- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1642182
- First Name William
- Last Name Hunter
- Discipline Other: Regional Conference Strand
William J.F. Hunter, Illinois State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jessica S. Krim, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, email@example.com; Kim S. Nguyen, IUPUI, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nicolle von der Heyde, University of Missouri-St. Louis, VonDerHeydeN@umsl.edu; Charles R. Granger, University of Missouri-St. Louis, email@example.com; Monica Medina, IUPUI, firstname.lastname@example.org; Laura Barwegen, Barwegen Consulting Group, Inc., email@example.com
Jessica S. Krim, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kim S. Nguyen, IUPUI, email@example.com; Nicolle von der Heyde, University of Missouri-St. Louis, VonDerHeydeN@umsl.edu
The Midwest Noyce Connections project “Strengthening the Network for Teacher Learning at the Intersection of High-Quality and High-Need” aims to connect and support grant personnel and scholars of 62 Noyce awards funded by the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program across 15 states in the Midwest. The need for continuous professional development of Noyce project personnel and scholars is recognized by the National Science Foundation and the Midwest Noyce Connections project is to address a national need for highly qualified and professionally engaged communities of STEM teaching practitioners.
Specific goals of the project include: (1) increasing the personal and professional connections among Midwest Noyce project members and Noyce Scholars across the region and (2) enhancing the scholarship of teaching and learning among Noyce projects and scholars. Project goals will be accomplished through facilitating an annual regional Noyce conference in 2017, 2018, and 2019 in addition to a suite of year-round networking activities for Noyce project personnel and participants in the Midwestern region.
“Leveraging Best Practices for Community-Based STEM Education in High Need Schools” is the theme of the second Midwest Regional Robert Noyce Connections convened in St. Louis, MO, October 12-14, 2018. There were over 200 conference attendees, a 30% increase in attendance from 2017. To enhance networking, the participants, by self-selection, were divided into three strands: Strand 1 “Curriculum Enhancement and Skill Building Workshop” for those wanting to build and develop their own lessons for Community-based STEM Education; Strand 2 “Community-Inspired Best Practices for STEM Teaching” for those wanting to develop pedagogical positions on Community-based STEM Education; and Strand 3 “Project Management, Research, and Teacher Education” for PIs who want to conduct research on their Noyce projects. The group experience was designed to both encourage bonding among participants, and to stimulate their thinking about STEM education innovations.
Of the over 200 people who attended the 2018 Midwest Noyce Conference, there were 121 responses to the pre and post-conference surveys: 42 Noyce pre-service scholars, 34 Noyce in-service teachers, and 25 university project personnel. Over 90% of conference participants who completed the post-conference survey agreed that participating in the conference enhanced their understanding of the scholarship of teaching and learning and 70% agreed that participation in the conference did strengthen their connections with other Noyce project members and scholars across the Midwest. Additionally, the external evaluator confirmed that the 2018 Midwest Noyce Conference has met the thematic objective of the conference that aims to increase knowledge in leveraging best practices for community-based STEM education in high need schools.
The primary focus of this award is to enhance human resource development in the STEM disciplines. The positive results from the first two years of this project implementation affirm the broader impacts of the Noyce Connections on innovative STEM content development and opportunities to share lessons learned and use these lessons to impact the larger Noyce community. The project has a deeper impact in STEM learning in K-12 through providing continuing opportunities for the STEM educators to develop high quality evidence-based communities of practice in areas of high need. In addition to the impact upon the participants, the students of the participants were also impacted by the lessons learned by presentations and activities in each of the conference strands. Project personnel used apps such as twitter and whova, as well as conference poster sessions to disseminate subproject findings.