155 Community-Based Problem Solving to Introduce Inclusive STEM Pedagogies

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Richard Wagner, Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO; and J. Johnson

In June 2017, a team of educators and scientists led a week-long MULTI STEM Institute in Denver, Colorado. The acronym represents components of Methodology, Unit content, Leveraging resources, Technology, Intercultural competence. This was the first of three planned annual workshops using pedagogies designed to attract and retain more students into STEM careers. Participants included pre-service and in-service teachers at levels from elementary through high school, primarily from grades 5-8. During the workshop, teachers designed lessons and units on earth system science within a framework of problem-based and data-driven community and global issues. In particular, teachers worked in teams to design student projects connecting human health with various earth system components – wildfires, air quality, water quality, and climate. Scientists from NASA and other institutions provided earth system science content expertise on these topics, including hands-on data collection methodologies.

Using earth systems content, teachers were tasked to plan units addressing (1) national and state science standards, (2) awareness and interest in STEM careers, and (3) intercultural competence in developing equitable programs. Institute facilitators included experts on career exploration, standards (including Next Generation Science Standards) and STEM equity. This and subsequent planned institutes are supported through the NSF I-TEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) program in partnership with GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment). GLOBE trainers from across the country attended with the aim towards sharing successful approaches.

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