1. Sharon Brusic
  2. Professor
  3. Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS)
  4. Millersville University
  1. Nanette MARCUM-DIETRICH
  2. Professor
  3. Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS)
  4. Millersville University
  1. Taylor Neuman
  2. Graduate Assistant
  3. Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS)
  4. Millersville University
  1. Jennifer Shettel
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS)
  4. Millersville University
  1. Janet White
  2. Professor
  3. Integrative STEM for Teachers of Young Students (iSTEM4ToYS)
  4. Millersville University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 06:08 p.m.

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for viewing our video. This year, we focused our video on trying to show the impact that our STEM minor is having on our PK-4 teacher candidates. We've also started to collect data using surveys and interviews to better capture how these pre-service teachers are engaged in STEM and to more fully understand their STEM perspectives. We are still in the early stages of analyzing data, but hopefully the video helps to convey that our students are definitely having some very positive experiences. 

    We received some good suggestions last year for additional resources, contacts, and venues for presentations, publications, and professional development related to preparing the next generation of PK-4 teachers. While we are still interested in gathering more of these, I am especially interested in things that are specific to the PK-K level, as this seems to be the level where there is the least research and development. If you have suggestions on contacts, sources, research, and resources for this level, please share. 

    If you want more information about our project in general, you might also want to visit last year's video at http://stemforall2017.videohall.com/presentatio... where our research questions and overall project goals are discussed in more detail. 

    Best,

    Sharon

     

     

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 09:35 a.m.

    Hi Sharon and all,

    What glowing reviews you have from your students! This is a very inspiring video. I'm interested to hear a bit more about the data collection you mention in your post. Do the data focus mostly on teachers' affective perceptions, or are you also looking at their content understanding of STEM subjects? How do content learning and enthusiasm work together in how you think about your impact?

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 08:32 p.m.

    Hi Katie,

    Good questions! For this grant, our primary focus is just trying to get an idea about what has the greatest impact on these future teachers as they prepare to be STEM educators. We are mostly looking at the "critical incidents" (e.g., experiences, classes, projects) that affect them. We are not addressing content understanding at all unless it comes up during an interview. And, even then, we are looking at what "critical incidents" had an impact on their content understanding. I have no doubt that there is an interaction between content learning and enthusiasm. We know that many PK-4 pre-service teachers are choosing our STEM minor because they feel ill-prepared with STEM content and they are taking the minor in hopes of feeling more prepared. So, I suspect that some of their enthusiasm and confidence in the minor is related to the fact that they are starting to feel better about their content and pedagogical knowledge. But, our study is not really looking at content at this point. It's definitely something worth examining though. 

     

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Katie Rich
  • Icon for: Jessica Lehr

    Jessica Lehr

    Undergraduate Student
    May 16, 2018 | 10:32 a.m.

    I am currently going through Millersville iSTEM minor. When first considering the minor, I was concerned about not having the knowledge needed to complete it. I felt that as a future teacher, STEM is something that will be up and coming, therefore, I felt having this minor would allow me to be more prepared to then affectively help my future students. This minor and lab has built my confidence and has allowed me to challenge myself and explore things that one year ago, I couldn't imagine taking part in. Through our classes, projects, and experience I have found myself knowing more about STEM then I thought was possible. As I plan any lessons, I find myself incorporating STEM into the content that is already provided. I would recommend this minor to any future teacher, as I am now confident to teach STEM within a classroom. 

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 12:54 p.m.

    Sharon and Jessica,

    Very interesting. I'm intrigued by the critical incidents. Can you give an example of a critical incident?

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 06:01 p.m.

    Research suggests that a critical incident is “…any observable human activity that is sufficiently complete…to permit inferences and predictions to be made about the person performing the act” (Flanagan, 1954, p. 327). Understanding the attributes of our iSTEM program that prompt critical incidents related to iSTEM may increase the likelihood that graduates who complete the iSTEM minor will effectively integrate iSTEM in their future classrooms. So, for example, are there certain experiences our students have in their STEM courses that are having a significant impact? Are there certain professional development experiences that serve as critical incidents? While I don't have data to back this up (yet), I am going to guess that when some of our students attended the Virginia Children's Engineering Convention that this may stand out as a possible critical incident because it has such an effect on them as future teachers to see so many practicing teachers sharing their STEM teaching experiences.

  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 10:18 a.m.

    It was really exciting to see the impact of the STEM minor on the perceptions of the teachers interviewed in this piece. I'd like to know if you prepare them for observing and assessing student learning in the STEM Lab activities. 

  • Icon for: Lucy Davies

    Lucy Davies

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2018 | 06:06 p.m.

    Hi Irene,

    As Dr. Brusic was saying, we do take the Product Design class in our integrative STEM minor. This class consisted of design challenges for the college students where we were able to understand what our students will be experiencing as they work through the engineering design process. This class and the other 4 classes in the minor challenges to think like our students to solve the various design challenges and related to real world problems. From these challenges, I feel better prepared to assess my students with their own designs because I was able to experience the process for myself. We also learn how to make engineering design logs for our students to follow and complete which organizes their thoughts and allows the teacher to gauge understanding. 

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 08:38 p.m.

    Hi Irene - Thanks for watching our video. The quick answer to your question is that we do spend some time helping them to assess student learning in STEM activities, which includes observation. But frankly, it's not as much as I'd like. As one example, they take a course in Product Design which puts a lot of emphasis on project-based learning pedagogy. They learn how to provide constructive criticism and learn strategies for collecting evidence of students' learning. There is a lot of emphasis on using design process documentation with pictures, reflections, and portfolios. They also take a course that focuses a lot on curriculum planning and design. Assessment strategies are integral to that as well. 

  • Small default profile

    Len Litowitz

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2018 | 01:14 p.m.

    Great video, great program!

  • Icon for: Jennifer Shettel

    Jennifer Shettel

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 01:20 p.m.

    Thanks, Len!

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 08:08 p.m.

    Thanks, Len. Much appreciated!

  • Small default profile

    Nicole Kee

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2018 | 07:15 p.m.

    Hi Sharon,

    I have been teaching for 6 years and although it doesn't feel like I graduated that long ago, seeing how much has already changed since I have graduated can be overwhelming.  My undergrad is in secondary education math from Penn State and listening to what your current students have said about the STEM program makes me already feel outdated!  It is amazing to see how much education can change and how quickly new and innovative approaches to instruction and learning can occur.  I am now pursuing my STEM endorsement through Millersville and watching this video is inspiring about the opportunities that STEM programs offer.  I teach in a public school that values a technology initiative but does not currently have a STEM program in place.  Do you find that many districts in the state of Pennsylvania are trying to find a place for STEM in their district?  In particular, do you feel that these programs are occurring more at the Elementary, Middle, or High School level?  Or perhaps, do you think that some districts feel that STEM opportunities are happening during after school electives?  I teach 8th grade and love the approach to STEM education but often struggle with the balance of time for inquiry based learning and the demands of our curriculum with standardized testing.  How do you encourage students in the Millersville program to handle this challenge after they graduate?

     

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:17 p.m.

    Nicole - thanks for sharing your perspective. I know what you mean about how quickly things are changing. It can be really hard to keep up with it all. I feel like "STEM" is the new buzzword in schools and it is drawing a LOT of attention (and funding). I am hearing about programs at all levels, but I feel like I'm hearing about it a lot more at the elementary level now than ever before. I personally think this is due to the fact that it is easier to do integrative curriculum at the elementary level where the same teacher tends to teach all subjects or where there is more collaboration among teachers. We tend to be very focused on our own subject specialties in Middle and High School, so true integration becomes much more difficult. In addition, I feel like there have been good STEM programs in place for decades in various schools, but because they were not called "STEM," they were not noticed. Most of my expertise is in Technology & Engineering Education, which has a long history of promoting integrative learning of these subjects. But, because it is not a required subject in schools, some of what happens in these programs goes unrecognized. 

    There have been various projects over the years trying build true integrative STEM in middle and high schools. These are also getting more attention now. But, it takes a long time to make this kind of change in curriculum and it doesn't help that there is still a lot of attention given to high stakes testing. So, many teachers (and schools) worry that they cannot give up content depth to pursue a more integrative and motivating curriculum. 

    I know we try very hard in our MU program to instill persistence and passion in our students. We also put a lot of emphasis on trying to build their confidence so that they can take on some of these challenges when they graduate. We need teachers as leaders in schools who are not going to be afraid to try new things and push administration (and school culture) to sometimes do what will be difficult to do. We certainly don't have it all figured out, but we have faculty who are committed to working at it. I wish you all the best in your studies. Perhaps I'll meet you at MU one day.

  • Small default profile

    Michael Dolges

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 08:49 p.m.

    I too am pursuing the STEM endorsement certificate through Millersville University.  I am in the early stages of my coursework, but I am very impressed with the approach Millersville is taking in terms of preparing our teachers in STEM education.  I think the iSTEM4Toys program is fantastic.  The primary grade levels are so important in terms of cognitive development, and I believe we have to instill a STEM approach to learning at those grade levels.  If we can teach our young people to make metacognitive connections to solve problems, they will be better prepared as lifelong learners.    

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Amanda Urey
  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:22 p.m.

    Hi Michael - Thanks for your comment. It's great to meet more MU STEM folks through this showcase, too. I agree that MU is doing a lot right now to become a regional leader in STEM education -- at all levels from PK through adult. For a small university, we have a lot happening and it's pretty exciting. Congrats to you for being part of the process -- and best wishes to you as you continue your studies. I hope we cross paths at MU some time. 

  • Icon for: Nanette Marcum-Dietrich

    Nanette Marcum-Dietrich

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2018 | 10:04 a.m.

    Hi Mike - Thank you for the kind words about the MU Graduate STEM Endorsement program. MU is excited to provide an Online Graduate STEM Education Program for practicing teachers across the country. This work is a great compliment to our undergraduate STEM minor because we have the ability to use much of what we have learned in the iSTEM4ToYS project to strengthen and to inform our work at the graduate level. 

  • May 17, 2018 | 05:34 a.m.

    Hi Sharon, 

    Your program looks great! As you know, it is really important for early childhood teachers to have confidence in STEM areas so that they can encourage their students and instill a love for math and science.    

    I have a couple of logistical questions.  How is STEM education approached at MU for future early childhood teachers who do not take this minor?  Do you get students who take some of the minor classes as electives without committing to the minor?  What percent of the early childhood educators select the minor?  The video showed your students interacting with children in a very resource rich environment, how do you address the reality of teaching STEM on a shoestring or nonexistent budget?

    I thought I would share two of our papers that have some lower tech STEM activities for elementary students....

    We recently were invited to present a fun lesson at the elementary expo at NSTA that you may like:  Demetrikopoulos, M., Thompson, W., Pecore, J. (2017) Save Beady Kid From the Sun.  Science and Children 55(4) p54-59.  

    And we published another paper some time ago that has various opportunities for student exploration with easy to acquire materials.  Demetrikopoulos MK, Datta P, Pecore JL, Lamas C, Thompson WD, et al. Oceanography for Pre-K-Third Grade. Current: The Journal of Marine Education. 2007; 23(2):42-46

    Keep up the fantastic work!   

     

  • Icon for: Jennifer Shettel

    Jennifer Shettel

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 01:24 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa! I'm excited to check out your work.  Our ERCH students who aren't in the minor are not able to take the iSTEM courses at this time.  All students do, of course, receive instruction in subject-area pedagogy like math and science, but they don't get this deep dive into what an integrative approach to STEM looks like, as the students in the minor do.  The courses within the minor are for minors only - they are not currently open as electives.

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 09:38 a.m.

    Hello Melissa,

    Thanks so much for sharing these resources. I will definitely acquire both of these published items. My colleague, Jen Shettel, will be at the STEM Expo with one of our STEM minors (and presenting there). Hopefully they can attend your session. I'll be sure to share the info with them. 

    In response to your questions...

    • Students who do not choose the STEM minor do not get any formal coursework in STEM. However, I do know that various pedagogy classes they take do cover some of the basic STEM concepts and ideas. Jen Shettel, who I mentioned previously, might be able to answer that question better than me. I will invite her to weigh in on this.
    • Our STEM courses are only open to STEM minors. We do not have enough seats in the classes to offer them to non-minors. We have a cohort system in place. We start a new cohort of 22 students each year and they take the courses in sequence with their cohort. We like to keep class sizes small because of all the hands-on work and the desire to provide lots of individualized attention. 
    • We are serving only about 15% of the majors. 
    • The vast majority of our work with students is not in a media rich environment. The media rich environment looks good on video and that was the only video we had because we didn't have video permission when doing the activities with children prior to preparing this year's showcase video. We only had still photos of our students working with children in the "regular" environments, which are largely activities on a shoestring budget using recyclable materials and typical items that you'd find in an elementary classroom. When we do the video next year, I am hoping we can have more video of these more typical sites to show the great things our STEM minors are doing in those more typical venues. The STEM lab featured in the video is primarily a space for college students to build their expertise and confidence. 

    Thanks again for sharing your resources. I greatly appreciate it and I look forward to checking them out. I am always on the lookout for new ideas at this level. 

  • Small default profile

    Rebecca Maryott

    K-12 Teacher
    May 18, 2018 | 12:17 p.m.

    I spy some Ozobots in your video!  I've allowed some time within my high school math classrooms for students to explore, but have yet to use them in a more productive manor for curriculum concepts.  They are really engaging and fun!  I bet the younger students loved using them.

    Is the TEC CENTRE open to the public?  Is the STEM lab at Millersville open to all MU students?

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 08:57 p.m.

    Hello Rebecca - You are right. There are definitely some Ozobots in the video. They've been an easy way to get our STEM minors engaged in some fundamentals. Unfortunately, the STEM lab is only open to students in the minor plus students in the K-12 Technology & Engineering Education major. Our colleagues in the Education building on campus are looking at creating a satellite STEM lab this year which would likely have more access to all education majors. Tec Centro is a community organization in Lancaster, PA that serves many residents. They provide job training, language development, and much more. I don't know the specifics of who is eligible for their services, but you can find out more at http://sacapa.org/human-services/workforce-development/.

     

  • Icon for: Amanda Urey

    Amanda Urey

    K-12 Teacher
    May 18, 2018 | 07:42 p.m.

    There are always exciting initiatives happening at Millersville! I just started the Online STEM Graduate Program last year. I actually heard about the program from a friend who is enrolled in the Undergrad STEM Minor Program. I have already learned so much and I love that I can take ideas from each course and better my teaching practices tomorrow. 

    If you ever need students for the STEM lab, please let me know! My first graders would love a Millersville field trip!

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 09:01 p.m.

    Hello Amanda: Thanks for your feedback. I'm thrilled to hear that you might be able to bring your 1st graders on a MU field trip. The best time to do this would be in the spring when my "Integrative STEM Practicum" class is in session and we are usually looking for opportunities to work with PK-4 students. If I forget to reach out to you next spring (2019), please don't hesitate to contact me and remind me. I start planning those experiences in early spring and we usually do them during our Summer One session (which is your end of school year). If that works with your schedule, please do reach out in February to plan it. Thanks!

     

  • Small default profile

    Quinn Kaufmann

    Graduate Student
    May 19, 2018 | 11:04 a.m.

    I'm currently enrolled in the STEM endorsement program through MU and have learned so much already. Coming from a district that doesn't have a STEM program for the elementary level, I'm excited to see how these students are being exposed to this curriculum. What a wonderful experience for the undergraduates as well. Everyone seemed to be engaged and having fun. I wish I had this class years ago during my own elementary education program.  In the video, it mentions this is held at the Tec Centr on Saturdays. Is this in collaboration with MU or is it an independent organization?  I was just curious if there was any carryover in content to the regular school curriculum.  

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 09:05 p.m.

    Hello Quinn - Thanks for watching our video. I agree that it's exciting to see the increased interest in elementary level STEM. It's exciting to see our program graduates hitting the job market with some new skills that will make them great resources in the school. Tec Centro is an independent organization in Lancaster, PA. They contacted us looking for volunteers to assist with their STEM on Saturdays program and several of our STEM minors jumped at the chance. If you want more information about that organization, visit: Tec Centro. Good luck in your graduate program!

     

  • Icon for: Francis Nikolaus

    Francis Nikolaus

    K-12 Teacher
    May 20, 2018 | 01:01 p.m.

    Hi Sharon and Team,

    I just finished an Engineering Principles class with Dr. DeLucca in the Spring semester as part of the ACTE program with the STEM endorsement. Our final assignment was to write a research paper on something in the field that we were interested in, and I chose to write about the need for more STEM programs at all levels. My belief in STEM is that it needs to be a holistic approach and not just counted because one or two of the subjects are being taught. Through my research I have seen that virtually all K-5 schools offer math and science with little to no technology or engineering. This STEM lab allows students to experience technology and exploration to build excitement in the different disciplines and become more imaginative about the possibilities in these fields of study. The video has inspired me to try to build a true STEM course at the elementary level in my district. Thank You.

  • Icon for: Lamanda Davies

    Lamanda Davies

    K-12 Teacher
    May 20, 2018 | 08:53 p.m.

    STEM programs for educators are improving our ability to teach and opening many new avenues of learning for our students. Children engaging in STEM projects are fascinated with what they're learning and look forward to what's next. As a teacher, I also believe that incorporating STEM into your formal education is a worthwhile step and will be beneficial for you and your students.

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 09:17 p.m.

    Hello Lamanda - Yes, it's really fun to watch children's excitement when they are really engaged in learning like this. My students and I ran a STEM workshop for Girl Scouts yesterday (on our campus) for the Girl Scout STEM expo. It was so much fun to watch the K-5 girls dig in and solve the problem. We had them designing and testing straw rockets for a short workshop that we repeated several times during the day. My only complaint is that I wish we had more time to do a more thorough lesson. The time flew by!

  • Icon for: Sharon Brusic

    Sharon Brusic

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 09:10 p.m.

    Hi Francis - thanks for watching our video. You are exactly right about the status of the "T & E" in STEM at most elementary schools. And, I could not agree more with your statement about STEM needing to be truly holistic. I feel like I've pushed for this nearly my entire career -- even before "STEM" education was a term that anyone used. And, it wasn't just for integrating science and math...the focus was on integrating all subjects where appropriate through hands-on experiential activities (i.e., social studies, English language arts, art, physical education, music). Good luck with your graduate studies and let me know if you are ever serious about starting elementary STEM in your school district. I'd be happy to sit down and brainstorm with you.

  • Icon for: Julia Cin

    Julia Cin

    K-12 Teacher
    May 21, 2018 | 05:36 p.m.

    Hi Sharon,

    I am so excited to see that preservice teachers are getting confidence in their own content knowledge and their abilities to integrate STEM into PK-4 classrooms.  I am a second grade teacher and a graduate student working on my STEM endorsement, and this just thrills me that our new hires may have a STEM background.  The one undergraduate student in this video, Sarah Dean, made me smile so much. This quote shows that people are realizing that STEM doesn't have to be scary; it's not just for the "smart" people.  Millersville is obviously teaching growth mindset well!

    “I was nervous to join it but I wanted to deepen my skills in those subjects.  So really it’s taught me that those skills aren’t scary.  They’re fun subjects to learn and they are things that other students should be passionate about.  Everyone can be an engineer if you want to be an engineer.  You can be any kind of job that you want to have.”

    I noticed in previous comments that you are willing to brainstorm how to implement STEM into elementary schools.   My school is trying to find a vision and I'd love to hear what has been successful in areas around us.

     

    Thanks so much!

     

  • Icon for: Kimberly Hoffman

    Kimberly Hoffman

    K-12 Teacher
    May 21, 2018 | 05:58 p.m.

    I really love how Millersville has this STEM minor and endorsement series.  I am recently enrolled in the 12 credit endorsement series and the Science course is my first class and has taken me to this website and to you!  I love everything you are doing in your program and would love to know more!

    How long do STEM minor students work with the students during the Saturday sessions?  Do they follow a set curriculum based upon grade level?

    My district just purchased We-Do 2.0 for my STEAM class and I would love to know how you are integrating them into the Saturday classes.  Do you find students returning week after week so you can build on previous knowledge?  If so, what is the process you are following?

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.