Category Archives: Center for STEM Education

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Science Education Club on the Path to National Recognition

It’s official!  The Science Education Club has completed all the requirements and workshops to be officially registered as a student organization at East Carolina University.  This has been a two year project that was finalized by the work of graduate student Megan Garner, and undergraduate elementary science concentration students: Beth Wantz, KC Hart, Kayla Sager, and Lauren Brewington.  The club is under the direction of faculty adviser, Tammy D. Lee who speaks with pride of the student’s accomplishment, “We are very excited to have this recognition at the university level so we can now apply for national recognition at the National Science Teacher’s Association.  The students have been diligent in their work and pursuit of this recognition which demonstrates their dedication and desire to be a part of science education and to have others participate in a student organization of a collected interest, Science! I am honored to be a part of this journey with these students.”  For more information about the Science Education Club visit them at their website or contact Tammy D. Lee at leeta@ecu.edu.

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Trends and Issues

Dr. Abbie Brown Continues to Collect Awards: His Latest, “Immersive Learning Award”

Abbie Brown, a Professor in the College of Education’s Instructional Technology program, is a recipient of an Immersive Learning Award for his podcast series, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology,& Learning Sciences. The award is sponsored by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), and recognizes media production projects that contribute to the field of instructional technology and demonstrate significant increase in learning. The podcast is co-produced by Professor Brown and Professor Tim Green of California State University, Fullerton.

Using the app Flipboard to collect articles related to instructional technology from a wide variety of education, science, and design sources, Brown and Green publish, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Science (http://flip.it/Iy0rD ). To synthesize the instructional technology trends and major issues reflected by the articles presented in their Flipboard magazine, Brown and Green produce a bi-weekly podcast, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences, available through iTunes, the audio-content site, Stitcher (http://www.stitcher.com ), and their own podcast website,  http://trendsandissues.com.

Brown says, “I’m gratified that the podcast series is popular. My colleague, Tim and I are a bit in awe of its reach. The Flipboard magazine has over 12,500 readers, and the podcasts have been downloaded to every continent except Antarctica.”

Rebekah Currie

Mathematics Education Student Named Outstanding!

NCCTM_logoCongratulations to Rebekah Currie, named the Outstanding Mathematics Education Student from the Eastern Region of North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM)!!!

Rebekah is a senior double major (BS Mathematics Education and BA Mathematics), Maynard Scholar, member of the Honors College, member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, intern at South Central HS, student worker in the MSITE office, Vice-President of the Gamma Chapter, and is very active in the community. Rebekah was nominated by the faculty, provided professional information and experiences for the nomination form, and then her materials were considered by the NCCTM Awards Committee.

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MSITE Recruits at Teacher Cadet Day

The Fall 2014 Teacher Cadet Day featured the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and had the theme “What’s Your Superpower? I TEACH!” Faculty and students from the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) recruited during the Program Fair portion of the agenda. The 100 or so teacher cadets (mostly seniors, with a few juniors) visited tables and discussed programs, all the while getting answers to questions on an education scavenger hunt. At the MSITE table we had brochures, recruitment/advising handouts, rulers, scholarship opportunities, and candy. Part of the draw to the table was an activity – roll a 7 or 11 with a pair of dice and win a bag of M&Ms. There were 20 students who signed up, indicating that they have some interest in mathematics or science teaching.  A special thank you to the MSITE students and faculty who participated: Dr. Ron Preston, Dr. Rhea Miles, Dr. Charity Cayton, Amanda Penwell, Taunya Stevens-Johnson, Jenny Jones, and Rebecca Ray.

Abby Colley

Graduate from Elementary Science Concentration Wins NCSTA Outstanding Student Teacher Award

North Carolina Science Teachers AssociationOn October 13, 2014, Abby Colley received a letter from the Elementary Science Concentration Awards Committee chair notifying her that she was the recipient of the NCSTA Outstanding Student Teacher Award. She will receive her award on November 6, 2014 in Winston-Salem at the NCSTA conference award ceremony. Abby is a well-deserving graduate from the Elementary Science Concentration and is currently teaching 4th grade at Ayden Elementary in Pitt County. It is excellent students like Abby who, through the power of their example, are helping to grow the elementary science program at ECU. Visit our website page to learn more about the Elementary Science Concentration in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education.

Summer Ventures 2014

Summer Ventures 2014 Served 55 Top Students

Summer Ventures 2014 From June 22nd through July 19th, the Center for STEM Education hosted the 2014 class of Summer Ventures in Science & Mathematics. This year was the 30th year the program has been held. Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics is a cost-free, state-funded program for academically talented North Carolina residents who have demonstrated interest in science and mathematics and aspire to a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). We housed fifty-five of the top rising high school juniors and seniors from across North Carolina. The students were housed in Jones Hall, where they participated in various Summer Ventures 2014student-life activities, such as attending the Student Recreation Center, games, arts & crafts, water sports at the North Rec Complex  and a talent show, just to name a few. Academically, the students participated in courses and conducted research in STEM fields, facilitated by our ECU faculty in the areas of DNA Fingerprinting, Engineering, Data Driven Decision Making, Physics, and Archeology. One cohort of students attended courses and conducted their research at the Brody School of Medicine for the duration of the program. The research component of Summer Ventures is critical to the success of the program, as well as to the success of the students upon returning to their high school. Working alone or with a partner, they carried out hands-on research on their topic for approximately two weeks. The students prepared a paper that was the culminating product of the research. They then gave an oral presentation of their research paper on the final day of Summer Ventures to their fellow students, staff and parents and friends. Presentations were judged by an outside panel of experts and the top presentations were the Catalyst Award winners. For more information on this exceptional program please visit the following web site: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/smventures/Index.cfm

Congratulations

Congratulations to COE MSITE Faculty Dr. Katherine Schwartz and Dr. Rose Sinicrope on Math-Science Partnership Grant Awards

Dr. Katie Schwarz and Lenoir County Schools (LCS) have been awarded a 3-year, $483,000 Math/Science Partnership (MSP) Grant, Lenoir County STEM Learning Community. The project will provide teachers integrated content and pedagogical professional development in K-8 Mathematics and opportunities for teachers to work in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to increase use of mathematical practices, implement cognitively demanding tasks, use data to make instructional decisions, and connect to real-world applications of mathematics, all with the goal of increasing student performance.

Other key ECU faculty who will be working with Dr. Schwartz, who is from the COE Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) include Dr. Ron Preston and Dr. Kay Middleton from MSITE, Dr Heather Ries and Dr. Njina Randriampiry from the Department of Mathematics, Dr. Ricky Castle from Engineering. STEM Partnership East and various industries also contributed to the project’s development and play key roles in its implementation. Dr. Guili Zhang of the COE Department of Special Education, Foundations, and Research will serve as project evaluator.

Dr. Rose Sinicrope also of MSITE, will serve as Evaluator for Randolph County Schools’  newly awarded MSP grant, Deepening High School Mathematics Knowledge and Leadership.

Congratulations to Dr. Sinicrope and Dr. Schwartz and her team of collaborators!

For more details, see the story on the WNCT website: http://www.wnct.com/story/26028066/lcps-teachers-learning-how-to-use-stem-curriculum-in-the-real-world

Dr. Rhea Miles and Dr. Scott Rawls awarded National Institute of Health Grant

Dr. Rhea Miles

Dr. Rhea Miles, Associate Professor -Science Education, Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education and Dr. Scott Rawls, ECU Alumnus and Associate Professor of Pharmacology in the Center for Substance Abuse Research at Temple University have been awarded a four-year, $1,012,071.00 grant entitled Planarians and the Pharmacology of Addiction: An In Vivo Model for K-12 Education.

The project engages K-12 teachers and  students together with health care professionals, pharmacists, and scientists in the study of the pharmacological effects of addictive drugs and the behavior patterns that emerge during recreational and addictive drug use, using curricula and laboratory activities designed to meet the National Science Education Standards. Congratulations Dr. Miles and Dr. Rawls.

Advanced Placement Summer Institute Prepares Teachers to Give Their Best to the Brightest

Honors students in high school are anxious to take as many Advanced Placement courses as their schools offer so teachers go to school in the summer preparing to teach these courses.  ECU hosts  a College Board endorsed Advanced Placement Summer Institute. Each session is 4-days long and is taught by a certified College Board consultant. This summer, during the week of June 23-26, courses are being taught in

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Physics 1 &2
  • AP Statistics

Classes have begun and teachers are involved in many hands-on activities around campus.

APchemistryAP Chemistry teachers are working hard at their lab stations to determine the equilibrium constants for a various chemical reactions here at South Central High School, this year’s hosting site for College Board’s Advanced Placement conference. Teachers will perform these same
labs later on with their AP chemistry students.

COE Faculty Member Receives $472,000 NC Quest Award

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Dr. Ann Bullock, chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education, is partnering with NC Quest to expand the NC New Teacher Support Program.

Dr. Ann Bullock, Chair of the Department of Elementary and Middle Grades Education, received an NC-QUEST award of $472,394 titled Integrating Neuroscience into Mathematics Instruction (INMI). INMI continues the partnership with UNC-GA New Teacher Support Program (NTSP) and extends it to the Harriott College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Mathematics.

The INMI pilot project consists of an intensive scientifically-based professional development program designed to assist beginning teachers to become highly knowledgeable and pedagogically skilled in leading students to mastery of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The INMI pilot project will target elementary schools in Edgecombe County and Hertford County that have been identified as among the lowest performing in the state.

The project will recruit thirty beginning teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program designed to increase their knowledge of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical practice, brain-compatible elements of mathematics instruction, brain-compatible instructional strategies, and whole-brain teaching techniques.

The INMI extends the professional development offerings currently provided by the NC NTSP, which include an institute/boot camp, six days of professional development, and ongoing instructional coaching. INMI teachers will attend an extended summer session at the beginning of the academic year, Saturday sessions and site-based sessions at their schools during the academic year, and a summer session at the conclusion of the academic year.

In addition, participating teachers will receive weekly on-site support from NC NTSP Instructional Coaches and monthly consultations from an ECU mathematics content expert. Through the integration of neuroscience in mathematics instruction, beginning teachers will be better equipped to engage diverse learners, offer effective feedback that leads to deeper understanding, create a rich learning environment that attends to students’ social and emotional needs, and ensure that students’ mathematical achievement is reflective of their true abilities.