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Icon for: Kelly Greene

KELLY GREENE

Chief Science Officers

Chief Science Officers

NSF Awards: 1615209

2020 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Informal / multi-age

Chief Science Officers are making a difference in their schools and communities by getting a seat at the table to discuss STEM education.  Thanks to the National Science Foundation, CSOs are actively engaged with elected officials, administrators and school boards by serving on STEM Advisory Councils.  Students are also celebrating the opportunities in the career pathways by learning STEM.  Not only are students expected to create an Action Plan, they are allowed to fail and learn from their mistakes.  They are getting more support from STEM professionals, Industry Leaders and Higher Education institutions for their stories of making a difference by promoting every opportunity presented for students.

Watch the video and listen to their inspiring stories.  Are you ready to be involved?  

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Original Discussion from the 2020 STEM For All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Jeremy Babendure

    Jeremy Babendure

    Executive Director
    May 4, 2020 | 03:23 p.m.

    Welcome to our video!  We are excited for you to meet our Chief Science Officers from around the United States, Kenya, Mexico and Kuwait.  CSOs are required to complete at least one Action Plan during the year.  As a project, our goals include amplifying student voice in STEM conversations in the community.  Post your questions here!

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Nickolay Hristov

    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 09:15 p.m.

    Greetings to the Team!  USA, Kenya, Mexico and Kuwait... As I was watching the presentation it made me wonder - how did the idea for this project come together?  How and why were these countries selected? 

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
    Jeremy Babendure
  • Icon for: Jeremy Babendure

    Jeremy Babendure

    Executive Director
    May 5, 2020 | 09:51 p.m.

    Thanks Nickolay!  That is actually an incredible question.  They were not selected.  The first 2 years of the CSO Program were in Arizona only.  Southern Oregon, Great Lakes Bay Region Michigan and Kuwait all came on in the 3rd year through various connections in the STEM Learning Ecosystem and NSF connections.  The 4th year proved to be the most dynamic year for systems and structure of the program leading to other states and Sonora to get involved.  The cross border collaboration with Arizona & Mexico was key in expanding this upcoming year to 3 more states in Mexico.  Kenya is a member of the SLE CoP and we met during a conference!  It is completely a grass roots effort of telling the CSO story and getting them a seat at the table for STEM conversations happening in their communities.

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Nickolay Hristov

    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    May 7, 2020 | 12:03 p.m.

    Thank you, Jeremy!  Interesting trajectory.  It underscores the point that sometimes good ideas come from unexpected roots.  I wonder with that in mind, what would you do differently if you were to start the project over again? 

  • Icon for: Jeremy Babendure

    Jeremy Babendure

    Executive Director
    May 7, 2020 | 04:05 p.m.

    If we had systems in place earlier (like the onset) it might have helped, but also we did not know what system to develop until we tried things out. Now, CSOs have been able to progress through pilot training (3 of 6 so far) levels of CSO at an International scope.  When we started, it was just Arizona.  With over 275 CSOs in Arizona, we were also able to pilot the Leadership Council opportunity for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year CSOs to train and mentor 1st year CSOs.  We are excited about the unexpected roots and directions we have taken with less structure in the beginning, however the project may have developed faster with a few more structures defined and in place earlier.

    Overall, I would say we are fortunate for the path we took and grateful for all those that contributed along the way!  It continues to grow and we are delighted to connect with more individuals interested in giving students a voice.

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Kelly Greene

    Kelly Greene

    Lead Presenter
    Chief Operations Officer
    May 8, 2020 | 02:24 p.m.

    Nickolay, personally I have witnessed the growth and success from further development on the structure in 2 years!  Thanks for asking and facilitating the conversation.  We are proud to have the support from the National Science Foundation.  

    With structure, we have been able to create specific engagement opportunities to include the ITEST STELAR Conferences and 2 CSO International Summit events in Washington, DC.  Our Chief Science Officers were able to visit NSF and engage in STEM Panels with Program Directors.  The growth is incredible, but the CSOs make the conversations dynamic and they really have powerful things to say.  The CSO Program has been able to provide a platform!

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Preeti Gupta

    Preeti Gupta

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 10:27 p.m.

    What a great idea. Tell us a little more about how you recruit and select CSO youth? What is the curriculum to prepare them to serve in that role?

     
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    Jeremy Babendure
  • Icon for: Jeremy Babendure

    Jeremy Babendure

    Executive Director
    May 6, 2020 | 12:06 a.m.

    Chief Science Officers are 6th - 12th graders who represent a site, school, geographical area or club!  They are selected by their peers or club members, often in an election similar to student government, to attend the annual Leadership Training Institute to learn the basics of serving as a CSO for one year.  During the year, they must also attend Cabinet Meetings and submit their Action Plans.  We have students, teachers, administrators, community members and corporate sponsors connecting to start the program in locations around the world!  The CSO International Team supports each step in the process to create an experience focused on empowerment.  Each year, CSOs can be re-elected to serve and level up in the training program progression based on their participation in previous years.  CSOs can progress through 6 levels.

     
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    Sasha Palmquist
    Lisa Ristuccia
    Phelan Gallagher
  • May 8, 2020 | 06:32 a.m.

    I've been impressed with the CSOs whom I've met at the annual STELAR conference.  I tried to promote the idea in our project in Detroit in order to get more students directly activated (we stimulated teacher leadership, but it is really the students who are the ultimate target--the peer values that CSOs are able to promote might help, but it's difficult to wean people off of a top-down approach).  You are welcome to come to Detroit to help us.

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Kelly Greene

    Kelly Greene

    Lead Presenter
    Chief Operations Officer
    May 8, 2020 | 02:23 p.m.

    Let's get it on the calendar, Jeffrey!  We have CSOs in Saginaw... let's grow to connect all of the Michiganders.  We have a team member in "the Thumb".  We can MAKE IT HAPPEN!  The students really are the change agent in the top-down approach.

    As long as it is not snowing, I will come visit!  Let's work together and train CSOs in Detroit.

    Email me - kgreene@SciTechInstitute.org.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Facilitator
    May 8, 2020 | 02:33 p.m.

    I continue to be impressed by the concept of the CSO and how you are expanding it over time. With some years of doing this under your belt, what can you say about impacts on the CSOs, the youth they are serving and the communities they are embedded in. I know you have ambitious goals ;o)

    Another question is around what the CSOs end up doing. There are so many different ways in which they can be ambassadors, spokespersons, champions, or educators themselves, and I assume each one is his or her own mix of roles and responsibilities. Can you say more about how this pens out: what they see themselves being and how they enact their role as CSO?

     
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    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Lisa Ristuccia

    Lisa Ristuccia

    K-12 Teacher
    May 9, 2020 | 05:55 p.m.

    I have been very impressed with the Chief Science Officer (CSO) students! They are inspirational young leaders who are very committed to making a positive difference in the world. The SciTech institute provides leadership training, mentors, and support. The CSO students choose and develop their individualized action plans based on their interests and passions. These action plans allow the students to create strategic plans that will guide them as they bring STEM alive in their communities. The SciTech Institute empowers the students to build the skills and connections that set the students up for success in their action plan projects and throughout their life.

    In conversations with the CSO students, I learned how their participation in the Chief Science Officer program has helped them change from the shy students they once were to the confident, young leaders that they are today. They are so appreciative of the SciTech team, the advisors, the mentors, the supporters, the alumni, and the other students for helping them grow and develop in so many ways. The students have built lifelong friendships and memories as they have moved out of their comfort zones and said “Yes!” to the opportunities and challenges that were presented to them. Being part of the CSO program has definitely made a positive impact in their lives. As role models, these students will go on to influence many other young leaders and their collective actions will change the world!

  • Icon for: Kelly Greene

    Kelly Greene

    Lead Presenter
    Chief Operations Officer
    May 9, 2020 | 06:30 p.m.

     Thanks Martin!  We are also impressed with the CSOs and how they are making an impact on the program.  We have empowered them to help craft the training sessions, develop Action Plans and lead the new CSOs to success.  I have asked the CSOs to write responses to your questions and look forward to sharing soon!  As the Director of Student Success, the impact I notice the most in each CSO is their confidence or personal growth.  When they have a chance to design, create and build individual Action Plans to make an impact in their communities the investment to their project is evident.  While we encourage them to fail fast, fail forward, fail smart and fail often - the most prominent growth aspect is always in their reflection of process.  They also become articulate about their passion for STEM over time!  It is incredible to watch them interact with adults and see the transformation happen live.  It is truly the best part about my role with the CSO Program!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lisa Ristuccia
  • Icon for: Preeti Gupta

    Preeti Gupta

    Facilitator
    May 10, 2020 | 01:50 p.m.

    Do you have any data on those students who don't succeed in being a CSO? Sometimes there is a lot to be learned from what didn't work. Tell us more about those students who drop out or aren't able to successfully meet the goals.

  • Icon for: Kelly Greene

    Kelly Greene

    Lead Presenter
    Chief Operations Officer
    May 11, 2020 | 02:09 p.m.

    Absolutely!  We have CSOs who struggle due to a variety of reasons and our support structure and training continues to develop based on what we identify each year.

    We build in the opportunity to fail at the project, but finish the process.  They must complete three basic steps:

    1. Initial Action Plan Idea (during Leadership Training Institute)

    2. Approval of Action Plan (meet with Site Administrator and CSO Advisor)

    3. Implement and Reflect on Plan (what worked, can it be improved or do something different)

     

    Challenges as a program include finding out about each step.  We ask them to report back on the process and describe their personal growth.  Many who fail to find success face one, two or all three of the following:

    1. The Digital Divide - Many school sites will not allow access to other domains on district computers, so we work on whitelisting our CSO domain with each participating district.  Many CSOs do not have a personal device, so many regions are partnering with companies to provide refurbished machines.  Internet connectivity and basic skills online were also a concern, so a CSO handbook was created to allow participation during training and events, during planning and meetings, with or without a device or internet!

    2. Lack of support between CSO events - at home, at site, with administration or advisor - extra curricular activities always need some support, including encouragement, transportation, finance and supervision.  CSOs who require extra motivation often comes into the discussion during a site visit.  This year, we have asked Regional Leads and Cabinet Coordinators to visit each site at least once a year, especially the under performing CSO sites.  With 2 months between each CSO training, a site visit can help everyone stay connected.  This year, it has helped increase productivity.  In prior years, they wouldn't return or invest the time to provide support.  With the visit, it fosters the relationship and support from the CSO Project Team.  This year, we are also creating CSO Advisor Training and hosting office hours for basic needs for the adults providing support.  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have created online opportunities to connect with STEM professionals, too.

    3. Big PLANs - some of our schools and CSOs drop out due to failure to find success quickly or when their Action Plan completely falls short of their expectations.  We have revamped the training to encourage brand new CSOs to take paths to success earlier in the year, rather than planning one large project at the end like a STEM Night.  We build in ways to promote STEM in less intimidating settings, like encouraging talking with Kinder - 2nd grade or starting a small club based on interest.

     

    We have focused on these three main gaps this year.  More to come!  #MakeItHappen

  • Small default profile

    Nikki Micale

    K-12 Administrator
    May 12, 2020 | 01:36 a.m.

    What an incredible video and way to celebrate the Chief Science Officers Program.  As the Chief Science Officer Arizona Regional Lead, I am able to see the vision intersect with the impact.  Students across Arizona are able to develop strong leadership skills focused on impacting their schools and communities for STEM in a very powerful way.  

  • Small default profile

    Hope Parker

    K-12 Administrator
    May 12, 2020 | 04:45 p.m.

    The CSOs and the program are truly impressive. These young STEM leaders exude poise, confidence, and passion as talk with STEM leaders and constituents, develop and execute action plans, and use their student voice to amplify STEM advocacy in their communities and beyond! Great job CSOs, keep up the amazing and passionate work!

  • Icon for: Kaci Fankhauser

    Kaci Fankhauser

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2020 | 05:45 p.m.

    These students give me hope that we have a bright future ahead of us, in this country and in the world!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

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