New England

Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus, host institution of SCI-New England and SSI 2015

Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus, host institution of SCI-New England and SSI 2015

The New England SENCER Center for Innovation (SCI-NE) includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the eastern Canadian provinces. Previously hosted at Southern Connecticut State University, SCI-NE has recently been moved to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The SCI floats its conference and leadership council meetings among the various New England states. This SCI is a loose affiliation of individuals and institutions, with broad expertise among its members. Our goals include maintaining affiliation to support improved teaching and learning, individual and institutional development, and links with the community. This SCI is strong in three particular interests:

  • Environmental change: Geographical, biomedical, geological, economic, environmental, cultural, and other aspects present challenges to the area. Adaptive responses call for rethinking and retooling many aspects of society, including education, employment, and governance. The result is an increase in capacious issues and capacious responses that benefit from a SENCER approach.
  • Pre-service and in-service teacher education: We embrace science teaching as an active, inquiry-based process to adequately prepare our next generation of teachers. Inter-and multi-disciplinary science education is an important task for an educated citizenry.
  • Health-related issues: Emerging health problems such as obesity, new pathogens (MERCA, etc.), diabetes, etc. require new approaches to teaching and learning among all students.

About the Host Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences, bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Project Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Regional Symposia

Water Innovation in Massachusetts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, September 18, 2017
Water Innovation Workshop
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, October 24, 2016
Worcester Polytechnic Institute Convenes 200 at Water Innovation Workshop

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Convenes 200 at Water Innovation Workshop

On October 24, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) hosted thought leaders from academia, industry, and the government for a day-long workshop focused on issues of water supply abundance, access, and safety. This innovative workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, featured over 200 registrants and was conducted in partnership with SENCER, the New England Water Innovation Network, and the Campus Compact organizations from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Also in attendance were the U.S. Water Partnership, the UMass Water Resources Research Center, and the United States Geological Survey. Karen Kashmanian Oates, co-founder of SENCER and NCSCE, hosted the event and was joined in leading the program by Robert Sanford and Winnie Yu, both co-directors of the New England SENCER Center for Innovation.

Dr. Winston Soboyejo, Dean of Engineering at WPI, provided a powerful opening to the workshop when he delivered his keynote entitled “Water Innovation for Global Development” in which he presented point-of-use water filters for developing countries as a lens to view sustainable solutions for water safety. Experts from the academic, industry, and government sectors then facilitated concurrent panel sessions, which focused on the role of water innovation clusters, the role of academic research and education, and international and domestic commerce opportunities. Breakout sessions, led by innovators from the water sector, addressed market driven needs and solutions for municipal wastewater, storm water, infrastructure and data analysis, drinking water contaminants, industrial water needs across food and energy, and water sustainability management. A lunchtime “fireside chat” featured Watts Water Technologies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and yielded thought-provoking dialogue on water innovation and the role of industry and government with leadership. The role of academia and civically-minded organizations was further explored through an afternoon program facilitated by SENCER on how to engage universities in water innovation. The workshop concluded with a poster session that featured research by 17 undergraduate and graduate students from St. Joseph’s University, Northeastern University, Southern Connecticut State University, UMASS, University of Southern Maine, and WPI, and a networking dinner reception that featured closing remarks and poster awards.
2015 SENCER Summer Institute
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, July 30 - August 3, 2015
The 2015 SENCER Summer Institute was hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute from July 30th – August 3, 2015.Alden Hall WPI

2015 marked the 15th SENCER Summer Institute and the 15th anniversary of SENCER, an occasion which gave us the opportunity to collectively reflect on where SENCER has been and on the direction of SENCER going forward.

The past 15 years of SENCER have yielded important accomplishments toward our goal of expanding civic capacity by applying the science of learning the learning of science. More than 2,500 educators and students from over 500 institutions from 45 states and 9 countries have participated in our annual Summer Institutes and Washington Symposia. Our efforts have resulted in 50 model courses, curricular approaches to improve science learning, 16 backgrounders, syntheses of the issues we use to teach science, and nearly 100 papers in our International Journal. All of this in the service of the many thousands of students, faculty, and communities impacted by the work of the National Center through educators’ participation in these endeavors.

SENCER’s path forward includes several new approaches toward accomplishing our goals. In addition to continuing work on the SENCER-ISE, and Engaging Mathematics initiatives, we are identifying further outgrowths for SENCER programs. We are also identifying new opportunities for participation in SENCER symposia, both at the regional level, through a focus on our regional SENCER Centers for Innovation, and with new national meetings in the coming years to further develop SENCER practitioners.

SENCER SCI-New England Spring 2015 Regional Meeting Southern New Hampshire University, April 18, 2015
The SCI-New England Spring 2015 Regional Meeting was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

We have chosen experiential learning as our broad theme for this meeting. The morning sessions look at the challenges and strategies of teaching science on-line, offering insights into classroom learning as well as projects and field-based activities. Field-based courses highlight the interdisciplinary nature of science, the mentoring relationships that make science approachable for both science and non-science majors, and the links between science and the liberal arts. A STEM contest as described below engages students personally as well as practically–using the campus as a classroom. Community engagement links projects with service, networking, and resource building that can lead to internships as well as career exploration and opportunities. We get a picture of the emerging possibilities for learning and applying science that technology is enabling.

The afternoon sessions highlight experiential learning in a variety of formats: a project-based initiative that is being shared with faculty from a number of colleges, a project linking classes across colleges, and one that links students within colleges and secondary schools. Experiential learning is not a new discovery, rather it is one well suited to science education–education aimed at real-world considerations. Brining science applications to light using an experiential project-based platform has a growing role in our courses across many disciplines.

We invite you to join us as we explore the possibilities.

Registration for this meeting is free, and there is some support available for student-faculty pairs. If you would like more information on this, please contact Tara Mann, SCI-New England Co-Director at tmann@wpi.edu or Frank Catano at f.catano@snhu.edu

Meeting Agenda
8:30-9:15 am, Registration and breakfast, dining center, Miles room

9:15-9:25 am, Welcome to SNHU and this regional gathering from Dr. Patricia Lynott, Provost and Senior VPAA, and Dr. Frank Catano

9:25-9:45 am, Welcome to SENCER and to the New England SCIs by Drs Rob Sanford, Tara Mann, and Winnie Yu

10:00-11:15 am, concurrent sessions, A Frost Hall

11:30 am-12:30 pm, concurrent sessions, B Frost Hall

12:45-1:45 pm, lunch, Dining Center, Miles Room

2:00-3:15 pm, concurrent sessions, C Frost Hall

3:15-3:30 pm, wrap-up, Dining Center, Miles Room

Session titles and presenters

Concurrent Sessions A:
COCE Teaching Science On-line: Strategies and challenges of teaching science on line, Webinar demonstration (Gwen Britton, Jill Nugent, Dr. Richard Schultz)

Field-Based courses: multidisciplinary approach to field studies in Pacific Northwest, “lessons learned” (Dr.’s Joseph Corbin, Frank Catano)

Utilizing field based activities to support student learning and engagement: Presenters will discuss their experiences in organizing, implementing, and assessing student experiential learning throughout the Colleges of the Fenway consortium. (Drs. Lisa Lobel, Ryan Antolick, and Ellen E. Faszewski, Michael Berger, and Henderson Pritchard)

Concurrent Sessions B:
STEM contest: engaging students with on campus activities–STEM activities often succeed when students have a personal reason to be engaged. This presentation will discuss the results of a recent competition in which students were tasked to incorporate STEM ideas into a feasible concept for a future residence hall on the SNHU main campus. (Dr. Megan Sawyer)

Community resources and STEM activities: what’s in your community? This session will feature a panel discussion among educators and community partners discussing projects and partnerships. The session will focus on what projects are developed, how partnerships were formed, and what to do when questions arise. (Tabitha Dunn, Campus Compact and panelists)

SENCER Nuts and Bolts: Sencer aims and objectives (Dr.’s Robert Sanford, Tara Mann, Winnie Yu)

Concurrent Sessions C:
Project-Based Courses: WPI experience (Dr. Art Heinricher)

Rain Garden: “The formation, running, and benefits of experiential learning in collaboration with a third grade class.” (Drs. Joseph Corbin, Allison Cummings, Sheehan; Kelly Hobbs, community engaged learning, Michael Weinstein, student)

4 Weeks of Water: A collaborative project between environmental science classes at New England College, White Mountains Community College and Plymouth State University. Presenters will include both faculty involved in the project and several students from the various colleges

SENCER SCI-New England Fall 2014 Regional Meeting
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, October 18, 2014
SENCER SCI-New England Spring 2014 Regional Meeting: Cyber Security, Privacy, and STEM Education
Southern Connecticut State University, April 5, 2014

The SENCER Center of Innovation – New England will be holding a regional meeting on Saturday, April 5th at Southern Connecticut State University from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Registration is free and can be done here.

Agenda

8:30 – 9:00 am

Registration

9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome Remarks, by Dean Steven Breese
9:15 – 10:15 am First Keynote, by Dr. Craig Wills, Computer Science Department Chairperson, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“Understanding what is Happening regarding Internet Privacy”

Abstract: This talk provides updates on the dissemination of user information to third parties on the Internet as well as what is being done with this information. The underlying concepts of data leakage, linkage and lifetime point to possible directions for better user control of unwanted dissemination.

10:15 – 11:00 am

Second Keynote, by Dr. Terrell Bynum, Professor of Philosophy, Southern CT State University

“Computer Ethics and the SENCER Ideals: How to Connect Students to Important Public Policy Issues”

Abstract: One of the most useful concepts in the field of Computer Ethics is that of a “policy vacuum”, which is a suggestive idea that helps to interest students in important policy issues generated by computing and information technology. This presentation explains how the notion of policy vacuums can quickly help students identify privacy and security issues generated by computer technology. In addition,the presenter will suggest that the concept of a “policy vacuum” can be very effective, as well, in other STEM disciplines to help students identify and explore related public issues.

11:00 – 11:15 am Break
11:15 – 11:45 am

Third Keynote, by Dr. Pablo Garcia Molina, CIO, Southern CT State University

“On DiversITy”

Abstract: Minorities are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math, including privacy and information security. How can we increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, women, and people with disabilities in the profession? What are the moral obligations and practical benefits of doing so? The session will highlight recent cases about the Hispanic Technology Council , the EDUCAUSE diversity initiatives, as well as other mentoring, awareness and education initiatives. To prepare for the session, please read the one-page piece at http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/diversity , and think about what your organization and you can do to contribute to diversity in the profession.

11:45 am – 12:00 pm Morning wrap up, by David Burns, Founder of SENCER
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm

Facilitator: Jim Tait

Integrated Learning within STEM disciplines and beyond

Interdisciplinary STEM course at WPI, Marja Bakermans (Biology & Biotech) & Geoffrey Pfeifer (Philosophy)

Interdisciplinary STEM course at Southern, Jim Tait (Environmental Studies) & Terri Bennett (Mathematics)

2:00 – 3:00 pm

Facilitators: Winnie Yu & Maria Diamantis

Promoting STEM as a K-16 effort involving Community Partners

Center for Excellence in Math & Science at Southern, Maria Diamantis (Mathematics, SCSU)

Campus Compact – sharing experience & connections

Community Colleges – needs to align transfer credits

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Facilitator: Susan Cusato

From Theory to Practice: how to make things work

Creating a SENCER course, Susan Cusato (Science Ed & Environmental Studies, SCSU)

Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG), Jeff Webb (Chemistry, SCSU)

Getting published in a SENCER journal, Jeff Webb (Chemistry, SCSU)

Seeking external grants – what can SCI-NE do for you?

Directions

Driving directions can be found at: http://www.southernct.edu/about/directions.html

The meeting will be held in Engleman Hall B 121.  It is building 11 on the expanded image after you click on the map.  Parking Lot 2 is next to the construction site of the Science Building and has limited capacity.  Parking Garage Building 4 and Lot 12 are also suitable lots.

Read a summary of the meeting.

New England Regional Meeting
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, November 2013
New England Regional Meeting
Wheelock College (MA), October 2012
Are you interested in bringing science education out of the classroom and into the community? Then join us for a SENCER New England Regional Meeting hosted by Wheelock College on Saturday, October 27th, 2012. The meeting will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Activities East Building, 180 The Riverway, Boston.

Agenda for the meeting will include:

  • How service learning and Campus Compact support SENCER collaborations
  • Examples of Faculty/student/community collaborations
  • Student perspectives
  • How to integrate SENCER into your CV and your tenure portfolio

The deadline to register for the meeting is Friday, October 19. The cost is $10 per person, payable in cash or by check at the door. There is no charge for student participation. To register please go to here.

For more information, please email Ellen Faszewski (efaszewski@wheelock.edu) or Michael Berger (michael.berger@simmons.edu). This meeting is co-sponsored by SENCER, New England Campus Compact, Wheelock College, and The Colleges of the Fenway Center for Sustainability and the Environment. 

Regional Meeting
Stonehill College (MA), October 2011
Regional Meeting
Fairfield University (CT), May 2011
SCI-New England Alumni Gathering
Wheelock College (MA), September 2010
The Future We Create: Science Education for a Scientifically Literate Public
Southern Connecticut State University (CT), January 2008
SENCER Summer Institute
University of Southern Maine (ME), August 2007
SENCER New England Meeting
Springfield College (MA), January 2007

Resources

New England Co-Directors

Dr. Rob Sanford, SCI-New England Co-Director

Dr. Rob Sanford
Chair of the Department of Environmental Science
University of Southern Maine
rsanford@usm.maine.edu

karen-oates-resized

Dr. Karen Kashmanian Oates
Dean of Arts & Sciences
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
koates@wpi.edu

Dr. Winnie Yu, SCI-New England Co-Director

Dr. Winnie Yu
Professor, Department of Computer Science
Southern Connecticut State University
yuw1@southernct.edu

Leadership Council

Dr. Vincent Breslin
Southern Connecticut State University

Dr. Ellen Faszewski
Wheelock College

Dr. Brian Hagenbuch
Hartwick College

Dr. Sarah Prescott
University of New Hampshire Manchester

Dr. Bob Keuch
University of Southern Maine

Dr. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh
University of Southern Maine

Dr. Susan Mooney
Stonehill College

Dr. David Morimoto
Lesley University

Dr. Fred Rogers
Franklin Pierce University

Dr. Kraig Steffen
Fairfield University

Dr. Barbara Tewksbury
Hamilton College

Dr. Adrienne Wootters
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts