1. W. Midden
  2. http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/chemistry/faculty/robert-midden.html
  3. Assoc. Vice Provost
  4. iEvolve with STEM: Inquiry and Engagement to Invigorate and Optimize Learning for Everyone with Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  5. http://ievolvewithstem.org
  6. Bowling Green State University
  1. Judith Steiner
  2. Project Manager
  3. iEvolve with STEM: Inquiry and Engagement to Invigorate and Optimize Learning for Everyone with Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  4. http://ievolvewithstem.org
  5. Bowling Green State University
  1. Dr. Rick Worch
  2. Research Co-Director, Associate Professor
  3. iEvolve with STEM: Inquiry and Engagement to Invigorate and Optimize Learning for Everyone with Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  4. http://ievolvewithstem.org
  5. Bowling Green State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 08:32 p.m.

    What better way for students to learn science than by participating in real research projects led by professional scientists that address issues that are of interest and concern to their local communities. This project is conducting research to learn how this affects student motivation, engagement, and achievement of state science standards.

    Science is not textbooks, science is discovering how the natural world actually behaves by collecting rigorous evidence and analyzing that using reason and logic. Imagine that virtually everyone in our population experienced this first-hand throughout their education. Might that have a favorable impact on the decisions our society makes?

    This project has explored how to integrate student participation in citizen science research across the curriculum in all four core subject areas in grades 3-8 in two typical, medium-size, midwestern school districts. This video provides a brief introduction to some of the features of this project.

    We welcome your comments and questions and suggestions and especially welcome contacts from others who have experience with this approach to promoting student learning.

  • May 14, 2018 | 11:20 a.m.

    Nice video Bob. I live how you involve a number of citizen science projects into your activity with the students. Kevin

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 01:35 p.m.

    Yes, we tried to select projects that could pertain to some central science standards for each grade, that could be conducted using measurements and observations that students at that grade level could master, and that could be done using available resources. We've made some changes to projects towards the end of the funding period so it would be possible to continue the research after grant funding ends. In some cases, that meant adopting a different project that could be conducted without field trips and finding support scientists who are local to the schools.

  • Icon for: Jonathan Margolin

    Jonathan Margolin

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 02:31 p.m.

    I was captivated by this video--which really demonstrated what it is like to involve students in citizen research! I am wondering--how do teachers integrate this program with their existing curricula?

    For the educators out there: what has been your experience with citizen science?

     
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  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 14, 2018 | 02:53 p.m.

    Yes-- my experience with citizen science and schools is that it can be very hard for teachers to clear the calendar to get out into the field, so I'm interested in how iEvolve has worked this out. 

  • Icon for: dana pitcher

    dana pitcher

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2018 | 03:15 p.m.

    As a 3rd grade teacher involved in the pollinator project, having an onsite garden or access to gardens nearby makes it easy to schedule field time for me.  The fall is when most of the action is taking place with regards to pollinators and especially monarchs. Over the winter, my students were also engaged in bird watching (they are pollinators too) which leads to great discussions on triming/cleaning garden in the fall or the spring. In spring, we concentrate on other insects we get in our classriom Foss kits since the weather is so unpredictable for outdoor observations. You have to make time to spend in the field and be specific about the tasks to accomplish and the students will always find something to marvel over and will not want to leave...  Citizen science is a built in expectation for my district and is standards based per grade level which also integrates with all other subjects so it’s really not extra work but a better experience for my students and they come away excited about the world they live in and want to share it with their community. 

    https://mrspitcher.weebly.com/

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:00 p.m.

    Field work does pose scheduling challenges. Of course, the travel adds extra time but additional adult supervision and support is also important and arranging that can impose additional scheduling constraints. Some of those challenges were met by scheduling field trips at times when multiple teachers could participate. Non-science teachers were included in our project and sometimes also participated in the citizen science research activities. And some parents and aides have also helped at times. 

    But we have also designed research projects that could be conducted on school grounds. Dana describes one of those. Grant funding for school support is ending next month. We have spent the last couple years revising projects so they can be more easily conducted with less expense and closer to the school. There are many such CSR projects available and they greatly increase the ease of integrating into classroom instruction.

    We have spent five years developing and optimizing the curricula to integrate these research projects into instruction and to relate it to the other hands-on inquiry-based curriculum materials that fill out the instructional year. Curriculum development teams consisted of lead teachers with curriculum development experts and project staff who met regularly. Alignment with State learning standards was an essential aspect of this work. These teams produced curriculum maps and what we call "curriculum snapshots" which summarize all of the curriculum materials in a given science domain for that grade level. These materials were continuously "field tested" by teachers and optimized based on experience.

  • Icon for: Donna Charlevoix

    Donna Charlevoix

    Program Director
    May 14, 2018 | 04:34 p.m.

    Great video. The focus on early grades is really important and it's inspiring to see you engaging these young scientists. 

     
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  • Icon for: Joseph Gillen

    Joseph Gillen

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 09:23 p.m.

    I am not a traditional teacher, but have worked with kids in grades 3-8 for the past 7 years through FIRST Robotics and the Sylvania STEM Center. Each year these kids are tasked with finding an innovative solution to a real world problem. This year's theme involved water. One team examined the effect of algae in Lake Erie and developed a filter to help clean this water. Another team developed a solar powered device that would produce chlorine through electrolysis which could be used to disinfect water in third world countries.

    Obviously, this is not the citizen science curriculum, but the approach appears to be similar. Hands-on, real world based disciplined study is an outstanding method to help kids internalize the method and process of scientific observation and learning. In this case, both teams identified problems and came up with these innovative solutions themselves. In what other educational process could these middle schoolers develop a combination ultraviolet and carbon based filter? What traditional educational approach would drive a team of 3rd-8th graders to split water molecules with electricity to hep clean water?

    I wish for continued success and expansion of the citizen science approach. This is the way science should be taught.

     
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  • Icon for: Margo Murphy

    Margo Murphy

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 05:35 a.m.

    Love this!  A wide range of relevant studies for students to get excited about.  It seems like a great team to support this learning.  Is there a plan for long-term, self sustainability?  I have had the great fortune of being a part of some exciting projects as a classroom teacher but when the funding has dried up, so have the resources...  I would love to know your long-term plan?  Thanks for inspiring so many!!

     
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  • Small default profile

    Dana pitcher

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 10:35 a.m.

    Our school districts have remain committed to continuing the projects beyond the life of the grant.  Part of iEvolve’s mission was to set up a system of local support so that when funding ended, each district would have materials, resources, connections, and the long term financial plan to continue.  As a teacher, I reach out to local partners as well as writing mini-grants to get other supplemental materials as needed.  

     
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    Margo Murphy
  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:07 p.m.

    Thanks, Dana, for this reply. 

    Indeed, we have spent a great deal of effort over the last two years revising projects and developing relationships with local support personnel so that it will be possible to continue the CSR activity after grant funding ends. This has meant, in some cases, changing the topic of the research so that it is more easily conducted on or close to school grounds and during a longer part of the school year. We have also favored projects that can be conducted with minimal use of expendable materials and supplies. One school district is able to continue to fund field trips periodically for CSR activity so a few projects still involve work off campus. We believe it is valuable for students to have a variety of experiences throughout their education so are pleased that some projects include this type of activity. At this point, near the end of grant funding, it appears that every grade can continue their research activities if they desire to do so.

  • Icon for: Joseph Gillen

    Joseph Gillen

    Informal Educator
    May 15, 2018 | 10:42 a.m.

    We actually have a meeting today with an incubator that is interested in developing these ideas. The kids that want to develop it would like to see it through to at least a manufacture ready design. They have a working prototype that they used off the shelf parts for and 3D printed the rest--they learned CAD with TinkerCAD to draw the parts. The main designer was a third grader! She knew nothing of CAD previously, but learned with TinkerCAD, a free online CAD program for kids.

    They want to be able to have a third party produce these as low cost as possible in order to send them to third world countries.

    Our center is a non-profit after school program, so we are not limited to the school year. If they want to develop the ideas further, part of the process is to go out and approach businesses for funding, or more importantly, mentorships from places like engineering firms.

     
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  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 08:34 a.m.

    Experiences for young students such as those described so well in your video can be life-changing-so it was for me. While I always liked school science, it was the real-life, citizen science type experiences that were captivating. It's not either/or but this AND that. A terrific way for young people to internalize science and engineering practices-let them seep into their bones! Great when the in-school and out-of-school experiences can mesh. As a science teacher (I was for many years), I was always grateful for the richness students brought to my classes from outside school experiences. 

    Sally

     

     
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  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 12:11 p.m.

    Will you be able to explore the long-term influence of the Citizen Science experience on students' interest or success in science fields?

    Sally

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:09 p.m.

    We do not have the resources to continue to investigate the impact but I had a very serious discussion with our external evaluator, Horizon Research, about applying for additional funding specifically for this purpose. Given the substantial investment that has been made, I believe this offers a special opportunity to learn what is sustained and to learn more about the impact it has on several types of student outcomes. I plan to discuss this with NSF program officers in the near future.

  • Icon for: Victoria Carr

    Victoria Carr

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2018 | 08:24 a.m.

    What a terrific project! It fosters children's agency while addressing sustainability issues. Like Sally, I hope you can collect longitudinal data on the impact of your work.

     
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  • Icon for: Terry Smith

    Terry Smith

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2018 | 09:47 a.m.

    This is an excellent overview of citizen science opportunities and especially showing various grade levels in action. This approach is also my main pathway in teaching science methods to future teachers because it is not only active and engaging with the world, but is easy to  integrate with existing curricula. The power of observation, to me the most important concept I try to develop in my pre-service teachers, is exquisitely exercised through citizen science experiences.

     
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  • Icon for: Emily Hestness

    Emily Hestness

    Researcher
    May 18, 2018 | 12:09 p.m.

    Enjoyed learning about your project! Is there a teacher professional development aspect to your work? I wondered how the participating teachers became familiar with citizen science and how to incorporate it into their teaching. 

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:15 p.m.

    Yes, we used an intense 3-year professional development program to help teachers learn how to guide their students in learning by participating in citizen science research. 

    The first year involved helping teachers become comfortable leading hands-on inquiry as the central mode of learning.

    We didn't introduce teachers to real science research until the second year.

    The third year involved optimizing student and teacher participation in science research and also improving the use of formative assessment as a means of continually improving instructional practice and dissemination to local, regional, and national communities.

    Each year began with an intense summer workshop: 8 days the first summer, 6 days the second summer, and 4 days the third summer.

    Monthly meetings were held for 3 hours during a weekday evening. Teachers were organized in Professional Learning Teams and those teams met multiple times between the formal monthly PD sessions to discuss and support each others development.

    Grades 3-5 teachers participated in this PD during years 1-3 of the project. Grades 6-8 teachers participated in years 3-5 of the project but we were able to continue some PD for grades 3-5 teachers in years 4-5, as well. Our observations suggest that optimum implementation is achieved after about 4-5 years of PD.

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 21, 2018 | 04:26 p.m.

    I love this wrap-up!

    "Our observations suggest that optimum implementation is achieved after about 4-5 years of PD."

    Here's a dichotomy: the optimal time for implementation of a new approach, curriculum, strategy etc is years (see above) and the time districts typically are able to give for implementing a new program is more apt to be 1 day with some follow-up PLCs. Real, deep, transformative learning takes time in addition to other things! Thanks for acknowledging this.

    Sally

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:49 p.m.

    Schools are under such intense pressure to produce improvement IMMEDIATELY but that is not possible, at least not for sustainable, meaningful achievement of outcomes that really matter. It is essential that more of those with authority over education embrace this and employ structures and strategies that support the long-term, carefully designed and selected programs that can produce that sustainable, meaningful, targeted transformation.

    Thanks, Sally, for your support of this.

  • Small default profile

    Karen Foss

    K-12 Teacher
    May 21, 2018 | 02:23 p.m.

    For the past 6 years  we as teachers have been creating curriculum and working with students with caring for our environment.  We have only one world and one chance.  This is a great learning experience that is teaching us how to create meaningful lessons pertinent to the students using the environment around them.  The growth and learning as educators and students will continue through the years.

    Our building, the RCAAS in Sandusky, has paired with the city in helping to grow native grasses for rain gardens for our area.  We have also created an area at our building for a pollinator garden for data collection.  Within these gardens we are experimenting with different decomposers and their effects on plant life and soil.  The fifth graders are working with water and how plants, decomposers and organic fertilizers affect water runoff, while the sixth graders are testing the different soils we are working with, and trying to create a soil that is environmentally friendly.  We are implementing worm composting and are looking into other ways of recycling organic materials.  We are also raising awareness in our community by participating in Earth Day and hopefully Harvest Happening this fall at Osborne Park.  We offer education at these events having the community create seed bombs using milkweed for our Monarch Butterflies, seed packets, student created brochures, and we are hoping to expand our community education this fall with worm composting starter kits.

    All this would not have been possible without the help and guidance of the iEvolve professors.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope to inspire other districts and communities with the work we are doing here.

    Thank you!!
    The Teachers and Students at the RCAAS

     
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  • Icon for: W. Midden

    W. Midden

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 04:21 p.m.

    Thank you, Karen, for the tremendous work that you and so many other teachers in this project have done. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts because it is you who actually made it work. It was the commitment and drive of the teachers that turned ideas and dreams into reality and have created such rich and engaging experiences for your students. What a tremendous example you have set and what a valuable model you have created.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.