Breakout Sessions for Friday, February 28, 2014

Evelyn Oropeza, Columbia College Chicago

Marcelo Caplan, Evelyn Oropeza and Ashley Conroy, Columbia College Chicago

Scientists for Tomorrow: Promoting STEM in Out of School Time for middle grade students
Abstract:

Scientists for Tomorrow is an informal science after school program that is dedicated to educating young participants into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. The Scientists for Tomorrow program provides STEM workshops and internships for Chicago area youth. The program content emphasizes engineering methods and awareness about environmental topics and issues. The program is also testing a model for preparation of non-science major, pre-service teachers to deliver informal science education modules in after school programming.

The presentation will include a brief description of the program and demonstration of the activities that are taking place in the centers. We will address the content, concepts and skills youth participants are learning and applying in the process. Presenters will introduce examples of the participant's final projects. To close we will present the results of the evaluation made by the external evaluator, regarding the motivation of the participants in STEM related careers, their attitude towards science and technology, and the gains in content knowledge.

Scientists for Tomorrow is an initiative offered by the Science Institute in the Department of Science and Mathematics at Columbia College Chicago (CCC) in collaboration with selected Chicago community organizations, the CCC Department of Education, and Chicago area informal science education providers including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.

Kim Coble, Chicago State University

Kim Coble, Chicago State University

Cosmology in the Classroom
Abstract:

Recently, powerful new observations and advances in computation and visualization have led to a revolution in our understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the universe. Experts should not be the only ones who understand the physics and data that provide overwhelming evidence for big bang cosmology. This workshop will introduce participants to the results of our research on common alternate conceptions students hold regarding distances, structure, age, evolution, and composition of the universe. Working in teams, participants will use a variety of interactive web-based activities from a curriculum informed by this research. The activities help students master not only scientific concepts but also the processes that lead to our current understanding of the universe. Research results and the activities designed to address them will be discussed throughout the session.

Our research and curriculum development project is supported by Grant #NNX10AC89G from NASA's EPOESS program, the Illinois Space Grant Consortium, and the Education and Public Outreach program for NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The curriculum is being published by Kendall Hunt/Great River Technology. Following the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to use the materials in their college courses free of charge as field testers.

Katherine Perkins, University of Colorado

Katherine Perkins, University of Colorado

Defining Next Generation PhET Simulations: Identifying and Prioritizing Features to Support Teaching and Learning in Your Context
Abstract:

With the emergence of new educational platforms (e.g. iPads and Chromebooks) and opportunities for increased interoperability among educational technologies, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at University of Colorado Boulder recently launched a new initiative to create the next generation of PhET simulations. These next generation simulations are underway – built on a new HTML5 code base and with new touch-and-tablet compatible designs (See video and sims ). We are now, however, at a critical juncture in the project. We have a unique opportunity to build-in new functionality – functionality that would be common across all of the simulations and that would enable new teaching, learning, assessment, and research opportunities. We want to establish a blueprint for creating next-generation PhET simulations that would best serve the needs of the broader STEM education community (e.g. you), and are seeking community input to identify and prioritize potential features. In this breakout session, we will reflect on a list of potential features under consideration – such as, recording user interactions with the simulations, combining tabs from multiple simulations, pre-setting simulation configurations, or enabling screen capture with annotation – and then consider and prioritize these, and any newly suggested, features in the context of specific use scenarios emerging from the faculty participants.

Ben Shapiro, Tufts University

Ben Shapiro, Tufts University

Using Games to Support Learning in the Classroom
Abstract:

In this hands-on breakout session, we will discover ways that you might use games and play to support and study learning in your research and teaching. Together we will:

  • Play an educational video game about the economic and environmental tradeoffs in sustainable bioenergy production.
  • Discuss ways that this game can be situated in a classroom context to maximize support for engagement and learning.
  • Brainstorm a game concept of your own to use in your research and/or teaching.
Andrea Van duzor, Chicago State University

Moderators: Robert LeSuer and Andrea Van Duzor, Chicago State University

Overcoming barriers to technology implementation in STEM education
Abstract:

Numerous studies indicate that integration of technology increases student motivation, highlights connections to the real-world, and allows more student-centered learning. To encourage adoption, a variety of resources have been developed for university science and math educators who are interested in incorporating technology into their curricula. However, researchers have found that faculty encounter barriers to adoption, which limit the inclusion of technology, including lack of time, incentives, or training; loss of autonomy; and incongruence with professional identities. In this moderated discussion section, participants will share perspectives on their own personal and institutional barriers to using instructional technology. Furthermore we will discuss means to overcome these barriers at the classroom, department, and university level.

Angela Thompson, Governors State University

Angela Thompson, Governors State University

Tablet PC as a Learning Tool for ELLs and Struggling Students
Abstract:

Using a tablet PC as a blackboard, students with diverse needs can learn mathematics, interact in class, and get ongoing support at home. I will demonstrate this wonderful tool and offer some results from my own research with undergraduate and graduate students who did not succeed the first time in calculus.

Participants will learn to use the tablet PC as a lecture tool, and why it is critical for students who struggle for diverse reasons, including students with learning disabilities and those who struggle with reading and academic language. All activities are grounded in pedagogical theory and connected to data I am currently analyzing on students who are repeating calculus. Benefits include simultaneous viewing of a graph with the mathematics, use of color, interacting face-to-face with students, and preserving lecture notes in digital files. Explicit benefits to ELLs are discussed.

Janet Beissinger, University of Illinois at Chicago

Janet Beissinger and Bonnie Saunders, University of Illinois at Chicago

Using Student-Generated Tutorials to Enhance Learning
Abstract:

We are at the start of a new project in which we will study students using technology to create video tutorials that describe their solutions to mathematics and cryptography problems. Creating and sharing tutorials can be an engaging way for students to focus on a mathematical problem and practice explaining their reasoning and listening to the reasoning of others. We are interested in how the process of producing and sharing student-generated tutorials enhances student understanding of mathematics and mathematical reasoning.

In this session, we will briefly introduce the CryptoClub.org website, which our project has developed to support the learning of elementary cryptography, and which will be the host of our student-created tutorials. Then, we will examine several student-generated videos and ask participants to join us in a discussion around these issues: What makes a good tutorial? What is the value for the observer and for the student who made it? What evidence do we see of good mathematics and communication skills? What kinds of mathematics problems do we think make good problems for tutorials? What technology and software can easily be used by students to create and share video tutorials?

We will be considering the use of tutorials in the college classroom as well as the K-12 environment.

Sheila Wicks, Malcom X College

Sheila Wicks, Malcolm X College

Physics, Physiology and Formative Assessment in the Biology Classroom
Abstract:

Using physics and physiology in the biology classroom can be an effective teaching tool for student learning. Education research continues to validate that the integration of other disciplines, including physics, chemistry English, business, and sociology, create a foundational landmark in biology classes and promotes resourceful learning. Students develop knowledge and skills which can be useful for sustainable career pathways. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate a formative assessment methodology to provide more active learning compared to the traditional teaching classroom model. Several examples will be used in the discussion and dialogue. The session will encompass the cardiovascular system, hemodynamic and other pertinent physiology topics, which may be applicable.