Category Archives: Science Education

High School STEM Day Brings 300 Students to Campus

stemday2_1On February 21, 2014 the Department of Engineering and the Center for STEM Education hosted approximately 300 high school students from counties in our service area, known as High School STEM Day. These students attended various interactive STEM activities throughout the day, led by faculty from various STEM departments, such as Construction Management, Physics, Biology, Engineering, and MSITE, just to name a few. Ron Preston led a very well received session on Mathematics Education. Click for more information: High School STEM Day

Huge Turnout for Regional Science Olympiad Tournament

Science Olympiad1 On February 15th, 2014, the Center for STEM Education hosted the annual regional Science Olympiad Tournament, welcoming approximately 600 students, teachers, and family to campus. A total of 420 middle and high school students were present for the competition representing 14 middle school teams and 16 high school teams. A total of 111 volunteers registered to participate as event leaders, event aids, and general helpers. C-STEM administered and managed all aspects of the event. The Science Education Faculty was well represented by Tammy Lee, Carmen Woodhall, Elizabeth Doster-Taft, and Rhea Miles; all of whom were event leaders. Several MSITE students were volunteers for the tournament, working as registration personnel, food service personnel, competition helpers, and other duties as needed. North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) 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.Science Olympiad2
The first recorded Science Olympiad was held on Saturday, November 23, 1974 at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. Dr. Donald Barnes and Dr. David Wetmore were the originators of this event. Fifteen schools from North and South Carolina participated in this event. This Olympiad was a day-long affair, with competitions and demonstrations for high school students in the areas of biology, chemistry, and physics.

Pre-service Teachers Design and Run Event at Science Olympiad

preservice Science OlympiadFebruary 15, 2014, ECU Elementary Science Concentration pre-service teachers assisted in the Experimental Design event for Science Olympiad at East Carolina University.  This event included 7 stations that engaged middle and high school students in STEM thinking.  The stations were developed in the fall semester  by pre-service teachers in an informal science course, and carried out by pre-service teachers enrolled in science methods, earth science, and/or life science courses in the concentration.  Pre-service teachers monitored students working at each station and as the students rotated amongst stations.  After the middle school and high school event, pre-service teachers developed a system of scoring student work.  The entire process from start to finish was a success.  The stations developed for the Experimental Design event have been recognized state wide and utilized at other Science Olympiad competitions.  This was a remarkable learning experience for pre-service teachers who were both the event developers and the volunteer workers at the competition.

Pre-service Teachers Design, Run Science Olympiad Event

preservice Science OlympiadOn February 15, 2014, ECU Elementary Science Concentration pre-service teachers assisted in the Experimental Design event for Science Olympiad at East Carolina University. This event included 7 stations that engaged middle and high school students in STEM thinking. The stations were developed in the fall semester by pre-service teachers in an informal science course, and carried out by pre-service teachers enrolled in science methods, earth science, and/or life science courses in the concentration. Pre-service teachers monitored students working at each station and as the students rotated amongst stations. After the middle school and high school event, pre-service teachers developed a system of scoring student work. The entire process from start to finish was a success. The stations developed for the Experimental Design event have been recognized state wide and utilized at other Science Olympiad competitions. This was a remarkable learning experience for pre-service teachers who were both the event developers and the volunteer workers at the competition.

Tammy Lee and Close Encounters of the Amphibious Kind

MSITE Science educator, Tammy Lee, has authored an article, Close Encounters of the Amphibious Kind: Frog Calls across Ponds and across Disciplines. This article has been published this month (February) in Science and Children. The articles details a half-day 5E lesson integrating two of the disciplinary core ideas (DCI) from the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS): physical science (PS4-A) and life science (LS2.D) within an informal science environment (summer science camp). These two DCIs were integrated to demonstrate how science disciplines work together within the natural world. In the real world, science disciplines do not exist in isolation (NRC, 2012). The integration of science concepts was demonstrated by exploring how animals use sound to communicate messages (life science), with students using vibrating materials (physical science) to mimic these animal calls (sounds). Then as an extension, students played a game (non-laboratory experience) to illustrate how “being a part of group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes” (NGSS,2013).

http://www.nsta.org/elementaryschool/

Descriptive Astronomy Students Stargaze in Ayden

astronomy photo 2Two nights this November, Bonnie Glass’ Descriptive Astronomy students ventured to Ayden to view the night sky at A Time for Science. Nancy and John Bray set up telescopes, shared stories behind the constellations, and discussed ways these pre-service teachers could use these tales to integrate language and science. They explored other activities appropriate for teaching Earth-Space Systems and learned how A Time for Science could be a field trip destination for their future science students. Students were photographed by the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce and may be included in their annual brochure in the highlight on local STEM activities.
Some of these same students, Tim Maynard, Eddie Enoch and Amanda Myer, returned to volunteer their time at A Time for Science. These students led groups of 3rd graders from Sam Bundy Elementary School as they built straw rockets. They were joined by students from Mrs. Glass’ SCIE 3216, Jenny Hodgin, Alisha Spivey and Kristen Snyder. Thanks to all these students for serving the community in this way. They were great ambassadors for ECU and the Science Education program!

IT Alumni Wins Graduate Distance Fellowship Award

Rob MooreRob Moore has been selected for a fellowship award from Western Carolina University.  Rob is a 2013 graduate of the Masters of Science in Instructional Technology program at ECU. He currently works as an instructional designer with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government. He has worked at UNC since 2004 and joined the School’s Instructional Support team in September 2010. In his current position, he collaborates with faculty on integrating innovative technology to support their work in face-to-face, blended, and online instructional environments. Rob has been instrumental in developing and supporting social media initiatives at the School of Government, including helping to draft the School’s social media policy. Rob is currently applying for PhD programs with the ultimate goal of being the director of a distance education center at a higher education institution. Congratulations, Rob!

Descriptive Astronomy Students Stargaze in Ayden

astronomy photo 2Two nights this November, Bonnie Glass’ Descriptive Astronomy students ventured to Ayden to view the night sky at A Time for Science. Nancy and John Bray set up telescopes, shared stories behind the constellations, and discussed ways these pre-service teachers could use these tales to integrate language and science. They explored other activities appropriate for teaching Earth-Space Systems and learned how A Time for Science could be a field trip destination for their future science students. Students were photographed by the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce and may be included in their annual brochure in the highlight on local STEM activities.
Some of these same students, Tim Maynard, Eddie Enoch and Amanda Myer, returned to volunteer their time at A Time for Science. These students led groups of 3rd graders from Sam Bundy Elementary School as they built straw rockets. They were joined by students from Mrs. Glass’ SCIE 3216, Jenny Hodgin, Alisha Spivey and Kristen Snyder. Thanks to all these students for serving the community in this way. They were great ambassadors for ECU and the Science Education program!

Family Science Night in Local School -A Blast From the Past!

Elementary Science Concentration students within the Informal Science Course this semester designed and implemented a Family Science Night for Eastern Elementary School in Pitt County.  On November 14th, Elementary Science Concentration students held a Family Science Night entitled, A Blast from the Past, in which activities focused on contributions of scientists which have impacted our world.  Examples of stations consisted of Neil Degrasse Tyson, famous astrophysicist, demonstrating discoveries of new planets through exploring a virtual telescope, Alexander Graham Bell, making and using telephones (demonstrating how sound travels), and Issac Newton, second law of motion (F=ma), using tarps to explore how much force is needed to pull students across the gym floor.  Students and parents rotated through 9 stations that evening learning of various scientists and their contributions to science.  It was a very successful night with over 140 participants (students and parents) joining us for a night of science.

Science Education Club Hosts Guest Speakers

The Science Education Club held its second meeting November 4, 2013. Guest Speakers Cheryl Olmsted, Assistant Superintendent of Pitt County Schools, and Seth Brown, Teacher Support Staff of Pitt County Schools, discussed key information about applying for jobs, the interview process, and your first year of teaching. Lots of resources and helpful tips were provided.

The next Science Education Club meeting will be held December 2, 2013 in Flanagan 312 from 7-8pm. We have an awesome lineup of guest speakers to share information, and the Leadership Team will discuss some important things happening within the club.
Please join us and help celebrate the end of the semester. Sweets and treats will be provided in lure of the holiday season.