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

“Integrating Environmental Restoration with Computer Science in New York Harb...

NSF Awards: 1839656

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

All Age Groups

This project augments a large-scale design and development project that is testing a model of community-based science education in an urban environment. The existing curriculum model focuses on key concepts in the geological, environmental, and biological sciences that are associated with monitoring environmental conditions and habitat restoration. This project will enhance the existing model by integrating data literacy, computational thinking and relevant statistical concepts and skills into the existing curriculum, enabling students to gain new skills and competencies associated with gathering and analyzing large amounts of field data associated with environmental monitoring and habitat restoration. Data to be analyzed range from basic water chemistry data to data associated with bacterial monitoring and environmental DNA sampling and analyses. The research associated with this project is guided by three hypotheses: (1) Teacher professional learning in data literacy, computer science, and STEM practices will positively influence student outcomes within their classrooms; (2) Teaching informed by teacher professional learning in data literacy, computer science, and science research practices, coupled with teacher and student engagement with scientists will positively influence student knowledge of computational thinking and perceptions of STEM fields and careers; and (3) The project's model of engagement, including problem-based learning, will enhance student awareness of and intent to pursue education pathways to STEM careers. A variety of measures will be used with teachers and students in treatment and comparison groups to test these hypotheses.

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (15 posts)
  • Icon for: Andee Rubin

    Andee Rubin

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist
    May 10, 2022 | 08:47 a.m.

    Congratulations on a really inspiring project and a way to involve students in environmental stewardship while immersing them in STEM content.  I love the fact that this project gets students outdoors and engages them physically as well as mentally.

    As a data science educator myself, I'm very curious about the kinds of data students encounter in their work on this project, what tools they use to analyze the data and what kinds of conclusions they are able to reach with the data.  In working with environmental data, I've found that the time-based aspects of the data tend to lead students to certain data visualizations (mostly with time on the X-axis) that can make understanding co-variation difficult.  Do you have any observations of student work that might help the field figure out good ways to support students in making sense of time-based environmental data?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 10, 2022 | 06:58 p.m.

    Dear Andee,

    Thanks for stopping by to see our project !! We appreciate your support so very much!

    The Data Science and related activities surround three major areas of infusion; in the field, during our Summer STEM Institute at Pace University and with their teachers in their classrooms. Thus, there is a wide variety of analysis, modalities of instructions and opportunities for students to participated. I believe it is the variety of instructional modalities that allows for students to explore those areas that they feel most partial to.  

    Thanks for checking in on us ! have a wonderful evening - Lauren : )

  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 10, 2022 | 10:21 a.m.

    Good morning! What a fascinating project! I hope you don't mind if I link to your website: https://www.billionoysterproject.org/

    I love your title – both the name itself and the actual idea of a billion oysters working away out of sight to filter the water. Does your project goes beyond this to include other aspects of New York Harbor marine life? Or are all of those topics – bacteria monitoring, water chemistry, and environmental DNA all associated with oysters?

    I also love that your project reaches both teachers and students. Could you say a bit more about this? Do you spend equal time and resources engaging students and teachers? Do they seem equally impactful on student outcomes? Do these two groups ever participate in the same activities, and if so do they participate as equals or as student participants guided by teacher participants?

    Finally, the three goals of your project all pertain to student engagement and learning. And you say at the end that “A variety of measures will be used with teachers and students in treatment and comparison groups to test these hypotheses.”  I’d love to hear how you plan to measure the impact on students – through interviews, career paths in college after participation in this program, engagement in school, … ?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 10, 2022 | 07:04 p.m.

    Dear Amy  thanks for stopping in to see us !

    Yes the student pillars correspond to a variety of activities for both teachers and students to engage in.  They are engaged side by side both in the field and in the classroom as well. We have students complete surveys, interviews, focus groups and we continue to provide opportunities for students to participate with us on an ongoing basis.  We are seeking funding for this final phase of the project that would allow us to broaden this work, delve deeper into the support structures and resources that we can provide them, provide mentors and also nurture their pathways ! Thanks for checking with us !!! have a nice evening - Lauren

  • Icon for: Amy Alznauer

    Amy Alznauer

    Facilitator
    Lecturer
    May 11, 2022 | 08:28 a.m.

    I love that they are working side by side! There is such an age divide and also status divide between teachers and students, but when they are both engaged in a new project, both beginners in some sense, those barriers begin to break down. Students become more capable of seeing themselves as people who are part of this world (not sectioned off) and capable of making an impact. 

    It's also exciting to hear that you are seeking funding for a more extensive final phase. Really amazing work.

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 11, 2022 | 10:59 a.m.

    Thanks so very much, Amy - we really appreciate your kindness and support !!

  • Icon for: Clara Cogswell

    Clara Cogswell

    Community Support Hydrologist
    May 12, 2022 | 01:27 p.m.

    Amazing project! I am interested to know if you have enough data/plan to monitor student involvement in environmental/marine science down the road from participation in you project. Conducting environmental field work is an essential part of students later being able to envision themselves as part of the environmental science community.

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 13, 2022 | 10:00 p.m.

    Thanks Clara - we could not agree with you more !! Yes, we continue to foster the programs within the schools and some of those will continue. Volunteer and citizen science programs also will continue.  Additionally, we will continue to pursue funding sources to support programs that continue to foster this type of work. Thanks for stopping in - we appreciate your support ! ;)

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Clara Cogswell
  • May 13, 2022 | 10:25 a.m.

    The logistical scope is very impressive. I know how much work it is to get a group of students out into a local stream. It's even more work to get them out on boats on a large river or lake. I can't even imagine the legwork that must go into a project that includes SCUBA in NY Harbor! I'b be curious to know if the project has developed any guidance literature on the process of getting universities and municipalities aligned for this type of hands-on, student work. Does Pace University have an office that specializes in this type of activity? I'm pretty sure the insurance lawyers at my university would shoot the idea down immediately. . .

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 13, 2022 | 10:08 p.m.

    Thanks for stopping Daniel ! great question ! The New York Harbor school runs and oversees their programs - thus their teams provide the governance on those issues you mentioned. Happy to discuss anything further with you as you develop your plans- please don't hesitate in contacting me lbirney@pace.edu Have a wonderful weekend- thanks for coming by our project !

  • Icon for: Brian Smith

    Brian Smith

    Facilitator
    Professor/Associate Dean of Research
    May 14, 2022 | 04:19 p.m.

    This is exciting work; thanks for sharing! It's neat to see urban youth out on the rivers doing environmental science. It was fun to learn more about the student work, how you're preparing teachers, and the collaborations with near-peer mentors. And I learned some things about oysters ;-)

    You mentioned data science, but you didn't say much about how students and teachers use it in their work. Andee asked about that in her earlier question. You also talk about computer science as part of pillar three. Can you say more about how learners and teachers work with computer science and computational thinking in their fieldwork?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 14, 2022 | 04:47 p.m.

    Dear Brian,

    Thanks for stopping in to see us !!! yes absolutely - the student are engaged in Data Science as are the teachers as shared in the video - we have a variety of modalities in terms of activities, data collection, data analysis and student research.  Teacher engagement includes the development of curriculum in data science which is then utilized in classroom instruction. This curricula will be made available to the public upon completion of the project.Access for further engagement can be found here: https://www.billionoysterproject.org/stem-educa...

    Opportunities for citizen science and community lessons are found here: https://www.billionoysterproject.org/students-a...

    Additional project information https://www.pace.edu/school-of-education/facult...

    Students are in the field collecting data and then uploading this to our  BOP CCERS Digital Platform at https://bopuiprod.azurewebsites.net/home This serves are a global network hub for the data so that students, faculty, facilitators, scientists and citizen science can communicate on one platform and share their analysis. 

    Lastly, we host the STEM Summer Institute at Pace University annually where students are trained in Data Science techniques, app building, coding, game development and computational thinking. Past videos and information can also been seen here as well https://seidenberg.pace.edu/special-events/stem...

    Thanks for stopping in and providing so much support for our programs - we really appreciate it ! Have a wonderful weekend !

  • Icon for: Margo Murphy

    Margo Murphy

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2022 | 05:58 a.m.

    Love your work!  Are there any plans for long term sustainability of this project?

  • Icon for: Dr. Lauren Birney

    Dr. Lauren Birney

    Lead Presenter
    Professor STEM Education
    May 16, 2022 | 10:56 a.m.

     Margo !!! thanks for stopping in to see us and your support as well !! Yes  - to answer your question! We always have this on our minds and given that new Climate Center going into Governor's Island and some additional funding for our Final Phase - we are hopeful to be able to finalize that phase to close things as well. Thanks again for stopping in to see us - please feel free to come over to Governor's Island and see us anytime !  :)

  • Icon for: Connie Flanagan

    Connie Flanagan

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 04:44 p.m.

    so cool to learn about the benefits of oysters to waterways and what a great way to involve younger generations in improving their harbor

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