The MidAtlantic Regional SENCER Center for Innovation (SCI-MA) hosts biannual conferences in area institutions where seasoned SENCER practitioners and newly interested faculty come together to hear nationally renowned teacher-scholars and to share their own ideas and experiences in teaching STEM discipline courses through timely civic questions. SCI-MA programs are open to participants from around the country, but are targeted to participants from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. The Directors, together with Leadership Council members, travel throughout the area visiting campuses to speak about SENCER issues. Topics presented and discussed include the reform of undergraduate STEM education, assessment of teaching and learning, opportunities for community college articulation, efforts to coordinate a Consortium for Assessment of Student Achievement, and informal science education arenas, as well as pre-kindergarten through 12th grade STEM education with programs for pre-service teachers.
About the Host Institution: Rutgers University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education, with more than 50,000 students on campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers has a unique history as a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a state university. The university’s 27 degree-granting units offer majors in more than 100 fields, with thousands of courses covering the full range of human experience. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to turning knowledge into solutions for local, national, and global communities.
FREE CONFERENCE: MidAtlantic SENCER Regional Center for Innovation
2022 Conference– Call for Presentations. (PROPOSAL FORM HERE)
Development of natural landscapes and climate change are impacting how humans and ecosystems are experiencing the water cycle. Some areas receive more water than infrastructure can handle now; other areas are receiving less; and any of these locations might experience increased challenges in maintaining the safety of water for humans and other organisms. This conference is designed for K-16 and informal educators to explore this theme in order to advance their abilities to infuse civic awareness and engagement into their instruction and students’ learning. We welcome presentations from educators at all levels and contexts about the science and societal implications of changes in global and local water cycles as well as issues regarding equitable access to clean water.
For K-12 Teachers, Next Generation Science Standards that may be addressed in the conference include:
Cross Cutting Concepts – Systems and Systems Models, Stability and Change, Cause and Effect, Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Ideas – Water (ESS2c), Climate (ESS2d), Human Impacts (ESS3), possibly others
For College Instructors and Informal Educators: Topics from the sciences as well as other disciplines are likely to be included in the conference.
We are currently accepting abstract submissions focusing on the theme of this conference for Interactive Workshops, Lightning talks, and possibly other formats suggested in presentation proposals. The virtual conference will be held on Saturday, January 15th from 11 am to 3:30 pm EST via Zoom. There will be no fee to join the conference.
Suggestions for topics include:
- teaching strategies (e.g. data analyses; use of engineering design practices; modelling; communication of science and issues to other groups);
- civic engagement projects that highlight the intersections between science and society (e.g. engaging community stakeholders; interdisciplinary connections; environmental social justice focused lessons);
- recent developments in related science research;
- interdisciplinary approaches;
- other topics related to the conference Water theme
Workshops: Workshops should be a hands-on, interactive experience for the participants during which the participants will be actively engaged with the material. These can be run by individuals or groups and will be 90 minutes.
Lightning Talks: A short presentation up to 5 minutes and 3 slides that spark conversations and ideas about the topic. Depending on proposals received, lightning talks may be clustered into panel breakout rooms. We invite proposals that include several lightning talks by numerous presenters.
Other: Conference organizers are open to considering different presentation formats for a presentation. When you complete the proposal form, please explain the format you wish to use and time needed (up to a max of 90 mins).
Proposal Submissions: Maximum of 200 words for abstracts. Please note that presentations should be of interest to a diverse audience representing the K-16 educators from multiple disciplines. Deadline is October 29th [google form-insert link; include link for registration with formal registration open in November]. After proposals are submitted, the conference plan will be finalized and presenters notified of their acceptance and schedule by November.
PLEASE FILL OUT THIS GOOGLE FORM TO PROPOSE A PRESENTATION
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION FORM: https://forms.gle/RVJHorjd5CXeP5Ud7
Report on SENCER Programs for K-12 Faculty and Students
MidAtlantic Center for Innovation
The activity with K-12 teachers continues in the MidAtlantic region. Jessica Monaghan (New Brunswick School District) and Kathy Browne (Rider University) launched a program to help K-12 teachers infuse civic engagement into their science curriculum. After an exercise to connect civic issues, SENCER ideals, and the Next Generation Science standards, teachers in grades 6-12 were able to draft problem-based lesson plans during a program offered on March 7 at New Brunswick Middle School. Teachers commented on key takeaways regarding problem-based learning, integrating the 3 dimensions in the NGSS, and other ideas such as, “engineering was always intimidating, but today made it more accessible”. As the district Science Supervisor, Jess will follow up with supporting teachers while they finalize their design and begin to implement. These lessons will be conducted with their students later this spring and teachers will meet again to debrief the first trial delivery of the lessons shortly after. Teachers should be able to analyze student work as part of the iterative design process. Continuing into the 2019-2020 school year, both Kathy & Jessica hope these teachers will turnkey their work and boost more civically engaged science curricula and classrooms.
Teachers in North Hanover School District completed similar work with Kathy focused on civic issues or natural phenomena and invited colleague teachers into their classrooms this spring to observe their lessons and learn about how this strategy can work. Additionally, a team of teachers from Chesterfield School District started similar work in fall 2018 through an introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and lesson evaluation of existing curricular materials for NGSS 3-dimensionality. Each of these districts are working on next steps to move this work forward. From her work with NJ districts, Kathy was invited to lead a short workshop for members of the Burlington County Curriculum Consortium. A group of science supervisors, curriculum administrators, and high school teachers were guided to rapidly practice identifying opportunities in their district’s curriculum to infuse civic engagement with the intent that they bring this approach to their district. Kathy was also recruited to lead a series of workshops for Rider University undergraduate STEM Scholars supported by Noyce scholarships. These students have committed to high school STEM teaching in urban districts after graduation. The workshops provided coaching to identify opportunities to infuse civic engagement in curricula while reviewing the NGSS.
Finally, at the MidAtlantic Regional Center’s spring conference at the New School, Jess, Kathy and Sandra Lavigne (Great Swamp Watershed Association) presented a summary of their K-12 model course proposed to SENCER and co-authored and implemented by Missy Holzer (Chatham High School) and Jeff Hoagland (The Watershed Institute). The course provides example middle and high school science curricula that leverages engineering design in the NGSS to infuse with civic engagement. Jessica Monaghan shared her revised iteration of the middle school lessons which began with the ongoing issues in Flint as the centralized problem, and connected to the Sustainable Development Goals. Additional cross-curricular teaching strategies in K-12 science will be shared at the SENCER Summer Insittute as possible strategies that could be adapted for higher education (STEAM challenges, Scientific Literacy, Women in STEM lessons, etc.)
Students in Action
SCI-MidAtlantic Co-Director Kathy Browne’s students participate in active learning strategies as part of her SENCER Model Course Discovery Science. View the video below to learn how:
Past Regional Symposia
UPCOMING: MidAtlantic SENCER Regional Center for Innovation
Call for abstracts to present at a Virtual Conference, January 16, 2021
NARRATIVE in SCIENCE
As scientists, science educators, and science communicators, we employ narrative in a variety of ways to shape the stories we tell about our work. Narrative can be a powerful way to connect the public to the work that we do. This virtual SENCER conference will focus on the many ways we can use narrative to teach science and engage the public. Please join us to share your ideas, learn form each other and network!
We are currently accepting abstract submissions for Interactive Workshops, Discussions/Panels, and Posters focusing on “Narrative in Science.” The virtual conference will be held January 16, 2021. We anticipate a schedule that runs from about 11 am thru 4 pm EST. Submissions for presentations and registrations will be requested through a communication directly from NSCSE/SENCER once the conference date is finalized. FULL AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION DESCRIPTION HERE
SCI-Mid-Atlantic Spring 2019 Meeting
The SENCER Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting WAS hosted by the New School with the exciting theme of STEM, Humanities and Social Justice. Proposals for posters, workshops, presentations are all welcome, particularly those from non-STEM disciplines and we shall be highlighting some of the exciting work being done at the New School.
Dr. Monica Devanas
Dr. Kathleen M. Browne
Dr. David Ferguson
Dr. Richard Grallo
Dr. Heide Hlawaty
Dr. Trace Jordan
Dr. Ellen Mappen
Dr. Eliza Reilly
Dr. Patricia Wilson