On Saturday, February 21st, 2015, the Center for STEM Education hosted the annual Science Olympiad Tournament for northeastern North Carolina middle and high school students. North Carolina Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. These tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of different hands-on, interactive, challenging and inquiry-based events that are well balanced between the various disciplines of biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering and technology. Notwithstanding the icy weather, this year we hosted 426 students (209 middle school & 217 high school) from 25 schools in the northeast region. There were also over 150 volunteers involved in the day’s activities from overseeing events/competitions, to managing registration. Faculty and students of the MSITE Department were well represented. Drs. Carmen Woodhall and Liz Doster were event leaders for Simple and Compound Machines, while Ms. Tammy Lee and a plethora of her Elementary Science students created and ran the competition for Experimental Design. Ms. Bonnie Glass was the event leader for It Matters, where students display their knowledge of the properties and behaviors of different states of matter. Dr. Rhea Miles represented the MSITE Department by promoting program and certificate opportunities to the in-service teachers/team coaches and future MSITE students. The staff of the Center for STEM Education was the backbone of the tournament: Nancy Evans and Cheryl Miller, Allison Everett (photographer) and all the student workers at the Center! AWESOME job everyone!!! It was truly a remarkable day for STEM!
ECU was well-represented at the NCCTM Eastern Region Conference in Kenansville on Saturday, February 14, 2014. Love was certainly in the air as president-elect, Dr. Ron Preston delivered the keynote address. It continued as Eastern Region President, Dr. Katie Schwartz led the event – both in terms of putting the conference together and facilitating on Saturday. Christie Wuebbles (alum) made many of the facility arrangements with James Sprunt Community College, where the conference was held. Many of MSITE’s grad students presented, most under the direction of Dr. Maureen Grady as part of their assessment work in MATE 6200:
Drs. Adu-Gyamfi, Grady, Preston, Schwartz, Sinicrope, and Thompson were in attendance along with MATE graduate students Gina Albright and Brooke Hill.
Mathematics Education faculty presented their second annual Mathematics Education Market Place for BS Mathematics Education senior I interns. The Market Place provides an avenue for faculty to send the senior I interns off to their full-time, senior II internship with resources for teaching. This year’s event featured 20 bundles of resources, one for each student. Given that the bundles were not equal in terms of their composition, students first circulated through the room to examine the treasures before names were drawn randomly from a container. First student chosen then quickly selected her/his bundle, followed by the second student drawn, and on to the 20th student. After the 20 selections were made, there were some additional resources provided for students in reverse order of the initial drawing. Resources for the students included some items that were a part of every bundle (stapler, tape dispenser, scissors, pens, markers, protractors) and then unique items such as books, journals, mathematical games, mathematical tools and manipulatives, calculators, software, etc. Although a number of teachers and mathematics education faculty donated items for the Market Place, special thanks goes to Dr. Maureen Grady for organizing the event and Dr. Rose Sinicrope for generously providing funds for many of the office supplies.
Dr. Abbie Brown from the department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, will deliver the commencement address at this Friday’s graduation ceremony. In his address, Dr. Brown observes that earning a university degree is an exhilarating and satisfying personal investment, and that education helps one see, “the big picture” and more details within that picture.
More information can be found in the article by Jeannine Manning Hutson http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/abrown14.cfm
Using a SMARTboard to create lessons and interactive activities is just one way that pre-service teachers show their competence working with technology. The focus of the required, EDTC 4001, is for students to gain competence with both existing and emerging technologies to be able to teach the 21st century learner with high levels of thinking and engagement. Students enjoy their hands-on experiences with SMARTboards:
“Making a Smartboard lesson was one of my favorite assignments I had to complete. I love creating visuals and engagement tools for my students.” Casey Worrell
“One of the greatest tools that I have ever used so far as a student and an intern is the tool called a SmartBoard. I love this tool so much. It is so much better than any paper copy or chalkboard activity. A SmartBoard is an interactive electronic white board that a teacher can use with their students. This board has the ability to allow people to use their fingers and hands to operate it.” Chris Edwards
Additionally, many, many ECU students have contributed their work to the online SMART Exchange, a collaborative network for teachers to share lesson ideas and SMART activities. Way to go!
On November 6, 2014 at the NCSTA conference in Winston-Salem Abby Colley received the Outstanding Student Teacher Award. Abby is a well-deserving graduate from the Elementary Science Concentration and is currently teaching 4th grade at Ayden Elementary in Pitt County. When she was a student at ECU her clinical teacher stated, “She excelled in the classroom with her passion, creativity, and willingness to collaborate with other teachers… I have seen her dedication for this field in her lesson planning, success of implementation of goals taught, and her responses to questions asked by her students…She is deserving of this award.” Congratulations, Abby. We are proud to have you as one of our pirates!
The ECU Instructional Technology program was well represented at this year’s AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology) International Convention held in Jacksonville, FL, November 4-8. Members of the ECU faculty and masters program alumni shared their current research and participated in a variety of AECT organizational activities.
Professor Abbie Brown expressed great pride in ECU’s representation at the event, “It was deeply gratifying, and just plain fun, to see our alums engaging with the international community of instructional design/technology.”
Highlights of the convention included a prominent display of Dr. Sugar’s most recent book, Studies of ID Practices: A Review and Synthesis of the Research on ID Current Practices (published by Springer); Dr. Abbie Brown’s receipt of an Immersive Learning Award for the podcast series, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences; Dr. Slagter Van Tryon’s management in organizing the PacifiCorp instructional design competition; Dr. Strycker’s leadership in the Teacher Education Division; and Dr. Luterbach’s research presentations, one of which was a collaborative endeavor with alumnus Ken Hubbell.
The North Carolina Council Teachers of Mathematics held their state conference Oct 30-31, 2014 in Greensboro, NC. A delegation of 21 Senior 1, secondary mathematics education students were among those representing ECU as attendees at this event. Upon their return from the conference, these students created posters highlighting several interesting or useful ideas gleaned from the sessions and workshops.
On Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014, these students hosted a special Gamma Student Chapter event to share their posters with other mathematics education students and faculty. Over 50 mathematics education students and faculty attended the event. The Senior 1 students talked to visitors about their posters and experiences at the conference. The active engagement between presenters and attendees provided participants with a greater appreciation of the exciting happenings in North Carolina mathematics education.
The Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) Program recently invited educators and administrators from Pitt and Martin county public schools to participate in four professional development sessions. The participants were provided information to implement lessons based on the research of Dr. Scott Rawls from Temple university related to drug addiction and withdrawal on planaria. Dr. Rhea Miles, SEADAP key personnel and guest speakers from the local community came to East Carolina University to educate and encourage these middle school teachers to implement a curriculum to affect student knowledge about biomedical research.
At its 44th Annual North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Conference held in Greensboro, NC on 30-31 October 2014, ECU was featured mightily during the Awards Ceremony. Two ECU Mathematics Education faculty, Dr. Ron Preston and Dr. Rose Sincrope were recognized with the highest honor that NCCTM can bestow, the W. W. Rankin Award. MATE senior, Rebekah Currie, double majoring in a BS Mathematics Education and a BA in Mathematics won the Outstanding Mathematics Education Student from the Eastern Region award. Several alumni also were recognized as the Outstanding Secondary Mathematics Teacher for their school districts. Congratulations to:
W.T. Edwards, Columbus Co. – Class of ’11
Jennifer Simmons, Onslow Co. – Class of ’97, current student MAEd IT (Onslow Cohort)
Renea Baker, Pitt Co. – Class of ’92
ECU rises to the top once again!