1. Laura Rodriguez
  2. Doctoral candidate
  3. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Chester Arnold
  2. Extension Educator
  3. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Todd Campbell
  2. http://education.uconn.edu/todd-campbell/
  3. Professor
  4. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. Cary Chadwick
  2. Geospatial Educator
  3. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Laura Cisneros
  2. http://www.lauramariecisneros.com/
  3. Program Coordinator & Visiting Assistant Professor
  4. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. David Dickson
  2. Extension Educator
  3. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. David M. Moss
  2. Associate Professor
  3. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Jesse Rubenstein
  2. http://www.extension.uconn.edu/bio/bio-jrubenstein.php
  3. Geospatial Educator
  4. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. John Volin
  2. http://www.nrme.uconn.edu/Faculty_and_Staff/Volin.php
  3. Professor, Natural Resources and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
  4. * Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. http://nrca.uconn.edu/students-adults/index.htm
  6. University of Connecticut, Natural Resources Conservation Academy
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:41 p.m.

    Thank you for visiting our Intergenerational Conservation and STEM Learning and Identity video. Our video is about our program, Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP), that promotes lifelong STEM learning through a focus on conservation, geospatial technology and community engagement. We represent an innovative collaboration between the natural resource and education departments at the University of Connecticut. Our goal is to engage youth and adults in intergenerational teams to learn conservation science and geospatial technologies in order to design and implement authentic conservation projects to benefit their communities. Our educational research seeks to understand how these innovative partnerships can support STEM learning and the development and maintenance of STEM identities. As we begin our third year of this program, we are especially interested in discussions surrounding:

    • How intergenerational partnerships may provide unique opportunities for STEM identity-authoring
    • How our program can better support intergenerational learning in an informal STEM setting.
    • How to make our program more accessible for underrepresented populations in STEM - both adults and youth.
  • Icon for: Rabiah Mayas

    Rabiah Mayas

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 04:09 p.m.

    It's wonderful to see your project as an example of intentionally-intergenerational STEM learning relationships and experiences. I'm really interested in learning how the teens and adults are matched for the program - are commonalities of demographic background, neighborhood/location, pre-existing interest in conservation, etc. considered in the matching? Other factors entirely? It seems the pairing would be critically important to the quality of user experience and could be informative for replication of the approach by others. Have you observed any key themes of what works (or doesn't) in the matching?

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noah Feinstein
  • Icon for: Laura Cisneros

    Laura Cisneros

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:08 p.m.

    Thank you, Rabiah, for your interest in our program. Yes, we take into account a number of factors when forming intergenerational teams. First and foremost, we provide a lot of flexibility in how the teams are formed: (1) some teams may apply together, and (2) some teams will be matched up by us (program staff) before the program. Most often we match up our teams rather than the former. To match a teen with an adult, we ask a series of questions on our short online application. Below is a description taken from our application:

    Before attending the CTP workshop, we will pair you with a teammate. Teams will consist of at least one teen and one adult. The goal is for each team to carry out a service-learning conservation project together after the CTP workshop. We will take into account the following to help determine teams: (1) where you live, (2) your interests and (3) your time availability.

     

  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:07 p.m.

    Hello Rabiah, Thank you for your interest in our project. Our teams have reported certain challenges in designing a project that all are committed to when the teens and adults are not from the same community. As Laura Cisneros stated above, we take into account where the participants live, but sometimes we have teens and adults without a matching partner from the same community, and there is a match in a neighboring community. This is not to say that teams cannot be successful if they are from different communities, but it does add an additional factor to be considered. 

  • Icon for: Noah Feinstein

    Noah Feinstein

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:44 p.m.

    There's so much going on in this project - the pairing of science learning with conservation action, the intergenerational nature of the project teams, the focus on science identity outcomes... I'm really impressed. I also have a lot of questions!

    On the conceptual side: How do you balance the conservation goals with the science learning goals? Are you systematically tracking conservation attitudes and outcomes, and have you found any relationship between these and the science identity outcomes?

    On the design side: The geospatial focus intuitively seems like a cornerstone of this project, but the video doesn't say much about how and why it is important. What are the particular advantages of doing this sort of educational work with geospatial tools?

    On the practical side: I'm really curious how you negotiate the safety and liability issues of pairing teens with adults that they don't know. I love the intergenerational aspect of this program, and it seems like both adults and teens stand to gain a lot! But I'm thinking about this from the perspective of a program administrator, and I can imagine my university would be worried about this side of the work. How have you negotiated this to make sure that the teens have safe and rewarding experiences? 

  • Icon for: Todd Campbell

    Todd Campbell

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:59 p.m.

    Hi Noah,

    This is a great question. While we believe the workshops have a significant role to play in relation to conservation goals, especially since many New England states are locally controlled in terms of governance and land-use and there are 169 municipalities in the small state of CT alone (many of which are under-sourced in relation to land-management needs), the Natural Resource Academy that formed the foundation of our efforts was initially started with the aim of connecting teens to nature and then extended with our AISL NSF funding to also supporting lifelong learning of adults and take advantage of the reciprocal learning we recognized in early efforts pairing teens and adults. Most of the adults are connected to land-use boards or engaged in community land-use decisions in some way. In the end, the focus of our EHR funded proposal is on learning goals, more specifically framed around learning as participation and identity authoring for both teens and adults. Here identity authoring, who an individual conceives themselves to be and is conceived to be by others in culturally and historically shaped activity, in our model is shaped by the productive use of competences (e.g., scientific ides) and performances (e.g., science practices) that are recognizable (internally and externally) for the capacity of these resources when marshalled by teens and adults for meeting or making progress on group-level/community pursuits. Having shared all of this, outside of some recent discussions related to consideration being given to conducting a meta-level analysis to determine the impact of our project on conservation efforts in communities of the more than 140 projects that have been completed so far, we are systematically tracking conservation attitudes using our identity surveys by asking participants to self-narrate their facility with conservation principles/competences and performances (or disciplinary knowledge production practices). Through this, the tracking of conservation goals of supporting adult and teen learners to take up and use conservation ideas and practices is nested within how we think about identity and participation, so we already start with an entangled conception of conservation attitudes and outcomes nested within our conceptualization of identity. However, your ‘conceptual side’ question is one that can support us thinking more about this in the future, so thanks!! (and we recognize your work and expertise in informal learning spaces, so it is exciting to have such a scholar to think with in this forum).


    Expect some additional responses to your other two questions soon (i.e., the ‘design’ and ‘practical side’ questions you posed).

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noah Feinstein
  • Icon for: Todd Campbell

    Todd Campbell

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 04:58 p.m.

    Hi Noah,
    Here is a response to your 'practical side' inquiry related to safety and liability issues connected to pairing teen and adult partners:

    For safety, all of our program staff and adult participants are enrolled in UConn's Minor Protection Program, in which each adult participates in an online training and background check through UConn before working with teen participants. We also review best practices with our adult participants at the workshop, such as including parents on correspondences to students and working on project components in public spaces or with multiple people in attendance (avoiding working one-on-one).  

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jonathan Lewis
    Noah Feinstein
  • Icon for: David Dickson

    David Dickson

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 10:58 a.m.

    Hi Noah. You are right, geospatial technology is a valuable tool to a variety of local conservation efforts and a central part of what we teach the participants. In particular, we focus on using smartphones and tablets for field data collection and web-based mapping programs like Google Maps for visualizing and presenting that data. (See my response to Wanda below for more on the individual apps and tools we are currently using.)

    We have been teaching land trusts and other local conservation groups about mobile mapping apps that they could use for a variety of conservation projects for years. Frequently, however, the particpants in these trainings were uncomfortable with using the technology or troubleshooting if problems arose. One of the reasons we wanted to do this project was to connect some of those local leaders with teens who might be more comfortable with using these "new" technologies.

    In addition, the use of geospatial technologies helps attract interest from teens and helps them to realize how they can use technology to interact with and have an impact on their community.

     

    You can also check out our Story Map to learn more.

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noah Feinstein
  • Small default profile

    Wanda Bryant

    K-12 Teacher
    May 15, 2019 | 07:02 a.m.

    Like Noah, I would like to know what geospatial tools were used and for what purpose.

  • Icon for: David Dickson

    David Dickson

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 10:44 a.m.

    Hi Wanda (& Noah). We introduce intergenerational teams to several free/low cost geospatial tools that they can use in their conservation projects.

    For field data collection we are currently teaching them to use a "breadcrumb" trail mobile app for smartphones and tablets called Track Kit that simulates a typical recreation grade GPS in recording tracks and waypoints. The waypoints allow for the collection of photos, sound recordings, text, and other data.  We also introduce them to epicollect5 which allows users to design their own custom data collection form and deploy it to smartphones and tablets. It is a great, free tool that can be customized to pretty much any field data collection project.

    From there we show the participants how to bring the data they collected into Google Maps where they can visualize it, combine it with other data and share it on websites, etc. We have also done follow-up trainings on using ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Story Maps.

    This Story Map provides an overview of the technologies we are currently teaching and how they are being used.

    Hope that helps. We are constantly on the lookout for other apps to evaluate for these purposes so let us know if there are others you have used.

  • Icon for: Anne Kern

    Anne Kern

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 04:00 p.m.

    So it does seem that the participants recruited already held a "positive STEM" Identity, I think I heard the youth were strong in school science. So it kind of makes sense they showed strong STEM identities midway and at the completion of the project. Can you give me a sense of how you recruited your student participants? Do they self-join, do their school science teachers recommend them, etc.?

    I wonder, how would "other" students do in this project, those that struggle with science or don't care about science or environmental concerns?

    What are the ages of your youth participants, besides participation in the project are there any other incentives you offer? How often or long do participants meet?

     

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Katie Stofer
  • Icon for: Laura Cisneros

    Laura Cisneros

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 05:44 p.m.

    Hi Anne, Yes, for recruitment we reach out to educators and youth program leaders throughout the state of Connecticut to spread the word about the Conservation Training Partnerships program. We also work with ~100 educators more closely to help identify students that may not initially be interested in an environmental program, but would do quite well if made aware of the opportunity. Its important to note that this program is also free, so that cost is not prohibitive to participants. Also, in an effort to reach diverse communities, we are holding our workshops in CT's most-densely populated urban centers. With all that said, we continue to evaluate our recruitment strategy and would love to hear from others are attracting non-traditional science students/participants to their programs.

  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 09:28 a.m.

    Hi Anne, You are correct in noticing that our participants have come into the program with positive STEM identities. As Laura Cisneros mentioned above we are expanding our recruitment network to reach out to more underrepresented populations in STEM. Our program is free, but it is a summertime "choice" activity for high school teens that requires a significant time commitment to complete the community project during the school year. Being a choice activity, it is not surprising that our participants come in with a strong conservation science identity. From our pre-surveys we have found that teens and adults have stronger conservation science identities than technology identities. Since the focus of the workshop is on learning geospatial technologies to support conservation science, this seems logical. Our original hypothesis was that adults would enter the program with stronger science identities than the teens, but that the teens would have stronger technology identities. Data from the first two years of the program show some support for this. Adults scored significantly higher in science competence and performance than teens, while teens scored significantly higher in self recognition of technology. There were no significant differences in any of the other identity constructs (e.g. science external recognition, internal recognition, and ways of seeing and being; and technology competence, performances, external recognition and ways of seeing and being). One interesting thing to note is that teens and adults had very high science ways of seeing and being, a construct that represents attitudes, values and behaviors that result from participating in a STEM field. The highest score possible for this construct was 16 and the pre-survey mean for all participants was 14.93. While the score increased to 15.21 in the post survey, the increase was not significant. The other three constructs compared pre to post (e.g science competence and technology competence and ways of seeing and being) all significantly increased.

     
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    Jonathan Lewis
  • May 16, 2019 | 01:44 p.m.

    Hi Can you share more about the CTSI instrument? Is it possible to see a copy? What is the time frame over which you measure the changes - just the 2 days of the workshop?

    Can you say more about the practical significance of 2 days of workshops only increasing about 0.3 points out of 16? In some ways, it's a short intervention, but it's also pretty intense, I imagine. Seems a case where statistical significance isn't as interesting - hopefully the qualitative data will show more insight.

  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 03:47 p.m.

    Hi Katie - Thanks for watching our video! The CSTI instrument is administered at the start of the first day of the workshop to try to characterize the historical conservation science and technology identity of our participants. After the two-day workshop we only looked at 4 constructs that we thought might change in that short time frame (science and technology competence and science and technology ways of seeing and being). At the end of the project - in March when teams presented their project at on of two conservation conferences - we administered a delayed post survey that is a mirror of the pre-survey. That data for the two years has not been analyzed yet. I agree that with such a short time frame for the pre and post survey, it is interesting to see any increase in scores. For science ways the median before and after was 16 (the highest score possible so although it showed a slight increased, it really started about as high as possible). I do find it very interesting that the other 3 constructs did significantly increase, especially since two of them are how the participants rate their competence. Here's a link to a folder containing pdfs of the instruments.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CbZ4gnE...

    We are also looking forward to analyzing the qualitative data to better understand what is happening as the intergenerational teams work together through the year.

     

  • May 16, 2019 | 04:27 p.m.

    Thanks Laura, I wonder if the workshop is actually making bigger changes than are seen with a pre-post. Have you explored using retrospective pre- measures at the end of the workshop, or at the end of the presentations? I often find identity a hard thing to move and think it may be somewhat that the "maximum identity" moves further away :)

  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 07:57 a.m.

    Hi Katie, We did think about using retrospective pre post at the end of the workshop, but wanted to keep our survey as short as possible since our evaluators also give a survey at that time. We decided to only look at those constructs we thought were most malleable over the 2-day period. Delayed post surveys are administered after the conferences but we have only had a small percentage of responses. We're planning to analyze that 2 year period of data soon, although the numbers are still quite small.

  • May 18, 2019 | 01:40 p.m.

    Great project and a very nice video introduction to what looks like way more than can be captured in 3 minutes!  Following on Anne's question, I am curious whether are actively trying to include teens and adults that might lean more to humanities fields such as Communications Media or Journalism?  Including this population might promote science communication in a broad sense and foster intergenerational dialogs of a different sort.  I realize this might be outside of the project scope.  In our STEMSEAS project we've found that including one humanities undergraduate (English, Journalism, Comm. Media) in an otherwise STEM-inclined cohort has interesting  consequences.  

  • Icon for: Todd Campbell

    Todd Campbell

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 09:12 p.m.

    Hi Jonathan, 

    Thanks for your interest in our project. What you have proposed is certainly interesting for the reasons you mentioned. It’d be interesting to hear more about the consequences of including a humanities undergraduate, you mentioned, as I think we likely are working more with STEM-inclined cohorts as you suggested, although I am sure because of the number of partnerships we have supported there have been a few that may have been more focused on humanities. This is something we can definitely think about (and have time to even investigate as in the case study work we are completing) as we continue recruiting yearly.

    Thanks again for sharing what you are learning!

    Todd

  • May 19, 2019 | 10:10 p.m.

    The concepts of intergenerational learning and identity both seem to be right on point. It seems your metrics indicate that incorporating these elements into your program has fostered engagement. Have you found that this is  particularly helpful for attracting and engaging underrepresented students in STEM?  I truly enjoyed watching your video and hope we have an opportunity to learn from and apply some of the practices and research concepts you are modeling in our project.

  • Icon for: Laura Rodriguez

    Laura Rodriguez

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 08:20 a.m.

    Hi Daryl, Thanks so much for watching our video, we're glad you enjoyed it. One of our major challenges is attracting and retaining underrepresented students and adults in our program. This includes female participants, African American and Latinx. Over the two years, the percentage of females increased for adult participants (from 60% to 66%), but decreased for teens (from 53% to 32%). The percentage of participants who identified as African American stayed the same for adults (7%) but increased from 12% to 14% for teens. Participants who identified as Latinx increased for both adults (from 0 to 7%) and teens (from 0 to 11%). There were no adults either year that identified as Asian American and the percentage of teens who identify as Asian American decreased from 12% to 8%. Twelve percent of teens in the first year identified as multiple ethnicities. These numbers reflect participants entering the workshop, not those completing the year long project. 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.