MnSCU Partnership > Partnership Workshops > Ridgewater Workshop, April 2009

Spring PKAL Workshop Series - Bridging Disciplines

Collaborative Mapping: Pathways, Partnerships, and Pedagogies
April 24 - 25, 2009
Ridgewater College and MinnWest Technology Campus, Willmar, MN

This workshop was designed for STEM high school teachers, college faculty and industry members to explore partnerships possibilities. We developed models of knowledge exchange by discovering the needs of each partner and ways we can collaborate. We also examined Pedagogies of Engagement which are useful in incorporating relevancy and incorporating the interdisciplinary nature of issues. One featured pedagogies was Case Studies. Small groups aslo had time and space to work on collaborative projects for use in their classrooms.


We extended a special invitation to local science and math high school teachers as well as colleagues from local industry that wish to work more closely with their high school, college and university partners. We encouraged MnSCU institutions to bring teams of STEM faculty and administrators.


  • Explore partnerships between secondary, post-secondary, and industry

  • Develop models of knowledge exchange for K-12, post-secondary, and industry partnerships

    • What are your needs (i.e. students prepared, knowledge of skills industry needs, ability to expose students to career possibilities)

    • What can you offer?

    • How do we connect the dots?

    • How can pedagogies of engagement enhance partnerships?

  • Examine pedagogies that incorporate relevancy and that can be used in a cross-discipline world

  • Create a learning activity using a Pedagogy of Engagement

Agenda - Photos are coming:

Friday, April 24, 2009

3:30 - 8 p.m., Ridgewater College, Willmar campus

3:30 Registration, Refreshments

4:00 Pedagogy Showcase: Case-based Learning

What is a case? "Cases are stories with a message" according to Clyde Freeman Herreid, Director of the [link National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science']

This site has a variety of cases ready to be used in the classroom as well as articles about writing a case study.

What makes a good case? Our group developed the following list: real life, shock value, guided discovery, detail, conflict, relevancy/practical, multiple perspectives or characters, accurate, connect to students' values/life, worthwhile issue, ambiguity as to the 'right' answer, sense of accomplishment, students devise/create something, engaging, connects to the content of the course

What are some scenarios that could be used for the basis of a case study?

  • jet crashes due to inaccurate conversions
  • the CERN Black Hole - truth or fantasy?
  • is LA safe from earthquakes? Would you live there?
  • recent epidemiology cases - i.e. Swine Flu
  • choosing the sex of your baby
  • Endangered Species Act - choose a species, decision makers
  • genetically modified organisms
  • sources for case study scenarios
    • community policing/law enforcement issues
    • legal issues - court cases, forensics, liability
    • resource management issues
    • debates and historic incidents
    • journals, newsletters, news, film/video
    • change math word problems to case studies

Another source of cases is BioQuest

4:30 CSI Ridgewater: Collecting Forensic Evidence

Was it really a suicide? or was it murder? Ridgewater "Forensic Scientists" Shawn Mueske and John Benson employed workshop participants to process the crime scene. In the biology lab we discovered the body of Jenni Swenson and proceeded to collect and process fingerprints, ink samples, fiber samples, glass samples, and bullet casings. The evidence pointed to murder and provided enough evidence to arrest Ben Badd from the pool of suspects.

5:30 Murder Mystery Dinner - Who Dunnit?

6:30 Panel Presentation: A Smorgasbord of Pedagogies of Engagement

Ridgewater faculty shared the rewards and challenges of Pedagogies of Engagement they are using in their courses.

Ann Mills (biology) - Case Studies

Lori Anderson (biology) - Just in Time Teaching (JiTT)

Wes Boberg (earth science) - JiTT

Randy Curtiss (biology) - Clickers

Cheryl Pankow (mathematics) - JiTT and Clickers

7:15 Option 1: Tour - Creating science labs and study areas that work for STEM students

Option 2: Ridgewater College Theater "The Head that Wouldn't Die"

review: a very funny comedy involving science, aliens, and werewolves!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

8:00 - 4 p.m., MinnWest Technology Campus, Willmar, High School STEM teachers and industry representatives joined us!

8:00 Registration and Breakfast

8:30 Overview of Project Kaleidoscope and Pedagogies of Engagement

What is PKAL?

What is the Pedagogies of Engagement project?

What are Pedagogies of Engagement?

What is available on the Science Education Resource Center site?

9:00 Panel: "Strategic Alliance for Bioscience Research and Education (SABRE): A Partnership Model for K-12, Higher Education and Industry"

Dr. Bruce Jacobson, Director for Bioscience Outreach, St. Cloud State University

Lori Anderson, Biology Faculty, Ridgewater College

Jenni Swenson, Dean of Instruction, Ridgewater College

Overview of SABRE (PowerPoint 3.2MB Apr30 09)

BioScience Inititative

10:00 Tours of Mobile Science Lab for Central Minnesota and MinnWest Technology Campus

The Mobile Science Lab was funded as part of the Bioscience Initiative. This summer K-12 teachers will be invited for professional development workshops and this fall the lab will be visiting schools and serving students!

MinnWest Technology Campusis a physical complex of technology and bioscience businesses with shared services and amenities.

11:00 Collaborative Mapping: Do we need a map? What do we need, what can we offer? Summary of Collaborative Mapping Activities (Microsoft Word 41kB Apr30 09)

During this session, participants were grouped with those of similar roles: secondary teachers, post-secondary teachers, and industry representatives who were joined by post-secondary administrators. Each group made a list of their needs and a list of what they could offer.

11:45 Lunch by discipline

Gallery Walk: During the workshop large sheets of paper were hung around the room. Participants were encouraged to add their ideas regarding collaborations between teachers, faculty, and industry colleagues.

12:30 Mapping Partnerships Part 1: Exploring knowledge transfer between industry and secondary/post-secondary education

During the second half of this jigsaw exercise, new groups were organized that had a representative form each of the first groups: secondary, post-secondary, and industry. They shared with each other their different perspectives and began the process of intertwining these needs and offers. A template (PowerPoint 137kB Apr30 09) was offered and one group used to summarize the overall goal of producing a student going into a STEM career.

1:00 Mapping Partnerships Part 2: Create partnership models between industry and secondary/post-secondary education - using Speed Dating!

Taking the idea of collaboration one step further, we tried Speed Dating! Participants sat on both sides of a line of tables. They had 5 minutes to have a conversation with the person seated across the table from them. During that time, participants pitched an idea for collaboration. They then moved one seat and started a new conversation. Ideas for Starting Partnerships (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 18kB May5 09)

2:00 Collaborative Mapping: What can I bring back to the classroom? What Pedagogy of Engagement will I use?

Small groups worked together classroom activities. Click on Ridgewater Workspace on the right side navigation bar for a guide.

Administrators: STEM articulations between institutions/schools

3:30 Report out, resources such as getSTEM and next steps