The need for rigorous and engaging STEM education in middle school classrooms has never been more apparent than today. This session will introduce participants to a collaboration between i2 Learning, Citizen Schools, and the Boston Public Schools. They engaged 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in week-long, immersive STEM courses focused on themes not traditionally found in schools, such as Building an Interactive Friendly Monster, Kinetic Sculptures, and Surgical Techniques. In addition to the scaffolded hands-on activities that students engaged in throughout the course week, important connections were made to STEM career paths through thoughtful use of classroom volunteers. Session participants will have the chance to engage in a hands-on activity from the i2 Learning Surgical Techniques course. Additionally, participants will hear from a variety of stakeholders about the experience of putting together this multifaceted partnership, including: a Boston Public School teacher on the classroom and curriculum experience, a STEM professional on the volunteer experience, an i2 Learning team member on partnering with the district, and a Citizen Schools team member on partnering with the private sector. This session will be informative for individuals from school, nonprofit, and private sector organizations who are interested in building a collaborative partnership to bring hands-on STEM learning into the classroom.
This panel session describes the innovative UTeach mathematics and science undergraduate teacher preparation program at UMass Lowell (UML). To enhance UML’s contribution to the community by producing effective mathematics and science teachers who not only are highly knowledgeable in their disciplines, but also can engage students through scientific inquiry instruction, UTeach employs a series of unique courses and a model of instruction based on the 5Es (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate). Our panel presentation will describe the conceptualization of two of the UTeach courses, while showcasing student work to answer the question of whether the program achieves the goal of enhancing course enrollees’ development of pedagogical skills in delivering inquiry-based instruction.
Our presentation will introduce the audience to two National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded programs at Northeastern University: Proactive Recruitment in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) and Mathematics and Science Talent (MST). Our panel includes two principal investigators, a participating student, and the external evaluator. The presentation will benefit university faculty, administrators, admissions officers, and students who are interested in strategies to engage STEM majors from traditionally underserved populations and students interested in inter-disciplinary work. Both PRISM and MST were designed to support STEM majors from recruitment to graduation through community-building, inter-disciplinary coursework, and research opportunities. While PRISM focused more broadly on students interested in pursuing STEM majors and careers, MST included students from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds. The evaluations of both projects found that the students valued both programs and were more likely to choose and stay with a STEM major when compared to students who had not participated. While MST and PRISM required significant funding for full-scale implementation, our session will include lessons learned that can be adapted and immediately used with and without financial support. We hope that during our presentation, audience members will share their own experiences with similar initiatives and we will engage in a discussion that will benefit students from diverse backgrounds in building successful STEM careers, in college and beyond.
This panel will be appropriate and relevant for participants across the spectrum of the conference - educators from K-12 and higher ed as well as workforce development professionals and business leaders. The central theme of this session will be to explore linkages for students from two year to four year institutions and beyond to the job market--connecting the dots between education and the workforce. Specifically, we’ll be covering a few major topics related to our shared work, and will follow up the conversation with audience feedback and questions.
Much of this presentation will include summary discussion of three reports produced as part of a partnership between BATEC and Burning Glass to more deeply analyze job categories and demand in Middle Skill occupations in computing, within Big Data/the information economy, and in Cybersecurity.
We will also share insights, learnings and best practices from the Cybersecurity Collaboration Consortium - a joint partnership between the Department of Higher Education and BATEC. This partnership is a focused collaboration between UMass Boston and four community colleges: Bunker Hill Community College, MassBay Community College, Middlesex Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College, to develop academic pathways of stackable certificates and degree options in the field of CyberSecurity (both certificate and Associate’s degrees at the community colleges and a BS in Cybersecurity at UMass Boston). Working in institutional partnership and developing standards based on industry qualifications and deep data analysis, these degree programs offer students seamless connection between their academic experience and their future success in the workforce.
We will describe the design, development, and implementation of a longitudinal STEM career awareness and STEM workforce preparation program that starts in 7th grade and continues through 12th grade. We will discuss the collaboration that involves school level partners, businesses, community colleges, and a research university. Specifically, our collaboration is recruiting, retaining, and preparing students from underrepresented populations in STEM and provide them with the opportunity to opt into and stay in a STEM career pathway. With this goal in mind, our diverse team which involves STEM faculty at Massachusetts Bay Community College, three school districts (Boston, Waltham, and Framingham) and faculty in the School of Management (social entrepreneurship) and the Lynch School of Education from Boston College in collaboration with MentorNet (MentorNet.org) to grow the pipeline of youth graduating with the necessary skills to enter the local area workforce. We will describe project work the new courses and how we are focusing on supporting youth learning and developing the confidence, persistence, and the skills to fill STEM-based positions that are known as “middle skills”. We will discuss how our collaborative work, which cuts across after-school middle school programming and out-of-school programming in high school, is connected to a long-term career STEM pathway through community college. Also discussed is how we engage teachers in classrooms through a variety of science education programs and connect those in-school activities to the out-of-school activities. We will present lessons learned across the different contexts and make recommendations for others who are attempting to develop a similar program.
Participants will use problems found in familiar early childhood children’s literature as the basis for hands-on models that promote children’s STEM learning in the preschool and pre-kindergarten childhood setting. Participants will experience opportunities to seamlessly infuse STEM concepts throughout the day with young children. While providing participants with tools and tasks that promote scientific inquiry, the presenters will share the actual work from their integrated public school early childhood center classrooms that allowed all of their 3, 4, and 5 year old students to behave as young scientists.While engaging in STEM learning experiences participants will pose “What if…?” questions, make predictions, test their models, record their findings, develop solutions, and present their findings. All activities will be carefully linked to the Science, Math, and English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks, as well as the Social and Emotional Learning, and Approaches to Play and Learning Standards. Focus will also be given to the integration of the eight science and engineering practice standards. Participants will be afforded opportunities to better understand the important roles of team work and problem solving in order to excite their students and provide students with experiences that reinforce feelings of success at the end of a challenge.
We all make the assumption that technology is an electronic device with a screen. Our fear of screen time and its effects on our children is a supported concern by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This hands-on workshop will help early childhood educators, directors, providers, and coaches experience different types of technology and use these tools to promote children’s exploration of their learning environments.
Our goal for this workshop is to help educators at the early childhood level recognize that technology is so much more than screens for our students. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm technology they already have in their classrooms, what technology is in early childhood, generate vocabulary, concepts and questions related to technology, experience some demonstration areas using technology, and discuss how they can use technology to support student learning. We will explore the Massachusetts Infant/Toddler and Preschool STEM standards and identify the concepts related to technology and encourage attendees to share their experiences and how they would be able to incorporate these concepts into their classroom or learning environment.
As high school internships become a valuable tool for STEM career exploration, how can educator-industry partnerships support equitable access to these opportunities? High school STEM internship opportunities remain highly competitive, leaving many traditionally underrepresented students out of the loop. Science Club for Girls observed this disparity among the girls we serve, and reached out to our STEM industry and research partners to create our High School STEM Internships program in response.
Join us for a panel discussion on leveraging relationships to create targeted internship programs that are accessible to industry and research professionals, utilize educators’ skills to maximize student learning and career exploration, and can be targeted to serve underrepresented students. The Science Club for Girls internships will be referenced as a model for creating localized, targeted partnerships that suit community needs. The panel incorporates industry, student, and program perspectives for an inclusive discussion. With all key voices present, we can delve into benefits and challenges on all sides, engaging educators and STEM professionals to consider whether they could support targeted small-scale internships to increase access to STEM internships throughout a diverse student population.
Moderated discussion will be centered on relationship development, intentional inclusion and support for diverse students, and educator-driven components to increase the learning depth, while decreasing the load on industry, in smaller-scale internships. We look forward to sharing our experiences and hearing from other educators and STEM professionals about what works in our communities.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education makes clear that in order to enact reform in science and technology/engineering teaching and learning there must be concurrent attention to how teachers are prepared and encouraged to develop. The Framework acknowledges that the current system is a complex one. Realizing the Framework’s vision at the elementary level will be a challenge as several constituencies, including school administrators, classroom teachers, and college education and sciences faculty must work together toward a unified vision. We are college/university elementary science and technology/engineering education faculty who are involved in various aspects of this work and who have begun to discuss issues pertaining to elementary teacher preparation. In this session we will engage other stakeholders including college/university level faculty both in education and the sciences, classroom teachers, and school administrators, in a discussion about elementary teacher preparation. We will briefly describe what we see as some of the opportunities and challenges. We will then engage participants in discussion of the following questions:
1. What do new teachers need to know and be able to do as a result of their pre-service development?
2. What basic science and/or technology/engineering courses are needed and what is the role of these courses?
3. What are some important considerations for designing elementary science and technology/engineering preservice courses?
4. What are some promising practices for working with practicum sites to support and model effective pedagogical practices?
5. What supports do new teachers need in their induction year(s)?
A panel of high school teachers/liaisons and university faculty will share their experiences with a partnership program (Project Accelerate) bringing AP® Physics 1 to underserved students in schools that do not offer AP® Physics as part of the school program of study. Project Accelerate blends together supportive formal structures from a student’s home school, a private online course designed specifically with the needs of underserved populations in mind and small group recitation and laboratory experiences. Funding for this program has been increased and Project Accelerate is looking to increase the number of partner sites.
Underserved high school students in many communities don’t have access to Advanced Placement® courses because of low student enrollment and lack of trained teachers. Project Accelerate serves as a model offering a solution to a significant national problem of too few underserved high school students having access to high quality physics education, resulting in these students being ill prepared to enter STEM careers and STEM programs in college.
Boston University is in the second year of piloting this model with four Boston Public Schools (BPS) high schools and three small suburban high schools. The course is structured to work seamlessly with a typical high school schedule with assessments designed to encourage early success. Students receive midterm progress reports, quarterly grades and AP credit on their high school transcript. During the 2015-16 academic year, thirty weeks into the pilot year, we have an 88% retention rate, 90% recitation attendance, and an average course GPA of 3.3.
A question is a propulsive agent that can spark curiosity and fuel creativity, understanding, and imagination. As a part of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students are expected to formulate and explore their own questions. Yet, it is rare that the skill of question formulation is deliberately taught to students. How can we transform teaching and learning and build the capacity for all students to acquire sophisticated higher order thinking skills through question-asking?
This session will introduce attendees to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a deceptively simple step-by-step process which teaches students how to produce, improve, strategize around, and use their own questions. The QFT is an effective pedagogical strategy used by over 100,000 educators to teach the skill of question-asking to students across all grade levels and from all educational backgrounds.
Participants will experience the QFT themselves, see examples of how the QFT is used in science classrooms, explore how the QFT address the NGSS, and learn more about how the QFT benefits student learning. Participants will identify ways they can implement the QFT immediately to teach their students how to ask their own questions that will ignite their own STEM curiosity and investigation.
The Reverse Science Fair is an annual event that brings Medford High School students and graduate students from Tufts University together in order to discuss applications of the scientific method and careers in science. Tufts graduate researchers from a variety of science departments at the university set up a poster session at the high school. The high school students are asked to speak with researchers about both the research being presented and about the process of doing the research. High school students are able to discuss real science and meet with young scientists in a low-pressure environment. Because the graduate students are close in age and come from diverse backgrounds, they relate well to the high school students and become role models. The high school students are able to see where they themselves can go in the future if they pursue science. The graduate students also gain valuable experience from the event, in presenting their own research to an audience that is not familiar with their field. After attending the Reverse Science Fair, high school students carry out their own science fair projects during the next several months. Student projects are then judged in the school science fair by the same graduate students that came to present earlier, reversing their original roles.
This roundtable discussion is designed to encourage high school and university partnerships by discussing the Reverse Science Fair and engaging members of both levels in conversation about how to organize and run such an event.
The primary purpose of exams is to assess student learning and mastery of course content. But, it can be argued that too much emphasis is placed on exams by both students and instructors. This often leads to stress and anxiety on the part of the student and to “teaching to the exam” by the instructor. Additionally, students often prepare for exams by ‘cramming’ last minute or by rote practice of course content. Neither approach leads to long-lasting learning, and knowledge gained by these approaches is rarely retained. This session will explore an alternative to traditional exams that can assess and fortify student learning, but do so in a less stressful way. Student electronic reports (eReports) are completely student-generated and multi-media in nature. Students summarize and condense the most critical content from course units into 20-30 minute stand-alone multi-media presentations/video files. An accurate and effective eReport arguably demonstrates student comprehension of the course material. This session will begin with introducing eReports as an assignment type. It will then move on to provide guidance for assigning and explaining eReports to students. Examples from other students’ eReports will be shared, as will methods and rubrics for eReport grading and assessment. The session will end with the results of a study on the student learning impact of creating eReports. It is expected that session attendees will leave with enough information to decide if eReports are a superior alternative to traditional exams, and, if so, be comfortable adopting eReports for use in their own classes.
WGBH, in collaboration with NASA, is on a 5-year mission to design and develop digital media-integrated instructional resources on PBS LearningMedia for K-12 classrooms.
This panel/presentation will cover:
Phenomena can provide the ‘anchor’ to a designed instructional sequence—opening the door to investigation, lines of questioning, and authentic science and engineering practices.
In Earth and Space Science, particularly, these phenomena often happen at huge size scales, over long timelines, or are not even visible to us in our everyday experience. For this reason, digital media can play a tremendous role in giving students access to these phenomena, and therefore opening lines of authentic investigation into these topics.
WGBH has spent 2016 designing, developing, and testing instructional resources that take advantage of the unique possibilities of digital media. We will share this process and what we have learned along the way from thousands of teachers across MA and the nation. Massachusetts teachers from our national teacher advisor team will join the panel to share their experience using and testing these and share insights about how we teach, and learn, with digital media.
This presentation will be helpful for universities wanting to develop or improve their service learning-based community partnerships while developing STEM awareness and knowledge in their elementary and middle school students (3rd-8th graders) as part of an interactive afterschool program. We will share experiences, lessons learned, challenges in building these relationships, highlights of the curriculum and resources used, and the impact this work has on the middle school students. We will also discuss the training and development of Merrimack student volunteers who work with the 3rd through 8th grade students in an urban setting for 10 weeks each semester. Lastly, we will examine the impact of curriculum enhancements on our middle school students’ attitudes, motivation and interest in Science and STEM related careers and the impact of curriculum enhancements on our middle school students’ attitudes, motivation and interest in Science and STEM related careers through our PEAR Common Instrument results.
This speaker panel will share innovative classroom practices and emerging research and evaluation findings in middle school math and computer science that help foster student motivation to pursue lifetime opportunities in these fields. During this session, three middle school projects funded by the National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Teachers and Students (ITEST) program will share their project work and findings. The CryptoClub Project develops material to teach cryptography and mathematics to middle grade students using student created videos. The Middle School Pathways in Computer Science Project is bringing project-based, socially-relevant computing experiences to district middle school students, and studying student learning of computer science. The Predicting STEM Career Choice Project, based at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), impacts youth by creating better understanding of malleable factors that can improve student outcomes, and automated models that can identify if a student is at-risk. Afterwards, the presenters will answer audience questions about their presentations, and further discuss issues related to implementing practices mentioned into their classrooms.
The Cape Cod Regional STEM Network Teacher-in-Residence program paired 10 teachers from across six different school districts will five different museum/non-profit sites: Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, JFK Hyannis Museum, Cape Cod Media, and Cape Cod Maritime Museum. The selected teachers received a stipend and spent two full weeks at one (or two) program partner sites. During that time, teachers gained new insights on STEM in the contexts of their residencies and in projects relating to the Cape’s amazing resources: our ocean, our historic places, or our emerging tech fields. They also collaborated with experts and museum staff on approaches to better engaging young people in STEM beyond the classroom. During this session, we will overview the program and share evaluations and what we learned about building community and collaborating in STEM. We will also have a panel discussion where participants can hear from a participating teacher and the education director at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History who served as a site leader to learn about what different individuals and organizations gained from this experience.
Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Council, we have developed a physics curriculum taught through the lens of clean energy applications, specifically photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind energy applications. The curriculum was delivered during the 2015-2016 academic year to senior physics students at Boston Green Academy (BGA). To create a bridge to workforce and higher education, juniors and seniors from BGA were hired during the summer of 2016 to design, assemble, test, and market demonstration stations for educational use to teach science and engineering knowledge and skills associated with photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind energy. Long-term goals are to sustain this small company, run by and for students, throughout the academic year to support authentic learning and workforce development. This session will report on the results of the first year and engage the audience in discussion about this and similar efforts.
In today’s workforce, there are a large number of risks and challenges. These challenges include:
• baby boomers leaving the workforce over the next five to ten years,
• generational diversity,
• budgetary pressures,
• attraction and retention of subject matter experts.
It is critical that business leaders maintain and preserve the knowledge of your products and the history of your designs by having a process in place to retain or transfer your employees’ critical STEM related skills and knowledge, your customer connections, and many other important details.
Join us to explore how to use children’s literature to engage children’s curiosity and extend preschoolers’ understanding of STEM concepts, with a focus on physical sciences and mathematics. You will have the opportunity to work with colleagues and use materials to develop hands-on STEM learning experiences based on wonderful children’s books. We will consider the efficacy of linking STEM and literacy experiences to enhance children’s proficiency in both areas, and review how these experiences align with Massachusetts standards and guidelines. Participants will receive useful handouts and related resources.
With students, writing in science is a means to deepen students’ understanding of concepts and apply the science and engineering practices from Next Generation Science Standards. Research also shows that as students write in the content areas achievement improves as students are asked to clarify and organize their thinking.
Participants will review several examples to span grades K-8 of how writing in science can be used to improve student outcomes using science notebooks and different entry types. Students use their notebooks to begin a science investigation or engineering challenge by asking questions when given a specific focus of inquiry. Students also make observations of the focus of inquiry. From their questions, students generate an inquiry question and design an investigation or create a plan for their design to an engineering challenge. As students implement their investigation, they make prediction, observations, and collect data in their notebooks. Analysis of their data and observations will lead students to draw conclusions. Writing is also integrated into science project based learning as students research to complete a real world task.
Specifically, the session will outline efforts to strengthen students’ writing of conclusions in science using the framework of claims, evidence, and reasoning. Focus will be given to grades 5 and 8 MCAS achievement on open response writing. Resources including rubrics, professional development materials, and lesson ideas for supporting writing of conclusions will be discussed. Finally, participants consider how they will apply the strategies to their own classroom settings.
The human-animal bond is a unique and powerfully motivating force. Empirical evidence is mounting for the effectiveness of animal-based pedagogy in many different topic areas. In this session faculty from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University will demonstrate the use of an animal-based curricular unit as a tool for integrating science and engineering education within an active learning, problem-based model. The unit will be a hands-on interactive project to design a solution for a failure in a major body system in an animal. In this case the development of a prosthesis for a dog whose leg had to be amputated due to a malignant bone cancer (osteosarcoma). We will explore the idea that animal-based education approaches can be used within a school setting to both achieve science benchmarks and to foster long term interest in STEM careers in middle school children.
There are a range of job opportunities, at all skill levels, in STEM fields such as biotechnology and high tech. Making sure there is a connection between the programs that train people for jobs in STEM fields and the companies that are hiring is critical to avoid a mismatched skillset. Join us as we discuss best practices for industry/academic partnerships that support workforce development.
Partners HealthCare and its founding hospitals - Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) - recognize the universal lack of racial and socioeconomic diversity in the medical and science fields. The Student Success Jobs Program at BWH and the Youth Scholars Program at MGH provide innovative STEM programming and comprehensive educational and workforce preparedness services to Boston’s underrepresented youth. Specifically, these programs support educational attainment through STEM-focused activities, provide academic assistance, and offer paid internships and career exposure opportunities to young people interested in pursuing a career in health, science or medicine. Through the Partners Scholarship Initiative launched in 2012, these successful programs were expanded to include college bound youth, creating additional opportunities and extending the pathway to a more diverse healthcare workforce.
Technology is transforming our world and every career field. Most parents recognize the need for students to move beyond using technology, to understanding how it is made and how computing intersects with our daily lives. Teachers increasingly want to bring basic knowledge of computer science (CS) to their students. Yet more than three-quarters of U.S. schools do not offer CS.
The Massachusetts Exploring Computer Science Partnership (MECSP), with the support of the National Science Foundation, is preparing teachers to engage diverse Massachusetts 9th graders in a yearlong Exploring Computer Science (ECS) course. A teacher-leader, evaluator, and partnership member from MECSP will (1) discuss program impacts on teachers, students, and administrators; (2) present the standards-aligned ECS curriculum and rigorous professional development (PD) model; and (3) explain the research behind ECS; the social, economic, and educational challenges ECS is designed to address; and the successful multi-sector partnership structure of MECSP.
Session participants will leave with an understanding of access and equity issues in CS education, ECS’s design as a course to engage diverse students, how ECS fills a gap between K-8 engagement experiences and typical high school CS courses, ECS’s impact on student attitudes and self-rated skills in CS, the impact of the PD program and teaching experience on teachers, the impact of the course on schools, opportunities to bring ECS to MA high schools, teachers, and students.
Children are never too young to have meaningful mathematical experiences. Yet in many preschool settings, expectations for mathematics learning and teaching are not set high enough—especially given the importance of preparing all students for kindergarten. In this early education session, we present the work from the Games for Young Mathematicians project, a National Science Foundation funded research study. This study explores whether a preschool teacher professional development (PD) intervention has an effect upon low-income children’s mathematics outcomes and persistence at challenging tasks. The PD intervention (1) trains teachers to use a set of challenging mathematics games; (2) supports teachers in scaffolding persistence; and (3) supports teachers in incorporating ideas from growth mindset research. The games support the development of mathematical perseverance and skills included in the preschool content standards: counting and cardinality; operations and algebraic thinking; and geometry. Learning how preschool children develop mathematical thinking and perseverance skills through the use of fun, developmentally-appropriate games is at the core of this project.
During the session, we will discuss the importance of early mathematics, persistence, and growth mindset in preschool classrooms. Participants will play the mathematics games and watch video of children in Head Start preschool classrooms playing the games. We will present research findings showing the relation between the PD intervention and child outcomes in mathematics and persistence at challenging tasks. Participants will leave with new ideas and resources about how to incorporate this work into their settings to promote children’s lifelong interest in mathematics.
An urgency exists in the nation to increase the number of graduates with an undergraduate degree within science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, armed with the skills necessary to tackle emergent employment opportunities. Simply exposing students to opportunities that are available within STEM is not sufficient to motivate those students to pursue STEM education. External factors, such as just exposure to STEM opportunities, may not be enough to keep students engaged in these rigorous fields of study. Rotter (1966) noted that motivation must be intrinsic in order for individuals to make changes within their lives. While the notion of identity formation is not novel, considering the development of a STEM identity, the concept of developing a STEM identity within students is an emerging trend of discussion within the STEM literature. Those students need to have tangible experiences, engage in leadership activities, and have positive mentoring, which allow them to develop a sense of self-efficacy, a necessary cultivation in identity formation. Using Waterman’s (1990, 2004) model of identity formation as a foundation, this talk will explore a model of STEM identity formation for community college students. This model will highlight the diversity of factors that can contribute to the development of a STEM identity, using the lived experiences of actual community college students to illustrate key factors in this model. Core to this presentation will also be an exploration of how STEM identity development is critical for female community college students.
Can leaning science be fun for your students and you? Yes it can! Join workshop leader Bricken Sparacino, Assistant Manager of Education at the Central Park Zoo (NYC), as she shares a dynamic lesson on how theater can help students understand science. Studies have found that theater helps students connect kinesthetically and emotionally to the subject being presented. This workshop will discuss the Conservation Theater style that encourages teachers to guide their students to develop their own plays about the natural and scientific world around them. For this workshop participants will delve into the science of invasive species and their impact on the environment. Using drama and a classic children’s literature book, this lesson allows the learner to identify invasive species and understand it experientially while having fun portraying a king or a mouse. In this workshop participants will be invited to be the “students” and create a short play about invasive species. The session will include a breakout brainstorm, examples of this lessons past success at the Central Park Zoo and conversations about how to adapt this lesson for middle schools students. Participants will walk away with everything they need to use the lesson in their classroom.
Attendees will explore hands-on learning opportunities used in elementary and high school classrooms. Students have learned to use Makey Makey Kits, Hot Wheels, Snap Circuits, Sphero robots, Google Cardboard virtual reality, and 3D doodlers to support the STEM curriculum. These tools not only help students access and model the engineer design process but also afford them opportunities to delve into deep scientific thinking around STEM principles. Students are then able to relate their work to future careers. The STEM instruction has completely changed the way these two classrooms operate.
K-12 classroom teachers in any of them STEM disciplines could adapt these tools into their own classrooms. Examples of how to assess and reflect on these activities will be provided. Teachers will learn how to implement hands on strategies using these tools to teach concepts such as circuits, virtual reality, coding, 3D modeling, and design process thinking. Teachers will also see how using different ways to teach concepts promotes 21st century learning and teaching such as: problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.
The vision of the Massachusetts STE standards is to engage students in the core ideas through the integration of science and engineering practices, while making connections to what they know and the world they live in. Engage with other participants to learn where districts are in the process of transitioning to the 2016 MA Science Technology & Engineering (STE) Framework. Participants will gain an understanding of the STE Framework and learn about partnerships and collaborations throughout the state. To support districts during the transition to 2016 STE standards, DESE has trained a cadre of Science Ambassadors who are available to assist educators across the state to become familiar with the 2016 STE standards and the implications of those for curriculum and instruction. During the session, we will highlight the work of the Science Ambassadors and districts will present how they are working collaboratively to align curriculum and resources. We will discuss interactive strategies to use with your school/district as you begin to implement the 2016 STE standards. We will also share resources that educators and administrators can utilize in their districts.
Please join us for a set of small group roundtables focused on various aspects of STEM evaluation. Four tables will be set up, staffed by members of the Education Development Center (EDC), TERC, and the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) to discuss issues in the following areas:
1. Evaluation 101 – Getting started
New to evaluation? This discussion will provide tips on how to work with evaluators, resource guides, and logic models.
2. Evaluation 201 – A closer look at key topics
This discussion will focus on (slightly) more advanced issues in evaluation, and will be designed for individuals who are somewhat familiar with evaluation. Topics may include “advanced” resource guides, specific concerns raised by audience members, etc.
3. Balancing multiple evaluation needs/audiences
This group will discuss strategies for balancing the competing evaluation needs and demands of multiple stakeholders, selecting appropriate indicators/metrics, and promoting effective communication.
4. Broadening participation in STEM – Culturally relevant evaluation
This will be a wide-ranging discussion touching on both introductory (what is culturally relevant evaluation) and advanced topics.
Each group will talk for 20 minutes, then participants will shift to a second table. Presenters will solicit questions regarding the topic of interest, and address those questions by providing examples from their own work. If no questions surface, presenters will share a brief set of comments related to the topic at hand, and will have a few questions prepped to engage the group in a discussion.
This session will focus on occupations and careers in the tech sector and explore priorities that may be common across different firms and industry segments, such as data analytics, fintech, and cybersecurity.
The TechHUB Collaborative is pleased to organize this session. The TechHUB is a small group of industry, university and state government executives that engage around growth issues for the Commonwealth’s tech industry.
Mount Wachusett Community College will present examples of industry-education partnerships it has developed through its advanced manufacturing programs. This will include program and curriculum development and review as well as delivery of curriculum to incumbent workers as a means to improve employee skills. Examples of short-term non-credit training delivered to incumbent workers will be shared. A 40-hour Quality Systems Training Program and a 60-hour Automation Technician Training Program will be presented. The intended audience for this presentation includes educators and employers looking for models and lessons learned regarding industry-educator partnerships. The objective is to show how both partners can benefit and how unexpected outcomes can emerge. The result of the described efforts is a demonstration of how short-term training can help build a career pathway and provide an impetus for students/employees to improve their employment prospects. Results from the programs and its associated outcomes will be presented along with employer perspectives. Additionally, program revisions and enhancements made for subsequent trainings will be discussed.
This session is intended for teachers and administrators working with middle and high school students who are looking for ways to partner with professionals, community groups, and local leaders to introduce students to STEM learning experiences and careers and to build a network to support STEM programming. Participants will work with teachers and administrators from Nipmuc Regional High School to learn about the school’s implementation of “21st Century Learning Conferences” for students. Introduced as part of the school’s STEM Scholars Program, these conferences take place during the school day, allowing students to work with professionals, community groups, and local leaders in STEM-related workshops that teach them about STEM concepts, introduce them to employability skills needed in STEM-professions, and connect them to STEM careers and colleges and universities. Modeled after workshops offered to educators and professionals, the 21st Century Learning Conferences allow students to choose from a variety of workshops/sessions on a range of topics.
Participants in this session will learn a variety of strategies to support STEM programming including developing a STEM advisory board for their school communities as a way to support STEM and career programming; building a STEM network of professionals, community groups, higher education representatives, and local leaders; and integrating STEM and career-focused learning experiences into the curriculum by partnering faculty members with STEM professionals.
What is needed to assemble a successful STEM Team in your city or town? During this session, members of the Easton STEAM Education Team will discuss the genesis and evolution of their group and its accomplishments to date. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm resources and assets in their own communities and then share out with others to gain ideas for developing and strengthening STEM support for their own districts. This session is best suited for K-12 Educators and Administrators who are looking to generate support for STEM initiatives and interest, but business/industry leaders are welcomed to get ideas on how to approach the educators in their region and offer their perspectives.
We would like to share the process we used to begin dialogue with the business community, why we believe a model that is inclusive of diverse stakeholders has been a benefit, and how we have leveraged the relationships we have built to provide greater support for the initiatives of the school department and opened communication with the citizens of the town.
We will show you that once a team is formed and you chart your course, you will inevitably encounter paths you did not imagine. From there, you will develop relationships and collaborate with businesses, politicians, and citizens in your community in a way that is of great benefit to your students. There are limitless possibilities!
Careers in fire protection go beyond firefighting. Unlike fighting a fire after it has occurred, fire protection engineers focus on prevention of these fires and fire spread. Fire protection engineers apply scientific and engineering principles to perform a wide range of roles such as designing building systems that detect fires, control the spread of fires, control the movement of smoke, and provide a safe means for building occupants to egress a building.
This panel presentation and Q&A opportunity is intended for students, career seekers and career advisors who wish to learn more about STEM careers in fire protection. This session will showcase diverse career options, highlight the growing use of technology in fire protection, and will describe how higher education institutions have partnered with companies to provide internships and further connect and expose their students to the field of fire protection engineering.
Fire protection engineers are employed internationally by private consulting firms, government agencies, corporations, fire departments, insurance firms, design firms, and local building code officials. Indeed, the demand for fire protection engineers outweighs their availability and for this reason they are amongst the most highly paid engineers. According to a survey conducted in 2012 by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), the median US total compensation for fire protection engineers is $113,748. SFPE Engineering Program Manager, Chris Jelenewicz stated "With a career in fire protection engineering, you receive a stable salary and the satisfaction of keeping the world and its inhabitants safer from fire."
Middle School Pathways in Computer Science (cspathways.org) is an NSF-supported ITEST Strategies project that launched in Fall 2014. It created a partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), the Tri-City Technology Education Collaborative Inc. (TRITEC), and the urban school districts of Medford and Everett, MA. With activities in-school and during the summer, CS Pathways is bringing project-based, socially-relevant computing experiences to district middle school students.
Project teachers have developed a 15 to 20-hour computing curriculum that is integrated with existing district technology and engineering courses. During the first and second years of the project (2014/2015 and 2015/2016) the curriculum was implemented in middle schools and was delivered to approximately 450 students per year. The project is now being implemented in each of the districts’ seven middle schools. During the project’s first year the project team conducted intensive 30-hour summer camps attended by 72 students and the project is recruiting students to participate in similar activities in the summers of 2016 and 2017.
Using MIT App Inventor, a blocks-based design environment for building mobile apps, students are developing their own apps that support socially relevant activities in their communities. University computer science students and industry professionals are visiting project classrooms and to discuss career pathways with project students.
The research and evaluation team is studying student learning outcomes in computer science (both attitudes and computational thinking competencies); teacher learning outcomes and curriculum products, and broadening participation outcomes.
The project’s goal is to create an institutionalized computer science curriculum in the two districts that is accessible and appealing to all students.
How do we provide hands-on projects, real world applications and engaging STEAM programming to students with serious disabilities? What are the positive outcomes from supporting these students as STEAM learners?
Many students with serious disabilities have large gaps in their education that manifest as unevenly developed skill sets. This can be the result of frequent changes in school placement, the inability to master the material within the time period it is presented, and/or teaching practices and materials presented in ways that are difficult for the students to understand. Some students have disabilities that require a placement outside of their home school district. This constellation of personal and systemic factors increase the likelihood that such students will be further marginalized due to a lack of the hard (knowledge- and experience-based skills) and soft (interpersonal and temperamental skills) needed to secure employment as they exit the traditional educational system.
It is our intent to demonstrate the essence of STEAM education by combining a traditional presentation with small group work, so that participants will understand how disabilities can affect learning and will gain insights into ways to support student learning. We will examine the benefits to these students of solving real world problems through practical applications of knowledge and hands-on projects. Experiential learning increases the acquired knowledge and understanding of students (hard skills) as it develops the needed skills in problem solving, collaboration, and planning (soft skills).Audience participation and discussion are encouraged so all can learn from each other’s experiences in a process that will mirror the classroom expectations that are the focus of this session.
As mathematics takes an increasing role in work and life, creativity must become central to its mission because: 1) creativity and creative problem solving are essential 21st century skills, 2) creativity drives engagement and enjoyment, and 3) creativity builds understanding. Over the past three years we have been discovering and developing math lessons using spreadsheets to enable students to ask the central creative question, “What if…” We have over 100 lessons for students of all ages that you can use as problems of the week, as project or problem-based-learning opportunities, or as challenges for those students who may need them. These What if Math Labs are open-source and available for free. They work in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or on iPads in Numbers. You can sign up to receive our Problems of the Week, or you can assign students a “Course” to work through. You are welcome to bring your computer or your tablet to the session. And we look forward to your suggestions for new lessons that we create or that you add to our growing curriculum.
How can we re-imagine STEM teacher education? We invite STEM educators to participate in a design-based workshop focused on the Woodrow Wilson Academy (the WW Academy). The WW Academy is a competency-based teacher education program with an innovative curriculum that provides real world contexts for learning for teacher candidates. A small pilot class of teacher candidates will start the program in the summer of 2017. Come engage in design thinking to help WW Academy and MIT staff puzzle through exciting design challenges they are facing in developing the teacher education program. During the workshop you will: (a) learn more about the WW Academy and our design process and (b) test and provide insightful and invaluable feedback about components of our program that are grounded in your own experience of teaching and learning.
Seeds of STEM is a research project funded by the US Department of Education (Institute of Education Sciences) which focuses on the development and testing of a problem solving (early engineering) curriculum for Pre-K classrooms.
We will conduct a round table discussion session that engages participants in learning about the project, listen to Head Start teachers experience with problem solving activities, review the developed units, and discuss/provide feedback on the content and pedagogy for teaching young children how to follow the engineering design process in order to solve any kind of problem.
The session will share with participants the first couple of Seeds of STEM units, designed to teach problem solving skills to young children. Participants will experience a component of each unit, discuss it with colleagues, and provide feedback and suggestions. Educators will enhance their understanding of the process of problem solving (engineering design process) and how it can be taught at the pre-K classroom. Researchers will learn about the iterative process of the curriculum development.
This session is intended for Pre-K educators, administrators, para-professionals, policy makers, and researchers who study the early learning of STEM.
What is STEM identity? What does research say about identity as a predictor of long-term STEM engagement? How can a story be used to cultivate STEM identity and foster engagement? How can these ideas be implemented in afterschool programs? In this session, educator/author Dr. Penny Noyce and engineer/author Sonia Ellis will address these questions as they address the importance of STEM identity in increasing participation of girls and other underrepresented minorities in STEM. They will introduce the research behind using story to foster STEM identity and promote deep learning. Both authors will use their own young-adult books as examples and talk about the ways in which they incorporate STEM and feature diverse, relatable characters (both fictional and real). Finally, Ellis and Noyce will highlight the innovative ways in which story in can be used in OST settings. Attendees will have an opportunity to explore hands-on activities that relate to the books.
A panel discussion with Noyce, Ellis, and Ardith Wieworka from the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) will address audience questions about topics from the presentation as well as how story-based approaches can be partnered with existing programs and curriculum (like Zero Robotics); evidence-based outcomes from pilot sites; and policy considerations for promoting a lifetime of opportunity in STEM for all young people.