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Integrating STEM Education in the News
LA Program Featured in Mathematical Association of America Annual Meeting
The 2011 annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), held at the University of Colorado at Boulder April 8-9, 2011, featured a workshop on the use of Learning Assistants (LAs) in undergraduate Math and Science courses. The workshop was facilitated by iSTEM co-Directors Noah Finkelstein and Valerie Otero, and by Colorado Learning Assistant co-Director Laurie Langdon. Twenty-six post-secondary Math educators from around the Rocky Mountain region registered for the workshop. LAs are talented undergraduate students who are hired to help transform large-enrollment courses, to make them more collaborative, student-centered, and interactive. At the same time, LAs constitute a pool from which K-12 teachers are recruited. In this workshop, two and four-year college Math faculty were introduced to the Learning Assistant Model. Several different different approaches to implementation and funding of an LA program were discussed. Materials to assist faculty in developing and initiating such a program were provided.
Eric Stade Organized Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of MAA
On April 8-9, 2011, the University of Colorado at Boulder hosted the annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The event was organized by CU-Boulder Professor of Mathematics and iSTEM co-Director Eric Stade. Over 125 post-secondary Mathematics educators and students attended. The meeting featured four keynote speakers; a chairs' luncheon and discussion on the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics; a workshop on using Learning Assistants in college Math and Science courses; and more than 50 contributed talks, of which nearly a third concerned issues and topics in Mathematics education.
Valerie Otero Featured in a Daily Camera Fitness Article
Sporting her "lucky" turquoise blue shirt, Valerie is pictured as she finishes her workout on the "FitWall" aspect of her Iron Yogi workout. The article interviews Peter Seamans, personal trainer and instructor for the fitness program. Read the article (or just see the picture)
Mike Klymkowsky Gives a Talk at the MIT Education Group
On April 22, 2011, Professor Klymkowsky presented his topic "Bioliteracy, Concept Inventories, & Beyond... or how I evolved from a simple scientist to someone interested in effective science education" in the seminar held on the MIT campus. Highlighting points from his talk included the underestimated need for students to have background knowledge in biology which tends to be fragmented and sporadic. He also presented possible solutions to the problem and what teachers and professors can do to improve their own lessons. Read more
Colorado Diversity Initiative Awarded the 2011 President's Diversity Award
The program, which works through the College of Engineering and Applied Science, promotes and broadens access to STEM studies, degrees, and careers. The program also encourages underrepresented undergraduates, graduates and doctoral candidates to continue with their studies which results in higher graduation rates in STEM areas. The Colorado Diversity Initiative has shown that integration of minority talent has had an exceptional impact with students' career trajectories which deserves the recognition of the President's Diversity Award.
Noah Finkelstein Serves as Moderator on CWA Panel
On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, the Conference on World Affairs featured Noah Finkelstein on a panel for Science Media and Myth. The panel was held at 3:00 in the ATLAS black box.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Colin Wallace and Lauren Kost-Smith had successful Ph.D. defenses. Colin's thesis, Understanding Students' Difficulties with Cosmology, focuses on methods of teaching introductory astrophysics. Lauren's thesis, Investigating the Gender Gap in Undergraduate Physics Courses, researches tools to encourage women to continue in the study of physics. Congratulations Colin and Lauren!
Janet Tsai Receives a Graduate Research Fellowship with NSF
The National Science Foundation has awarded Ph.D. student Janet Tsai a graduate research fellowship for her work in STEM education and learning research in engineering education. She was selected based on her efforts contributing to the science and engineering enterprise of the United States. Janet's fellowship will be funded for a maximum of three years in which time she will be given ample time to conduct her research and produce her annual reports. Congratulations Janet!
Noyce Fellows Part of STEM Education's Communications Efforts
The latest edition of Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine features stories on Noyce Fellows Ryan O'Block, Hunter Cuchiaro, and Sam Sherman and their efforts in the Learning Assistant program and commitment to K-12 education. The program, founded in 2005 and funded by the National Science Foundation, has produced a total of 51 Noyce Fellows committed to K-12 science and math enrichment. The Noyce Foundation's efforts in improving science and math education have earned its place as an important advocate for STEM education in Colorado. Read the full article. On a similar note, teachengineering.org, developed with the help of members from the ITL program on campus, have been creating milestones all over the country! Read that article here
Eric Stade Announced as President's Teaching Scholar
Mathematics professor and iSTEM co-director Eric Stade was inducted this month into the President's Teaching Scholar Program. The program honors faculty members who take initiative in teaching, creative work, scholarship and research. The scholars then work to establish and develop projects that assess work in the integration of education research into teaching. With induction into the program, the honored faculty members strive to improve education and expand its possibilities throughout the University. Congratulations Eric! Read more
ISTEM Research Featured in March Issue of CBE
The March issue of CBE Life Science Education features three iSTEM-related articles featuring authors Michelle Smith, Jennifer Knight, Caleb Trujillo, Tin Tin Su, Kenneth Krauder and William Wood. The subjects of the articles vary from the benefits of using i>Clickers in small-enrollment classes to combining peer discussion with instructor explanation to the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) meeting report. The link to the March issue of CBE-LSE will only be available during March of 2011. Check it out!
Gutiérrez Appointed to NBES
Kris Gutiérrez, a 2011 Faculty Chancellor's Fellow, was nominated to serve on the National Board of Education Sciences by President Obama late last year. The NBES approves research grants and opportunities, and assesses the work of the U.S. Department of Education and the Institution of Education Sciences. The Senate confirmed her nomination on December 22, 2010. Her term is through 2012, with the possibility of reappointment. She is also the current president of the American Educational Research Association and also a member of the National Academy of Education. She received her Ph.D. in English and Education from CU. Congratulations Kris!
CU and iSTEM Dedicated to Mitigating Teacher Shortage
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama presented a goal to educate, prepare, and hire more than 100,000 math and science teachers in ten years. The iSTEM program at CU has been considered a frontrunner in this initiative. Read the Daily Camera story
PhET Simulations Receives $2.5 Million in Grants
The National Science Foundation and the O'Donnell Foundation have granted the PhET Interactive Simulations Project $2.5 million to expand to middle school science classrooms. The project, which has 87 simulations used globally, offers students astounding advantages in understanding complex phenomena. Originally the sims were focused on physics material, but in recent years, it has added lessons in chemistry, mathematics, biology and earth science. Read the full article
SPIE Interviews Noah Finkelstein
SPIE, an international society for optics and photonics, interviewed Noah about his work as the director of the PER group on the CU campus as well as his work with STEM Education and research in student learning. In addition to the interview, Noah gave a presentation at the SPIE Optics + Photonics Symposium in August 2010. Watch the interview
iSTEM Symposium Celebrates Developing Campus Projects and Decades of Excellence
On November 15, 2010, iSTEM hosted its second annual symposium to celebrate excellence in STEM Education! The event included a poster session highlighting campus projects, an awards ceremony for the Chancellor's Fellows (see below!), and honored Professor Emeritus Albert Bartlett and his valued devotion to work in STEM education. Members of the Board of Regents, elected officials, members of university faculty and administration, and prominent community members were in attendance. Visit the site for photos and details! For information on iSTEM's Third Annual Symposium on STEM Education, click here.
iSTEM Meets with Lieutenant Governor-Elect Joe Garcia in CU Briefing
On October 18 2010, Valerie Otero and Noah Finkelstein met Lieutenant Governor-Elect Joe Garcia while he was visiting the University of Colorado. Garcia's visit also included meetings at the School of Education with Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Dean Lorrie Shepard and other members of faculty. Garcia discussed issues involving the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education and STEM Education. This visit was during his pursuit of candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Colorado.
Noah Finkelstein Gives Key Note Address at Puerto Rico Conference
On October 29, 2010, Noah Finkelstein spoke at the Annual Best Practices Conference on Teaching and Learning in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The conference was sponsored by the Puerto Rico Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Noah's speech "Answering the Nation's Call: the Role of Scientists in Transforming Education" included information on discipline-based education research specifically at the University level and the sub-discipline of physics education research.
STEM Study Works to Reduce Gender Gap
Researchers and affiliates of STEM Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Stanford University have concluded that using Values Affirmation exercises in college-level introductory science classes decreases the learning and performance difference between men and women. The study tested the effectiveness of the psychological intervention, and the results look promising. Read the full study or other related press of the study on Slate, PBS, and Scientific American.
NSF Graduate Fellowships Recognizes STEM Education
The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship program now allows STEM Education to be a field of research for its students. The Fellowship program began in 2000 to assist elementary and secondary teachers. Before this year, STEM Education was not included in the list of fields that NSF supported but looks to be a very important addition to graduate research and for the NSF portfolio. Read the full article
iSTEM Announces recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence STEM Education
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2010-2011 Chancellor's Faculty and Graduate Awards for Excellence in STEM Education! Faculty awards were made to John Basey (College of Arts & Sciences – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Virginia Ferguson (College of Engineering & Applied Sciences – Mechanical Engineering), Jenny Knight (College of Arts & Sciences – Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology), and Heather Lewandowski & Chuck Rogers (College of Arts & Sciences – Physics). Graduate Awards were made to Heidi Iverson (School of Education), Kim Trenbath (College of Arts & Sciences – Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences), and Colin Wallace (College of Arts & Sciences – Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences). All of the 2010-2011 Chancellor’s Fellows will be recognized at the iSTEM Symposium in the fall. read more about the 2010-2011 fellows
U.S. Senate Confirms Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman as Associate Director for Science
Congratulations to Carl Wieman! On September 16, he was confirmed to serve in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as Associate Director for Science. He is expected to head the effort in improving science education across the country. Read more about Wieman's achievement
Mini-Symposium on STEM Teacher Professional Development
On September 2, 2010, the symposium warranted development by participants and discussion of future meetings. Participants in the Symposium included representatives from Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD), Biological Sciences Initiative, Cooperative Institute for CIRES Education Outreach, Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), Colorado Community College System, Continuing Education & Professional Studies, CU Teach, Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences (CARTSS), Engaging Computer Science in Traditional Education (eCSite), Fiske Planetarium and Science Center, Integrating STEM Education at Colorado (iSTEM), the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Office for University Outreach (OUO), PhET Interactive Simulations, Partnerships for Informal Science Education in the Community (PISEC), Project EXTREMES, and Science Discovery. Check out the details
Bruce Alberts Visits CU
During this interactive session on August 19, 2010, Bruce Alberts delivered the Best Should Teach Lecture. Presentations were also given by Kara Gray (School of Education), Kathy Perkins (Physics/PhET/SEI), Mike Klymkowsky (MCDB), Mary Nelson (Applied Math), and Steve Pollock (Physics).
For an archive of past articles and press releases, please click here.