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Icon for: Angela Hwang

ANGELA HWANG

Stanford University

Nanoscience Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers at Stanford

NSF Awards: 1542152

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

nano@stanford supports teachers over the course of four days during the Nanoscience Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (NanoSIMST). The program focuses on integrating nanoscience content and practical pedagogy so teachers can bring it back o their classrooms. Teachers were able to access nanoscience in a multitude of ways, including tours, guest lectures, hands-on activities, and develop NGSS-aligned lesson plans.

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 4, 2020 | 04:09 p.m.

    Hi everyone!

    Our video summarizes our Nanoscience Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (NanoSIMST), where over four days teachers go through a crash course in nanoscience. We focus on combining nanoscience content and practical pedagogy so teachers can bring it back to their classrooms. Please learn more about our facilities and programs here: https://nanolabs.stanford.edu/

    We are thrilled to chat with you all this week and answer any questions you may have about our project, and interested in hearing about you and your project!

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 06:45 a.m.

    Dear Angela and the Summer Institute Team,

    Congratulations on such an exciting project. It's clear that the teachers deeply enjoyed this immersive experience!

    Given the diversity of activities within this program, I am curious to know more about what you feel are the "critical elements" of this professional development experience. Is it the on-campus experience and exposure to practicing scientists and the lab, the hands-on activities, or something else? Boiling down what is essential for others to know could make this approach replicable (or help them to know if it is replicable in their context).

    I am also curious to know more about the classroom-level impact. Do you have any data on teacher implementation of the activities or pedagogical approaches they learned in the workshop? (Or, perhaps, anecdotes of teachers who have developed and modified these activities and approaches for their work?) I also wonder if the program provides any kind of long-term support beyond the 4 days on campus.

    Thank you for sharing this great video!

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael I. Swart
    Angela Hwang
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 5, 2020 | 01:13 p.m.

    Hi Rebecca, thank you for stopping by! I believe that many of the elements you mention (on campus, lab tours, scientist interaction, and even teacher community) are very important to the experience. That said, I think this is something that is reproducible in many forms. In fact, due to shelter in place, we plan on holding this program remotely in order to continue its legacy. 

    As for within the classroom, we have anecdotal information and reporting from the teachers who implement a nanoscience lesson into the classroom. Most of them adapt a lesson they've experienced, some have gone off on their own and even done an entire unit!

    We also hold a Fall follow up and I keep in contact with the teachers. We've had teachers from a few years past to continue coming back to campus and/or sending guest speakers to their schools, and now even with remote tours. Please let me know if you have any further questions!

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 02:51 p.m.

    Dear Angela,

    Thanks for your reply! I'm curious to know a bit more about where teachers report fitting in the lessons into their teaching. I took a workshop from ASM a while back, and I was able to fit it some of it into physics, but it felt like most of it was more at home in chemistry. Based on what teachers are reporting back to you, are there any particular components or pedagogies that you feel grab teachers more than others?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Michael I. Swart
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 8, 2020 | 03:07 p.m.

    Yes, definitely! The activities / experiments that are simple but easily adaptable or fit into MS content. For example, one popular activity is called thin films, that looks into how different thicknesses of films exhibit different colors due to the constructive and destructive interference of the varied film thickness. One teacher was able to link this to when they were studying the electromagnetic spectrum. Another popular activity is 'how big is it' which looks at the size of objects on a scale, some teachers have even used this in math classes to teach scientific notation and orders of magnitude. Hope that helps!

  • Icon for: Dave Miller

    Dave Miller

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 5, 2020 | 09:59 a.m.

    Hi Angela and team, great work! Wondering if you have any stats and insights to share on specifics of how teachers have leveraged their experiences with nanolabs, within the K-12 classroom.  Looks like lots of possibilities, and I'm curious to know how applications of the summer institute have (1) been leveraged; and (2) plans for scale so as to bring lessons of application to other teachers around the world. Thanks!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Angela Hwang
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 5, 2020 | 01:21 p.m.

    Hi Dave, thanks for the comment! Our teachers have been able to bring this experience back to the classroom, adapt these lessons into their own curriculum, and some have even dedicated entire units. We offer follow up guest speakers and tours to the teacher alumni, and serve as a resource for their nanoscience questions. As for scaling, we have helped Georgia Tech implement the same program, and hope to bring this workshop online this summer due to shelter in place restrictions. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Michael Haney

    Michael Haney

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 01:59 p.m.

    The video shows that you had a very successful summer institute with enthusiastic teachers who are very likely to find ways to implement what they have learned in their classrooms. Obviously nanotechnology is a very timely topic that deserves to make inroads into schools. 

    The question of scale raised earlier is a good one since summer workshops for teachers are an excellent opportunity for developers and researchers to learn what teachers know and what they need to know to update their content and be able to teach new topics.  But it doesn't scale well.  On the other hand, there are many ways that these teachers experiences could be shared broadly.  The participating teachers  could share the lessons they develop over the first few years in an online library, maybe with some technical help from the project staff.  If the project materials are made available, then these teachers could become resources for other teachers who do not have access to summer workshops.  If there are generally accepted nano-related materials available elsewhere, maybe these could be aggregated for teachers beyond those in the summer workshop.  

    The bottom line is that this is an exciting project that could be important to a much broader audience, I encourage you to look for strategies to scale this to many more teachers.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Angela Hwang
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 6, 2020 | 02:01 p.m.

    Hi Michael, thank you so much for stopping by. That's a great idea! We've been collecting some informal lesson plans that the teachers make but haven't been able to post them.

  • Icon for: Jonathan Margolin

    Jonathan Margolin

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 09:09 a.m.

    Hi Angela, the video conveys the level of excitement among the participating teachers and their appreciation for the experience. You mentioned that the workshop provided opportunities for teachers to create NGSS-aligned lessons. Could you say more about how you supported the development of these lessons? Have you tracked how these lessons align to the three dimensions of the standards? I agree that it will be very interesting to track implementation of these lessons. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Angela Hwang
  • Icon for: Angela Hwang

    Angela Hwang

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Education & Outreach
    May 6, 2020 | 02:26 p.m.

    Hi Jonathan-- interesting question! The experiments and activities we lead throughout the workshop were connected to one or more of the science standards. During the workshop, we would review the activity and review how it related to a standard. And finally, we tasked and supported the teacher to adapt these activities by writing own lesson plans with a focus on one or more standards surrounding their chosen activity. As for the 3D aspect, we have only loosely tied the curriculum to the standards but something we are looking into!

    Thanks!

  • May 12, 2020 | 09:25 a.m.

    This is such an important area of science that many people are not really aware of, even though nanotech affects everything we touch in modern life- clothing, medicine, food handling. I like how it is a wonderful way to provide a context of integrated STEM, such as the relation of volume and surface area of big and very small objects. Thank you for shaing this project and doing this work with teachers.

    Are you familiar with the Nevada Mathematics Project? There are some nice parallels and I encourage you to reach out to Prof. Teruni Lamberg and her statewide PD around STEM integration (nanotech is one of their content areas) if you find the connections helpful.

    http://nevadamathproject.com/

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