2302 Views
  1. Lara Hebert
  2. Public Engagement Coordinator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  1. Beth Kirchgesner
  2. Assistant Coordinator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  1. Meagan Pollock
  2. Founder, Chief Inclusion Engineer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, Engineer Inclusion

Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experiences All Year Round (CISTEME365)

NSF Awards: 1850398

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

The Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experience All Year Round (CISTEME365) initiative hypothesizes that experiences with cutting-edge technology must exist all year-round to effect significant improvement. Thus, the fundamental project goal is to broaden access and participation in STEM for middle and high school students to participate in sustained, intensive, hands-on STEM learning experiences that build technical knowledge & ability, and that offer insight into different STEM majors & careers. However, just providing these types of experiences is insufficient. Creating an environment that's inclusive, equitable, and culturally responsive is also required.

The CISTEME365 project uniquely integrates this work by supporting teams of educators to develop their expertise and confidence in the technical aspects of implementing electrical engineering projects in informal settings while also taking action to create a more equitable informal learning space for their students. 

COVID-19 restrictions led to many changes in this 2nd year of this project, including a switch to virtual professional development sessions, re-calibrating project materials for virtual (yet hands-on) STEM Clubs, and collaborating with schools to find solutions for remote learning and to keep educators, students, and schools invested.

In this video, you'll hear from the 2020-2021 participants who have been learning together and implementing change in this virtual setting. They share how tuning into micromessages is important and makes a difference in the lives of their students.

The STEM equity curriculum used in this project comes from the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) while the engineering curriculum and the college and career content is led by The Grainger College of Engineering, the Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Lab, and Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (15 posts)
  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 07:14 a.m.

    The leadership and participants of the Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experiences All Year Round initiative are excited to participate in this 2021 STEM for All Showcase! Our team consists of representatives from the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, and educators (teachers, counselors, and leaders) from schools across the state. We are in our second year of a three-year Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant, but at times it feels like year one because of the COVID19 shifts we needed to make. The educators you'll hear in this video worked really hard this year to increase equity and inclusiveness in STEM environments and to increase access to STEM opportunities, but student engagement in virtual settings has been struggle. The educators at the CISTEME365 schools are the heroes of this story. They not only did what it took to survive and thrive in this year of remote teaching and learning, but they took additional steps to Tune into MicroMessaging, providing more inclusive and nurturing STEM environments for all students. We look forward to hearing your reflections, your questions, and your connections to the CISTEME365 initiative and the contents of this video.

     
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    Jonee Wilson
  • Icon for: Meagan Pollock

    Meagan Pollock

    Co-Presenter
    NAPE Consultant + Founder, Engineer Inclusion
    May 11, 2021 | 10:31 a.m.

    Hi, Lara, I totally agree! I hope many people help us recognize the contributions of our teams of educators who, despite facing remarkable challenges over the last year, created inclusive STEM learning opportunities for students in underserved districts.

     
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    Lara Hebert
  • Icon for: Lara Gengarelly

    Lara Gengarelly

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 11:05 p.m.

    Hi Lara and team,

    I enjoyed learning more about CISTEME365. Your participants' continued commitment to your project during the COVID disruptions is impressive. Were these participants certified teachers running clubs after school hours or volunteer educators?

    The acrostic RADIO is an effective graphic and helped to convey how your project supported teachers in providing a more inclusive and equitable STEM environments. As your participants 'tuned into' micromessaging, what were some ways participants addressed negative micromessages and provided positive micromessages during student engagement in virtual settings?

  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 12, 2021 | 03:01 p.m.

    Hi Lara,

    Thanks for your questions. All of the participants are certified, practicing teachers, school counselors, and a few teacher leaders like coaches or department heads. One of the actions that participating schools agree to when joining the network is to support either the development of a new club or the enhancement of a current one. 

    In the virtual settings, positive micromessaging focused primarily around the theme of growth mindset and effective feedback or praise. Teachers also described how this virtual setting provided, or even required, that they model having this growth mindset and resiliency themselves as the various technologies presented challenges for students and teachers to work through together. Additionally, counselors and advisors described their efforts during this past school year to be more purposeful in the representation and diversity of guest speakers or videos used to discuss STEM careers.

     
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    Lara Gengarelly
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Facilitator
    Distinguished Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:03 a.m.

    Hi Lara and team,

    A big yes to teachers as heroes! I'm intrigued by the RADIO acrostic as a strategy. How are the RADIO sub-strategies integrated into the programming in a way that feels authentic to youth? Have you been able to collect any data on youths' meanings of the micro-messaging? Further, I wonder how your team designs for synergy between the  engineering work and the justice-oriented micro-messaging work. Very excited to see where this goes! Congrats and hats off to the teachers and educators!

     
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    Lara Hebert
  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 12, 2021 | 03:43 p.m.

    Hi Heidi. Thank you for your questions. We have not seen signs of the teachers and counselors discussing micro-messaging with their students. This has been primarily used as a tool for the educators to be mindful of the messaging they send as they are working with students and with one another.

    The connections between the technical of the engineering and the justice-oriented content has been evolving. We started with the understanding that providing access to extended day and extended year STEM enrichment and career exploration will only make a difference if this is occurring in an environment that's equitable and inclusive, so it matters to us to make sure that these are not treated as separate ares for growth and change. Up to this point, the content has still continued to be fairly separate with equity content happening for half the day and technical content for the other half of the day. This hasn't been a bad thing. Teachers have appreciated the change in focus, breaking the day into smaller chunks and exercising a different part of the brain. We think, though, that there's even more power and synergy possible. We have a goal for next year to work intentionally toward building more bridges and connections between the two curricula.

    You have me thinking about the student perceptions of micromessaging... Thanks!

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Meagan Pollock

    Meagan Pollock

    Co-Presenter
    NAPE Consultant + Founder, Engineer Inclusion
    May 14, 2021 | 11:38 a.m.

    So much of our work is centered on practicing authenticity. That originates from each of us examining our positionality and reconciling the ways in which we show up, perceive others, and influence the environments in which we participate. 

    We could perhaps ask students about their perceptions of the climate and culture of the STEM clubs. This would give us some sense of how effective our educators are at curating inclusive and equitable spaces. 

    As far as the synergy, Lara summed it up well. Our program has evolved, and we are super excited about the potential of a fully integrated curriculum this year. 

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 08:38 p.m.

    It seems that one of the strategies is to provide opportunities through STEM clubs. How are students recruited/encouraged to join? How many students might be involved in a school? Have you had buy in from entire science and technology departments in the districts so all of the STEM teachers are involved and provided professional learning around the RADIO ideas? What are some of the other kinds of projects that students get involved in? (Sorry if there are too many questions here. Feel free to only address what you feel is most relevant. It sounds like an exciting approach.)

  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 13, 2021 | 08:07 a.m.

    I'm loving all of the questions. Keep them coming!

    The teacher/counselor participants come as a team of 3. This is often not the full science/technology departments, especially since we want to be sure there are counselors/advisors included on that team. We have had a couple of teams, however, where an instructional coach or department head took lessons back to share with other staff. We also have some teams that describe push back from other staff. Each professional culture is different, and that culture plays an important role in how this plays out in their home context.

    A sampling of other engineering projects includes an gamified exploration of sorting algorithms, building an optical projector, logic gates to build an LED calculator, building a motor, and of course the FM transmitter. 

    Thanks for your interest, Daniel!

  • Icon for: Meagan Pollock

    Meagan Pollock

    Co-Presenter
    NAPE Consultant + Founder, Engineer Inclusion
    May 14, 2021 | 11:32 a.m.

    We encourage our educator teams to personally recruit students because this is the most effective way of reaching marginalized and minoritized students. Another strategy we encourage is to build on the success of another STEM-related club, instead of creating another one. Exactly how they recruit, I think it varies.

    Our program isn't designed to be a train-the-trainer. We want to empower educator teams in their first year to put into practice what they are learning. It is possible that those who are more advanced in their journey can provide professional learning to their colleagues, and we have a few instances of this, though, for many, they are learning all-new ways of instruction, and new engineering content. It wouldn't be prudent to ask them to teach their colleagues, too! When we envisioned the cohort model, we thought that perhaps we'd have some capacity to encourage more teacher-to-teacher dissemination, but as far as I know, we aren't examining that to a great extent. 

  • Icon for: Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Facilitator
    Retired Federal Employee
    May 13, 2021 | 09:06 a.m.

    There are several positive features of this project. First, it is a year round project. The project strives to help students to reach their potential. The engineering activity is interesting and innovative. .Both teachers and counselors participate in project activities. It is mentioned that in the 3 persons team, some of the teams share their experiences with teachers back at their home schools while others do not. How do you handle this resistant? By taking the experiences back to their schools is clearly a way of broadening participation. 

    In this year round project, do the same students participate each year? Or is a new group of students recruited/selected? Are they engaged in the same activities? Or are there other innovative and enriching experiences provided?

  • Icon for: Meagan Pollock

    Meagan Pollock

    Co-Presenter
    NAPE Consultant + Founder, Engineer Inclusion
    May 14, 2021 | 11:26 a.m.

    Hi, Dr. Clark, 

    The teachers take back what they learn in the training and apply it to their school's STEM club. I don't think there is any resistance, other than constraints of time and the limitations COVID caused.  The program isn't designed as a train-the-trainer program. We don't expect educators to go back to their schools and train others on educational equity, but they do share what they learn with others. 

    Every year, we recruit new schools with new students. The activities are the same because we use Dr. Goddard's electrical engineering curriculum. We also provide other enriching experiences like talks with industry and college leaders, students have access and scholarships to summer camps and more. 

    Thanks for your questions! 

     

  • Icon for: Jonee Wilson

    Jonee Wilson

    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 12:02 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work! The strategies within RADIO remind me of some of the practices that we attend to with our Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (the EAR-MI). For example, the practice of "positioning students as competent" is about anticipating and addressing potential negative micromessaging and identifying one way to give positive micromessages by being deliberate in changing the narrative.

    One thing that I thought about when watching and hearing about how you all are studying and working around micromessaging was the messaging that happens between students (e.g., Black males being teased by peers for being good at math and science). Have you all come across these types of micromessaging in your work? If so, what are some of the strategies that you have found to be helpful in these instances? 

  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 18, 2021 | 07:28 p.m.

    I am heading over right after this to check out the EAR-MI. I am super intrigued and it definitely seems aligned with what we are aiming for in the CISTEME365 initiative. Thanks so much for sharing.

    We have been primarily focusing on the teacher, counselor, administer's critical awareness of the micromessages that they send, but you are so right that we also need to be working with our students in raising awareness, as well as assisting educators with how to intervene. The teasing you describe is definitely a thing that needs intervention. Are you or are you aware of initiatives that are tackling the student to student messaging?

  • Icon for: Lara Hebert

    Lara Hebert

    Lead Presenter
    Public Engagement Coordinator
    May 18, 2021 | 07:53 p.m.

    We are looking for our next cohort of CISTEME365 school-based teams of counselors and teachers interested in working together to increase equity and access to STEM for All Students. If you have connections with Illinois, Indiana, or nearby middle and high school educators who might be interested, please send them our way https://cisteme365.engineering.illinois.edu/idea-teams/

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