Scientist And Librarian Stem Education Collaborations


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  • Librarians can play an active role in STEM education, faculty research and enhancing public understanding of science. Now more than ever before, the nation’s scientists are engaging in outreach activities focused on the pre-college pipeline in order to ensure that a continuing supply of students enter college-level science disciplines and education programs, and ensure that schools graduate an informed citizenry appreciative of the sciences. Increased participation in these types of activities can be attributed in large part to funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focused grant programs, which now require that their funded scientists to articulate both a research program and an outreach program (ie. “broader impacts” ). These outreach requirements present new opportunities for librarians to support faculty research and to further integrate their library into the teaching and learning mission of their institution.
  • So why do we care or should we care about what is happening in the STEM education environment? Contribute to institution’s learning mission UC Irvine – public university – responsibility to facilitate the transfer of qualified students into the UC system; and to make UC education accessible to everyone in the community (2) Support your institution’s research mission Support research in terms of our collections, but also we can play a more active role in faculty grant applications (3) Expand our burgeoning role as educators Well positioned to translate research and to leverage our instruction experience with diverse audiences Sometimes we act as trainers (e.g. how to use a database) with too much tool focus; let’s put equal focus on “making sense of the world” for our patrons, getting them excited about a topic, “helping them to move them from outside the discipline” (as novices) by “opening doors” (4) Leverage our expertise as collaborators Experience in building programs, forging relationships… But we should emphasize collaboration, not cooperation (there is a semantic difference!) Cooperate = you are helping someone with sthg they are doing; project usually belongs to the other person and you contribute your knowledge/skills to its success Collaborate = regarded more of an equal partner, the project belongs to both of you; sharing creatively in a group project; working towards a common end AND as a result maybe even assist in securing federal grant money (bonus!) Library becoming a revenue center, not just a perceived cost center
  • What are libraries, after all, really about? Inquiry, discovery, curiosity, learning, connecting… Books are only USEful if they are used. They are only used if there is a NEED or a DESIRE to use them. For some, we can create NEED through required coursework, which may lead to a desire to learn more, but it may not. Optimally we want to create DESIRE and INTEREST, that is curiosity in learning! Information serves no purpose if it is not utilized and at least available for people to attempt to learn. Let’s help cultivate that desire…
  • The K-12 community is a key audience of Broader Impact initiatives. What are some of the typical outreach goals? Excite children about science and going to college Improve relationships between schools and higher education – i.e. improving the K-12 to college pipeline Help fulfill K-12 science education standards, providing extra-curricular experiences to enhance classroom learning Expand teacher professional development opportunities by providing additional educational and instructional materials Begin teaching science information literacy (e.g. processes, search strategies, information sources, evaluation) Lay a foundation for voters educated in science and technology (e.g. health/medical questions, global warming, green technologies)
  • Here is an example outreach program , which features a number of partnerships with STEM faculty on their Broader Impact Programs. SPIRIT is a successful 10-year outreach program of the UCI Libraries which is designed to teach research skills to junior and high school students. More than 5,000 students have participated in the program over the last 5 years. Strong relationships have been built with junior high and high schools in underrepresented local school districts like Santa Ana and Compton Unified. What? Community outreach program Who? K-14 teachers and students Why? Facilitate transfer of students into UC system How? By means of two programs: DACE and TILI Science activities of these programs funded in the past through an NSF-MSP UCI campus award Day at College Experience (DACE) Targets junior high & high school students At-need school districts (e.g. Compton, Santa Ana) Day-long academic & social experience Science, history, and social sciences 27 visits in 2007-08; 1300+ students Teachers IL Institutes (TILI) PD workshops for K-12 educators 4 workshops in 2007-08; 60+ educators
  • “ To sponsor”: to take leadership and management of; take responsibility for the initiation and management “ To collaborate”: worked together with another program to achieve a goal “ To cooperate”: to help someone with something they are doing; project usually belongs to the other
  • Genesis of this workshop – listening to feedback of teachers! Asking them about their frustrations with the science fair projects…
  • Example of a specific Day at College Experience: Nano-World program. Original pilot partnership with Dr. Zuzanna Siwy, Asst Professor of Physics and Astronomy Focus of Siwy’s research is nanopores (‘holes’ whose diameter is 100,000 smaller than the thickness of a human hair) Overall goal: to create synthetic analogues of biological channels Prof. Siwy and coworkers are addressing questions to understand the transport of ions and charged molecules through nanopores whose geometry and surface characteristics will be fully controlled. Transport properties of nanopores differ greatly from those of micrometer-sized pores. It is because the increased surface to volume ratio causes ions and molecules passing through the nanopore to be strongly influenced by the properties of the pore walls. Success of this project will lead to the development of new and improved devices that would be applicable in biosensing, lab-on-a-chip, and nanofluidic systems. Her initial early career grant proposal was unsuccessful, including criticism aimed at her proposed BI activities. In her next iteration, she included a partnership with SPIRIT in her proposal, articulation of BIs more specific. This proposal was accepted, and included $45,000 allocated to SPIRIT for the education program component of this multi-year award. Includes staffing ($3.2K/yr) and participants costs ($5.8K/yr). Siwy-SPIRIT partnership includes participation in DACE as well as some teacher professional development training. Both middle and high school students. Commitment: 6 visits/year; 30 kids/visit; middle school or high school (high school preferred group) - Santa Ana / Compton / Newport Mesa focus Education program: The research and laboratory workshops will demonstrate inter-disciplinary concepts in physics, chemistry, and biology. One laboratory workshop will demonstrate the physics of electric currents in water (or fluidic electronics) and the other will demonstrate how basic physics and chemistry concepts apply to imaging techniques in biology. How do we talk about this area of research to students? Middle school students -> Introduce some of the basic concepts of nanotechnology (e.g. nanoscale, special tools, size-dependent properties) as well as have them research a potential nanotech application. High school students -> depends on what science courses they have had – but the goal is to demonstrate inter-disciplinary concepts in physics, chemistry, and biology. What does a day look like? Morning: 2 hrs Research instruction in the Libraries’ technology classrooms. Students learn to use academic resources to locate, synthesize, and interpret information relating to the core concepts of the faculty member’s research.  Lunch 1 hr.  Afternoon 1 hr Demonstrations and hands-on activities related to faculty member’s research, typically conducted in labs. Sample curriculum: and
  • A 2-minute video highlighting Godinez HS visit to SPIRIT-nanotechnology program in May 2008
  • It's a nationwide initiative to build local communities of support (hubs) that will foster ongoing collaborations among volunteers, students and educators. What is a lab? It's a place where you can explore, experiment, test, and maybe even get your hands dirty. We're not just talking about test tubes and beakers. A lab could be a laptop to a software designer, a mountaintop to a geologist, a computer link to a distant particle accelerator to a physicist, or a factory floor to an industrial engineer. It's a place where hands-on lessons in science and engineering and technology can be designed to happen, or where math can come alive, and it could be anywhere in the physical or virtual world. What is a NLD Hub? A hub is a group of volunteers committed to improving labs and lab experiences for our students. Hubs can support an individual teacher, a group of teachers, a school or school district, or a project. They form to match teachers' classroom needs with volunteer expertise, time and resources. California already has 23 project ideas/requests for assistance posted by teachers!
  • This type of program can be scaled and adapted in different academic settings and funding agencies. Advice/Best Practices Who to target? Identify grant recipients via campus grants/research offices or grant agency websites and target outreach to departmental faculty. Figure out what departments are applying/getting money from STEM funding agencies Early career grant recipients best or those who are applying Pick faculty that you want to work with! It’s easier to work with those who have some enthusiasm for public outreach, rather than those who see it as an entirely unpleasant burden and necessity. When to target? Pay attention to grant proposal cycles. Conduct outreach at time of need; not too far in the future of proposal deadlines. How to Start small, get buy-in from one faculty member, educate them, develop a [investigative] program, then get buy in from departments/chairs, then have an educational meeting for all appropriate departments (with food, during lunch, on “their” turf or at their department meeting/seminar time; this program should include the “education” librarian, subject librarian(s), and the faculty member you had your first success with; bring appropriate one page handout [have a link or picture of this] Prepare for faculty questions, e.g. how often?, who is responsible for what?, how do we make my research understood?, what’s the budget?, and [the big one] can we or how do we measure impact? Utilize existing infrastructure and campus outreach programs Utilize existing nationwide programs and materials, ex. nanodays, etc. Time spent??? And time commitments What could it look like? See who is doing what on your campus, can you work with them (rather than launch your own – piggyback) Are you already offering some programs in your library that could be tweaked or adopted to have a STEM focus? Do you have a college of education? Could you work with your Education Librarian to enhance pre-service teachers science literacy? Could be a summer program for teachers or students (1 day or multi-day) Could be professional development workshops for teachers Be creative! Your commitment can be as large or small as you want it to be.
  • Scientist And Librarian Stem Education Collaborations

    1. 1. Scientist and Librarian STEM Education Collaborations Melanie J. Sellar Education Services and Reference Librarian Marymount College, California [email_address]
    2. 2. Overview <ul><ul><li>Why we should care as librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What we can contribute as librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with K-12 teachers: sample programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with K-12 students: sample programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice for getting started </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Why do we care? <ul><li>Aligns with librarian professional priorities and competencies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contribute to institution’s learning mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support institution’s research mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand our burgeoning role as educators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage our expertise as collaborators </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And as a bonus, we can assist in securing federal grant $$ ! </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why else do we care? <ul><li>Aligns with the core mission and the essence of libraries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting inquiry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivating curiosity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember : books are for use (Ranganathan)! </li></ul>
    5. 5. What can we do? <ul><li>Partner with STEM faculty to help meet education imperatives… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design and execute outreach programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help translate research for audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivate appreciation of research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide academic and logistical support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assist in identifying and arranging audiences </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Why Outreach to K-12? <ul><li>The K-12 students/teachers audience provides the opportunity to… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excite children about science and college </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect/improve the K-12 to college pipeline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help fulfill K-12 science education standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide teacher professional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin teaching science information literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay a foundation for science-educated voters </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Context: SPIRIT <ul><li>What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S chool P artnerships in R esearch & I nformation T echnology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community outreach program at UC Irvine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>K-14 students and teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5,000 students over last 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate transfer of students into UC system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DACE: Day at College Experience (for students) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TILI: Teachers Information Literacy Institutes (for teachers) </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Working with K-12 Teachers <ul><li>SPIRIT as sponsor : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Half-day workshops held at UCI Libraries on Saturdays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivated by PD credit and/or own intrinsic interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other invitees: UCI credential candidates, local LMTs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handled all logistics, curriculum, and instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SPIRIT as collaborator : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated into UCI partner programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically as part of summer science programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked with the Center for Educational Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handled our own curriculum and instruction </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Teacher Program Example <ul><li>Developing Research Skills for Science Fair Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare your students for Science Fair! Learn strategies for developing students' research skills relating to scientific inquiry. Discover information tools they can use for identifying research topics and conducting background research for projects. (*sponsor) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to guide students towards research topics </li></ul><ul><li>Learn techniques for narrowing topics into testable questions </li></ul><ul><li>Become familiar with websites in support of Science Fair </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about citations & how to encourage those skills </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    10. 10. Teacher Program Example <ul><li>Nanotechnology @ Summer Science Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about the field of nanoscience/technology, enhancing not only your own understanding of this exciting field of science but also taking away ideas and activities that you can use in your middle and high school classrooms to support the teaching of CA Science Standards. (*collaborator & sponsor) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Outcomes : </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an understanding of core concepts in nanoscience </li></ul><ul><li>Be able to connect those concepts with science standards </li></ul><ul><li>Become familiar with resources in support of teaching nano </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    11. 11. Teacher Feedback <ul><li>What helped the most? </li></ul><ul><li>Connection to standards (mentioned several times) </li></ul><ul><li>Library session is great, really informative </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to websites / I really liked the website! </li></ul><ul><li>Basic intro to nanotechnology (mentioned several times) </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll be accessing the website from home to spend more time! </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested improvements? </li></ul><ul><li>More focus on topics to enhance upcoming presentations </li></ul>
    12. 12. Working with K-12 Students <ul><li>SPIRIT as sponsor : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Day-long, on-campus college experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Morning research in the libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Afternoon activities in lab / research center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handled all logistics, curriculum, instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SPIRIT as collaborator : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated into UCI partner programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically part of various residential summer programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handled our own curriculum and instruction </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Student Program Example <ul><li>An NSF Broader Impacts Partnership (SPIRIT = sponsor) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership with Associate Prof. Siwy of Physics & Astronomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology for biomedical and engineering applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Broader impact component for NSF Early Career proposal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Day at College Experience [DACE] Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Morning library instruction session ( ) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Afternoon nanotechnology laboratory visit and hands-on activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(And by the way: raised ~$45K through NSF grant over 5 years) </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. A Day in the Nanoworld Program
    15. 15. Student/Teacher Feedback <ul><li>Learning about nanotechnology because that is new to me and it's amazing learning about what college students are learning here at this campus as well as other universities. I found out many things doing this research that have opened my eyes... </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher: What an amazing two days! A few of the comments my students have said, &quot;College is cool!&quot;, &quot;I never though about going to a university, but now I want to go&quot;, &quot;Thank you so much, I learned so much today&quot;, &quot;That was my best school day ever!” </li></ul><ul><li>Everything today was new. So I had a great experience and learned about something new in our micro world. </li></ul>
    16. 16. More Student/Teacher Feedback <ul><li>The part where we did our research helped the most. It also helped me for my following projects in the future that I'm going to have in high school because I learned that […] I actually put information together and learned from it :) </li></ul><ul><li>The things I read about today I have never read about before. </li></ul><ul><li>The parts of the session that helped me the most were when we had to find the information that we needed for our oral discussion all by ourselves without the help of instructors. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Other SPIRIT Sponsored Programs <ul><li>Nuclear Reactions: Fusion and Fission </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring Reptilia </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Researching Careers in Science </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring the Galaxy and Solar System </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    18. 18. Student Program Example <ul><li>Integrated into campus residential summer science programs: </li></ul><ul><li>COSMOS </li></ul><ul><li>(California State Summer School for Math & Science) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Upward Bound </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(*more cooperative in nature than truly collaborative) </li></ul>
    19. 19. An Idea: National Lab Day <ul><li>Just launched in November 2009 & endorsed by Obama </li></ul><ul><li>Year-long activities, culminating in May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Presents an opportunity for libraries to get involved! </li></ul><ul><li>Consider volunteering your library as a local organizer </li></ul><ul><li>What will your campus be doing? Can you pitch an idea? </li></ul><ul><li>Visit the website: </li></ul>
    20. 20. Advice/Best Practices <ul><ul><li>Pick faculty, programs, & populations you want to work with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and target grant recipients/potential applicants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start small to get library/campus/faculty buy-in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize existing campus infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use existing nat’l and int’l science program materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale scope of collaboration to suit your library </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Thanks for attending! Questions? <ul><li>Melanie Sellar </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>