Published on March 7, 2014
Michiana STEM Community Why we're doing what we're doing at Forum (III)
In 11 years of QuarkNet experience, we've experienced the value of integrating the STEM community, teachers with researchers. We want to make that kind of experience available much more widely in Michiana, building intentionally the kind of STEM community we want, rather than accepting the status quo. So we're creating a broad spectrum of engagement opportunities for university faculty, K-12 educators and students to interact. We'd like those opportunities to grow into a set of regional professional development pathways which the Michiana STEM community articulates, adopts and pursues together. These professional development efforts will be defined by the kind of community we want. The community we build will need to be shaped by all of us, but our experience together gives us some preliminary grasp of the kind of STEM community we want to build. It will be research-centric, erroding the divide between those who do research and those who don't or never have. It will be computationally literate. It will be collaborative, using web 2.0 technologies to work together more efficiently. It will be community based, where new members see, admire, and desire to join the efforts of community leaders who advance STEM disciplines and employ them effectively to solve problems, build businesses, and employ people. It will be inclusive, diverse, effective in issuing invitations. That's where we're proposing to go.
To get there, we have to build on what we have. We want to explore building on the BioEYES model, which brings together many teachers in substantial contact with tools researchers use, and has sufficient face-time with students to inspire them but enough surface area to still reach many of them. (We'll have a BioEYES session to introduce this program to those who don't know it, and to discuss new developments.) At the forum we want to describe at the forum new collaborations to build similar approaches in nanotechnology, astronomy, and environmental science (hence our NANO, ASTRO, ENVIRO sessions.) We want to be aware of the emergence of new science standards in Indiana and the need to develop these new programs in a way guided by those standards and the best pedagogical practices, especially student-centered, inquiry-based teaching. (NISMEC will lead a session on these topics.) We also want to use web 2.0 technologies to make it easier to interact efficiently, introducing a variety of new online communities that forum participants can join and help to build. (We have hands-on Collaboration and Funding sessions to get started using these tools.) We want to discuss how these programs and these collaboration tools might be used to improve education at various grade and subject levels. (Our small group session will facilitate this discussion and move it online.) We also want to listen to one another. (We'll close with a plenary discussion.) We need the participants at this forum to lead the way in developing and employing these tools to build a much more inspiring and inviting STEM community for our children.
NDeRC is fruit of the 11-year experience of the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, teachers and researchers meeting weekly yearround and full time each summer. When teachers become part of the research community, they can invite students into a community to which they know they belong. When researchers become part of the teaching community, it becomes clearer who their research is for. As an Integrated STEM Community, we're a powerful combination.
WHAT IF WE TRIED TO BUILD ON PURPOSE THE KIND OF STEM COMMUNITY WE WANT?
K-12 students K-12 teachers UG and Graduate students University researchers Community leaders Parents K-12 students X X X X X X X K-12 teachers UG and Graduate students ? X University researchers ? Community leaders X X Parents X X
To integrate the STEM community, we need a broad spectrum of engagement opportunties ...for university faculty, grad students: a wide range of opportunities to get involved in K-12 outreach ...for K-12 teachers: a rich set of professional development opportunities varied in discipline, level of difficulty and duration
A distant goal: to build a set of regional professional development pathways that we define, pursue and achieve together Pathways that lead to the kind of community we want (populated with professional development resources) *Collaborative (Web 2.0 collaborative literacy training) *Research-centric (Research Experiences for Teachers...) *Frontier-aware (research-enhanced WSs like BioEYES) *Computationally enhanced (NCSI's Interactivate WS) *Observant of best practices (NISMEC, AP, Modeling WSs) *Community-based (HEC's Our Place WS) *Inclusive, diverse, effective in issuing invitations (?) ***
Forum sessions: moving forward by building on what we already have. A presentation of the BioEYES model: *Many teachers (25/year) *classroom activity and research exposure in week-long PD *substantial contact with students (1 week) *scaleable (3300 students this year) A discussion of moving NANO, ASTRO in similar directions: *consolidating K-12/University experience *addressing coming round of Indiana Science Standards *consulting, developing this summer, piloting next fall A session for Indiana educators (NISMEC) to consider changes to IN science standards and an upcoming state-wide initiative toward inquiry-based education
Forum sessions, continued... A discussion among university faculty to explore new avenues of involvement with K-12, and consider the College of Engineering's partnership with Riley High School ENVIRO featuring a community-based well-head protection project and a partnership with HEC's Our Place Workshop Communication and Funding sessions to take two crucial steps to get started using a range of new online collaboration venues Grade- and subject-level small group discussion of how and where to begin collaborating; then a "project fair" over lunch to get more specific information about these many opportunities Plenary discussion to continue listening
WHAT DO WE WANT FROM YOU? 1. YOUR SURVEYS :) 2. YOUR IDEAS 3. YOUR LEADERSHIP 4. YOUR PARTICIPATION ONLINE
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