SENCER

STEM Information Conference Facilitators and Practitioners Registration Information
  1. Goals of STEM symposium
  2. What is SENCER?
  3. What is CCURI?
  4. Who should attend?
  5. Key Outcomes
  6. Key Themes
  7. Symposium Highlights
  8. Download Schedule (PDF)
Plenary speakers and symposium facilitators (confirmed):

SENCER
(Engaging Mathematics) Practitioners (confirmed):

Check back for additional presenters and workshop highlights!

 

 

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What are the goals of the STEM symposium?

Participants will explore how they can connect classroom activities and community involvement that promote:
  • Improved science learning while supporting student engagement in complex community issues, questions, problems and global solutions;
  • Student engagement in challenging and rigorous scientific reasoning, inquiry, observation and measurement;
  • Connections between scientific knowledge and public decision-making, policy development, and the effective global citizenship; and
  • Learning across the curriculum and across levels of education to the broader community and global society.

What is SENCER?

SENCER is a curricular best practice aimed to improve science education by focusing on real world problems and, by so doing, extends the impact of this learning across the curriculum to the broader community and society. SENCER methodology connects STEM content to critical local, national, and global challenges, making science more real, accessible, "useful" and civically important. SENCER is an NSF supported initiative. See: http://www.sencer.net

What is CCURI and The Case Study Method of Teaching Science?

The Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) uses an inquiry and research-based teaching model resulting in the creation of real-world case studies for science teaching and learning.
http://www.ccuri.org/
  • Highly interactive full day workshop
  • Learner outcomes include developing your own road map for writing case studies for your courses
  • Hands-on and participatory approach to using different types of and purposes for case studies in teaching and learning

Who should attend?

This symposium is designed for individuals, or academic teams of two or more representing:
  • College and university faculty
  • College and university articulation partners
  • Concurrent enrollment teachers and mentors
  • Teacher educators and teacher education students
  • Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education partners and consortia members
  • Alternative High School and Charter School teachers and administrators
  • Curriculum specialists, deans of instruction
  • K-12 and higher education administrators
  • Community Based Organizations and other education partners

Key Outcomes

Participants will explore how they can connect classroom activities and community involvement that promote:
  • Improved science learning while supporting student engagement in complex community issues, questions, problems and global solutions;
  • Student engagement in challenging and rigorous scientific reasoning, inquiry, observation and measurement;
  • Connections between scientific knowledge and public decision-making, policy development, and the effective global citizenship; and
  • Learning across the curriculum and across levels of education to the broader community and global society.
  • Best practices in a variety of modalities, including online and hybrid science labs

Key Themes

  • Active learning
  • Civic engagement and service learning
  • Global issues and problem solving
  • Interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches to SENCER (science, social studies, humanities, liberal arts, career and technical education) and the case study method of teaching and learning.
  • Learner outcome assessment
  • Articulation

Symposium Highlights

Program Outline:

  • Introductory plenary sessions with nationally recognized, experienced practitioners, Dr. Theo Koupelis and Professor James Hewlett, introducing the participants to the SENCER models of curriculum /active learning and CCURI/the case study method of teaching and learning.
  • Hands-on workshops with experienced Minnesota SENCER practitioners offer participants opportunities to interact and partner with colleagues to improve STEM education within their institutions and communities.
  • Curriculum development work sessions allowing individuals or participating teams of two or more to apply SENCER and/or case study principles to their educational goals and/or setting.
  • Best practices in STEM teaching session with STEM faculty peers.

National SENCER Practitioners and Facilitators

Theo Koupelis, Ph.D. is Dean of Academic Affairs at Broward College, Florida . He was previously an Associate Dean of Math and Sciences at Edison State College, Florida, and professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon. He has published research on the theoretical modeling of outflows from compact astrophysical objects and he is the author of the introductory astronomy textbook In Quest of the Universe. He is active in science education at many levels; while in Wisconsin, he served as the science adviser for the Birch Trails Girl Scouts (including 10,000 scouts in 10 counties), as organizer of the Science Alliance (which involved his school and area K-12 schools), and as an officer (and twice President) of the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers. He has been involved in the work of a number of committees of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and is a board member of the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education. He has created, supported through grants, and taught a number of interdisciplinary courses. He also gives workshops on service learning and civic engagement (especially as it relates to the sciences) at the national AAPT meetings. He has been actively involved in the work of the SENCER project since its inception.

National CCURI Executive Director and Principal Investigator (Case Study Method Presenter):

Professor James Hewlett serves as the Director of Biotechnology/ Biomanufacturing at FingerLakes Community College. He has an M.S. in Physiology/Marine Science from the University of Connecticut, and participated in a doctoral program in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester, where he researched adenoviral vectors for gene therapy. He is the New York Hub Director of the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative (NBC2), and is on the Editorial Board of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and the Editorial Board of The American Society of Cell Biology's CBE Life Sciences Education journal, as well as on the Advisory Board for Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Bioscience Education and Technology (CBET) and is a member of the Steering Committee for the University of Georgia's RCN-UBE Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences Network (CUREnet). Professor Hewlett's active areas of scientific research include molecular indicators of stress in corals and the use of biomarkers for the early detection of symbiotic breakdown, the employment of non-invasive DNA-based mark and recapture methods in population ecology studies, and the study of macro-level indicators of stress in tropical coral reef ecosystems. The coral reef research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Jackson at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell under the Research Integrating Molecular and Environmental Science Program. The goal of the RIMES program is to markedly increase the number of underrepresented minorities and women investigators in the environmental sciences. Professor Hewlett is the National Coordinator for Community Colleges under the RIMES Program, and also serves as the National Coordinator for Reef Check activities for the island country of Montserrat where RIMES student scholars conduct their environmental research under the mentorship of a team of international scientists.

Minnesota SENCER Practitioners

Dr. John Zobitz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota has a passion to understand his surroundings through numbers, which motivates his study of mathematics. As a professor he is committed to engage and nurture that same passion in his students. Dr. Zobitz uses mathematical modeling, specifically mathematical biology (the application of mathematics to solve biological problems) in teaching and research. Dr. Zobitz will be participating as a Fellow in "Engaging Mathematics," a NSF TUES funded project led by Wm. David Burns of SENCER (NSF ID: 1322883). The Engaging Mathematics project will develop curricula that connects learning in mathematics courses to real and relevant local, regional, national and global issues and thus greatly improve students' retention of the specific mathematics concepts and skills, along with their understanding of the role of mathematical modeling and quantitative literacy in everyday life. Dr. Zobitz will work in partnership with colleagues at two and four year colleges and universities locally and nationally to develop learning experiences across the mathematics curriculum.

Dr. Cindy Kaus, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Minnesota is an advocate of incorporating civic issues in mathematics to reach groups of students typically underrepresented in the STEM disciplines. She serves as the Chair of Department of Mathematics, Metropolitan State University, and as a member of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Advisory Board. Dr. Kaus was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in Seychelles Africa 2014, where she assisted in the development and implementation of a Mathematics Education Major, taught Differential Calculus, and worked on a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning project on mathematics education. She serves as the Co-Principal Investigator; National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology and Mathematics, Level 2, Engaging Mathematics: Creating a National Community of Practice (NSF ID: 1322883), 2014-2017. She was a Visiting Mathematician at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, Washington DC, 2008-2009, serves on the Editorial Board of Science Education and Civic Engagement International Journal, 2009-present, as well as a SENCER Leadership Fellow, 2008-present.

Bonus Features

Engage! Open Dialog: Participants will have an opportunity for an exchange of dialog and Q & A with SENCER practitioners who will respond to questions directly from the audience.

Registration

Registration Fee: $25 Registration includes all conference materials, meals (continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks)

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Certificate of Attendance

A certificate of attendance will be made available at the close of the conference, if desired. Teachers should work through their local continuing education committee for guidance about how this symposium will meet their requirements for professional development activities.

Contact Information

Kelly Downey
Customized Training & Education Administrative Assistant
507-433-0377

Symposium Hosts

Riverland Community College in partnerships with: