1740 Views
  1. Tracey Sulak
  2. Clinical Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Baylor University
  1. Bradley Christian
  2. Division Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. McLennan Community College
  1. Marty Harvill
  2. Senior Lecturer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Baylor University
  1. Michael Moore
  2. Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of Arkansas Little Rock
  1. Penny Thompson
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Oklahoma State University
  1. Alex Tolar
  2. Doctoral Candidate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Texas Christian University

Inclusive Biology Exploring Active Research with Students (iBEARS)

NSF Awards: 2040595

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8, Undergraduate

The goal of our planning grant is to create a shared vision by connecting current and future Inclusive Biologists Engaging in Active Research with Students (iBEARS) collaborators (faculty from biology and education departments, middle school science department administrators, and middle school science teachers) to expand and scale up the current, ongoing project infusing 21st century professional skill (21PS) development into undergraduate STEM curriculum. The iBEARS project is the first known initiative to use virtual mentor training to equip UG biology students with 21PS to make STEM more inclusive. Currently, Baylor iBEARS virtually mentor 4th-8th grade students to design, implement, and present course-based research projects. The iBEARS planning phase goal is to create a shared vision by connecting current and future iBEARS collaborators (faculty from biology and education departments, middle school science department administrators, and middle school science teachers) to expand and scale up the current ongoing project. The planning phase will
develop infrastructure by laying the foundation for the establishment of a large-scale network to address this broadening participation challenge.

 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (27 posts)
  • May 11, 2021 | 08:20 a.m.

    A fun, much needed project.

  • Icon for: Tracey Sulak

    Tracey Sulak

    Lead Presenter
    Clinical Associate Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 09:25 a.m.

    Welcome to everyone who watches our project video! We appreciate any feedback and if you want to know more, let us know. We love to talk about iBEARS! 

    You can visit our website at www.iBEARS.org to find out more information about participating in iBEARS. 

  • Icon for: Alex Tolar

    Alex Tolar

    Co-Presenter
    Doctoral Candidate
    May 11, 2021 | 04:20 p.m.

    Feel free to follow us on social media @ibears_network and on YouTube: iBEARS Network

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 10:19 a.m.

    What a great project and video! I love how you were able to connect the research experience to the "non-scientific" 21st Centrury skills. Connecting college students with elementary schools is a great idea. What strand of NSF funding is supporting your project? 

     
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    Michael Moore
  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:23 a.m.

    Sharon, we are funded by an NSF INCLUDES planning grant. Thanks for watching!

  • Icon for: Sharon Gusky

    Sharon Gusky

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 10:31 a.m.

    Thank you for that information. I am working with the middle and high schools and have been asked to look into working with the elementary schools. Your project gives me some good ideas to work on and my current NSF grant only support as young as middle school.

     
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    Michael Moore
    Tracey Sulak
  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:47 a.m.

    Sharon, hopefully, we will be sharing more about this project at the upcoming NABT Conference in Atlanta! We should catch up there!

  • May 11, 2021 | 10:22 a.m.

    Thank you so much for watching and sharing your positive comments. We received funding from NSF DUE
    Division Of Undergraduate Education

    You can find more at https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_I...

     

  • Icon for: Jennifer McCambridge

    Jennifer McCambridge

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 11, 2021 | 02:43 p.m.

    Great video! What kind of training or resources do you provide the undergraduate mentors to help them as they lead the classroom teachers and elementary students?

     
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    Michael Moore
    Laura Seifert
  • Icon for: Alex Tolar

    Alex Tolar

    Co-Presenter
    Doctoral Candidate
    May 11, 2021 | 04:17 p.m.

    Thanks for your question, Jennifer! The undergraduate mentors are trained and learn best practices from faculty involved in the course (lead by Dr. Marty Harvill) at the beginning of the semester. We are in the process of creating and unifying instructional training materials to provide to all undergraduate mentors as we continue to grow and expand the iBEARS Network

     
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    Michael Moore
    Laura Seifert
  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 08:17 p.m.

    This is such a cool program.  Do you also use scientist spotlights or something like it to introduce diverse scientists.

    This is so cool and similar to the  old GK12 projecs that allowed UG and G to work with teachers in K12 to prepare innovative curriculum and then work with teachers to implement new lessons.

     

    Neat idea!

    How are you evaluating the impact of this cool project?

     

  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 09:25 p.m.

    Pat,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our video! We had not used the scientist spotlights at this point, but being familiar with Jeff and Kimberley's work, that would add some interesting aspects to the project. Our external evaluator is Dr. Cody Williams who works for SAMPI at Western Michigan. Our evaluation plan is as follows: 

    Evaluation Questions

    Measured Benchmarks of Accomplishment

    Data Collection Procedures

    1. What was the extent, nature, and quality of program events and activities (QUBEShub resource sharing website, recruitment of iBEARS participants, workshop, dissemination efforts)?

    - QUBEShub site implemented as planned;

    - Participant recruitment goals met

    - Workshop experience implemented as planned

    - iBEARS program succesfull disseminated through practioner publications, web resources, etc.

    - Review program materials

    - Review recruitment activities and records

    - Document program activities and participation

    - Observe select program activities

    -Project leadership interviews

    -Document and review dissemination efforts

    2. How have iBEARS participants been affected by the project resources and workshop (understanding of iBEARS model and buy-in, development of new iBEARS programs)? 

    - Participants actively using QUVBEShub site to access/share resources

    -Participants develop understanding of the iBEARS program and engage in developing their own program.

    -End-of-workshop questionnaire

    -Document participant use of project resources and participation in programming.

    - Interviews project leadership

    - Observe select program activities

    3. What progress has was made toward the development of a full NSF INCLUDES Alliance proposal? What are the key elements for the evaluation of the full proposed INCLUDES Alliance project?

    -Strengths/limitations of iBEARS model identified and used by staff for improvement

    -Full INCLUDES Alliance Proposal developed including an appropriate evaluation plan

    - Document and review program activities, resources, and products

    - Interview project leadership

    - Regular meetings with project staff to discuss strengths, challenges, and lessons learned

    - Evaluator participation in project workshop and INCLUDES Alliance grant writing team.

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    Senior Advisor for Education and Communication (Retired)
    May 11, 2021 | 08:38 p.m.

    Thank you for posting this video. It's a very interesting project. A great deal of evidence has emerged over the past decade or so about the efficacy in multiple dimensions of allowing undergraduates to engage in authentic research. Your approach of explicitly including 21st century skills and your emphasis on having undergraduates impart their knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for STEM is a wonderful new avenue for education at all levels that hopefully will lead to more research about the efficacy of this approach. I have several questions about the program that hopefully will lead to additional discussion about this project:

    - You indicated in the video that undergrads who have participated in iBEARS are more "polished" with respect to their knowledge and skills. Given that the program has been available at Baylor for some 12 years now, I'm wondering about the extent to which individual STEM departments have worked to transform traditional science labs into authentic, discovery-based science labs, especially in introductory courses?

    - Has this very innovative approach of having your students work with children resulted in any demonstrable increases in the number of students who decide to pursue careers as teachers of STEM at the K-12 level? Or in students who decide to use their STEM knowledge and skills to pursue career paths in besides graduate or professional school (e.g., work that focuses on civic engagement, issues in social justice, etc.)?

    You indicated that the undergrads in this project work with elementary and middle school students and teachers virtually. Has this approach always been the modus operandi or have you switched to this mode out of necessity due to the pandemic? If Baylor iBEARS engaged with students and teachers in their classrooms in previous years, what are the major differences you've discovered between in-person and virtual interactions? Are there sufficient advantages to working virtually that the program will continue virtually in the future? I ask about this in part because I have served as a volunteer in a local elementary school for the past 3 years since retiring from my position at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (through a program organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in public schools in the DC metro area: STEM Volunteer Program | American Association for the Advancement of Science (aaas.org. Virtual interactions during the past year with children and teachers have made me realize that, if done with careful thought, virtual interactions can allow our volunteers to reach children in schools that rarely are connected to such opportunities. 

    Thanks again for posting this video about iBEARS!

     
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    Michael Moore
  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:11 p.m.

    Jay,

    Thanks for stopping by and watching our video. I will let Marty take on the first question you asked as he is the one who has worked on this project since the very beginning. I started working on the project in the fall of 2018 so we have not yet had a chance to see if any of those students will pursue STEM in college as the oldest ones are currently in High School. To my knowledge, our biggest gain is an increased interest in teaching science at the K-12 level. It is our intention as we grow iBEARS to have students participate in iBEARS from 4th through 8th grade and even potentially high school if all goes well. The importance of sustained exposure to maintain interest has been discussed by others and guides our plan for sustainability and increasing impact. We see this as a very important broader impact of the iBEARS network and is one of the primary reasons we have Dr. Matthew Hora (a STEM workforce development researcher) on our advisory board.

    iBEARS was virtual from the beginning. We have always thought about scalability and how we can make this model easy to implement and portable (we are currently working with a class in Belize, beginning a collaboration in D.C., and hopefully soon at least one in Little Rock in addition to the classes we work within central Texas). Some of the advantages to virtual mentoring are reaching remote school districts that are often far away from a university and would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate (we are currently exploring a collaboration with a village in rural Alaska). I am happy to expand more upon this point if folks are interested. I would highly encourage folks who are interested in participating in the program to email me for further discussion (memoore5@ualr.edu) or our PI Dr. Tracey Sulak (Tracey_Sulak@baylor.edu).

  • Icon for: Marty Harvill

    Marty Harvill

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 10:50 p.m.

    Jay,

    Transform traditional science labs into authentic, discovery-based science labs, especially in introductory courses has been almost exclusively been Biology.  We have seen other departments increasing in undergraduate research, but not in course base research format.

  • Icon for: Kevin Garner

    Kevin Garner

    K-12 Administrator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:32 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work.  I would like to follow up on a comment by Jay Labov.  Do your graduate students have an opportunity to participate in an internship as they polish their knowledge and skills?  We offer internships to our teachers and students with local industry and universities.  I wonder how the expansion of the your program would help the students find their passion and impact the mentoring skills.  

  • Icon for: Marty Harvill

    Marty Harvill

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Lecturer
    May 11, 2021 | 11:04 p.m.

    When the program started, graduate students were the TA's for the BIO 1406 laboratory. Later, graduate students were needed in other laboratories. Since I was the instructor of the lecture and lab, I used 4-6 undergraduates as lab TA's. These undergraduates were in the same class the year before, which allowed them to go through the research process.  

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 12, 2021 | 04:08 p.m.

    I was also wondering about graduate student involvement.  I wonder if you also connect with Baylor's SMART program (UG Research) or IMSD program?  There might be great synergy. 

  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 12, 2021 | 09:31 p.m.

    Pat,

    Thank you for your comment! Yes, these would be great synergies. As Baylor College of Medicine is a separate institution from Baylor University, we had not yet thought of looping them in, but it sounds like it might be worthwhile. We appreciate your suggestions and insights!

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 12, 2021 | 04:09 p.m.

    Good luck on full proposal.  The evaluation should really help make the impact clear.  Great job!

  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    Retired Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics
    May 12, 2021 | 08:44 p.m.

    Anytime you can successfully pair undergraduates with K-12 you have a project worth studying. Pairing virtually is an added benefit because you are not limited by distance. In addition, undergraduates can find out whether teaching K-12 is their calling or not which is important especially for those who think they want to be teachers. What sort of training do the undergraduates get for working with the 4th-8th grade students? Is the training different in some way for, say, 4-6 graders vs 7th and 8th graders?

    Thanks! Great project. Judy

  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
    May 12, 2021 | 09:37 p.m.

    Judy,

    Thank you for your comment. While the training is not different, we work closely with their teachers to understand what concepts they are working on and try to think of ways that those concepts may be worked into the projects. A great example of how this happened was 4th-grade students trying to quantify mold growth coverage using a grid. On their own, the 4th-grade students thought of how to use the fractions they had been learning about to describe partial grid square coverage. There are many more examples like this that worked so much better than we could have hoped for. It is really a fun project to work on.

     
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    Judith Dilts
  • May 12, 2021 | 10:58 p.m.

    This is great. I like the way the traditional Biology course was converted to a research based course.  Can you share some of the results of the positive impact of the project on students Success ?

  • Icon for: Marty Harvill

    Marty Harvill

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Lecturer
    May 13, 2021 | 09:02 p.m.

    Dr. Owolabi

    The students in the research lab are more polished in presenting, more confident in problem solving, and better leaders in other courses such as the ones zooming with elementary students. It seem more them get excepted into professional schools 

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 14, 2021 | 05:21 p.m.

    What assessment tools and instruments did you use?  This is a great project to share with the broader STEM community!

  • Icon for: Tracey Sulak

    Tracey Sulak

    Lead Presenter
    Clinical Associate Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 01:27 p.m.

    We are using a variety of assessment tools, including some from the INCLUDES network site. Quantitative measures,  like the STEBI (not for 21st century skills), show some improvement, but to  measure the 21st century skills adequately, we rely on weekly video reflections, analysis of the weekly taped videos with the class, and pre/post interviews. We have used the expectancy value theory from Eccles and Wigfield to understand why students choose to enter this program during their undergraduate years. Measuring 21st century skills is a challenge, but we have some scales from the OECD and PIAAC that are psychometrically adequate if not comprehensive. Other team members are welcomed to jump in and add to this!!

     
    2
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    Alex Tolar
    Michael Moore
  • Icon for: Michael Moore

    Michael Moore

    Co-Presenter
    Learning Assistant Program Coordinator
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