1768 Views
  1. April Luehmann
  2. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2863-1042
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Rochester
  1. Yang Zhang
  2. Doctoral Student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Rochester
Facilitators’
Choice

COVID Culture-Setting Unit: Extension to Developing STEM Teachers to Support ...

NSF Awards: 1758238

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

NSF Noyce Scholars graduate from teacher preparation programs ready to advocate for transformative changes in science and math education. This film tells the story of how, when COVID struck, five of these Noyce Scholars joined with other teachers to create something that would not only help their students keep their circles safe but also pave the way for other science teachers to learn justice-centered ambitious pedagogy. “COVID Connects Us” (COVIDXUS) was designed by these teachers to be a culture-setting first science unit of the year; to use science education to meet a number of urgent needs amplified by the pandemic including needs for critical science literacy, social and emotional support, racial justice, and health literacies. The unit was implemented in September in four neighboring school districts with over 750 middle and high school youth. The film highlights the creative and passionate ways youth and teachers together took up the anchoring phenomenon, “Why are People of Color disproportionately affected by COVID, and why does what I do in response matter?”  Classrooms partnered with local physicians as Medical Mentors, held debates about the requirement of mask use when social distance is maintained, designed investigations about the effectiveness of various types of masks and conducted their own contact tracing analyses of interactions they were a part of within a recent 24-hour period. Teachers empowered youth to be transformative intellectuals. Taking their cue from ecological succession, these teachers capitalized on the destruction caused by the pandemic to nurture new life.

This video has had approximately 568 visits by 447 visitors from 162 unique locations. It has been played 195 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (23 posts)
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 03:56 p.m.

    Thanks for stopping by to check out the COVID Connects Us project! We are a group of science educators working together to reimagine ways science education could be transformed to be a justice-centered, community-serving endeavor.  Together we created and studied a kick-off unit across disciplines and grade levels that focused on explaining, "Why are People of Color disproportionately impacted by the pandemic?" Grappling with racism, developing critical science literacy, using the range of NGSS science practices, and partnering with local doctors as medical mentors are a few of the lived experiences our science classrooms engaged in to kick off this school year.  Questions for you: 

    How might doing science for community and justice change how youth perceive its relevance and value?

    How do teachers need to support each other in this work?

    Excited to hear your thoughts and questions!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
    Lenora Crabtree
  • Icon for: Troy Sadler

    Troy Sadler

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 02:09 p.m.

    It looks like there are several important connections between the work of this project with the project that my team worked on. It would be interesting to explore overlaps between the two approaches. Are project materials available for sharing?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: Yang Zhang

    Yang Zhang

    Co-Presenter
    Doctoral Student
    May 11, 2021 | 02:23 p.m.

    Hi Tory,

    Thanks for stopping by and watching our video. We have the unit storyline and detailed lesson plans posted on our website under the teacher's corner: https://getrealscience.wixsite.com/covidxus

    These are the materials our teachers developed and primarily used last Fall. We are currently working on revising our unit plans and transforming them in a more justice-focused way. And if you are on Instagram, we also posted students' work and teachers' work on our page #covidxus (:

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 04:55 p.m.

    Hi Troy - I knew you were engaged in a similar project, but I didn't realize quite HOW similar.  I would definitely love to talk with you more about how we could collaborate across these efforts.  Thanks for visiting.  Your video is great! - April

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 09:42 p.m.

    This project is relevant in so many ways! Turning pandemic challenges into an integrative learning experience, that allows students to learn science and think about epidemiology through a sociological, justice-centered lens is innovative and compelling.  I can imagine both the challenges and opportunities as teachers and students engaged in complex thinking activities.  Could you share some observations (or other data) related to teachers and/or students reactions...either specific to an activity or generally during the unit.  What was especially engaging or hard?  What supports did teachers need to get started?  Thank you for the presentation!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:43 p.m.

    Thanks so much Karen!  We have learned so much in doing this work this year, but of course the thing we learned most is that we have so much more to learn.  Grappling with racism (Sheth, 2019) is hard work for youth and teachers, and the work differs greatly (as you might expect) in different contexts.  Teachers working together AS they implemented the unit was key to designing new investigations that were responsive to students' developing ideas about why the covid data differ by community.  Another key takeaway was how powerful debates can be to invite youth to use their own experiences alongside published findings to construct scientific arguments.  Teens blew us away!! We seriously struggled with teaching experimentation in student-centered, creative ways that were facilitated through Zoom.  Feel free to shoot more questions our way if you have them.  Again, thanks for your words of encouragement.

    Sheth, M. J. (2019). Grappling with racism as foundational practice of science teaching. Science Education, 103(1), 37-60.

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher
    May 14, 2021 | 02:37 p.m.

    Thank you, April, for sharing your observations and the reference.  I appreciate the reminder that true collaboration is more than the sum of each part (or person!) and I'm sure the insights of working together were meaningful.  And I can just imagine teenager debates!  Wonderful work.

  • May 11, 2021 | 10:14 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project! The pandemic certainly has served as an authentic catalyst for exploring issues around social justice...in real time. I find that K-12 students exhibit high engagement when topics are relevant to their lives and are problem-based. We need more curriculum like this in our schools! 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:30 p.m.

    Totally agree!!  Daniel Morales-Doyle from University of Illinois-Chicago challenges us to develop heightened awareness for Social Justice Science Issues (SJSI) that we could take up in and outside of science classrooms.  I love that charge! Youth's positions in their communities are just as important or more important than their positions as students in our classrooms.

  • Icon for: Eric Pyle

    Eric Pyle

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 09:58 a.m.

    What a wonderful and clear model of new teacher agency in tackling not just the immediate challenges of pandemic teaching, but recognizing the opportunity to fundamentally alter the the dialogue on persistent problems with current system of schooling.  I hope that you will take advantage of the outlets through professional organizations, such as NSTA, to share this clear approach.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:31 p.m.

    Thank for your the encouragement, Eric!!  I promise we will  - especially because you invited us to!!  

  • Small default profile

    CarolK-Constantine

    Parent
    May 12, 2021 | 09:20 p.m.

    I found the presentation to be informative. Although I think that it is important to introduce science to children at an early age, it really isn’t being done on a large scale for city school children. Once again that’s where racial disparity comes into play. I.e. racial profiling, housing, medical care, and the list goes on and on. Anyway, wonderful points were made during the presentation. Very good job, as Always, April.👏🏾

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 10:10 a.m.

    I agree Carol - so much to do!  Children are natural scientists; we have much to learn from how they see the world, and they need us to celebrate their scientific perspectives and insights.  You are such a wonderful advocate; I learn from you all the time!  Thanks for sharing your passion and encouragement!

  • May 13, 2021 | 09:28 a.m.

    Hi April. Great video! I really like the focus of the units and the project. I am wondering about how the instructional materials can be used to connect learning outcomes across disciplines. For example, the materials have the potential of addressing relevant standards in ELA and social studies. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 10:14 a.m.

    Thanks Dante  - for sure.  Wouldn't it be awesome if we supported youth's advocacy work across the disciplines - social studies, ELA, math, art? I think to do that work, we would need to build professional learning communities of teachers of these disciplines. I could definitely imagine full unit to be in science with different lessons bridging to other disciplines - how great for kids would it be to have support in seeing the value and interconnectedness of learning. We leave this important bridging to them with so little support.  Great ideas Dante!  Thanks!

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
    Dante Cisterna
  • May 13, 2021 | 04:48 p.m.

    I agree. Keep me updated on the work your team is doing in this project. At ETS we are thinking of how to develop assessments that integrate science content with civic implications -- and support teachers for classroom use. I think the way the units are being developed has a lot of potentials.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: Kelly Billings

    Kelly Billings

    Researcher
    May 13, 2021 | 09:04 p.m.

    This is a wonderful presentation, and it is great to see teachers leading the charge for innovative, timely education materials. I am curious how you supported the social-emotional needs of students as they grappled with issues of race and equity, as well as investigated a public health crisis that likely affected their immediate community. 

    Again, thank you for this wonderful video. Kelly

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 09:15 p.m.

    Thanks for the note and kind words Kelly.  Such an important question you posed. Though I can share some elements that we were committed to (e.g. inviting students to take lead in conversations, encouraging participation in various ways (not requiring public contributions), and responding to needs or questions as they arose), I can also say we learned some things that we would do differently.  Our initial invitation to the unit involved recognizing racism; this happened, in some cases, before a sense of community and trust was built.  We realized that those teachers who protected space and created supports for building these bonds among students before they started the unit benefited from those relationships when some of the harder work was broached.  It is also important to say that this unit was meant to open the door to critical conversations about science and racism, but there was no need to get to some place specifically.   Hope that makes sense.

  • May 17, 2021 | 11:04 a.m.

    I appreciate several aspects of your video - the animation, the theoretical framework, and the reference to the NGSS standards. You have done a great job of highlighting the benefits of your program for your fellows. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 11:06 a.m.

    Thanks so much Sabrina!  It's a work in progress, and we have much to learn.  I appreciate your encouragement.  I am eager to check out your video.

  • May 17, 2021 | 11:14 a.m.

    We would love for you watch our video too. Thanks! https://stemforall2021.videohall.com/presentati...

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Small default profile

    Jrène Rahm

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.

    Hi April, Great video and project. I think Covid made me realize just how little progress we have made and how far we still need to go. A great challenge to work on together! Thanks for your ideas through the video!

     

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    April Luehmann
  • Icon for: April Luehmann

    April Luehmann

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 11:33 a.m.

    I LOVE the together part - in the general sense and in partnership with you specifically.  Thanks for the note!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.