STEM education and industry are discussed.
24A: Self-Efficacy and Other Influences of STEM Careers: Investigating Differences among Underrepresented Students
A shortage exists among college graduates entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, thereby threatening United States’ STEM competitiveness. Bandura (1977) asserted self-efficacy should impact performance and thus future career choices. Consequently, CSTEME (Center for STEM Education) programs endeavor to increase self-efficacy in STEM and inspire students to pursue STEM careers. Students (N = 600; grades 5-12) completed pre-surveys prior to CSTEME workshop participation, and qualitative responses to the question “Please list 3 jobs you would like to have when you grow up” were coded (i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and non-STEM careers) for analysis. Results showed various levels of predictability between sources of self-efficacy and measures of advantage upon interest in STEM and non-STEM careers. Further, differences between grade level, first-generation status, gender, race, and ethnicity were explored. Understanding variable predictions of STEM career matriculation may lead to effective STEM program practices thereby boosting the number of college graduates pursuing STEM careers.
25A: Prioritizing the Math Standards - Powerful conclusions from our research-based approach
Our goal was to find the critical Standards for success in math at grade level. We conducted two experiments.
Our hypotheses: Math requires a solid foundation. There are a few critical building blocks in that foundation.
Students who have those critical building blocks (CBBs) are in position to learn at grade level and beyond. They can use critical thinking to solve grade level and beyond problems.
Experiment 1. Find the critical building blocks for grades 6 and above
We developed a short constructed-response diagnostic assessment, and correlated scores on our assessment with two grade level indicators. Specifically, we had data from 6th and 9th graders in Colorado’s state test at the time, CSAP, and the NWEA MAPS tests. Our first correlation coefficients were in the 0.6 range. Through an iterative process, we improved the assessment, and achieved correlation coefficients ranging from 0.8 to 0.9.
Our assessment of 15 questions includes questions like: 4 – 5 = ? and simple fraction addition and multiplication. All of our questions come from from grades 1 through 5. The assessment takes about ten minutes.
Our conclusion: The high correlation between our diagnostic assessment and large-scale assessments of mathematics indicates that there is a strong association between student math gaps and their performance on state and national assessments.
Experiment 2. Strengthen and fill gaps in the critical building blocks and measure student growth
We provided lessons in the CBBs in double dose math classes. The first class period was a grade level class, and the second was the Peak Achievement math lessons. We provided weekly professional development for the teachers to use our lessons. Our lessons are based on the transition from hands-on objects, through pictures, and finally abstract notation. Problem sets included critical thinking, in a supportive setting.
Typical student growth was three grade levels in 5 ½ months of classroom work.
26A: Hands-On Learning in a Haitian Renewable Energy Course: Improved Attitudes
In the realm of STEM education, it has been shown in the United States and other parts of the developed world, that hands-on based learning has a positive impact on students’ confidence and attitudes toward working in teams and their ability to solve problems. But is this an effective means of technical education in other parts of the world? The answer to this question would benefit world development efforts like Engineering Without Borders, Engineering for Change, and the Village Aid Project.
In the spring of 2012, engineering students from CU developed curriculum for a year-long Haitian Sustainable Energy Course. Five students traveled to Haiti in the summer of 2012 to share this curriculum with a group of Haitians tasked to instruct the course. The curriculum was written in English, while in Haiti, French and French-Creole are spoken. In order to overcome this language barrier, many hands-on activities were employed. The Haitian instructors took content surveys before and after the training, which demonstrated their improved understanding of course topics. The course was first offered to a group of Haitian students 2012-2013 school-year. Surveys to access student attitudes toward working on hands-on projects were administered before and after the course. This survey was also administered to first-year engineering students at CU in a hands-on based design course (GEEN 1400) to serve as a comparison group.
In this work we present preliminary data to show how hands-on curriculum developed in the United States effectively bolstered attitudes toward technical endeavors for those involved.
In this case study, when a language barrier stood between two groups, hands-on based curriculum helped to convey technical information to instructors and improved attitudes toward hands-on/technical work among students.
27A: Boundary Objects that Mediate Students’ Motivation to do Physics
This physics education research examines how specific tools can serve as boundary objects that mediate between a student’s intrinsic motivation and physics. Intrinsically motivating activities are characterized by the extent to which they facilitate a sense of competence, autonomy, and relatedness (known in the literature as basic psychological needs). In our study, we operationalize these constructs and demonstrate that students develop a sense competence, autonomy, and relatedness when engaging in an iPad-enhanced classroom environment. We attribute students’ development of motivation for physics to the role of tools—specifically iPads acting as “boundary objects,” bridging students’ everyday cultural worlds with physics classroom content. The social construct of a “boundary object” will be elaborated to demonstrate how learning physics is, at its heart, a socio-cultural cognitive task.
28A: The interplay between student, instructor, motivation and performance in introductory geology
More learning typically occurs in student-centered classrooms, but why? Is it the classroom teaching style or might there also be accompanying changes in student affect (e.g., motivation, learning strategies, metacognition, etc.) that impact learning? To address this question, we applied a hierarchical linear modeling method to a data set of ~1800 student participants across multiple institution types in the Geoscience Affective Research NETwork (GARNET) project. We focused on quantified measures of classroom teaching practices (Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol; RTOP) and students’ motivation (value and expectancy) and metastrategies as measured by the Motivation Strategy and Learning Questionnaire; MSLQ).
Hierarchical linear modeling of these variables indicates that 9% of a student grade is attributable to the instructor’s classroom pedagogy and 91% to the student. Factors that influence variation in a student’s grade include learning gains (there is a high correlation between grade and a modified version of the geoscience concept inventory), the expectancy a student has for his/her success in the course, the amount s/he values the content (both of which impact motivation), and effective employment of learning strategies (metastrategies). The teacher’s influence on student grades is directly related to how student-centered the classroom is (as measured by the RTOP), and predicts up to a 40% variance in students’ grade. In addition, a student’s expectancy for success is less likely to impact their grade in a more student-centered the classroom. As such, students who may have low expectations of success still have an equal opportunity to achieve. These results indicate that when we consider how to approach the future of student-centered practices in the classroom, we need to include consideration of how to support student motivation.
29A: Adapting a Novel Curriculum in a Traditional High School Environment
Adopting novel curricula is difficult in high schools that have strict pacing criteria and standards set forth by the district for general physics classes. In order to adapt a PER-based approach to teaching physics, we alternated novel and traditional classroom structures to capture the essence and pedagogy of an innovative curriculum while still maintaining compliance with district policies. This study investigates how students responded to the alternating implementations of Physics and Everyday Thinking; an innovative curriculum based on the inductive method. The curriculum involves student-centered investigation, group discussions, collecting and interpreting evidence, and generating inferences and principles from observations. Findings include students' trust in their own investigations and data, students' views on working in research groups, and the impact of decentralized authority in the classroom. These findings and lessons learned from adapting a novel curricular approach in a traditional environment will be discussed.
Poster Session B, from 4:10 - 4:55 PM
1B: CLACE NASA Nuestra Tierra Dinamica
The Nuestra Tierra Dinámica program goal is to raise global climate change and Earth system literacy through inquiry-based, hands-on science, technology and engineering activities designed to improve the quality of the Nation’s STEM education as well as strengthen participants’ communicating science skills.
After extensive review of NTD program deliverables resulting from year one of this pilot project, the focus on our work on Year 2 was shifted to developing a stronger program curricula, lesson plans and hands on experiences both on Green Labs and Video Labs.
2B: Stop the Drop-Why America's Students Fail at Math
Amazingly, fewer than 1 in 4 students in the United States become proficient in math, but what is most striking is how and when that failure occurs. While US 4th grade students, perform above average on international tests, by 8th grade, students fall to slightly below average. By 10th grade, our 15 year-old students drop to the bottom tier. The drop-off is the greatest decline in the world.
Interestingly, the Mid School Math Cliff is related to teaching practices. TIMSS video analysis showed that the top 7 countries use the method of presenting a very rich, complex problem with almost no instruction. US teachers almost ubiquitously use the opposite approach teaching how to solve a simple algorithm, which may explain why memorization is the top strategy for learning math in the United States, a strategy that fails in high school and in preparation for college readiness, and for many, the pursuit of a dream job.
Dr. Scott Laidlaw, along with Dr. John Cooney, P.I., professor emeritus of CU/Boulder, are dedicated to exploring a new approach. Get acquainted with the ground-breaking creators of Ko’s Journey and the documentary film, The Biggest Story Problem and learn how to empower teachers to build a foundation for real and dramatic change. You’ll leave inspired, with new tools and techniques in-hand to transform your math classroom.
3B: Oral Assessments: Enabling More Students to Pursue STEM Majors
Oral reviews are one hour small group discussions in which students are asked to explain the important underlying concepts of the material about to be covered on a written exam. At five universities, analysis has shown that oral reviews are strongly correlated with improved understanding, grades, and retention in calculus, the gatekeeper to STEM majors. There has been a dramatic drop in failure rates, significant improvement in students’ course grades, their attendance, and their effort expended in the courses.
4B: Contexts and Representations in a Digital Mathematics Environment
The Freudenthal Institute's Digital Mathematics Environment (DME) offers a wide variety of digital applets and instructional sequences for use in mathematics classrooms, and includes many secondary mathematics topics. This environment contains a learner management system, which allows for saving and reviewing student work. Moreover, it contains a powerful authoring tool, in which contexts, representations and tools (i.e. graphing tool, diagrams) can be customized and combined into instructional sequences (i.e., modules) which can offer students meaningful problem situations to develop mathematical understanding. These modules can be used for exploration, instruction, training and assessment. Currently, we are investigating ways to expand the DME to other topics, such as chemistry and physics.
5B: Next Generation Science Standards in Colorado
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been finalized, and of this writing, six states including California have adopted the standards. The NGSS represents another step along the continuum towards integrated, coherent teaching that reflects the practices and habits of mind of scientists and engineers. While educational leaders in Colorado have been part of shaping NGSS, Colorado was not one of the 23 lead states, and the conversation in Colorado has been taking place in organizations and districts, largely disconnected from one another. The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Colorado Science Education Network (CSEN) recently co-hosted a professional development session about NGSS in Colorado. Approximately 115 educators attended, including many University of Colorado science educators, Colorado Department of Education personnel, district science staff, professional development and resource providers in the community and more. The Colorado Department of Education presented five adoption options, including full adoption, for initial feedback. Breakout sessions considered how to develop instructional sequences within each of the three domains (Physical Sciences, Life Science and Earth and Space Sciences) and how to make the case for adoption. This poster will describe outcomes of the meeting, including a description of the attendees’ familiarity with NGSS, highlight what attendees want in order to move forward with NGSS, outline the options presented by CDE, describe how to give feedback to CDE about the options, and look forward to next steps for keeping the conversation going in Colorado.
6B: A Designed Learning Ecology for STEM Learning with Children from Nondominant Communities
This poster presents a designed learning ecology that spans CU Boulder, the after school program and "social design experiment” of El Pueblo Magico, and the homes of families. In these contexts, children and undergraduates work together in interdisciplinary ensembles to engage in STEM activity that leverages the everyday experiences of the participants, many of whom come from nondominant communities, for academic STEM learning. Undergraduate and graduate student research teams support and document our work at El Pueblo Magico and other sites of the research. Currently, we are implementing a new approach that draws on youth’s everyday knowledge AND scientific (or school-based) knowledge to build both k12 students’ and undergraduates’ capacity to grapple with complex social and scientific problems in their teaching and learning. We call this pedagogical approach a syncretic approach—a pedagogy that leverages both everyday and scientific knowledge to push students toward consequential STEM learning. We are taking a syncretic approach to instantiate “making and tinkering” STEM activities. Our Making and Tinkering activities range from producing potato batteries and “squishy circuits”, to designing solar machines and “sewn circuits”. With these activities we highlight the ingenuity of the participants as they make and re-make their own learning through the design of circuits and reflect on activity with the iRemix social learning network.
7B: Growing & Sustaining STEM Communities
Boulder Area STEM Education Coalition will provide a poster highlighting the groups efforts to foster and sustain STEM interest and STEM education. The poster articulates approaches used and relationships built to engage stakeholders in STEM throughout the immediate region.
8B: Learn More About Climate
CU-Boulder is home to some of the world’s leading climate scientists. The Learn More About Climate (LMAC) initiative seeks to extend this expertise to educators, policymakers and citizens. The primary goal of LMAC’s website, LearnMoreAboutClimate.colorado.edu, is to provide the most up-to-date scientific research in a user-friendly way to raise awareness and inspire an informed dialogue about climate change. Beyond its web presence, the LMAC initiative sends CU-Boulder scientists and faculty to communities and schools across the state to share their research and engage citizens and students in conversations about the science of climate change. LMAC was developed by CU-Boulder’s Office for University Outreach, which is tasked with extending campus resources to external groups across the state.
9B: Fossils in the Classroom Statewide Outreach
"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, and to get students turned on to science through paleontology.
The goals directly address the new Colorado State Curriculum Standard related to fossils for 4th grade students. Hands-on teaching kits, in-district teacher training on use of the kits, and a poster identifying places to see fossils in Colorado were developed by faculty and staff at the University of Colorado Museum with the assistance of graduate and undergraduate students and with funding provided by the CU Outreach Committee and the Museum. Beginning with 25 kits, 5 school districts, and 1,300 students, the project has grown to 60 kits in 12 districts reaching more than 6,300 students across the state. With secured, continuing funding, the project will grow to an additional 220 kits and 12 districts statewide, targeting an additional 16,000 students over the next two years. "
10B: Rethinking the Locus of Evaluation to Promote Scientific Induction
Within biology education, there has been a recent emphasis on Scientific Teaching, which proposes that science education should reflect the spirit and rigor of modern science. The book Scientific Teaching provides a guide for implementing Scientific Teaching in the classroom, yet despite its widespread appeal, such practices have yet to be defined in terms that allow them to be explicitly observed and objectively measured. The long term goals of this project are to define Scientific Teaching in observable terms and to develop instruments to measure these practices in the classroom.
Through extensive literature review and consultation with various practitioners, we identified a list of pedagogical goals central to Scientific Teaching. These goals were further defined within a hierarchical taxonomy that describes general and specific behaviors supporting the achievement of each pedagogical goal. Thus far, our comprehensive taxonomy consists of 18 pedagogical goals, 18 general approaches, and 42 specific behaviors exemplifying the general approaches. We will continue to revise and validate this taxonomy through classroom observations, literature review, and faculty feedback. Defining Scientific Teaching in observable terms will lay the groundwork for the development of protocols to measure the implementation of Scientific Teaching in the classroom.
11B: Customizing Curriculum and Digital Resources for STEM Educators
The Curriculum Customization Service (CCS) 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 about the service and propose new development ideas based on their current needs. The CCS provides educators with access to materials aligned to standards and their curriculum, including publisher materials (i.e. e-textbooks, assessments), vetted digital STEM resources (i.e. animations, videos, images, and data) from digital libraries (i.e. National Science Digital Library), mathematical tasks (i.e. Illustrative Mathematics, Shell Centre), a playlist feature for aggregating and organizing CCS content with instructions, 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, shared materials, and professional development. The CCS currently includes materials for secondary Earth and physical science teachers in six school districts in Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. Recently, the CCS has been expanded to include high school Algebra and this year will see the initial development of the tool for high school Biology.
During the 2012-2013 school year a Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) of 11 high school Algebra teachers in a large urban school district assisted in the development of the CCS digital platform for Algebra. Through face-to-face and webinar meetings, researchers, district administrators, and the TAB collaborated in collecting, rating, and testing in the classroom mathematical tasks aligned to Common Core standards. This process involved an iterative cycle of refining a multi-dimensional rubric to gauge the quality of the tasks and to calibrate TAB member ratings. Data was collected on the collaborative process, task ratings, and task implementation.
This poster will present information about the CCS, participatory design process, research results, and future work.
12B: ASSETT's Digital Learning Communities
Each semester Arts and Sciences Support of Education Through Technology (ASSETT) sponsors two Digital Learning Communities for Faculty and Instructors. Both seminars are intended to create and encourage interdisciplinary investigations into improving the student learning experience. Participants engage in a reflective inquiry process while exploring innovative pedagogical approaches and the possible affordances of cutting edge technologies.
The Teaching with Technology Faculty Seminar is intended to introduce participants to instructional design and learning theories as well as new educational technologies. This seminar is grounded in Mishra and Kohler’s (2009) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework which identifies the intersections and relationships of the various types of knowledge needed successfully integrate technology into one’s teaching. Participants experiment by trying a new teaching approach and incorporating a new technology or digital component in one class currently being taught.
The Hybrid/Online Course Design Faculty Seminar prepares and leads participants in redesigning a complete course for hybrid or online delivery. This seminar is grounded in Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (2005) which centers on the idea that course design process should start with identifying the desired results and then work “backward” to develop instruction, including assessment and activities. Additionally Garrison, Akyol & Vaughan’s (2011) work on Communities of Inquiry informs the seminar practice by providing a framework for deep and meaningful discourse in the development of social, cognitive and teaching presence.
This poster will demonstrate the methodology and provide examples of the professional development process participants engage in during the seminar. Additionally, it provides a model for supporting instructors as they learn to embrace new blended, hybrid and online instructional delivery modes in an ever changing higher education context.
13B: What Contributes to a Science Teacher's Shift in Thinking about Assessment?
This study examines what contributes to a science teacher’s shift in thinking about assessment throughout a school year. Science teachers at an urban 6th – 12th grade school reflected on their assessment practices on a monthly basis and shared their ideas about how effective their practices were in helping to improve student understanding. Preliminary findings indicate that all teachers in the study showed some evidence of a shift in their thinking about assessment.
Teachers cited personal beliefs or past experience as reasons for why their shift occurred more often than formal knowledge and teachers with more teaching experience cited personal beliefs and experience more often than teachers with less teaching experience. Further implications of this study are also discussed.
14B: Effects of Flexibility on Homework Completion and Student Performance
Research has shown that student choice and flexibility in the learning environment are linked to motivation and agency. This education research investigates the effect of choice and flexibility in impacting homework completion rate. Two different classroom treatments were applied over two terms of an urban high school chemistry course. The first treatment involved flexible, supportive classroom structures that theoretically would lead to a greater homework completion rate. The second treatment (or control) involved the traditional, authoritative structures that had been in place--students were penalized for not completing homework within the designated time frame. Initial results suggest that the flexible supportive structures led to greater homework completion rates and to higher performances on the district assessment over the non-flexible homework condition. These results will be discussed along with instructional implications, explanatory conjectures, and lessons learned.
15B: Comparing Models of Professional Development for Teaching Computational Thinking through Game and STEM Simulation Design
Building on our past work in Scalable Game Design, which explored ways of broadening the participation of middle school students in computer science, we are now studying the efficacy of alternative teacher training models with respect to this curriculum. Our efforts support teachers, schools, and school districts that wish to incorporate computational thinking activities into existing computing education and STEM courses, introducing game design first and then advancing to STEM simulation design. The effectiveness of this approach has been demonstrated in diverse settings that have included tech hub, urban, rural, and remote Native American communities and have involved some of Colorado’s most underprivileged schools. Our newest project, oDREAMS, will systematically investigate face-to-face, blended, and online teacher professional development based on cognitive and sociocultural learning theories. We will determine the impact on classroom teaching and on student learning outcomes in various school contexts. Issues to be addressed in the research include access, capacity, replicability, fidelity, and cost. Over four years, oDREAMS will reach over 200 new teachers, affecting 15,000 students in a number of states but with a focus on AL, CO, DE, MO, SD, UT and WY. Our ultimate goal is to develop a computational thinking empowered 21st century workforce. We seek to understand how to improve and broaden the computer science education pipeline through increasing teacher implementation of CS curricula and creating new opportunities for students to engage in computer programming and to apply learned computational thinking patterns.
16B: Understanding clicker discussions
While discussions of clicker questions are known to boost learning, studies of influences on the content and process of clicker discussion are rare. We used wireless audio recorders to capture clicker conversations in two introductory biology classes. In one set of classes, instructors varied how they modeled and reminded students to engage in clicker questions. In another class, Learning Assistants rotated among recorded and non-recorded groups. We found that instructor-modeled norms for conversation influenced conversations to contain a higher quality of reasoning, as well as student attitudes toward clicker discussion. Learning Assistants had a variable effect on conversation, depending on the quality of their input.
17B: ELVIS: Experiential Learning Variables and Indicators Scale
ELVIS is the Experiential Learning Variables and Indicators Scale -- the latest research based tool emerging from XSci's research grant through the Merck Company Foundation to investigate the value of extraordinary STEM learning experiences. As a practical tool, ELVIS is designed to be used prescriptively to help educators and instructional designers create experiential STEM programs, descriptively to compare programs, and evaluative to assess experiential programs across learner-centered dimensions shown to be important over 70 years of research and literature.
18B: ROOTS of STEM: Research on Women and Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Majors
ROOTS of STEM is a two-phase project investigating the institutional factors that influence women’s and underrepresented minorities’ decision to pursue STEM majors. The first phase employs quantitative methods and a unique longitudinal dataset, the ROOTS of STEM dataset, following one entire cohort of North Carolina public school students from middle school to high school and into the public university system in NC (N >160,000). The second phase uses interviews with current college seniors across the entire system of public higher education in NC (N > 300) to understand their experiences with math and science in middle and high school and in college. Analyses is ongoing. In this poster I introduce the project and report on initial findings.
19B: Enhancing Interest in Polar Sciences for Primary School Children in the Denver and Boulder Region
Alex Mass is a PhD student in Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder whose work takes her into the field in Antarctica for 3 months/year. Through collaborations with the Office of University Outreach, Learn More About Climate, the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research program, and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in STEM Education, Alex has met with a number of classrooms grade 4-8 in the Boulder and Denver region to discuss careers in engineering and field science, fieldwork life in Antarctica, and simple concepts in polar science. These visits are enhanced by skype calls from Antarctica and blog updates throughout the Antarctic field season. While many concepts in climate change and global ecology can seem ephemeral to students who are unable to physically see the environment or impacts of a faraway location, Alex and the participating teachers believe that having a sense of affiliation with a graduate scientist in Antarctica may help to engage primary school children by giving them a particular scientist to follow the progress of and relate to on a personal level. A series of learning assessments will be created and distributed to participating classrooms to examine the effectiveness of this relationship in enhancing the environmental literacy and scientific interest of students.
20B: Monarch High Students Making STEMx History
Monarch High AP Biology Students Increase Both Test Scores & Higher Order Thinking Skills by Using Unique Stereo 3D STEM Simulations
Monarch High students are making history through their immersion in an innovative STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) Pilot Project within Monarch High’s Biology Department. The students have increased their test scores and understanding of challenging AP Biology concepts during the last three years of the project. One of Monarch’s AP Biology students, Kevin Holt, commented,
“I really like the way that the Stereoscopic 3D software makes learning more interesting and visual. It also enhances clarity on abstract ideas and brings learning to life.”
Leadership on the ongoing research project is provided by Monarch’s Kristin Donley, AP Biology Teacher, and Adjunct Professor at CU/Denver. Ms. Donley was honored by the State of Colorado Department of Education as the recipient of the 2012 Colorado Teacher of the Year Award (as well as 2011 Technology Teacher of the Year). Ms. Donley enjoys being able to take the unique Designmate 3D video simulations (www.Designmate.com) into many classrooms throughout Boulder Valley Schools to enhance student learning and outcomes. Students at Monarch also benefit from dual credit programs that Ms. Donley has directed for years to facilitate the students’ access to earning credits in courses at CU/Boulder, while still in high school.
21B: Computer Science at an Elementary Level
The Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Math Standards, and Science K-12 Framework all call for students to develop problem solving practices through identifying, representing, and analyzing information about a problem with the goal of forming testable solutions. These are central practices to the computer science discipline and the K-12 educational system would benefit by ensuring that computer science is offered at all levels. However, at the elementary level of education, students are rarely given an opportunity to participate in the discipline and little is understood about how students will take up learning about computer science principles and practices.
This research will show elementary students’ practices as they designed and created games using the AgentSheets (2D) and AgentCubes (3D) programming environments. The students (grades 2-5) at the research site were participating in an afterschool program at a diverse elementary school and worked in small groups alongside undergraduate students taking an educational psychology course. These undergraduates had little to no prior experience in computer science and many of them were on track to become elementary teachers. The groups of undergraduate and elementary students were asked to first design their games using a pencil-and-paper planning document in which they were to identify what their games would look like and what behavior the individual parts would have. Once they had completed the design process, they were to create their games using the AgentSheets/Cubes programming environments. The data shows that most groups did not complete the entire design document and had skipped a process that would have assisted in translating their own language into programming code. The groups then needed lots of assistance in creating their games from an on-site computer science “expert”.
22B: Towards coherence in STEM education: Consequences for design
It has long been argued that teaching separate sciences (such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics) does not assist students in understanding the real world nor prepare them for a career in interdisciplinary research. At the same time several factors hamper more coherent education and stakeholders seem to clash in views on this issue. Recently, developments in the field of international assessment (PISA), the revision of standards (in the US and elsewhere) and innovative curricula (NLT in the Netherlands) seem to offer opportunities for new ways of coherent education. In the presentation these developments
will be outlined and evaluated, and some design principles for coherent math and science education will be suggested.
23B: Nature, Life and Technology (NLT): An interdisciplinary course, integrating science and math
Nature, Life and Technology is an upper secondary course, introduced in 2007 in the Netherlands. It is an elective course for students who take mathematics, chemistry, as well as physics and/or biology. The course is modular, where in every course module a realistic context is studied, using and extending the mathematical and scientific knowledge of the students. The study load for this course is comparable to the compulsory ones on math and sciences.
24B: Enhancing the Pedagogy of STEM through Music and the Arts
Our research initiatives include:
1. Visual and sonic representation of scientific data
2. The development of computer applications (Phets and Apps)
Allows the users to explore interactive simulations of physical phenomena such as acoustics, sound, and waves.
3. Developing a music, art & science curriculum.
Integrating commercially available apps. Exploring the use of arduino/micro-controllers to teach concepts in electronics, programming, and math.
4. Exploring the “Science of Creativity” and asking the question:
What are the commonalties that the creative process shares across both the arts and the sciences. How can scientists and artists learn from each other?
25B: Computing Computational Thinking
Visual programming with game/simulation creation is one of common approaches to raise computer science interests in K-12 education. Several research papers indicate that motivational benefits of visual programming learning are successfully brought to computer science education, but still it is not clear what kinds of knowledge students have actually learned through making games and/or simulations. In this research, a method to analyze the semantic meaning of visual programming is provided to support educational benefits of visual programming in computer science education.
26B: Capitalizing on digital natives' technological skills
Physics education research has produced a body of literature about students’ epistemological resources as well as curricular materials that build upon these resources. However, little attention has been given to students’ technological resources, which are becoming increasingly important. As “digital natives” make up the majority of our student population, a simple change of replacing paper and pencil lab notebooks with digital notebooks may have a dramatic impact on the extent to which students feel valued and respected within and by the learning context. Additionally, digital notebooks are more aligned with the way digital natives have learned to do their work. Results of the study show that digital lab notebooks lead to increased student achievement, engagement and technology skills. Survey results revealed that students preferred digital notebooks because they allow for “easier data sharing” and increased “versatility.”
27B: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: Gender Ideology in Male-Dominated Majors
What are the consequences of believing that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Previous research indicates that the degree to which a woman feels her gender identity and STEM identity conflict has been shown to diminish her sense of belonging, confidence, motivation, and success in STEM fields. Women with stronger gender identification were less inclined to pursue math-based careers. Finally, women in STEM have reported distancing themselves from femininity in order to fit into a more masculine culture. In the present research, I describe a Gender Ideology scale that assesses individual differences in beliefs about how to approach and deal with gender difference. The crossing of two dimensions: beliefs about whether differences between the genders should be emphasized or minimized, and whether women as a group are positively or negatively valued, result in four distinct perspectives. Specifically, although Gender Awareness can emphasize the differences that exist between women and men and stress acceptance of them, it can also be used to argue that the differences are so great that women and men are better off in separate roles or careers (i.e., Segregation). Similarly, although Gender Blindness can stress ignoring gender categories and imply equally valuing men and women, it can also be used to advocate that gender differences be overcome by women assimilating to masculine norms (i.e., Assimilation). Gender Ideology was measured among undergraduates in the Spring and Fall of 2013. Results from this large sample indicated that an increasing percent of men in a student’s declared academic major corresponded with significantly greater endorsement of Assimilation and Segregation. We also describe the relationship between Gender Ideology, percent of men in the major, and STEM-related gender stereotypes (e.g., men are better at math and science than women).
28B: Motivational Effectiveness of Engineering for Developing Communities: An engineering design course
This mixed-methods study investigated the use of environmental engineering design for developing communities as the project topic in a first-year design course and specifically focused on the developmental effects on students who traveled to Peru to implement their design in a rural community. Data collected during an end-of-course survey and qualitative data garnered from interviews with three students who traveled to implement the design indicated that most students in the course gained an understanding of the concept of engineering for developing communities and found the topic more interesting than those offered in other course sections. Overall, results indicated that the course topic provided an effective context for learning about the design process, introducing unique aspects of engineering for developing communities, and motivating students to explore this topic further.
29B: Engaging University Students in Informal STEM Education
CU Science Discovery works 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 programs, Science Discovery provides varied opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in STEM education outreach. More than 75 CU students work in the program annually, developing and testing new curricula, teaching classes and workshops, and conducting research in informal learning environments.
30B: Collaboration to Advance Gender Equity in STEM
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.