Category Archives: Science Education

News from Science Education

Daniel Dickerson

Dr. Daniel Dickerson Represents ECU on Fulbright Commission Panel Addressing STEM Study Abroad Partnerships with the Czech Republic

Dr. Daniel Dickerson, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education and ECU STEM CoRE (Collaborative for Research in Education) Co-Director, is among a small group of scholars from across the United States selected to sit on a Fulbright Commission sponsored STEM Expert Panel to address university faculty from across the Czech Republic regarding STEM study abroad possibilities. He will join faculty from MIT, Purdue, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and other STEM intensive institutions.

The STEM Expert Panel is part of a capacity building workshop, “Bringing More U.S. Students in STEM to Czech Universities,” sponsored by the Department of State, Office of Global Educational Program, the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Czech universities that offer education in STEM. The workshop will take place in Prague, Czech Republic on April 19-20, 2016 and will be followed by campus visits on April 21-22.

While there, Dickerson will speak to participants during meeting sessions regarding STEM education program development and explore ways to build collaborative efforts with the Czech Republic. Additionally, the US delegation will tour eight Czech universities, attend a reception at the residence of the US Ambassador, and explore innovative ways to enhance global partnerships.

Dr. Dickerson has more than 70 publications, 130 conference presentations, and has been involved in grants as PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel, or Evaluator totaling over $10 million.

Rob Lucas

People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland — New book by Dr. Robert M. Lucas

The book,  People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland by Dr. Robert M. Lucas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary & Middle Grades Education, has just been published by Lang Publishing Company. This book chronicles Dr. Lucas’ engaged research with students and their teacher “as they study the defining event in their community’s history.”  Dr. Lucas presents an approach to teaching and learning in social studies that fully engages students to not only learn about the history of their community, but to contribute something of value to their communities and beyond.

Through his start-up research grant, a Library of Congress grant, and his teaching in the Elementary Education program, Dr. Lucas continues to provide teachers and teacher candidates with a meaningful and dynamic evidence-based approach to teaching history and social studies that enables students to “better understand the complex ethical ramifications of historical work and appreciate why learning matters.” (Note: quotations in both paragraphs are from Vendor’s website, below). To learn more about or secure a copy of the book, go to: http://www.amazon.com/People-Need-Know-Confronting-Counterpoints/dp/1433129787.

Go to the College of Education Research Website to engage in a Blog discussion about Engaged Scholarship and Research

ECU student judges Cody Allen and Amanda Lewis evaluate a student's science project during the First Annual SEADAP Science Fair.

SEADAP Grant Program Holds First Annual Science Fair

The Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) program held its First Annual Science Fair on January 21st, 2016 on the campus of East Carolina University. The goals of the NIH/NIDA grant-funded project are to increase student knowledge about drug addiction and to increase student interest in biomedical research and careers.

Pitt County high school students Shinjini Misra and Kyra Miles receive feedback on their project from ECU student judges.

Pitt County high school students Shinjini Misra and Kyra Miles receive feedback on their project from ECU student judges.

SEADAP students began conducting scientific research under the direction of Dr. Miles and Dr. Rawls in August 2015, and have designed their own science projects to examine the effects of addictive substances, alcohol, nicotine, sucrose, or caffeine on planarians. Presenting students from Pitt and Greene counties were able to receive feedback and suggestions on how to improve their science projects from Dr. Rawls and Dr. Miles.  The High school students participating in the SEADAP program are Nate Davis, Lucas Mebane, Shinjini Misra, Kyra Miles, and Justin Woolard.

Science educators in North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are also successfully incorporating SEADAP related lessons into their science curricula.

ECU College of Education secondary science majors served as student judges for the SEADAP Science Fair.  These students included: Cody Allen; Hazelle Sandoval; Amanda Lewis; and Kayla Watterson.  Tonya Little, a Martin County Schools administrator, also served as a judge.

Applications are currently being accepted for teacher participation in the professional development sessions for teachers on June 28, 29 and June 30, 2016 at East Carolina University.

For more information about SEADAP, contact Dr. Rhea Miles by phone at 252-328-9366 or via email at milesr@ecu.edu.

Featured image above:

ECU student judges Cody Allen and Amanda Lewis evaluate a student’s science project during the First Annual SEADAP Science Fair.

 

Tammy Lee

Dr. Tammy Lee Recognized as North Carolina’s Most Outstanding Science Leader

Dr. Tammy Lee received the Herman and Emma Gatling Award for Outstanding Leadership in Science Education from the North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) on November 11, 2015 at the Fall 2015 NCSLA Membership Meeting in Winston Salem . As the recipient, she is recognized as North Carolina’s most outstanding science leader of 2015.  Congratulations, Dr. Lee!

Montague Franklin with Jennifer Stalls

Education Graduate Leads Middle Schoolers in Conducting Nature Research

Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

(L to R): Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Eighth-graders at C.M. Eppes Middle School hope to find out if a backyard weed actually contains some beneficial ingredients.

Their teacher, Jennifer Stalls, an East Carolina University alumna and graduate student in the College of Education, brought the real-world research question to her science classes as a participant in the Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development.

Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

(L to R): Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

Stalls is one of 42 educators from across North Carolina who completed a five-week summer research experience and two weeks of professional development as part of the annual program.

Stalls worked in the genomics and microbiology lab at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences with mentor Dr. Julia Stevens, who is studying the symbiotic relationship between invasive plants and bacteria in nitrogen fixing. The process is needed to convert gaseous nitrogen into forms that can be used by living organisms.

Stalls created a curriculum for her students to contribute to Stevens’ research by studying regional invasive species that could potentially replenish bacteria in crop fields.

Among the discoveries students are making is the notion that they like science.

Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

(L to R): Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

“I like that you can make so many things, so many discoveries with science. I like the medicine part of science,” said student Virginia Rahilly.

Stalls is one of six ECU alumni in the 2015-16 class of Kenan Fellows. Others and the schools where they teach are: Christopher Clark ’13, Chicod School in Pitt County; Taylar Flythe ’12, Ligon Magnet Middle School in Wake County; Denise Humphries ’93, Chinquapin Elementary School in Duplin County; Amy Kennedy ’07, Beulaville Elementary School in Duplin County; Julianna Martinez-Schultz ’10, Moore Square Magnet Middle School in Wake County.

Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

(L to R): Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

The Kenan Fellows Program was established in 2000 as the signature K-12 STEM education initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University.

Kenan Fellows are given opportunities for networking, professional growth and leadership development. For more information, visit www.kenanfellows.org.

For the full article, please visit the ECU News Services Article Backyard Botantists

PirateScience3

PIRATES Educators Work to Improve K-6 Science Education

GREENVILLE, N.C. (10/15/15) — On Saturday, October 10th fifteen College of Education alumni returned to East Carolina University to attend a workshop, “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” These teachers were among the first graduates of the newly developed Elementary Science Concentration at East Carolina University that focuses on the scientific content and knowledge needed for teaching science to K-6 students. Students enrolled in the concentration receive instructional strategies and specialized content knowledge within all domains of science.

The workshop was funded by a research start-up grant entitled PIRATES (Preparing and Inspiring Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science). The grant was awarded to Assistant Professor, Dr. Tammy D. Lee who spearheaded the development of this program in response to the need to improve STEM education in the early grades. PIRATES is designed to support the fifteen newly specialized science teachers over the course of three years. These beginning teachers will work with ECU science education faculty, ECU scientists, and North Carolina Museum of Natural Science staff to strengthen their knowledge and skills in systemic science education. The goal of the PIRATES program is to return these teachers to their classrooms and schools across North Carolina as elementary science education leaders.

Participant Ashley Barfield a teacher at Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh said, “The PIRATE grant will not only benefit me as a teacher but my teammates, students, and my school.”

“This grant will be a huge impact in my classroom because it will help my students to think critically about science in the real world by learning about systems,” added Amber Ellington a teacher at Falkland Elementary in Greenville.

Since the launch of the Elementary Science Concentration in the fall of 2012, enrollment has grown from seven students to over one hundred.

“This increased enrollment indicates the overwhelming interest of elementary pre-service teachers to become science teacher specialists,” said Lee.

For more information about East Carolina University’s Elementary Science Concentration or the PIRATES grant please contact Dr. Tammy D. Lee at leeta@ecu.edu

Like us on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/PirateScientists

PIRATES teachers participating in the “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” event on October 10. Pictured above from left to right: Kayla Sager, Christina Baik, Amber Ellington, Abby Wilkinson, Katherine Hart (red shirt), Ashley Barfield, Beth Wantz Kara Rouse, Danielle Alford, Rachel Fendrick Amanda Etheridge and Dail Berry. Kneeling: Bonnie Glass and Dr. Tammy Lee

Captain Arrrgh Headshot

From the TRC…3D Printing Now Available to ECU Community

It’s the first Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight an instructional technology resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Our first post of the school year highlights a new service in Joyner Library, 3D printing!

Do you know how common 3D printers are in North Carolina’s public schools? If it’s not now, it will be soon. NC State’s College of Education is busily working toward equipping every middle school in Wake County with a 3D printer. ECU’s own Innovation Design Lab is hoping to outfit seven (7) middle schools with a 3D printer by the end of the school year, and many other K-12 schools around the state have already started their own 3D printing initiatives.

3D printing in K-12 and higher education is definitely a trend. As a result, the TRC has been busy preparing two 3D printers for the College of Education and the rest of the campus community to use. I am proud to announce that, as of today, Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center is now accepting print requests for our 3D printers!

To help guide the ECU community, we have also developed a library guide for those who are unfamiliar with 3D printing, but would like to know more. Joyner Library currently has two 3D printers available for use, a FlashForge Creator Pro and a ZPrinter 310 (.pdf). We are also busy prepping a Lulzbot TAZ 5 for future use. This library guide will help you:

Contact us for help by email, 3Dprinting@ecu.edu.

Stay tuned for workshops and other professional development opportunities that involve 3D printing in K-12 and higher education in the months ahead.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC.

Dail Berry

Elementary Science Alumna Receives WITN’s Teacher of the Week Award

Congratulations to Dail Berry who received this week’s Teacher of the Week award from WITN. Last May, Berry graduated from East Carolina University, receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Elementary Science. In the summer of 2014, she was an innovative camp counselor for the East Carolina Summer Science Camp. In her role as camp counselor, she created and implemented the popular camp session, Under the Sea. Ms. Berry also has experience working as a counselor for the 4H program in her hometown. After graduation, Berry decided to return home to Hyde County to start her teaching career. She is now teaching 7th and 8th grade science at Mattamuskeet Early College High School. When asked about her interest in science, she stated, “I fell in love with science while taking courses at ECU and now I want science to be my focus.”

Berry has already distinguished herself as a leader in her school by assisting with the Junior Beta club, a Co-advisor of the Envirothon team, and the Assistant Varsity Coach for the high school volleyball team. For the next three years, she will also be a part of a new research grant entitled PIRATES, Preparing and Inspiring Readiness for Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science. Dr. Tammy Lee, Assistant Professor in Science Education at ECU, noted: “The goal of this grant is to support beginning teachers that specialized in elementary science within their undergraduate education program at ECU.” The person nominating Berry for this award said, “She is an amazing teacher and the sweetest person. It’s her first year teaching and I’d love for her to get recognition for all her hard work and determination.”

Here is the link to the WITN interview with Berry: http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/WITNs-Teacher-of-the-Week-Dail-Berry-of-Hyde-County-327835781.html

Belize Anyone? Blair Driver Selected to Study Tropical Ecologies

Blair Driver is an extremely talented middle school science teacher at Pactolus School in Pitt County, Assistant Director of the East Carolina University Summer Science Camp, and graduate from the General Science Concentration provided by the Science Education program area in the MSITE Department. Recently, Ms. Driver received notification that she was selected as an Educator of Excellence in Science by the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh N.C.

This is an extremely prestigious honor for Ms. Driver, her students, and all of us here in the MSITE department. Ms. Driver will be one of twelve teachers from North Carolina that will travel to Belize, Central America with naturalists from the museum. On this trip she will experience several tropical habitats, including coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and rain forests. The daily program will engage participants in field experiences as they explore these various ecologies of Belize. The program includes learning about the culture of Central America by touring a Mayan ruin as well as having two Belizean teachers join the group throughout the entire trip providing teachers of N.C. with a local resource from the area. The culminating project involves spending time with students at a Belizean school where N.C. and Belizean teachers will work together to teach science. The MSITE department wishes Ms. Driver safe travels and wants to extend our congratulations to her. Thank you for all your hard work, Ms. Driver, and your continuing efforts to strengthen science education for the students of Eastern N.C.

Stalls

MAEd-MIDG Student, Jennifer Stalls, Selected for Kenan Fellows Program

Jennifer StallsJennifer Stalls, sixth-grade science teacher at C. M. Eppes Middle School in Pitt County, is among 40 educators from across the state who have been selected as 2015-16 Kenan Fellows. Earlier this year, she was presented the NC Science Teachers Association’s District One Outstanding Science Teacher Award. A graduate of East Carolina University, Stalls is currently earning her Masters of Education-Middle Grades Education degree in ECU’s College of Education with a concentration in science.

Beginning in June, the new Kenan Fellows will spend five weeks of their summer learning and gaining experience from local experts in nanotechnology, financial education, renewable energy, genetics research, energy, and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

A core goal of the program is to develop outstanding teacher leaders who serve as advocates for excellence in education. The year-long fellowship begins with the summer internship and culminates with the development and implementation of cutting-edge educational curricula and programs designed by Kenan Fellows. These resources and programs are shared with other educators and used in classrooms, school systems, and communities across the state and beyond.

Educators selected for fellowships demonstrate proven leadership or leadership potential and are awarded a $6,000 stipend that includes travel expenses. Kenan Fellows also receive 80 hours of professional development divided into three professional advancement institutes that focus on leadership skills, community engagement, proven instructional strategies, and education policy. The Biogen Foundation is the premier sponsor of the institutes.

-Source: Pitt County Schools Website http://www.pitt.k12.nc.us