- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439900
- First Name Peter
- Last Name Sheppard
- Discipline Biology, Math, Other: Real World Scenarios
Pegge Alciatore, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Beaulieu, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, email@example.com
Nathan Dolenc, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathan Dolenc, University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
The Strengthening Teacher Education through Mathematics & Science Teaching Scholars (STEMS2) in Louisiana project is attentive to the local, regional, and national persistent concern of secondary STEM teacher recruitment, preparation, induction, and retention. The poster focuses on a more informal approach to bridge the transition from STEM major to becoming a science or mathematics teacher. This collaboration between the STEMS2 Scholars and local public schools, through the formation of a informal club, leverages science and mathematics content knowledge possessed by Scholars with the pedagogical knowledge of PIs to engage K-12 students with interactive inquiry-based lessons. The project has proven to be beneficial for Noyce Scholars, over 100 K-12 students in our partner district, 2 inservice science teachers, and PIs of the project.
Our guiding question focuses on understanding how might an informal student club help in the preparation of our scholars in becoming effective and engaging science and mathematics teachers. In an effort to further build awareness of the education landscape among our STEMS2 Scholars and develop them into innovative practitioners, we have created a inquiry-based curriculum development club. The main goal of this STEMS2 Scholars’ club, which we have named STEMS2 Circle, is to have our scholars engage in developing interactive, inquiry-based STEM lessons throughout the semester that they eventually teach in a local K-12 public school. A secondary goal of this club is to have our scholars disseminate their curriculum development work at conferences and in peer-reviewed, practitioner journals. The poster highlights the efforts made by STEMS2 Scholars during the Spring 2019 semester where they developed an immune system lesson that focused on engaging 7th graders in understanding how diseases spread, what the differences are between bacteria and viruses, why some microorganisms become resistant to antibiotics, and how difficult it is to eradicate diseases in a large population. The poster will also highlight how scholars connected their lesson to current events of outbreaks of diseases previously considered to be eradicated.
The STEMS2 Circle focuses on our Scholars using an inquiry-based learning approach where their lessons mimic behaviors displayed by those in the scientific, mathematics, and engineering communities. Specifically, their lessons have students ask questions, conduct experiments, make observations, and formulate conclusions. Furthermore, our Scholars are engaged in a sustained, semester long curriculum development project that has real world connections in teaching to K-12 students.
Increase STEMS2 Scholars’ understanding of using inquiry-based learning as a method of connect between their content background to instruction. Increase level of engagement of K-12 students. Reverse modeling (i.e. Lesson ideas for in-service teachers). Increase STEMS2 Scholars’ exposure to the classroom environment. Disseminate work in practitioner journals. As they transition from a student to a teacher, we monitor the scholars to determine if they display inquiry-based learning and teaching strategies within their own classrooms.
Ultimately, we would like our Scholars to embrace the inquiry-based pedagogical approach that actively engages students in science and mathematics. By embedding this concept early on in Scholars’ pedagogical development we hope that it becomes a staple of their work. In doing so, the Scholars could plausibly use such methods with each of the hundreds of K-12 students they are projected to teach leading to discernable upticks in K-12 students appreciation and affection for mathematics or sciences.