On Thursday, November 13, Descriptive Astronomy students had the pleasure of meeting with local scientist, Ryan Danell. Although, as this Greenville resident says, he is not a “rocket scientist,” he does work for NASA. Ryan shared his background as a chemist and his work on a spectrometer that will be used on a Mars rover to be launched in 2018. He provided background information on NASA and explained his personal involvement with the Mars exploration program and how this program has evolved. Students learned of the myriad of ways scientists are involved in space exploration, as well as the long-range planning and vision required for such programs. His first-hand knowledge of the program and personal work experiences interested students and presented them with a unique perspective on space exploration. It was great to learn more about this program from someone with such a personal connection!
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 the North Carolina Professional Development Institute this weekend in Winston-Salem, Science Education faculty set up a stylish booth where they could disseminate information about our degrees and certificate programs. Brochures, candy and a slideshow showcasing the programs were an effective means of advertising the great work in Science Education at ECU. It also helped that an ECU pirate, Abby Colley, won the Outstanding Student Teacher award and that so many Science Education faculty were present at the gathering.
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!
In a recent interview, senior Elementary Education (with a concentration in Science) major, Beth Wantz, credits COE and MSITE faculty with having a profound influence on her life. She feels that they “truly care” about their students and go above and beyond to help them succeed. She gives particular credit to Tammy Lee, explaining that, “Ms. Tammy Lee has inspired me in so many different ways. She has pushed me with my assignments and lessons throughout my college career because she knows what I am capable of doing. Mrs. Lee has given me many opportunities outside of school that will greatly benefit me as a teacher, such as taking me to the National Science Teacher Association Conference in the fall of 2013. With doing this, Mrs. Lee has given me the confidence that every effective teacher must have in order to benefit their students. Mrs. Lee has also taken the time to teach me how to be a good teacher and a good person. She is my biggest influence and my role model.”
Teachers teaching teachers–clearly a step in the right direction.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 student-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
In the session, “Heat, Light and Sound, Oh My”, 4th and 5th grade boys use tuning forks to create sound waves that can be seen, heard, and felt! Andrew Hung (age 11, pictured above) says that, “High pitched sound waves are really loud and travel super fast!”
Claire (age 7) and Sophie (age 6) are building a draw bridge at Lego Explorers during ECU Summer Science Camp. Students also hook their creations up to batteries so that they move all by themselves!