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Collaborating for Education and Research Forums I-VII Summary

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Collaborating for Education and Research Forums I-VII Summary

  1. 1.     The  Collaborating  for  Education  and  Research  Forum  has  been  a  gathering  place   for  Michiana  K-­‐12  teachers  and  university  outreach  professionals  for  the  past  seven   years.   Drawing   an   average   of   150   participants,   the   annual   Forum   is   becoming   a   centerpiece  of  professional  identity  for  Michiana  STEM  educators  at  every  level.  For   seven  consecutive  years,  better  than  95%  of  program  participants  have  agreed  that   the   Forum   is   effective   in   achieving   its   goal   of   promoting   Integrated   STEM   Community  in  Michiana.       The   Forum   is   a   showcase   of   opportunities   to   collaborate   across   traditional   educational   divides,   whether   school-­‐to-­‐school,   district-­‐to-­‐district,   or   K12-­‐to-­‐ university.   Participating   individuals   and   programs   have   at   least   three   ways   to   connect  with  one  another:  over  information  tables  at  the  lunchtime  Collaboration   Bazaar,  in  response  to  “requests  for  information”  forms  in  each  participant  packet,   or  by  following  up  on  the  contact  information  distributed  in  a  full-­‐color  pamphlet   highlighting   the   full   range   of   University   STEM   outreach   opportunities.   Local   participation  has  been  consistent  and  deeply  rooted:  the  forum  has  had  over  450   unique  participants;  more  than  200  K-­‐12  teachers  have  attended  a  Forum  and  at   least  one  other  STEM  outreach  event;  all  but  3  of  the  more  than  130  Michiana  K-­‐12   schools  with  which  we  have  record  of  any  outreach  activity  have  been  represented   by  teachers  at  one  or  more  Forums.     In  addition  to  highlighting  STEM  outreach  programs,  each  Forum  is  an  occasion  to   highlight   issues   of   importance   to   regional   educators,   such   as   last   year’s   official   public   launch   of   the   5-­‐county   Project   Lead   The   Way   initiative.   Notable   guest   speakers   have   included   State   Superintendent   for   Public   Instruction   Glenda   Ritz,   Senator   (then   Representative)   Joe   Donnelly,   and   Executive   Directors   from   local   Chambers  of  Commerce,  industry  and  educational  associations.  Each  Forum  closes   with  an  extended  opportunity  to  listen  to  ideas  and  suggestions  from  participants.     The   Forum   series   was   launched   with   funding   through   the   Notre   Dame   extended   Research   Community   (NDeRC),   an   NSF-­‐sponsored   GK-­‐12   program,   and   has   continued   as   a   collaborative   effort   of   multiple   University   offices   and   programs.   Support  for  the  Forum  is  drawn  from  sponsoring  Colleges,  Departments,  Centers,   and   programs.   Highlights   from   past   Forums   can   be   found   at   michianastem.org/forums.  

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