Professor Inouye will be exploring ways of monitoring student achievement through embedded signature assignments (ESAs) in biology. She will organize a strategic effort in the Department of Biological Sciences to collaboratively develop ESAs for key biology courses in order to track student learning throughout a student’s undergraduate career as a biology (STEM) major. These assignments will reflect the extent to which students have acquired ways of ‘thinking and doing’ of scientist. Well-designed ESAs provide valuable information on mastery of science concepts; competencies in critical thinking, information literacy, and collaborative work; competencies in science practices, such as planning and carrying out scientific research; analyzing and interpreting data; computational thinking; engaging in argument from evidence; and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating scientific information; how students apply their coursework to the ‘real world’; and on how science skills develop overtime. They also potentially provide information on student engagement with their science coursework. Data from ESAs are valuable for assessing the impact of the biology curriculum on student learning which can be extended to demonstrate the effectiveness of the institution on delivering a STEM-infused curriculum, consistent with current WASC standards.
This project will support high school students in participating in the Forensic Science Competition. This is designed to encourage students to choose science and technology as a career choice by engaging them in practical problems and problem-solving exercises through the use of forensic science. Professors Inman and Olkin will create a crime situation that can be solved by the analysis of specific types of physical evidence, and invite/encourage students to solve the ‘crime puzzle’ through the scientific analysis and interpretation of those items of evidence. Critical thinking skills will be emphasized through specific questions about the meaning of the evidence in the context of the crime scene scenario. Some of the training and instruction will occur at CSUEB. Students will then present their results to a panel of forensic science judges CSUEB, who will also then ask further questions. This exercise will require the same skills that an expert would use in presenting evidence in court.
Professor Lewis’ project will first develop and secondly promote a GIS system that maps and tracks K-12 STEM activity across the Bay Area, using Ushahidi, a crowd source platform that would allow users to enter upcoming STEM activities for ages K-12 by sending a text message, an email or inputting the activities through the website itself. This system would allow parents and students to see upcoming and local STEM events and allow the researchers to better understand the geographic distribution of such events. By using crowd sourcing the information is dynamic from the community and does not rely on an administrator to research and update the data.
Secondly, Art or Multi Media student intern(s) will create a digital brand and social media campaign for the promotion of the GIS system. Interns will assist with the user testing of the GIS system, using that to then shape and promote the GIS system to parents, students, Out of school Time providers as well as individual STEM teachers throughout the Bay Area. Full development of the system should be completed and tested by the end of May 2013. Student intern(s) will follow development efforts and complete work by early summer 2013 so as to promote summer STEM activities to Bay Area youth.
Professor Li will develop a GIS system to actively monitor the implementation of STEM learning opportunities in after school sites across 11 area counties incorporating STEM into their programs. The after-school and school district data from http://www.afterschoolnetwork.org/afterschool-programs-database and http://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/ will be used, as well as afterschool program plans submitted to regional lead teams in county offices of education and to the State of California. This project will review the submissions by schools for Alameda and Contra Costa for patterns that demonstrate school sites that already have STEM in their OST, visually disaggregated by school attendance areas.. In addition, family income information will be collected and compared with STEM in OST site locations. The results of this data collection and analysis of STEM in Out-of-School Time programs will inform both fundraising by supporting the case for private investment as well as presentations to policy makers, and will also be available to faculty, business, community and school partners interested in improving STEM learning opportunities for students in out of school time settings.
MSTI and FMSTSP
Department of Teacher Education
Department of Mathematics