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2022 Chicago National Conference - Sessions




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Thursday, July 21
9:40 AM - 10:40 AM
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Broaden Science Participation: Unpack “Analyze & Interpret” to Teach Data As an Equalizer

McCormick Place - W179b

We live in a data-driven world, and our students will be working in a data-driven workforce. Therefore, it is critical that our Pre-K-12 students learn foundational data literacy skills. However, currently these skills are too often only taught in upper-level classes. All students need these skills and all students, down to our little Pre-Kers, can work with and make sense of science data. Let’s make sure data is an equalizer, rather than another divider in our educational system and society! Join us as we explore what perception and learning science tell us about how our brains process data. We will experience research-based strategies and freely available resources to build science knowledge and self-efficacy through data. Finally, we will explore ways to adapt our existing curriculum activities and data visualizations to help our students more equitably access science. Through hands-on activities and group discussions, participants will leave more empowered to leverage data and data visualizations into their science content in purposeful ways for all learners. Working with and learning science from data fosters critical thinking skills, lifelong interests in science, and facilitates learners’ overall 21st century skills. Let’s set all of our students up for success!

Takeaways: Participants will identify how data literacy is a critical aspect of science literacy in the 21st century for all students and ways to adjust existing curriculum to leverage data as entry points into science inquiry, sensemaking, and knowledge for all learners to see themselves in STEM.


Kristin Hunter-Thomson (Dataspire Education & Evaluation, Rutgers University: Princeton, NJ)

Presenter Materials for this Session:
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Thursday, July 21
3:40 PM - 4:10 PM
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Expanding Participation and Success in STEM Teaching Through Partnerships

McCormick Place - W181a

Ideas and concrete strategies for building collaborative, generative partnerships with community groups, nonprofits, preK–12 schools, museums, and community colleges in order to transform the STEM ecosystem and preservice teachers' futures will be shared.

Takeaways: Participants will: 1. hear from different partners about the generative ways we have collaborated to increase diversity in our STEM teacher preparation program; 2. engage in discussion and planning next steps for reaching out to a potential collaborative partner; and 3. learn about the ways in which preservice STEM Noyce Scholars have strengthened their STEM Identity and have been prepared to design culturally sustaining curricula and classrooms that integrate sensemaking.


Sydney Worthen-Jenkins (Sacred Heart University: Fairfield, CT), Nicole Hebert (Sacred Heart University: Fairfield, CT), Bonnie Maur (Sacred Heart University: Fairfield, CT), Kristin Rainville (Sacred Heart University: Fairfield, CT)

Thursday, July 21
4:25 PM - 4:55 PM
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Preparing Teachers to Address Challenging Scientific and Environmental Topics through Research, Dialogue, and Experiential Learning

McCormick Place - W181c

Ongoing findings from NSF Project: #1950232. Graduate students at an HBCU complete a 14-month accelerated pathway that leads to both a masters degree in biology and teacher certification while being supported with a $20,000.00 scholarship. Project offers unique professional development opportunities and academic interventions that aim to enhance teacher conceptual understanding and efficacy to teach challenging and controversial scientific and environmental topics such as climate change and evolution. Paper presentation will first focus on comparing teacher profiles of the project participants versus the average state graduate of traditional teacher preparation programs. Initially, project data on beginning teacher demographics and diversity will be compared to state and national averages. Here we will show project utility in recruiting diverse candidates into high school science teaching positions. Next, the session will present findings on GPA, and discipline specific content hours at the graduate and undergraduate level along with performance on licensure exams to compare aptitude in biological concepts in project participants vs other beginning teachers. This will demonstrate project impact on recruiting, training and producing science educators with strong content backgrounds. Prior research has shown that in general students that had high school teachers that were had strong content knowledge and high levels of efficacy positively impacted future STEM career and academic success (Adelman, 1999). Lastly, paper presentation will share results on a pre/post assessment of educator efficacy of teaching perceived controversial scientific topics such as evolution, climate change and vaccines. Project participants were pretested upon starting their academic program and post-tested upon completion. These results are compared to a control group of recent graduates from a secondary science traditional teacher preparation program. Findings show impact of program participation on growth of efficacy to teach controversial topics and project utility compared to traditional teacher preparation.

Takeaways: Session participants will: 1. Develop an understanding on how to recruit diverse individuals into the profession of secondary science teaching 2. Understand the complexity of the STEM pipeline in regards to K-16 teaching and eventual student career and academic pursuits 3. Appreciate the need for scholarships, incentives, pay and ongoing professional for secondary science educators 4. Understand how content knowledge, academic preparation and experiences associated with research and professional development impact teacher effectiveness and student achievement 5. Realize the importance of teacher efficacy and the need for training at both the in-service and pre-service levels to foster its growth.


Timothy Goodale (Elizabeth City State University: Elizabeth City, NC)

Thursday, July 21
5:10 PM - 5:40 PM
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STEM Engagement and Collaboration in Jurassic Proportions

McCormick Place - W187a

Explore the many ways dinosaurs and paleontology can be integrated into STEM curricula to attract all learners. Resources and collaboration ideas will be shared.

Takeaways: Participants will walk away with a plethora of hands-on ideas and resources (including children's literature) relating to dinosaurs, paleontology, and community resources to help inspire all learners in their contexts.


Catherine Pangan (Butler University: Indianapolis, IN), Becky Wolfe (The Children's Museum of Indianapolis: Indianapolis, IN)

Friday, July 22
2:20 PM - 3:20 PM
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Toshiba America Foundation wants to work together with teachers who are looking for a better way of doing the right thing

McCormick Place - W175c

Toshiba America Foundation wants to work together with teachers who are looking for a better way to engage the community in STEM. Participants will hear from educators that have won money for their school and communities to implement STEM action projects.

Takeaways: Participants will learn how they can receive cash awards and acknowledge for STEM action projects.


John Anderson (Toshiba America Foundation: New York, NY)

Saturday, July 23
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
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Problem Centered Teaching by Tomorrow

McCormick Place - W193a

Problem centered instruction is a great way to engage students, integrate content, inspire learning, and naturally incorporate all three dimensions of the NRC Framework. However, true problem centered instruction requires a major shift in both teaching and learning, requiring the one thing teachers don't have: time--the last thing teachers need is another pedagogical strategy that disrupts their entire routine. Teachers will have the opportunity to voice their concerns and discuss some barriers of problem centered teaching and learning, while also addressing the benefits for both teachers and students. Considering the benefits, there are some immediate changes that teachers can use to help shift to a problem centered environment. Recalling that problem centered learning should be complex, meaningful, and open-ended, the four strategies are: 1) Make the Content Relatable, 2) Structure: Less is More, 3) Be a Resource, Not an Answer Key, and 4) Use a Problem to Introduce a Topic. Teachers will then have an opportunity to put the strategies to immediate use by picking a lesson or topic and work with others to transform it into a three-dimensional, problem centered lesson.

Takeaways: Teachers will explore four strategies that promote three-dimensional learning through the process of problem centered instruction that is complex, meaningful, and open-ended. They will discuss benefits and barriers to the problem centered approach from the perspective of both the instructor and the learner. Teachers will have an opportunity to brainstorm and work collaboratively on transforming a lesson or topic of their choice into a problem centered, reality based scenario that seamlessly integrates the Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.


Cassandra Armstrong (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy: Aurora, IL)

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