What's New @ SERC 2022
The CLEAN site includes more than 800 ready-to-use resources that have been reviewed by educators and scientists for elementary, secondary and higher education settings. The revamped website features guidance for teaching about climate and energy, including Spanish-language versions, as well as a growing collection of themed STEM Flash e-Newsletters, and a series of webinars, which have been recorded for viewing at your convenience. In addition, guidance is given for culturally-relevant climate literacy teaching as well as for creating your own NGSS-aligned units, utilizing CLEAN resources. The resources are complimented by the CLEAN Network: a professionally diverse community of climate literacy stakeholders who engage through weekly teleconferences and an active email list.
The Exemplary Collection showcases the best online teaching activities relevant to NAGT's community of Earth educators as scored by peer review on scientific veracity; alignment of goals, activity, and assessment; pedagogical effectiveness; robustness; and completeness of the Activity Sheet. In 2022, we completed the review of the two-decade legacy of On the Cutting Edge and the collection continues to grow each year as new activities are submitted and reviewed so check back regularly!
This year, Teaching Computation Using MATLAB community members continued the peer review of MATLAB based teaching activities. The strongest of these teaching activities are highlighted in an exemplary collection showcasing high quality teaching with MATLAB. Explore the exemplary collection and consider submitting your own MATLAB teaching activity for the next round of peer review.
Department and Program Guidance
The EvaluateUR Methods provide an online guided evaluation process designed for programs that support research experiences for undergraduates. This year, the website is undergoing major updates to include all three versions: EvaluateUR, E-CURE, and E-Compete, and to accommodate the rapidly growing number of participating programs from around the country. New resources on teaching with metacognition have now been added to the online service and web resources, and as standalone activities that educators and research mentors can use with students.
Stemming from the NextGen-WA STEM Teacher Preparation Project, the Innovations in STEM Teacher Preparation website is designed to provide a curated set of resources for people working in the STEM K-12 teacher preparation space. Resources in this collection include peer-reviewed publications, white papers, descriptions of innovative curricula and courses, activities, tools and case studies written by STEM teacher preparation experts from around the country. These resources are designed to be useful for STEM teacher preparation stakeholders across the United States and beyond.
The Traveling Workshops Program (TWP) brings national leaders in environmental and geoscience education to your virtual, campus, regional, or national event. The TWP focuses on opportunities to strengthen both courses and programs including attracting and supporting diverse students. Since 2014, the TWP has visited over 50 institutions and reached more than 750 faculty members in the Earth and environmental sciences. Workshop topics with updated materials for 2023-23 include Building Stronger Geoscience and Environmental Science Departments and Programs, Supporting the Success of All Students, Strengthening your Cross-campus Environmental and Sustainability Programs, Strengthening Earth Science in Teacher Education, Strengthening your intro and upper division courses, and Making Your Course More Effective and Societally Relevant. Piloting in 2022 is a new session focused on graduate students on becoming an inclusive geoscience leader.
The ADVANCEGeo Partnership has developed a suite of online resources about relevant research and tested strategies to respond to sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination in the geosciences. New this year is a resource page on anti-racist practices and anti-racism in the geosciences. Other ADVANCEGeo resources include informational pages on Codes of Conduct, In the Field, and Creating Inclusive Virtual Spaces.
The Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN) is a network of individuals and institutions, formed with the goal of more quickly advancing STEM education programs. Our unique approach is to bring together those who are researching systemic change at higher education institutions, with those who are making systemic change happen at their individual institutions. Resources include timely webinars, blog posts and resource collections for supporting pedagogical, curricular, and culture change in higher education as well as information about the upcoming June 2023 Transforming Institutions conference.
Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration) offers a variety of teaching materials -- from short video tutorials and statistical vignettes to classroom activities -- using large, publicly available datasets to engage students in STEM and improve their quantitative reasoning. The growing collection of teaching modules span topics such as ecology, limnology, geology, hydrology, and environmental sciences. Project EDDIE also helps build the associated professional development needed to ensure effective use of the teaching modules. Browse curricular modules, explore statistical vignettes that support you as you teach common statistical topics, and check out the teaching videos and tutorials collection. Sign up to receive email updates about EDDIE webinars, workshops, opportunities, new teaching materials, and more.
New Navigation Features from Compass
The Compass project is an effort at SERC to help our users find the teaching resources they need more efficiently and effectively. As part of this work, we've introduced a new "Where I've Been" tool and expanded our "Pages you Might Like" feature. Both are found at the bottom of most SERC-hosted pages. The Where I've Been tool shows your recent exploration history making it easier to keep track of, and return to, pages you've visited recently. The "Pages you Might Like" bar show automatically generated recommendations of pages that might be of interest. It's especially effective when you've found an interesting activity or resource and are wondering if there might be something similar in a different project website. The recommendations will guide you to similar resources from across all SERC-hosted sites.
The IGUaNA (Introducing Geophysics for Urban and Near-Surface Applications) teaching materials feature urban environmental, engineering, and forensic questions that can be answered, at least in part, through geophysics. Each IGUaNA module is comprised of three to five "units" and takes about 1-2 weeks of class time. Three introductory modules focus on the applications of a single geophysical method to questions or problems that affect local communities: evaluating the health of an urban wetland, measuring depth to bedrock for an urban renewal project, and identifying subsurface objects without digging.
The Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS) team is developing transdisciplinary curriculum modules for undergraduate students that combine STEM and business, with a focus on the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy. Two new modules featuring transdisciplinary learning and approaches are ready for use: The Wicked Problem of Water Quality in the Mississippi River Watershed and The Wicked Problem of an Equitable Zero-Waste Circular Economy. These modules have been piloted, revised, and evaluated for their impact on student knowledge and skills around sustainability.
This revamped web site provides the "What," "Why," and "How" to incorporate nanoscience in geoscience course work (e.g. Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, Hydrology, Environmental Geology). The resources are a companion to a 10-page review article in Science magazine: "Natural, incidental, and engineered nanomaterials and their impacts on the Earth system," authored by Michael Hochella et al. An online annotated bibliography of over 500 references that can be readily integrated into coursework on topics across the geoscience curriculum, PowerPoint presentations, and recordings from several Nanoscience workshops are also part of the site.
More SERC-hosted resources
Built on ideas from the edited volume Disciplinary Societies Community College Faculty and Engagement, the workshop Strengthening Engagement between Disciplinary Societies and Community Colleges brought together over 100 participants from across the country representing 13 STEM and humanities disciplines. The virtual workshop took place over four days in January 2022. Through discipline specific and multidisciplinary group discussions, participants shared what was working well and what could be improved in the relationship between disciplinary societies and community colleges. The workshop report communicates the group's findings on strategies for increasing the engagement and collaboration between these groups.
Through a partnership with UNVACO, this site now reflects the current state of the art in Teaching about Geodesy: the science of accurately measuring the Earth's size, shape, orientation, mass distribution and how these vary with time. The site includes over a 100 teaching activities, videos and supporting resources. They span undergraduate and secondary audiences and include resources for both classroom and field courses. The site is an entry point to Geodesy materials from multiple SERC-hosted projects and includes undergraduate teaching activities previously held on the UNVACO site.
Macrosystems EDDIE teaching modules help students learn the foundations of macrosystems ecology through modeling and forecasting. The modules are designed to help students quickly and efficiently run ecological models and generate forecasts for multiple NEON and GLEON sites. Each module can be adapted for use in introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in ecology and related fields, in order to enhance students' understanding of macrosystems ecology and ecological forecasting, their computational skills, and their ability to conduct inquiry-based studies.
The Teach the Earth portal is an entry point for educators in the geosciences and related fields to find a broad array of teaching and learning resources. Consolidating thousands of resources from dozens of independent projects, this NAGT-managed hub provides Earth educators a "one-stop shop" where they can search multiple Earth Education websites for a specific course or activity or browse resources by topic, level, pedagogic strategy, and much more.
SERC's For Higher Ed portal provides faculty, program leads, department chairs, and learning centers with direct access to resources that help improve teaching and learning, design courses and programs, create inter-institutional networks, support career paths, and more. Recently updated resources in the portal include Broaden Participation in STEM and Making and Sustaining Institutional Change.