2014 Regional STEM Institute of Teaching and Learning

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Classic Center again hosted the UGA STEM Institute on Teaching and Learning. This year’s event marked the third year that faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and K-12 teachers convened to talk about teaching, research and students in STEM disciplines.

The event kicked off with a panel presentation focused on the topic of Braving the New World of STEM Education. Panel presenters included Dr. Myk Garn, Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Learning Models from the University System of Georgia, who took the online learning viewpoint; Dr. Janna Dresden, Director of the Office of School Engagement from the College of Education at UGA, who spoke from experiences with partnerships; and Dr. Norbert Pienta, Director of the General Chemistry Program at UGA, who engaged the participants with research relating to and examples of classroom innovations.

Following the panel presentation, participants chose from three concurrent presentations across the general focus areas of online learning, partnerships, and classroom innovations. Three such sessions were offered providing a total of nine presentation options. After the presentations, participants joined one of three discussion groups to learn more and share personal experiences related to online learning, partnerships, and classroom innovations. Below is a list of the presentations that were offered and additional materials if provided by the presenters.

Panel: “Braving the New World of STEM Education”

Dr. Myk Garn, Assistant Vice Chancellor New Learning Models, University System of Georgia (Powerpoint)

Dr. Janna Dresden, Director Office of School Engagement, The University of Georgia (Powerpoint)

Dr. Norbert Pienta, Director General Chemistry Program, The University of Georgia (Powerpoint)

BreakThru: E-Mentoring to Support Students with Disabilities in STEM

 

 Speakers:  Dr. Gerri Wolfe, Liaison for University System of Georgia’s Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders, The University of Georgia and Dr. Nathan W. Moon, Associate Director, Center for Advanced Communications Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

BreakThru is a project of the Georgia STEM Accessibility Alliance, an NSF-supported collaborative effort between the University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology.  In this presentation, we discuss the use of electronic mentoring (e-mentoring) to increase confidence and participation among students with disabilities in secondary and postsecondary STEM education.

 

Learning Spaces for STEM Education

Speaker:  Dr. Sherry Clouser, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, The University of Georgia

How do learning spaces influence how we teach, and how can we make the most of the spaces we have?  In this session, participants will hear about trends in learning space design and have the opportunity to share the challenges and successes they have had related to learning spaces.

 

MATH 1113 Precalculus Emporium:  A Multi-Institutional Online Precalculus Course

Speakers: Ms. Allison Arnold, Instructor, Department of Mathematics, Dr. Kris Biesinger, Project Manager, Office of STEM Education, and Dr. Lisa Townsley, Academic Professional, The University of Georgia; Dr. Nathan Moon, Assistant Director, Center for Advanced Communications Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology

One stumbling block for students considering a STEM major has been introductory math courses.  A new, innovative precalculus course developed and delivered by five USG institutions may provide a solution.  MATH 1113e Precalculus Emporium combines lessons learned from the Math Emporium model with elements of MOOC delivery to create a highly interactive and support rich online course model.  This presentation will describe the course design and review preliminary results from the pilot offering.

 

Preparing Future Faculty:  CIRTL at UGA

Speaker:  Ms. Judy Milton, Assistant Dean, The Graduate School,  and Chuck Kutal, Associate Dean, Franklin College, The University of Georgia

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is a national, multi-institutional organization with a core mission to enhance excellence in undergraduate STEM education by providing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows professional development that prepares them to implement and advance high-impact, evidenced-based learning and teaching practices (www.cirtl.net). This presentation will describe the range of CIRTL activities available at UGA and through the national CIRTL network.

 


SCALEing-UP Physics for Engineers at UGA

Speakers:  Dr. Craig C. Wiegert, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Steven P. Lewis, Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Georgia

Over the past two years we have developed and implemented a new introductory physics sequence for engineering students that employs the SCALE-UP pedagogy.  In this talk, we will address the lessons learned from the first year of implementation and discuss plans for version 2.0.

 

Use of an iPad for the Instruction of Physics Students at Multiple Levels:  1000 to 8000

 

Speaker:  Dr. William Dennis, Professor and Department Head, Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Georgia

We are using the Apple iPad to enhance Physics instruction at multiple levels.  We will describe the apps/technologies that we have found to be most useful in enabling us to smoothly transition from digital whiteboard style presentation, to a computer simulation, to visualization.

 

                       

Integrating Global Issues into the STEM Curriculum

Speakers: Dr. Maria Navarro, Associate Professor, and Dr. Ronald B Pegg, Associate Professor, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The University of Georgia

Ten faculty in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences participated in a USDA-funded project, "Teaching Locally, Engaging Globally," to enhance and internationalize their academic programs. The project included faculty training about pedagogy, international concepts, curriculum development and integration, and evaluation of student learning. We will discuss the lessons learned in the project and their implications for faculty development efforts in STEM disciplines.

 

From the Research Laboratory to the Instructional Laboratory: Decarboxylation of Amino Acids via Organocatalysis

Speaker: Dr. Richard Morrison, Director and Lothar L. Tresp Honors Professor, Organic Chemistry, and Mr. Douglas Jackson, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, The University of Georgia

A recently patented method for decarboxylation of amino acids to form neurotransmitters and other important alkaloids was developed in Dr. Richard Morrison’s research laboratory.  This novel decarboxylation method has been adapted for use in the undergraduate organic instructional laboratories.

 

Online Learning Discussion

Facilitator: Dr. Keith Bailey, Director, Office of Online Learning, The University of Georgia

Participants will share experiences and ask questions regarding the delivery of STEM instruction to students using online formats.  Topics may include challenges associated with offering STEM instruction online, useful resources that are available, successful strategies, and how to provide student support.  Recommendations regarding needed services to help faculty and students to benefit from online delivery are invited.

                       

Partnerships Discussion

Facilitator: Dr. Julie Luft, Professor, Department of Science and Mathematics Education, College of Education, The University of Georgia

Participants will share experiences and ask questions regarding partnerships.  Topics may include successes, challenges and lessons learned.  Recommendations regarding services that can facilitate and support partnerships are invited.

 

Classroom Innovations Discussion

  Facilitator:  Dr. Richard Morrison, Director and Lothar L. Tresp Honors Professor, Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, The University of Georgia

Participants will engage in discussion of classroom innovations that contribute to successful STEM teaching.  Topics may include classroom configurations, technologies and teaching techniques.  Recommendations regarding services that can support classroom innovations are invited. 


 

Report-Out

Facilitator:  Dr. Chuck Kutal, Associate Dean of Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Office of STEM Education, The University of Georgia

Each discussion group will present a brief summary of the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations that were discussed in their session.