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  1. Dr. Lauren Birney
  2. http://www.stemccers.com/
  3. Professor of STEM Education
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Pace University
  1. Joyce Kong
  2. Adjunct Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Pace University

Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration of a Keystone Species in ...

NSF Awards: 1759006

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate, Graduate, Informal / multi-age

ABSTRACT

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by expanding and testing an innovative curriculum model that features locally relevant, problem-based learning. The curriculum model is organized around habitat restoration in New York harbor and will engage students and teachers in a sequence of activities that span the elementary, middle school, and high school grades of the nation's largest urban school system. Students will conduct field research in support of restoring native oyster habitats, and the project will be implemented by a broad partnership of institutions and community resources, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and others.

The project focuses on important concepts in the geological, environmental, and biological sciences that typically receives inadequate attention in schools: watersheds and the roles of keystone species. This project builds on and extends the Billion Oyster Project of the New York Harbor School. The project model includes several interrelated components, including: a teacher education curriculum that includes a component for elementary teachers that focuses on restoration science; a student learning curriculum; a digital platform for project resources; an aquarium exhibit; an after-school STEM mentoring program and a near-peer mentoring program; community based restoration science hubs, and advanced methods in restoration science for high school students that includes genetic barcoding (species ID), environmental DNA sampling and analysis, bacterial monitoring, and basic water chemistry analysis. The project targets students in low-income neighborhoods with high populations of English language learners and students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields and education pathways. The project will directly involve 97 schools, over 300 teachers, and approximately 15,000 K-12 students over a period of four years. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods research plan will be used to assess the individual and collective effectiveness of project components. Multivariate analyses will be used to identify effective program aspects and assess the individual effectiveness of participation in various combinations of program components. Questions guiding the research include: 1. How does the project influence motivation and preparation to pursue STEM careers among K-12 students? 2. What aspects of the project have a positive influence on underrepresented students' motivation and preparation to pursue STEM careers, compared to other students? And 3. What curricular innovations associated with the project contribute to heightened awareness of and intent to pursue STEM careers among students?

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • May 4, 2020 | 06:34 p.m.

    I'd love to hear more about your STEM hubs.  Our project at the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit is place-based on an island in the Detroit River.  But what a great idea to bring an Aquarium STEM extension into the urban neighborhoods themselves.  What do the hubs have in them? who uses them?  We invite you to visit our ITEST showcase video and virtual field trips (https://www.biaquariumstem.org/virtual-field-trip.html, a result of COVID-19).  BTW, we love mollusks, too!  Unfortunately, our molluscan invaders, the zebra and quagga mussels, have killed off most of our native mussels.

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 08:41 a.m.

    Dear Jeffrey - thank you for watching our video! I would love to chat further - I will check out your video! thanks again - Lauren :)

  • Icon for: Suzanne Kirk

    Suzanne Kirk

    Curriculum Coordinator
    May 5, 2020 | 12:08 a.m.

    I am so excited to view your video for two reasons: 1) I grew up on Long Island, surrounded by the Great South Bay and “Baymen.” I have always been interested in the ecology and economics of Long Island’s marine aquaculture. 2) I am currently working with a NOAA B-Wet grant at Virginia Commonwealth University that introduces students and teachers to the role that freshwater mussels and oysters play in the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I would love to learn more about your project and the curriculum resources that you use. Thank you for sharing your project

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Pati Ruiz
    James Vonesh
  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 08:35 a.m.

    Thanks so very much, Suzanne! I hope you enjoy it - New York Harbor is our passion !

     
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    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Leslie Koren

    Leslie Koren

    Assistant Professor of Media Arts
    May 5, 2020 | 08:37 a.m.

    Great topic serving an important population. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jill Rhoden
  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 08:39 a.m.

    Thank you for watching our video, Leslie :) !

  • Icon for: James Vonesh

    James Vonesh

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 10:01 a.m.

    Enjoyed your project video - thanks for sharing! I am participating in the same project as Sue Kirk above. I am just starting to explore these videos, but I am already excited to see some overlapping themes. This makes me wonder about opportunities to connect classrooms across projects and across the country on these shared topics. We have middle school classes investigating aspects of oyster and freshwater mussel biology, conservation, and ecosystem services as well. I wonder what you think about connecting some of your classes with ours through ZOOM etc in the year(s) ahead.

  • May 5, 2020 | 03:01 p.m.

    I agree with James's and Sue Kirk's sentiments. Very impressive efforts, and very similar to our future grant efforts as well. Perhaps indeed a zoom for students to showcase/share efforts, data, compare/contrast different issues, challenge, solutions, efforts, etc. Nicely done, impressive!

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 10:36 p.m.

    Thank Albert ! Let us know if we can help in any way !

  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 10:24 p.m.

    I like the real-world, experiential foundation of this program. Do you have any information yet on how the experience may have impacted and/or even transformed the students and their learning in a measurable way? Do you have data as to whether it inspired them to pursue further STEM education and/or aspire to a future career in STEM? Also, wondering if you can give more description on the teacher professional development program and any outcomes that can be reported (even if informal only).

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 10:37 p.m.

    Thanks Ann - yes all these factors are considerations as we move forward with our research.

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 5, 2020 | 10:38 p.m.

    Thanks Ann - yes all these factors are considerations as we move forward with our research.

  • Icon for: Hollylynne Lee

    Hollylynne Lee

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 08:34 a.m.

    Thanks for the video! It sounds like what started as a middle school focused project then expanded into elementary and high schools. I am wondering if there are differences in what you engage teachers and students in at those three levels. Can you describe some commonalities and perhaps differences of the engagement at these three education levels?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 6, 2020 | 10:46 a.m.

    Thanks Hollylynne - great question! The level of engagement for all teachers is similar - the content for each level obviously varies as does the instructional content :)

     

    Have a great day - thanks for checking out our video !

     
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    Judi Fusco
  • Icon for: Hollylynne Lee

    Hollylynne Lee

    Facilitator
    May 11, 2020 | 07:29 a.m.

    I'd love to know more about the how teachers and students are engaged. It is not clear if this happens with stduents as part of the school day, in summer or Saturday extension programs? Also, how/when are teachers engaged in the professional development? do you separate elem/middle/high teachers? have you found in your recruiting one group of teachers more interested than others? 

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 11, 2020 | 07:57 a.m.

    Good morning Hollylynne ... thank you for taking the time to watch our video. Research and stie visits happen both in school time and out of school time. Our programs run all year long and most data collection happens in Spring and Summer given the season. The professional development trainings take place based upon the teacher's instructional grade level. Since the project is a community based activity - all levels of teachers have shown interest equally. In terms of engagement, teachers participate in their classrooms, trainings in the field, scientific forums at Pace University, laboratory research trainings, and no virtually.

  • Icon for: Michael Clinchot

    Michael Clinchot

    K-12 Teacher
    May 6, 2020 | 02:22 p.m.

    Great video!  It's so important for urban students to understand that they can play an important role in marine biology through restoration efforts.  I find students are very interested in marine biology but often don't know how to access programs; having these STEM Hub sites must be a very valuable resource.

  • Icon for: Joyce Kong

    Joyce Kong

    May 6, 2020 | 04:59 p.m.

    Thanks for your feedback Michael! We are surrounded by water, but there are few access points for students to learn about their natural world. We find the STEM hubs to be invaluable resources to engage students in hands-on, authentic investigations about NY Harbor. Videos and classroom demonstrations, while helpful, cannot replicate the experience of being outdoors, smelling the sea and observing the interrelationships in nature.

  • Icon for: Beth Sappe

    Beth Sappe

    Facilitator
    May 7, 2020 | 11:35 a.m.

    Thanks for creating a detailed video. I enjoyed watching the students in action. I love that you are integrating this opportunity into the school day. Do you expand learning during summer programming? Working for an urban school district, we are always trying to find ways to expose and give students opportunities to learn about STEM careers. What are some of your successes thus far around student motivation to pursue STEM pathways?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 7, 2020 | 04:29 p.m.

    Beth - thanks for checking out our video - we have been to provide students with experiential learning in various arenas of STEM, provide mentoring for students, lab trainings, field trainings, resource support, symposium and forums to provide students with a lens into various fields of study in STEM!  We continue to support students in these fields as a resource center. Thanks for the wonderful question!

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Judi Fusco
  • Icon for: Beth Sappe

    Beth Sappe

    Facilitator
    May 8, 2020 | 11:37 a.m.

    Thanks for your response. 

  • Icon for: Judi Fusco

    Judi Fusco

    Researcher
    May 10, 2020 | 12:47 p.m.

    I had to come check out your project.  So exciting to see where it is going!  Thanks for your video!  

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 10, 2020 | 04:31 p.m.

    Judi !!! Thanks so much for checking us out ! So good to hear from you and thanks again for all your support throughout the years ! ;) Lauren

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Pati Ruiz
  • May 11, 2020 | 02:09 p.m.

    Lauren, I wanted to circle back one more time, and second the desire expressed by my VCU colleagues, Sue Kirk and James Vonesh above. For our second year, there might be a wonderfully rich opportunity for  students to exchange findings, data. We are at middle school, but I loved hearing about the elementary level and the teacher PL related to the same) and the hubs around NY for oyster study, e-DNA and more. We will definitely circle back as we embark on future cycles of our grant! 

    Can you talk more about the STEM Hubs, and how they sustain themselves financially, and via human capital?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 11, 2020 | 04:36 p.m.

    Thanks for watching our video and we look forward to assisting in any way that we can ! :)

    The Hubs are part of the NSF project and function as such ... they are really a wonderful part of work and provide so rich experiences for students ;)

     

  • Icon for: CarlaDean Caldera

    CarlaDean Caldera

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2020 | 02:50 p.m.

     How wonderful Jeffery! The investigative field trips were amazing. Thank you for sharing the efforts of all in such an inspiring project. CarlaDean

  • Icon for: Robert Huie

    Robert Huie

    K-12 Teacher
    May 11, 2020 | 03:40 p.m.

    I love how you are bringing together city students with teachers, professors and industry to help them understand how we can all work together using STEM to better our world.  Without these connections, student would not have a concrete pathway to enter these fields. Kudos!!

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 11, 2020 | 04:26 p.m.

    Dear Robert - thanks so very much for your kind words !!! We are so very fortunate to have such a wonderful community and project - thanks for checking out our video! :)

  • Icon for: Rebecca Ellis

    Rebecca Ellis

    Researcher
    May 12, 2020 | 03:14 p.m.

    This looks like a great, hands-on experience for students! Have you thought about how you might expand your to other cities? Do you have comparable lessons and activities for landlocked schools?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of STEM Education
    May 12, 2020 | 04:33 p.m.

    Dear Rebecca - thanks for checking out our video !!! so great to hear from you -  ;) We only have marine based lesson at this time, but the idea is to be able to grow these experiences elsewhere and replicate the model in other environments - let me know if I can be of any assistance and always happy to collaborate. Thanks again! take care!  Lauren  :)

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