Published: Nov. 7, 2016

The 8th Annual Symposium on STEM Education was held Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016 as a celebration of CU Boulder’s internationally recognized STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education initiatives. This year’s event highlighted some of the groundbreaking STEM education projects on campus, introduced a new generation of STEM education scholars, and brought together key CU Boulder stakeholders. Members of the community learned about and helped shape how we redefine learning and discovery in a global context, and set new standards in education, research, scholarship, and creative work to transform STEM education.

This year, Doctoral Candidate in Science Education Rebecca Swanson was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in STEM Education. This award is among the highest level of recognitions on our campus and demonstrates a profound commitment to educational innovation. The interdisciplinary partnerships that the School of Education has grown through the CU Teach Math & Science Teacher Licensure program, an internationally replicated Learning Assistant program, as well as our Noyce Scholars program have been importantly supported by the Center for STEM Learning. Together both the School of Education and the center have become national leaders in STEM learning, teaching, and teacher development.

Swanson is coordinating with Science Discovery for her research project titled, "Virtual Professional Development for Informal STEM Educators."

"Typically, STEM educators teaching in informal, out of school environments are provided with one time trainings largely designed only to address logistical matters around the safety and basic needs of the children enrolled in their programs, without significant time spent addressing how to support learning through research based science teaching practices," Swanson said. "The purpose of this study is to co-design and implement professional development for the summer instructors working for CU Science Discovery, and to examine the ways in which instructor participation in these camps informs their work in helping children learn science.

"By building on an established professional development model and prior studies of how individuals learn and collaborate in virtual spaces, this project will examine how readily available Web 2.0 tools can help instructors separated by space and time," she added.

Read Swanson's full proposal

View all 2016 awardees