Initial Publication Date: May 15, 2018

University of Portland STEM Education and Outreach Center

Stephanie Salomone, University of Portland

The University of Portland STEM Education and Outreach Center employs the following strategies to engage and inform our institutional community and educators and educational administrators in our region.

  • We solicit, compose, and distribute 3 newsletters per year, sent to all Deans, Provost, & Associate Provost, all local school principals and some related organizations plus the STEM Center members, and it is and posted on our website.
  • We put postings on bulletin boards throughout campus and on the TVs that feature campus happenings, and email of easy-to-use power point slides for events (that could easily be incorporated into a class presentation) and flyers to STEM Center faculty asking they also share with their colleagues.
  • We send reminder emails for meetings and events to our listserv.
  • We keep a regularly-updated web site.
  • We host and advertise PD events by sending announcements to The Oregon Science Teacher and the Oregon Department of Education Science websites for posting.
We are asked to submit an annual report to the Associate Provost and Provost. The most recent report is pasted below. Given that this academic year we had a total budget of $2000, we believe we are accomplishing quite a bit. That said, we need to find better ways to communicate our work in order to garner more significant funding.

UP STEM Education and Outreach Center main accomplishments 2017-2018:
  1. Updated our mission statement to better reflect what we do
  2. Joined the National Stem Education Centers network
  3. Supported Stephanie Salomone in attending, presenting, and representing the UP STEM Center at the NSEC conference (June 2018). Hopefully this networking will provide access to a wealth of ideas for the activity and support for our Center.
  4. Created and distributed three newsletters
  5. Kept the website current with resources, events, news
  6. Housed and continue to promote and support an on-line professional development program. Bob Butler worked with ATS to create a 28-hour PD on Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunamis that has been extremely well received and continues to be accessed.
  7. Successfully applied to be a Washington State Clock Hour Provider so the professional development provided through the STEM Center is recognized by Washington State for the teachers' licensure requirements.
  8. We held a contest for a "brand" recognition logo for the Center—currently being made into a scalable model for future and varied uses
  9. Partnered with KDP to present a film and discussion night. The Center organized a panel of three faculty (Drs. Anctil, Christen, and Alfrey) to present their views and then lead the audience in a discussion of the documentary "Night School" which addressed social justice issues in education. This was very well attended and is something we will consider doing in the future with other relevant films.
  10. We partnered with KDP Reading Fair to present a joint Reading Fair/Family STEM Day activity. The event was well received and we are considering continuing this partnership into the future with some modifications (shortening the current four-hour time slot).
  11. We supported a Grad School Information Night for our students. We had a panel of speakers from OSU, PSU, and UP Engineering, Business and PACE to talk with our students about graduate school: possibilities, opportunities, admissions, preparation, and assistantships. This was our third year hosting this panel and the first when we had Business and PACE present to encourage our students to think more broadly about their future plans.
  12. Building on this idea, we started a new speaker series for our students entitled "Boundless Horizons." The intent is to expose our students to career paths they might not normally consider. Our inaugural speaker was Tommy Pham who graduated from UP with degrees in chemistry (bio minor), and business. He currently works for Nike doing patent work.
  13. We added faculty to our leadership roster.
  14. UP PURE continued to draw from STEM Center faculty and their students for successful summer research experiences for our students.
  15. A group of STEM Center faculty were success in applying for an NSF IUSE grant (REFLECT) that starts this summer and focuses on professional development for our UP STEM faculty.
  16. A different group of STEM Center faculty applied for two grants—both with a focus on engineering. Unfortunately, while the ideas were solid, neither grant was funded. However, bonds were strengthened among faculty and between UP and external companies.
  17. STEM Center faculty were continued to be called up to provide workshops for K-12 faculty (e.g., science, mathematics instruction, particularly with the implementation of NGSS and CCSS), as well as volunteering (faculty and students) at community outreach events (e.g., Chemistry Rocks at OMSI).
  18. The NOYCE grant group was successful in garnering a one-year extension.
  19. Thirteen juniors from De La Salle North Catholic School have been taking a specialized introductory to engineering course at UP throughout Spring semester and taught by Dr. Shaz Vijlee. The students come to campus twice per week to experience the community while learning the basics of computer science and electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering. The course is almost entirely hands on, with brief lectures on how to design a system and then the students (in teams of 2-3) build systems that will ultimately combine into a table-top wind turbine. The students also get informational visits from Admissions, Financial Aid, and Study Abroad. The program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. Paul Speer.
  20. Approximately 15 seniors from Roosevelt High School's engineering program came to campus over UP's Spring Break to perform an engineering test on steel and aluminum samples. The students participated in a tensile strength test to learn the differences between stress, strain, and explore how different materials will have different benefits in terms of strength and weight. The engineering teach at Roosevelt High School, Mr. Randy Scott, has been developing a deeper relationship with UP each year with more and more tours, demos, experiments, and interactions.
  21. Our chemistry students have benefitted from the work of our faculty: Two chemistry students have REUs for off campus research this summer: Astrid Schick at Lanxess Corporation, industrial internship and Elena Lazarus at Cornell University, academic internship. Five chem majors presented research at the national ACS meeting in New Orleans: Madeline Otto, Siva Ho, Coyla Munson, Jessica Chung, Matthew Foronda. Astrid Schick received one of 3 competitive scholarships given each year by the American Chemical Society in the Portland area
  22. Sister Angela received a Murdock "Partners in Science" grant for 2 years to work with a high school teacher (Maggie Lewis) and is on the second year for another teacher (Amy Sutton)
  23. Stephanie Salomone partnered with several other universities and was successful in securing a grant proposal which will allow the University to take part in a $3.3 million grant through the Western Regional Noyce Alliance. Salomone will serve as principal investigator on a subcontract of $400,000 to plan and run a Western Regional Noyce Conference in Portland in February 2020.