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NCSCE Grants 15 Implementation Awards to Support Projects that Advance Education and Civic Engagement
Posted: Feb 9 2016
The National Center for Science & Civic Engagement is awarding fifteen SENCER Summer Institute 2015 Post-Institute Implementation Awards that promote education reform at the course, campus, and regional level, connect STEM to humanities disciplines such as music, literacy, and the classics, and engage students in content and the community. The awards sponsor projects that bridge the gaps between disciplines, restructure and revitalize standard laboratory courses, and extend the SENCER Ideals to K-12 educators and pre-service teachers. Project themes include sustainability, geosciences, public health, systems thinking, and media outreach. We are also pleased to note that this year's awarded projects are all led by women, a traditionally underrepresented population among STEM educators and professionals.
Kapi'olani Community College Recognized for Environmentally Friendly Culinary Practices
Posted: Jan 12 2016
Kapi'olani Community College's Culinary Arts program received the EPA Certificate of Achievement for increasing food waste diversion from landfills by 183% from 2013 – 2014 and preventing 9 metric tons of carbon equivalent. Techniques used were vermi-composting, forced-air composting, waste-oil to biodiesel generation, edible gardens, and aquaponic systems.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: Fall 2015 Strategic Planning Meetings for the SENCER Hawai'i Model State
Posted: Dec 8 2015
A team of SENCER representatives and practitioners returned in October and November to Hawaiʻi for six intensive days of meetings, consultations, and site visits to celebrate and continue supporting the SENCER Hawai'i state model. A large component of this visit was to bring the SENCER Hawai'i leadership team together for strategic planning meetings to continue building the state model and set milestones for the next three years. The Hawai'i SENCER state model has a strong emphasis on integrating the natural, social, and indigenous sciences with civic engagement, and supports statewide initiatives that address important issues, such as the University University and State Legislature State Legislature work in sustainability.
SENCER and Campus Compact - Mountain West Host High-Impact STEM Education Conference
Posted: Dec 8 2015
SENCER and Campus Compact - Mountain West are partnering to host a conference focusing on advancing STEM teaching and learning through high-impact practices (e.g. undergraduate research and community engagement) and compelling civic issues, particularly sustainability. We invite a dialogue around indigenous science and ways of knowing through all of our tracks. The conference will include sessions and contents from across disciplines.
Webinar of the Week: Experiential Learning Opportunities in Ecology
Posted: Nov 10 2015
What if college laboratory courses reflected what students would actually experience in graduate school or as research scientists, and weren't just weekly exercises to questions that have already been answered? Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University R. Drew Sieg partnered with the Murfreesboro Greenway System to give his Honors Ecology students research experience in a real topic of local concern.
Do Now U: Should We Install Fields of Artificial or Natural Turf?
Posted: Oct 27 2015
The Do Now U post, "Should We Install Fields of Artificial or Natural Turf?", created by Indiana State University students Hunter McCord, Andrew Medsker, and Brandon Madhaffey in professor Jim Speer's course, is now live on KQED's website. In their post, Hunter, Andrew, and Brandon explore the pros and cons of artificial turf. The popular synthetic grass could pose health risks, yet its use has a number of environmental benefits.
Do Now U: How Would You Balance Wildlife Conservation and Economic Growth?
Posted: Sep 30 2015
The first Do Now U post, "How Would You Balance Wildlife Conservation with Economic Growth?", created by George Mason University students, Joy Vander Clute, Claire Haftt, Andrea Freddy, and Sarmad Butt in professor Tom Wood's course, is now available on the KQED Education website. In their post, Jon, Claire, Andrea, and Sarmad use science media and resources to lay out the environmental conservation arguments for why the greater sage grouse, an "iconic species of the American West," should not have been removed from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species list, and the economic counter-points for why the bird species no longer needed the protective listing.
Webinar of the Week: Adapting Large Lecture Formats to SENCERized Teaching
Posted: Sep 29 2015
Garon C. Smith's introductory chemistry course is the largest course on the University of Montana campus. To SENCERize such a large course, Garon adopted what he calls the "Trojan Horse" model. In his webinar, he describes how this model can be used to quickly and easily transform a traditional introductory, majors-sequence science course to fit with the SENCER ideals.
Victor Donnay Makes Mathematics Engaging, Interdisciplinary, and Relevant to the Real World
Posted: Sep 15 2015
During his plenary address at the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute, Victor Donnay, who is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College and an advisory board member for NCSCE's Engaging Mathematics initiative, helped attendees see the connection between mathematics and the real world, a goal he also has for his students.
Webinar of the Week: Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Posted: Sep 15 2015
Amy Shachter, Senior Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs of Santa Clara University, SENCER Co-Principal Investigator, and SCI-West Co-Director, describes how her campus strategically implemented themes of sustainability into courses across the Santa Clara curriculum. Santa Clara uses its Penstemon Project to help faculty outside the traditional, environmentally-focused disciplines find ways to incorporate sustainability into their curricula, either as class content or in the way their class functions.
New Award Recognizing Exemplary Regional Collaborations Honors Hawai'i Team
Posted: Aug 26 2015
We find ourselves inspired to create a new award program that acknowledges and honors exemplary multi-institutional, regional, or statewide work around compelling civic issues. The first recipient of this new award is a team from Hawai'i. While considering their work, it became clear that their actions and accomplishments seem best suited to be recognized by an honor that acknowledges quality of the inter-institutional collaborations and deep partnerships established to improve the quality of both formal and informal education.
SENCER Publishes Three New Model Courses in 2015
Posted: Jul 31 2015
SENCER's three newest models cover topics in the natural sciences, geology, and health, and exhibit a variety of learning strategies, such as project-based learning, active and collaborative learning, and media making. Our 2015 model authors include Kathleen M. Browne, Alison Olcott Marshall, Kesey S. Bitting, Rachel A. Bergstrom, and Marion Field Fass.
SENCER Publishes Three New Model Courses in 2015
Posted: Jul 31 2015
SENCER's three newest models cover topics in the natural sciences, geology, and health, and exhibit a variety of learning strategies, such as project-based learning, active and collaborative learning, and media making. Our 2015 model authors include Kathleen M. Browne, Alison Olcott Marshall, Kesey S. Bitting, Rachel A. Bergstrom, and Marion Field Fass.
SENCER-ISE Partnership, Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation Society Featured on CAISE Perspectives Blog
Posted: Jul 21 2015
The SENCER-ISE partnership between Fordham University and the Wildlife Conservation Society is featured on the CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) Perspectives blog. The partners discuss their collaboration on Project TRUE: Teens Researching Urban Ecology, which uses a tiered-mentorship model to introduce New York City high school students to urban ecology and increase the rate of students pursuing STEM majors by facilitating collaborations with college mentors already in STEM disciplines.
New Podcast Explores Adapting to a Changing Planet
Posted: Jun 23 2015
Produced by Flora Lichtman and Katharine Wells, The Adaptors is a podcast that skillfully addresses the multifaceted issue of climate change and challenges listeners to consider the complexities of possible solutions.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: University of Hawaiʻi at West Oʻahu Site Visit, Hawaiʻi Public Radio Interview, and Hawaiʻi Strategy Institute Presentation
Posted: May 26 2015
During SENCER's last days in Hawai'i, the team met with University of Hawai'i at West O'ahu faculty and local community organization representatives to discuss scaling up and combining the efforts of their science and civic engagement programs, participated in an in-depth interview about SENCER, STEM education, civic engagement, and Hawaiʻi on Hawai'i Public Radio, and presented at a strategy institute targeted specifically for Hawaiian community colleges.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College Site Visits
Posted: May 12 2015
During their time in Hawai'i, the visiting SENCER team members took a short flight over to the Big Island to visit the University of Hawai'i at Hilo and Hawai'i Community College. While there, the team spoke with students enrolled in experiential, hands-on marine science courses, and faculty and administrators looking to make course- and institution-level improvements.
RVCC Students Present Second Set of NJ Audubon Citizen Science Forest Health Workshops
Posted: May 12 2015
SENCER-ISE partners, the New Jersey Audubon and Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), held their second round of Citizen Science Forest Health Workshops this April. During the workshops, NJ Audubon staff and RVCC students led Citizen Science volunteers in species identification and methodology training activities. The RVCC students and Citizen Scientists will be conducting bird and forest health surveys throughout the Piedmont area of the Raritan River watershed in May and June.
Hawaiʻi Diaries: Windward Community College Site Visit
Posted: Apr 28 2015
While at Windward Community College, the visiting SENCER team participated in discussions about civics and science education, toured campus rain gardens that protect surrounding water sources from runoff, spoke with students in a traditional Hawaiian methods of sustainability class, and experienced ancient Hawaiian culture at Waikalua Loko Iʻa', a 400-year-old fish pond.
NCSCE Grants 25 Implementation Awards for Projects that Reform STEM Education, Increase Community Engagement, and Build Civic Capacity
Posted: Apr 28 2015
NCSCE awarded 25 SSI 2014 Post-Institute Implementation Awards that promote student engagement with STEM education, civic issues, and community outreach. The Implementation Awards, made possible through the National Science Foundation, are designed to support innovative projects that incorporate SENCER Ideals into undergraduate and graduate education. The 2014 awards sponsor projects that make STEM more accessible to women, minorities, and students in small, rural schools; reform institutional core curricula to broaden the scope of central, civic issues; and involve students in community-based research. Project themes include Mars exploration, sustainability and urbanization, stormwater runoff, assisted reproductive technologies, genetically modified organisms, the history and practice of science, and more. Projects were selected following a competitive review process.
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