STEM [Science] and EVERYDAY LIFE CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE SEPARATED
Paraphrase of Rosalind Franklin, Key DNA Researcher in a letter to Ellis Franklin, ca summer 1940 https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/KR/p-nid/183
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded PRNP a $50,000 grant to develop and implement a Conference Series on Integrating STEM in Everyday Life!
The overarching goal of these conferences would be to enhance the growth of STEM educators at all levels of their professional trajectory so as to:
– Design, develop, and share place-based STEM learning experiences through a holistic sociocultural context
– Positively impact students` STEM knowledge, skills and self-efficacy
– Build a bridge between pre-and in-service teachers
– Encourage and develop teacher leadership
The Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership will design a cohesive, focused professional development series that will bring approximately 100 Noyce pre and in-service secondary STEM teachers and other STEM teachers from the Philadelphia region together to explore Integrating STEM in Everyday Life. Educators will be asked to think intentionally about areas of their students? lives in which learning STEM concepts would be highly motivating to students such as sports, food and nutrition, health and safety, transportation, etc. Students would be challenged to examine how science, math, engineering, and technology concepts and practices intersect with language arts, history, fine arts, etc., to impact their lives and influence their decisions. Teachers would be challenged to develop engaging place-based, project-based units that not only align with NGSS and Common Core but also place STEM teaching in socio-scientific and cultural contexts. Thirty pre and in-service STEM teachers will have the opportunity to participate in three Workshop Intensives to explore more fully how to bring socio-scientific, place-based units to their students.
A series of 5 Conferences would be held over the course of 2019-20,
• Phase I: a full day kick-off conference (Conference 1) to afford approximately 100 pre- and in-service teachers the opportunity to experience the design of a unit plan with a detailed exemplar lesson highlighted.
• Phase II: Three (3) half day intensive workshop days (Workshop Intensives 1,2,3) in which a total of 30 pre-service and in-service teachers will be paired up to
1. Develop a unit plan and design an exemplar lesson as part of that plan that highlights Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI).
2. Explore pedagogy involved in teaching the unit and exemplar lesson.
3. Reflect on both teacher implementation and student work to evaluate the level of engagement, teacher and student learning, and student self-efficacy related to STEM.
• Phase III: A culminating final full day conference (Conference 2) in which 30 pre-and inservice teachers who had participated in the Workshop Intensive days would present, to approximately 100 STEM teachers, workshops based on the model presented in the initial kick-off conference using exemplar lessons they designed and taught to their students.
At the first Workshop Intensive day, participants will delve into relevant STEM content around Integrating STEM in Everyday Life and begin the development of a unit plan and one exemplar lesson that they will implement in their classrooms between January and March 2020. Using the socio-scientific issues (SSI) framework as a guide, teachers will develop and implement units of study that incorporate the relationships and convergences found in the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (practices), Common Core State Standards in ELA/Literacy (student portraits), and A Framework for K-12 Science Education (science and engineering practices) in order to develop their students’ functional scientific literacy.
SSI cases provide opportunities for teachers to engage students in real world and authentic problems, which consider the cultural background as well as the personal cognitive and moral developments of students. Examples of SSI contexts include population growth and its implications, food and nutrition, health and safety, transportation, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, environment and sustainable development, and effects of climate change. The students’ understanding and application of the nature of science influences how they make evidence-based decisions to address preconceived notions regarding SSI. This is done through the development of discourse involving the construction of arguments and socially constructed knowledge through discourse about specific, culturally relevant SSI cases. Teachers will have opportunities to spend time in developing their lessons of study with experienced teacher and faculty mentors.
Regardless of the teaching status (pre-service, novice teacher, or more experienced teacher), these lessons/units will be useful additions to participants’ practice and add to their professional collaboration skills.
The application period will open on October 26, 2019. It is not necessary to attend the Integrating STEM in Everyday Life Conference, but pre- and in-service teachers who do attend will have first preference in the selection process. Those selected to participate must commit to attending all three workshops and to presenting at the final conference in May 2020. Participants will receive $200 for attending each Intensive workshop and will have an opportunity to apply for mini-grants to support classroom implementation of SSI instruction.