Short Presentations

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Short Presentations

This session format is designed for presentations that enhance understanding of key concepts, or project activities that feature effective ideas and approaches. Presentations are 20 minutes followed by 20 minutes of Q&A. The schedule below is tentative, changes may occur before it is finalized.

Use the conference topic icons to quickly identify relevant sessions!

Evolution in Action Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics
Other Structure and Function

Tentative Short Presentation Schedule

Friday Short Presentations

 

Ballroom 1 Ballroom 2 Ballroom 3  ENG 301
9:45 AM   BioCore Guide: A tool for interpreting the core concepts of Vision and Change ~ Brownell   Designing curricula that align with NGSS: A high school unit on evolution ~ Guy   Student Initiated Experiments on the Earth’s Ecological O2 and CO2 Cycles: Closed Ecological Systems~ Taub   Web-based authentic scientific inquiries in lower-division biology courses using BearCam ~ Wu
10:20 AM   Developing a research intensive curriculum: Challenges and Solutions ~ Griffith   Anoles Virtual Evolution Lab ~ Bonetta  Mutualism in action – a guided inquiry activity using plant-rhizobia symbiosis in the classroom ~ Suwa  Effecting change through applied conservation biology ~ Margulis
 1:30 PM   1-hr Workshop   1-hr Workshop   2-hr Workshop
2:35 PM   Writing to learn science:  Short, in-class exercises that promote metacognition and improve scientific reasoning ~ Reynolds   Immersing Students in Systems Biology Research~ McClatchy    Using the National Climate Assessment to Effectively Teach About Climate Change ~ Berbeco   2-hr Workshop
3:10 PM   Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE): Transforming Life Sciences Education~ Desy  The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch ~ Blumenrath  Long-term Ecological Monitoring Projects Develop Science Process, Analysis and Writing Skills in all Students ~ Worcester  2-hr Workshop

 

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Saturday Short Presentations

 

Room 1 Room 2 Room 3 Room 4
9:45 AM   What is a “Large” Lecture? ~ Firestone   Curriculum Interplay: What Putting Genetics Courses First Can Show Us About How Students Understand Evolution ~ Weigel Research as Teaching: Implementation of Undergraduate Research at Community College ~ Bock   Teaching science-based inquiry though a long-term plant and animal phenology observation program ~ Posthumus
10:20 AM  
Facilitating Student/Scientist Partnerships in Secondary Education~ Adams 
From Research to Action – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education ~ Rundell   Evolving better cars: teaching evolution by natural selection using BoxCar2D ~ Schultheis

 

 Perceptions of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the Education Community ~ Kalman
11:00 AM   From Sun to Cell:  Storyboarding the Journey of Photons to Teach the Concept of Energy Flow ~ Corney   Do you see what they see?~ Clark Developing a research based class for second year students ~ Schlupp   Witnessing Phenotypic & Molecular Evolution First-hand: A Middle School-College Laboratory Exercise ~ Noor
11:35 AM Science Forward Video Series ~ O’Donnell    Introducing digital microscopy and e-notebooks into an introductory biology course: a case study ~ Davis   Project WISE: A Field-Based High School Environmental Science Class Anticipates Trends in Education ~ Taroc   Assessing student understanding of matter and energy transformation: Lexical analysis of student writing ~ Prevost
 1:30 PM   1-hr Workshop   1-hr Workshop  Select a 2-hr Workshop  Select a 2-hr Workshop
2:35 PM   Sharing and Publishing Your Teaching Ideas ~ Mourad

 

 Select a 2-hr Workshop  Select a 2-hr Workshop
3:10 PM  

Networking Session

 

 Select a 2-hr Workshop  Select a 2-hr Workshop

 

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Short Presentation Descriptions

 

Friday October 3, 2014 9:45am – 10:15 am


BioCore Guide: A tool for interpreting the core concepts of Vision and Change

Friday, October 3, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Sara Brownell, Arizona State University;

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Other Type: Department-level assessment

Topic:  Evolution in Action, Structure and Function

Other Topic: Information Flow, Transformations of Energy and Matter, Systems

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Other Audience: Department-level (4 yr biology degree)

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution, Information flow, exchange, and storage, Pathways and transformations of energy and matter, Structure and Function, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

This session presents a newly developed tool, the “BioCore Guide”, that departments and faculty can use to better align departmental and course learning goals with the core concepts of Vision and Change.  The tool is centered on three major sub-disciplines of biology: molecular/cellular biology, physiology, and ecology/evolution.  Data will be provided on the national validation of the tool.  We have incorporated the feedback of over 240 faculty members to create a set of general principles and specific statements that elaborate on each of the five concepts and indicate what a general biology major ought to know upon graduating. Participants will be able to use the tool in combination with the Partnership For Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) rubrics to assess the status of their own departments and/or courses.


 

Designing curricula that align with NGSS: A high school unit on evolution

Friday, October 3, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Candice Guy, UC Davis, Chris Griesemer, UC Davis; Cynthia Passmore, UC Davis; Julia Gouvea, UC Davis; Jennifer Horton, Lincoln High School; Elizabeth Coleman, C.K. McClatchy High School; Ari Jamshidi, UC Davis. 

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Evolution, Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking

The purpose of this presentation is to present a vision of what it means to align curricula to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) illustrated through a concrete example of a unit on high school evolution. The format of this presentation will be interactive with opportunities for participants to discuss and provide feedback on the curriculum materials and online resources we are designing. The materials come from an ongoing NSF-funded design-research project called MBER-bio (“Model-based Education Resource” Biology) conducted at UC Davis and partner schools in the Sacramento area. The outcome of this three-year project will be a yearlong fully aligned high school biology curriculum available through an online platform that will provide the pedagogical resources and supports needed to enact the curriculum.  In this presentation we will share insights and materials developed in the first year of the project. We will first present an overview of our design process and framework, which conceptualizes an NGSS aligned curriculum as interwoven threads that together build up students’ understanding of core disciplinary ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and scientific practices. We will then provide participants with curriculum materials from an evolution unit and demonstrate how these materials achieve alignment with the vision put forward by the new NGSS. 


Student Initiated Experiments on the Earth’s Ecological O2 and CO2 Cycles: Closed Ecological Systems

Friday, October 3, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Frieda Taub, University of Washington; Anna K. McLaskey, University of Washington; Christina H. Tran, University of Washington.

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Pathways and transformations of energy and matter, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Understand the relationship between Science and Society, Use modeling and simulation, Use quantitative reasoning

This exercise involves Vision and Change’s Core Concept (4)  Pathways and Transformations of Energy and Matter (the conversion of inorganic nutrients to algal biomass, and the subsequent conversion of some of that to grazers)  and (5) Systems (ecosystem dynamics involving predator-prey cycles, and overpopulation and subsequent starvation, until an approach to  an apparent steady state). These Closed Ecological Systems, usually 250 ml per ecosystem, and usually involving 24 units (4 treatments, each with 6 replicates) has been successfully used by undergraduate students in independent research projects for several years with a high degree of success.  The results are “eye-ball obvious.”  The Daphnia are large enough to be counted as small, medium, or large, so students can see population structure, and the algae are dense enough to estimate population size by the degree of greenness.   We propose to adapt it to a class activity with multiple teams, with different teams testing different impacts.  Students will be able to test the effects of pollution, warming, or other effects of their choice.  The use of replicates demonstrates biological variability and can be used with informal or formal statistical analysis, depending on the sophistication of the class.  With a pH indicator, students can be introduced to light-dark changes in CO2 (pink during the light and clear during the dark).  Because the systems are closed, the students can consider these bottles as an analog to the earth’s atmospheric regulation by photosynthesis and respiration of green plants, animals, and microbes.


 

Web-based authentic scientific inquiries in lower-division biology courses using BearCam

Friday, October 3, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   X. Ben Wu, Texas A&M University; Stephanie Knight, Pennsylvania State University; Janie Schielack, Texas A&M University; Aubree Webb, Pennsylvania State University; Melisa Ziegler, Pennsylvania State University.

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning, Hands On/Minds Engaged, Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Other Topic: animal behavior, spatial interactions

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Use quantitative reasoning

The purpose of this presentation is to share the design, implementations, and research of the pedagogy and assessment of web-based authentic scientific inquiries using BearCam since 2006 and explore effective ways to enhance the pedagogy and facilitate adaptations in diverse institutions. Participants will be able to (1) describe and critique the pedagogy of web-based authentic scientific inquiries using BearCam,(2) evaluate the assessments associated with BearCam inquiries (rubric, Calibrated Peer Review, pre- and post-tests, and student survey), and (3) design adaptation of BearCam inquiries for their own courses. BearCam was implemented in large-enrollment introductory ecology classes since 2006.  Students conduct individual research projects over a 4-week period with on-going peer feedback through online group discussions.  They conduct background study of grizzly bear biology and behavior, observe BearCam photos and generate testable hypothesis, design sampling and collect and analyze data, interpret results and develop a report guided by a rubric, conduct Calibrated Peer Review, and revise their reports based on peer feedback and self-evaluation.  Both formative and summative assessments were used to facilitate and assess student learning, using direct and indirect measures with pre/post-tests, surveys, and evaluation of reports based on a rubric.

 

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Friday October 3, 2014 10:20am – 10:50am


 

Developing a research intensive curriculum: Challenges and Solutions

Friday, October 3, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Alan Griffith, University of Mary Washington;

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Use quantitative reasoning

This session presents the implementation of a major curriculum change in which all students will practice authentic research.  This research-intensive curriculum will expose all students to the range of challenges posed by scientific inquiry and will better equip students to function as citizens and scientists. Students will first take a course describing the scientific process from question through data analysis.  Students will then take a research-intensive course in which they propose research, manage the logistics of their own studies, collect and analyze data, and present their work in a report.  Open-ended inquiry goes a step beyond bounded-inquiry work, which limits students’ decisions about study systems and methods.  The department’s curriculum change is a case study showing challenges to inquiry-based learning (e.g., traditional, content driven courses), strategies for change (e.g. dedicated core of faculty teaching model courses), and the social context for teaching change (e.g. faculty development workshop serving half the department’s faculty).  In addition, the session will highlight strategies, consistent with the literature, that are likely to overcome significant challenges to curricular changes.   Relevant literature and an illustrated guide to curricular changes will be presented.  This session will share the  faculty development workshop program, detailed course syllabi, and comments from colleagues regarding the development of this curriculum.


 

Anoles Virtual Evolution Lab

Friday, October 3, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Laura Bonetta, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Evolution, Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity, Ecosystems — Natural Selection

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Using mathematics and computational thinking

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Use quantitative reasoning

The Lizards Evolution Virtual Lab aims to introduce students to the science and techniques used to study the physical features of organisms and how certain features can change over time due to natural selection. Students will use statistical methods to describe and analyze collected data. In addition, they will practice methods for determining evolutionary relationships among species using DNA sequences. In the process, students will learn concepts related to adaptation, convergent evolution, reproductive isolation, phylogeny, and speciation. The more than 700 islands of the Caribbean are home to about 150 species of anoles, a closely related group of lizards (genus Anolis) that occupy diverse habitats and niches, and vary greatly in size and other obvious physical features, such as leg and tail length. Species of Caribbean anoles can be categorized into different groups, or ecomorphs, according to their morphology and the ecological niches they occupy. In this interactive lab, students take measurements of lizards’ physical characteristics using photographs of x-rays and toe pads to identify different ecomorphs. They then explore the impact of natural selection on particular characteristics, such as limb length. In a separate module students analyze the DNA of different lizard species to determine their evolutionary relationships. They will discover that lizards living on the same islands tend to be more closely related to one another than lizards with similar body types on different islands – evidence of convergent evolution. Finally, students will explore how changes in the colorful flaps of skin under lizards’ throats, or dewlaps, keep different species of lizards reproductively isolated. The lab is highly interactive and includes animations, short videos, instructions for performing statistical tests, as well as several quizzes, all built into the lab interface.

 

Mutualism in action – a guided inquiry activity using plant-rhizobia symbiosis in the classroom

Friday, October 3, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Tomomi Suwa, Michigan State University;

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Structures and Processes — Growth and Development of Organisms, Structures and Processes — Organization of Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Use quantitative reasoning

Performing inquiry-based activities in the classroom can be challenging. Here we present a guided-inquiry biology lesson using the plant-microbe symbiosis as a model system. This activity focuses on mutualisms between leguminous plants, such as soybeans and clover, and a kind of soil bacteria, called rhizobia. Rhizobia convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonium (NH3), making it available to their host plants. In return, plants can provide photosynthetic carbon (sugar) to rhizobia. We think plant and rhizobia are an excellent model system to use in high school and undergraduate classrooms because legumes are relatively easy to grow, seeds and rhizobia are inexpensive, and most importantly, students can ask and address a wide range of scientific questions. Through this classroom experiment, students engage in hands-on inquiry learning by going through the entire process of science and with their understanding of concepts such as nitrogen-fixation, photosynthesis, species interactions (mutualism, commensalism and parasitism) and how species interactions can be altered by environmental factors. In this presentation, we will present the basic procedures on how to use plant-rhizobia system in the classroom. We will also present an example of a successful classroom experiment which can easily be modified to test a variety of interesting hypotheses in biology.  Learning objectives this activity will address include 1) The student is able to design a plan for collecting data to show that all biological systems are affected by complex biotic and abiotic interactions. 2) The student is able to analyze data to identify possible patterns and relationships between ad biotic or abiotic factor and a biological system and 3) The student is able to apply mathematical routines to quantities that describe interactions among living systems and their environment, which result in the movement of matter and energy.


 

Effecting change through applied conservation biology

Friday, October 3, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Sue Margulis, Canisius College;

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Understand the relationship between Science and Society

Whether it is animal behavior, primatology, or conservation biology, science is in the news all the time. All students, whether they ultimately pursue careers in science or not, need to be informed about issues and need to be able to interpret what they read and recognize that their actions can make a difference. My goal in incorporating “conservation biology in the news” into  an upper-level conservation biology course is to demonstrate that individual actions have consequences, and each student can bring about positive environmental change.  I have incorporated “conservation in the news” in two ways. First, students are asked to find an article from the popular press, not a scientific journal, and write a short paper. In the paper, they focus on what the science behind the issue is, who the stakeholders are that have a vested interest in the issue, and whether the science appears to be portrayed in an accurate manner. Later in the semester, students work in groups to develop a poster on a conservation issue. The goal of the exercise is for the students to convey to the campus community what the issue is, why they should care, and what they can do to make a difference. Topics are discussed as a class. Students are encouraged to be creative in their posters, and to be sure to include, as a take-home message “What you can do” to make a difference. Topics have ranged from calling the governor to protest hydro-fracking, to taking a “locavore” approach to shopping. The poster session has proven to be very effective, and has had an impact on campus practices and (hopefully) on the daily lives of the students.

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Friday October 3, 2014 2:35pm – 3:05pm


 

Writing to learn science:  Short, in-class exercises that promote metacognition and improve scientific reasoning

Friday, October 3, 2014;  2:35pm – 3:05pm;   Julie Reynolds, Duke University

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Other Topic: scientific reasoning

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Understand the relationship between Science and Society

Despite substantial evidence that writing can be an effective tool to promote student learning and engagement, writing-to-learn practices are still not widely implemented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, particularly at research universities. Two major deterrents to progress are the lack of a community of science faculty committed to undertaking and applying the necessary pedagogical research, and the absence of a conceptual framework to systematically guide study designs and integrate findings. But a third barrier is lack of time and expertise by instructors teaching STEM courses.  In this session, I will model a writing workshop in which faculty teach students to use rubrics to analyze writing samples.  These in-class exercises not only makes clear what the implicit assumptions are that we have about “good writing”, but they also teach students to critically analyze their classmates’ writing and, ultimately, their own.


 

Immersing Students in Systems Biology Research

Friday, October 3, 2014;  2:35pm – 3:05pm;   Sue McClatchy, The Jackson Laboratory

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Other Audience: Graduate

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution, Information flow, exchange, and storage, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Use modeling and simulation, Use quantitative reasoning

This session presents Independent Studies in Computational Biology, a research course for talented youth, as a model for integrating research experiences into the academic year. Participants will learn to: 1. engage students in reading primary scientific literature through journal club 2. develop students’ scientific communication skills through grant proposal writing and oral presentation 3. immerse students in authentic research using publicly available data. Students directly apply the scientific process and develop quantitative reasoning skills as they conduct team research of their own devising. Biology is presented as the data-intensive science that it has become, and students develop an understanding of biology as a highly interdisciplinary science. Students learn computer science and statistics through the R programming language, and use this language as a tool to carry out their projects. Independent Studies in Computational Biology has engaged more than 80 science and math magnet school students in research since 2006. While we teach to high school students, the course is aimed at the graduate level and the methods that we use to train our students in the scientific process can be implemented at the undergraduate level. Furthermore, computational biology research requires only a computer, internet connection and data and is thus inexpensive to implement.

 


 

Using the National Climate Assessment to Effectively Teach About Climate Change

Friday, October 3, 2014;  2:35pm – 3:05pm;   Minda Berbeco, National Center for Science Education

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems, Ecosystems — Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience, Ecosystems — Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, Ecosystems — Biodiversity and Humans

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

With the recent release of the National Climate Assessment (NCA), educators have a new opportunity to demonstrate the current and future regional impacts of climate change.  In this session, we will go over the findings of the NCA education affiliate group, using figures and materials developed by the affiliate group for using the NCA in the classroom.  The affiliate group, made up of key educators from across the country in climate and energy literacy, has been working for the past year to develop outreach materials for educators and educational materials for classroom use.  We will connect these materials to scientist- and educator- vetted materials available from the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN; cleanet.org).  All materials and activities will be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, addressing both climate change from the Earth Sciences section and human impacts on natural systems from the Life Sciences section.  Through the use of the NCA, educators will be able to address current climate change impacts with their students on a localized scale.

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Friday October 3, 2014 3:10pm – 3:40pm


 

Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE): Transforming Life Sciences Education

Friday, October 3, 2014;  3:10pm – 3:40pm;   Betsy Desy, Southwest Minnesota State University

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Other Topic: presentation includes all life sciences content areas

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Other: Departments

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the NSF, makes a compelling argument for fundamental changes in life sciences education.  In 2012, a year after V&C’s national debut, the NSF, National Institutes of Health/NIGMS, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) embarked on a unique collaborative effort to stimulate change by selecting forty PULSE Fellows who represent a full range of post-secondary institutional types.  The PULSE fellows were charged with leading  “a national conversation to develop effective strategies for the sustained implementation of the Vision and Change recommendations”.   This presentation will highlight PULSE Fellow efforts to increase awareness of Vision and Change such as  providing  post-secondary institutions with tools for self-evaluation,  promoting departmental change via V&C  Ambassadors’ visits, and developing partnerships with professional societies in mutual support of efforts to effect transformational change in life sciences education.


The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch

Friday, October 3, 2014;  3:10pm – 3:40pm;   Sandra Blumenrath, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Natural Selection

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Engaging in argument from evidence, Using mathematics and computational thinking

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Use quantitative reasoning

The short film “The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch” (http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/origin-species-beak-finch) and its accompanying resources introduce students to the pioneering studies of Princeton University evolutionary biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant. Over the past four decades, the Grants have documented the evolution of the Galapagos finches by monitoring changes in physical traits, like beak size, that are directly related to survival. They also identified behavioral characteristics that prevent different species from breeding with one another. Their studies have revealed clues as to how a single ancestral population that migrated from the mainland 2 million to 3 million years ago could give rise to 13 distinct finch species.The film describes ongoing research that aims at understanding the selective forces that drive the evolution of new species. Students will witness how scientists ask questions related to evolution, conduct field research to address these questions, and analyze and interpret their data. The accompanying classroom resources are designed to reinforce the students’ understanding of key evolutionary concepts related to adaptation, natural selection, fitness, reproductive isolation, and speciation. In addition, students can develop and practice their quantitative skills by using statistical methods to describe and analyze original data provided by the Grants. All activities are tailored to train students to draw conclusions about the effects of natural selection on morphological traits based on measurements of currently living species.This workshop will also showcase an engaging interactive activity that tests students’ ability to distinguish between two bird species based on how they sound and look.

Long-term Ecological Monitoring Projects Develop Science Process, Analysis and Writing Skills in all Students

Friday, October 3, 2014;  3:10pm – 3:40pm;  Suzanne Worcester, California State University Monterey Bay

Topic: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Other Topic: Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies: Apply the process of Science; Understand; the relationship between Science and Society; Use quantitative reasoning

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate how to use long-term ecological monitoring projects to engage students and increase their learning. The outcome is that participants will have ideas and tools for how to implement similar projects at their campuses. I’ll provide examples from both lower and upper division courses where ecological monitoring has lead to greater scientific inquiry, data analysis, and scientific writing skills. Each experience takes 2-4 weeks of lab time to complete. Each lab section generates a group data set that can be analyzed as is, or can be compared with previous years or other sites. This flexibility allows students to challenge themselves at the level at which they are ready, based on their knowledge and skills. Upper division students also learn how to compile and implement quality control on the class data sets. I will demonstrate how I have managed these projects using a Course Management System and Google Drive. An essential component for student learning is to include expectations and provide examples at each stage of the process. This high impact practice is applicable to many different ecosystems. I have implemented it in dune, chaparral, grassland, and rocky intertidal ecosystems. Most of these monitoring projects were developed in collaboration with local resource managers. Since nearly all science majors at CSUMB take introductory biology, the vast majority of science students complete at least one field monitoring experience by the time they graduate. I’ll provide evidence that students find these experiences to be effective. I will include time within this session for discussion of these techniques as well as others that participants use to engage students effectively using ecological research projects.

 

 

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Saturday October 4, 2014 9:45am – 10:15 am


 

What is a “large” lecture?

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Sarah Firestone, University of Maryland

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Other Topic: Introductory Biology

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Information flow, exchange, and storage

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Use quantitative reasoning

Given the necessity of large lecture courses for introductory biology, it is crucial to determine ways to engage the students and narrow the achievement gap in these courses.  A variety of studies have tested ways to improve large lectures.  We reviewed these studies to determine whether particular strategies were supported by multiple studies.  We found that a wide variety of classes are defined as a “large lecture”, ranging in size from 72 students to approximately 525 students.  In addition, several studies failed to describe the number of students in their course.  Since teaching strategies successful with 72 students will not necessarily be successful or even feasible in a class of 525 students, researchers need to test new teaching methods in a variety of classes to determine how scalable they are.  We did find studies on active learning for a variety of class sizes, and will discuss the scalability of various active learning strategies in large lectures.


Curriculum Interplay: What Putting Genetics Courses First Can Show Us About How Students Understand Evolution

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Emily Weigel, Michigan State University/BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution, Information flow, exchange, and storage

Competencies:  Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Use quantitative reasoning

Evolutionary processes, while integral to all of biology, are often misunderstood. Unfortunately, the evolution misconceptions that undergraduate biology students hold are often variable, deeply rooted in student thinking, and frequently stem from students’ first encounters with evolutionary terms. Because such misconceptions can fundamentally impact a student’s understanding of evolution, it is important to understand what information (and misinformation) students obtain from courses prior to Evolution. This is particularly important with respect to Genetics classrooms, as Genetics courses are often a prerequisite and because the basic genetics concepts that underlie Evolution are first introduced within the Genetics classroom.This study (1) quantified the extent to which students who have taken Genetics retain and apply information to concepts in Evolution; (2) evaluated why specific fundamental concepts (if any) show differences between these courses; and (3) compared results from these courses for performance related to key genetics concepts as they relate to evolution. A 16-question assessment was created from the Genetics Assessment literature (GLAI, GeDI and the Genetics Assessment For Core Understanding) and course textbooks (Mastering Genetics and Mastering Biology). Questions are multiple choice, agree/disagree, and fill-in-the-blank formats, span all Bloom levels, and cover fundamental areas linked to documented misconceptions. This assessment was administered at three timepoints: at the end of Genetics (to establish a knowledge baseline), beginning of Evolution (to determine what information has been lost since taking Genetics,) and end of Evolution (to determine with what information students leave the course sequence). Overall and individual item performance were compared. These results show that undergraduate students harbor a number of deep misconceptions, of  which only a portion may be corrected by taking Evolution. This research provides possible advantages of a Genetics-to-Evolution course sequence and a better understanding of how timing may influence the integration of material across areas of Biology.


 

Research as Teaching: Implementation of Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;  Heather Bock, Finger Lakes Community College;

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Understand the relationship between Science and Society, Use modeling and simulation, Use quantitative reasoning

The Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) is a NSF TUES Type-III grant focused on the development and implementation of undergraduate research (UR) at community colleges across the United States. The CCURI network consists of 31 partner colleges in 20 states that are in the process of incorporating the CCURI model of UR into STEM courses. The model uses case studies to “hook” students on UR projects during their freshman year. Students are then given opportunities to explore the projects further during subsequent semesters. By engaging students in UR from the moment they enter the classroom the CCURI model promotes deep learning and motivates students to continue their education and career in STEM fields. In the 2012-2013 academic year CCURI partners provided UR experiences to 2,498 students, 25% of which represented minority groups. This presentation will focus on ways in which CCURI partner institutions have implemented UR projects in courses and how UR experiences at community colleges impact student success.


Teaching science-based inquiry though a long-term plant and animal phenology observation program

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  9:45am – 10:15am;   Erin Posthumus, USA National Phenology Network; LoriAnne Barnett, USA National Phenology Network.

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning, Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division, Undergraduate: Upper Division

Other Audience: Adult

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems — Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems, Ecosystems — Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, Ecosystems — Social Interactions and Group Behavior, Evolution, Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Biodiversity and Humans, Eco

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with other disciplines, Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science, Understand the relationship between Science and Society, Use modeling and simulation, Use quantitative reasoning

Phenology provides a lens to teach inquiry, observation, the scientific method, visualizing data, and communicating results. The USA National Phenology Network’s (USA-NPN) Nature’s Notebook program (www.nn.usanpn.org) is a long-term plant and animal phenology observation program with phenology curriculum and outreach materials for educators in formal, non-formal, and informal settings (www.usanpn.org/education). Participating in Nature’s Notebook (NN) addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for middle and high school. NN offers place-based, hands-on learning opportunities, provides a collaborative platform for educators, promotes cross-subject engagement while addressing standards of learning, and can be used to identify and answer local scientific research questions.  Additionally students and teachers are contributing to a national citizen science research initiative. The National Phenology Database provides a rich data set to explore, for use in teaching basic statistical analyses, graphing and mapping techniques in excel and GIS, and information to compare and contrast what is happening nationwide. In this introductory session we will provide information on how to implement a long-term phenology monitoring program at your school, using NN. We will share our curriculum packages and lesson plans for middle, high school and undergraduate audiences, including pre- and post- activity assessment and reflection.  We will also discuss the time required to implement the program, concurrent activities and field exercises, how students can summarize and relay the information they have collected to others, and how to create local partnerships with community organizations around the topic of phenology.

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Saturday October 4, 2014 10:20am – 10:50am

Facilitating Student/Scientist Partnerships in Secondary Education

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  10:20pm – 10:50pm;   Catrina Adams, Botanical Society of America, Susan Flowers, Washington University

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics, Evolution in Action, Structure and Function

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking

This session will share ideas on improving partnerships between students and scientists. How do we find and train scientists to work with secondary students? How can we construct projects that are meaningful and true reflections of science practice? How can partnership programs help students feel a part of the scientific community? Susan Flowers runs the SIFT and TERF programs,  field-biology training and internship programs for secondary students where students work closely with local scientists on active research projects in the St. Louis, MO area. Catrina Adams runs the PlantingScience program, an online mentoring program matching teams of secondary and post-secondary students in the classroom with scientist mentors around the world to work on student-generated plant biology-themed projects.

From Research to Action – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  10:20pm – 10:50pm; Susan Rundell Singer, National Science Foundation

Special Session by Keynote Speaker Susan Singer on NSF funding opportunities

Intended Audience: Undergraduate

From news items on the disruptive force of MOOCs to White House Datajams and Datapaloozas to expert-informed national reports, we are collectively being challenged to rethink and improve the college learning experience. The NRC’s Discipline-based Education Research report baselines the state of research on learning and understanding in science and engineering and the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development pushes towards coherence and impact ingrowing the evidence base. Yet the gap between research and implementation remains a challenge, despite the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology push with the Engage to Excel recommendations. Strategies to move the needle on undergraduate education will be explored in the context of efforts and investments at the NSF and the federal government more broadly. Investments to integrate, describe, and measure evidence-based teaching practices, the Federal STEM Education 5-year Strategic Plan, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education,Transforming Undergraduate Engineering Education, and a number of recent and forthcoming resources are all pushing on institutional change around teaching practice. Preparing a globally competitive workforce, including future teachers, and a scientifically literate populace,depends on our collective success in furthering a robust research and implementation infrastructure.


Evolving better cars: teaching evolution by natural selection using BoxCar2D

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Elizabeth Schultheis, Michigan State University; Anne Royer, Michigan State University

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems — Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience, Evolution, Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Natural Selection

Competencies:  Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Using mathematics and computational thinking

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education


Perceptions of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in the Education Community

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  10:20am – 10:50am;   Kevin Kalman, San Jose State University;

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Other Audience: K-8

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have recently been adopted by many states. Educators will begin implementing these new education standards in the near future. Knowing how aware and perceptive science educators are to these new standards can help in their successful application. A survey was conducted on educators for grades kindergarten through college to gauge their understanding and perception of the NGSS.


Saturday October 4, 2014 11:00am – 11:30am


From Sun to Cell:  Storyboarding the Journey of Photons to Teach the Concept of Energy Flow

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:00am – 11:305am;   Jeffrey Corney, University of Minnesota

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems — Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Competencies:  Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models

Scientific concepts that involve components that we cannot see and at scales that we cannot readily comprehend, such as the flow and transfer of energy through earth’s systems, require teaching techniques that optimize understanding of the “invisible” and complex.  There are two key teaching techniques that by themselves vastly improve understanding of complex science, and combined can prove to be a powerful teaching tool.  First, conveying a scientific process as a story, complete with “characters” (e.g. photons) and a “plot” (e.g. journey from sun to cell) essentially scaffolds a lesson, providing spatial and temporal references and easier to comprehend analogies and metaphors for students to build knowledge upon.  Likewise, visual references are one of the most effective teaching tools for conveying complex information.  There are vast visual resources available through the Web, most of which are free to download and use for educational purposes.  Further, standard presentation software, such as MS Powerpoint, allow educators to construct custom visual and even animated teaching aids.  If composed carefully these presentations can serve as storyboards, illustrating phenomena that ordinarily cannot be seen, conveying both spatial and temporal scale while telling a story about a natural process.  A lesson on flow of energy will be used to demonstrate this relatively easy to construct storyboarding teaching tool.  This lesson will focus on the flow and transfer of energy through earth’s systems:  starting as photons emitted from the Sun, intercepted by Earth, absorbed by plants, transformed through photosynthesis, transferred through the trophic levels, and ultimately returned to space.  Each step of this journey of photons has been illustrated using readily accessible graphics from a variety of websites then custom composed into storyboards using powerpoint and simple text and illustrating elements, then annotated with measures of energy derived from real-world observations and experiments.

 

Do you see what they see?

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:00am – 11:30am;   Jim Clark, Arroyo High School; Samantha Johnson,  Arroyo High School

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Evolution in Action, Structure and Function

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems — Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, Ecosystems — Social Interactions and Group Behavior, Heredity, Heredity — Inheritance of Traits

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations

With the arrival of NGSS, students will be asked to demonstrate, using models as well as persuasive and argumentative writing, a coherent understanding of scientific concepts. They will be asked to engage in “sense making” of new concepts and to put that knowledge to use in novel ways to solve real world problems. In order to plan meaningful and engaging lessons, teachers need to understand exactly what their students think about a specific concept. Too often teachers don’t realize their students do not understand something until they are grading tests.  This session will focus on specific techniques and strategies that will allow teachers to make their students thinking visible. When student thinking becomes visible teachers can adjust lessons, create activities designed around student transfer and engage in labs that have a real inquiry component. We will discuss how to create assessments that go far beyond bubble-in tests, present content through interactive lectures and engage in open ended inquiry based labs all with the goal of having students present their thinking in a variety of creative ways.


 

Developing a research based class for second year students

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:00am – 11:30am;   Ingo Schlupp, University of Oklahoma;

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science

One of the most gratifying and formative experiences undergraduate students in research universities can have is active involvement in actual research with a Professor. Typically, opportunities for such experiences are limited and often students find about about this opportunity late in their undergraduate career. Sometimes this prevents students completely from having a relevant research experience, which is, according to data we have from our Student Advisory Committee, “ frustrating to our students. At the University of Oklahoma, a group of Faculty in the Department of Biology is developing a new course that will tackle this problem. The course is focusing on student-driven inquiry and provides a framework for students to get exposure to the scientific process early in their college career. We are aiming this course at 2nd or 3rd semester students. Multiple faculty will independently offer sections which differ in the topic covered. The topic is selected by faculty and is related to the actual research conducted in their laboratories. One section, for example, will explore the concept of sexual selection using a livebearing fish, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Another section will focus on basics of cellular and molecular research in zebrafish (Danio rerio). All sections will have common elements that are being developed by a group of faculty, such as basics in experimental design and data analysis, or research ethics. All sections will also use the same guiding principles to make students familiar with inquiry-based science and the scientific process of discovery. All sections are using active learning techniques. Our approach can be adapted to various class sizes and topics.


 

Witnessing Phenotypic & Molecular Evolution First-hand: A Middle School-College Laboratory Exercise

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:00am – 11:30am;   Juliet Noor, Duke University;

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Other Audience: Grades 6-8

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Evolution, Ecosystems — Natural Selection, Heredity, Heredity — Inheritance of Traits, Heredity — Variation of Traits

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science

This workshop is a distillation of a laboratory exercise that leverages student interest in genetics to observe and understand evolution by natural selection.   This exercise can be undertaken at levels varying from middle (or possibly even elementary) school through college.  At all levels, students begin with white-eyed fruit fly populations, to which they introduce a single advantageous variant (one male with red eyes). The red-eye-color allele confers a fitness advantage, and the students can watch the spread of the allele within the population over generations, demonstrating evolution by natural selection. The students simultaneously learn genetic principles, including basic inheritance and X-linkage.  At the college level, students then perform PCR and gel electrophoresis at two neutral markers, one located in close proximity to the eye-color locus, and one located at the other end of the chromosome. Students observe that most flies have red eyes, and these red-eyed flies have lost variation at the closer marker, but maintained variation at the further marker, hence observing a “selective sweep” and the “hitchhiking”of a nearby neutral variant. Students literally observe phenotypic and molecular evolution in their classroom! Participants in the workshop will observe the spread of the advantageous phenotype by examining preserved flies or images of them and the hitchhiking of the neutral variant by examining annotated images of gels.  Classroom presentation methods, materials and possible substitutes, and student assessment results will be discussed.

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Science Forward Video Series: A Resource to Stimulate Discussion and Promote Scientific Literacy

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:35am – 12:05pm; Kelly O’Donnell, Macaulay Honors College

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning

Topic: Scientific Literacy

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Competencies: Apply the process of Science, Communicate and Collaborate with   other disciplines; Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science; Understand the relationship between Science and Society; Use modeling and simulation; Use quantitative reasoning

The Science Forward Video Series serves as the content of our new course, Science Forward. For too long undergraduate science education has taken the form of sage-on-the-stage lectures and memorization of facts that are regurgitated and then forgotten. Little time is spent exploring what science is and what it means to be scientifically literate. Science Forward is a flipped classroom experience that focuses on the common ways that scientists think and work in the context of different fields of scientific inquiry. Our main learning goal is to get students to hone their Science Sense, which is a set of skills that scientists and scientific thinkers possess that allow them to question and evaluate information that is presented as scientific. These skills include making order of magnitude estimates, interpreting graphs, analyzing data, making evidence based arguments, designing experiments, and many more. Our Video Series is part of how students prepare for class outside of the classroom. Paired with readings from both peer-reviewed sources and the popular press, our videos stimulate students’ curiosity and prepare them to apply the Science Sense skills during group discussions and activities in the classroom. Our roundtable features the Director of Science Forward and the Director of CUNY Advance, the institutional committee that funds the project. Participants in our roundtable discussion will get to watch one of the videos and learn about how they are used in our course to support a flipped classroom environment. We will discuss the choices we made during video development and invite participants to discuss how they might use our videos in their own classrooms.

 

Introducing digital microscopy and e-notebooks into an introductory biology course: a case study

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:35am – 12:05pm;   Sandra Davis, University of Indianapolis

Conference Track: Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Evolution in Action

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12, Undergraduate: Lower Division

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Evolution, Ecosystems — Adaption, Ecosystems — Biodiversity and Humans, Ecosystems — Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity, Ecosystems — Natural Selection

Competencies:  Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Evolution, Structure and Function, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science

Science is based on observation and critical thinking skills.  An important ability for students to learn in this regard is to be able to make detailed observations and keep informative records of their lab activities.  This case study describes a project requiring students to complete an electronic lab notebook in the form of a wiki page to enhance the study of biodiversity in an introductory biology course.   The culminating assessment tool was a lab practical exam in which students had to be able to identify specimens and answer questions about their evolutionary relationships.  This report details the results of the students’ scores on the end of the semester lab practical in sections of the class that completed the wiki assignment compared to  sections that were assigned to complete traditional pen and paper notes.  Although scores on the lab practical among the classes were not statistically different from one another, there was evidence that the assignment was beneficial in terms of instructor observations and student responses.  This trial suggests incorporation of e-notebooks could enhance lab courses in many science disciplines.


 

Project WISE: A Field-Based High School Environmental Science Class Anticipates Trends in Education

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:35am – 12:05pm;   Francis Taroc, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy;

Conference Track: Dynamic Teaching/Active Learning, Hands On/Minds Engaged

Topic:  Ecology and Earth Systems Dynamics

Intended Audience: Grades 9-12

Next Generation Science Standards

Concepts: Ecosystems

Competencies:  Analyzing and interpreting data, Asking questions for science, Constructing explanations for science, Developing and using models, Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information, Planning and carrying out investigations, Using mathematics and computational thinking

Now in its thirteenth year, Project WISE (Watersheds Inspiring Student Education) is a high school environmental science program based in the Presidio of San Francisco, and is a partnership between the local school district, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the National Park Service and Presidio Trust. Students in the program come largely from communities that have had limited access to environmental experiences and careers in science. For the entire school year, Project WISE students take weekly field trips to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a national park adjacent to San Francisco. During these field trips, the science practices, especially those outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards.  Students take part in participatory science in the form of plant and wildlife studies, water quality testing, and ecosystem monitoring, often working with professional scientists on meaningful research projects. By providing real life context to the science concepts learned in the classroom, Project WISE makes the practice of science more meaningful and the opportunity to experience the environment real. In addition to taking part in participatory science, students also develop skills such as critical thinking, use of digital techonlogy, media production and collaboration, all needed for success in a competitive global economy.The presentation will include examples of videos and other media projects produced by Project WISE students. In this presentation, participants will gain insight into how a field-based environmental science program addresses the changing landscape of science education. Additionally, participants will be provided a framework for building science education partnerships between schools, land management agencies, professional scientists and nonprofit organizations. http://www.parksconservancy.org/learn/educators/field-trips/project-wise.html


 

Assessing student understanding of matter and energy transformation: Lexical analysis of student writing

Saturday, October 4, 2014;  11:35am – 12:05pm;   Luanna Prevost, University of South Florida;

Conference Track: Assess Learning/Adapt Teaching

Other Topic: Ecology: transformation and flow of matter and energy in living systems

Intended Audience: Undergraduate: Lower Division

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education

Concepts: Pathways and transformations of energy and matter, Systems: Living systems interconnected and interacting

Competencies:  Apply the process of Science

Constructed response assessments, such as writing, allow students to express their knowledge in their own words, and may allow better insight into students’ mental models of ecological concepts.  However, in large enrollment courses, written assessments are used infrequently as they are more time consuming to administer and grade compared to multiple-choice assessments. This research is part of a collaborative project to engage biology instructors in using written assessments. Instructors are provided with a suite of questions, and can submit student data for analysis. Additionally, instructors participate in faculty learning communities to discuss the use of these assessments and how the feedback from these assessments can be used to inform their teaching. Participants will learn how questions are developed, how the analysis is performed, and the feedback reported to instructors.In the example presented, students in a large enrollment introductory biology course were prompted to write explanations for 1) the limited number of levels in a food web and 2) flow of matter and energy in an ecosystem. Lexical analysis was used to extract biological concepts from 170 student responses including energy loss, laws of thermodynamics, trophic levels (e.g. primary consumers), and physiological processes (e.g. digestion). Analysis of the explanations of flow of matter and energy in an ecosystem revealed that some students had mixed models that included correct ideas, such as the loss of heat from the system, as well as incorrect ideas, such as the conversion of energy to matter. These results provide instructors with feedback on their students’ thinking about ecological concepts and the various mental models that students are forming while learning the material.

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