1. Heidi Carlone
  2. Hooks Distinguished Professor of STEM Education
  3. Broadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM (BRIDGES)
  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  1. Sara Heredia
  2. Assistant Professor Science Education
  3. Broadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM (BRIDGES)
  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  1. Lakshmi Iyer
  2. Professor of IS
  3. Broadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM (BRIDGES)
  4. Appalachian State University
  1. David Schouweiler
  2. Graduate Assistant
  3. Broadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM (BRIDGES)
  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Presenters’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 07:30 p.m.

    Hi folks!

    This is David, a graduate assistant on the BRIDGES project.  Our project focuses on connecting middle school aged youth with STEM experiences that are designed to help youth see the sciencey sides of themselves that many of them never knew were there.  We would love any feedback and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.  Feel free to reach out to us on the discussion board and follow us on Twitter @UNCGBRIDGES.  Thanks, and enjoy the showcase!

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 09:04 p.m.

    Thanks, David, for opening the discussion. One of the things I like best about our BRIDGES Saturday Academy design is that it does not assume STEM people are cut from the same cloth. There are so many ways to be STEM-like! For example, designers, tinkerers, animal-lovers, naturalists, altruists, and innovators all feel like they belong and that they can make unique contributions to the learning community. Our focus on an environmental problem like stormwater runoff made the curriculum relevant because there were so many flooding events in our area this year and the problem includes authentic scientific questions and engineering solutions. Youth used different technological tools (e.g., stop-motion animation, green screens, Tinkercad) to educate the public and/or advocate for certain solutions.  

    The youth participants gave up their Saturdays to come do STEM at UNCG! It was inspiring to see that they would arrive at the bus stop 40 minutes early because they were so excited.

    We wanted to participate in the STEM for All Video Showcase because this is an excellent venue to share with the public innovative ways to approach equitable STEM education and the incredible potential, imagination, and motivation middle school youth bring to STEM problem solving. We hope you see ways that this video disrupts deficit-based narratives we sometimes hear about youth (e.g., youth will not willingly give up their Saturday to engage in academic pursuits). What counter-narratives do you notice? What questions do you have?

     
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    Joe Polman
    Jamie Noll
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    Manda Jackson

    K-12 Teacher
    May 13, 2019 | 08:01 a.m.

    This experience has been great for our students that participated.  Shy students that did not see themselves as scientists now know they can contribute to the science world.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
    Sara Heredia
  • Icon for: Roxanne Hughes

    Roxanne Hughes

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 09:40 a.m.

    I can see anecdotally improvements in confidence for girls in our programs, but have not figured out a way to measure this. Watching this video I can see that your participants began to become confident in their ideas and expressing them as scientists. Do you have a way to measure that confidence as part of disciplinary identity?

  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:13 a.m.

    Hi Roxanne! We're developing an instrument called the STEM Identity Profile, which doesn't really measure confidence, but we're finding it an excellent tool to elicit youths' meaning-making about their disciplinary identity work. So, youth take a survey and they receive the results that provide them with a STEM identity profile. Our profile categories are: altruist, conservationist, designer, tinkerer, innovator, and investigator. Their profile is a combination of those categories, based on how they answered questions. Then, the youth "speak back to" or "in alignment with" the profiles they received, which surfaces their talk about themselves in relation to science, engineering, technology. We use that framework to design our curriculum, and then we get youth to narrate their experiences in light of those categories at the end of the Saturday Academy experiences (and will do it at end of Summer and after-school programs too). They also take the survey at the end. So far, our results highlight qualitative meaning-making shifts vs. quantitative, measurable shifts. For example, "I never thought I was a strategist before, but if it's about something I care about, I really am a strategist and can solve problems." We know we need to revise the instrument and are in the process of doing so, but we also know that some of the measurable shifts are hard to see with shorter term programs. We're also doing longitudinal studies.

    Email me for our NARST poster if you want a copy of what this looks like (hbcarlon@uncg.edu). 

  • Icon for: Jeannie Whitlock

    Jeannie Whitlock

    i3 STEM Lead Instructional Coach
    May 13, 2019 | 01:35 p.m.

    I am very interested in the Stem Identity Profile you use.  Our project works to increase participation in STEM and interest in STEM related careers in under-served populations in the Nashville area.  

     

    Is the identity profile available?

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:48 p.m.

    Hi Jeannie!

    The profile definitely has been helpful in fostering conversations around STEM interest, connecting youth to things that they do not traditionally think of as "STEMy".  The instrument is not currently validated, and we use it primarily as a tool for eliciting thinking and conversation.  However, if you email Heidi (hbcarlon@uncg.edu) she can send you the information.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • May 13, 2019 | 10:58 a.m.

    Hi Heidi, Great video! I see that you also have near-peer mentors in your program. I'm wondering more about who they are and how, if at all, they are trained. Did they pass through the program previously? Are they slightly older? 

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:51 p.m.

    Hi Jason!

    The NPMs are primarily high school-aged youth who facilitate activities with our middle school-aged participants.  Some of the NPMs have past NPM experience, and as we progressed in iterations of the BRIDGES segments, some of the youth who participated earlier in the project became NPMs.  

    As for training, that varies depending on what is happening in the space.  Sometimes the NPMs act as helpers, but in many cases, the NPMs take charge of a specific tool or task and lead youth in engaging with that activity.  

    Does that answer your questions?

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Lakshmi Iyer

    Lakshmi Iyer

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:12 a.m.

    Hello! 

    It has been a pleasure to work with the BRIDGES Saturday Academy and the project overall as a Co-PI. The program also involves high-school students who have been through STEM programs to serve as near-peer mentors (NPMs), so the younger kids see those closer to their age excited and engaged in STEM events. As had been mentioned before, it has been rewarding to see the young students' excitement to engage in the project activities that they have not had the opportunity to experience in the past. We plan to engage the students who have completed the Saturday academies to be a NPM for future events. 

    The program's final day showcased a fair where the students shared their work with the parents, teachers and friends with much pride. The parents were very impressed with the work the students had done in such a short time.  

    Thanks for taking the time to view our project and do let us know if you have questions.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Kelli Paul

    Kelli Paul

    Researcher
    May 16, 2019 | 11:43 a.m.

    Hi! I am particularly interested in the role of the near-peer mentors. Have you all explored what impact, if any, interacting with these near-peer mentors has on students' STEM identity or other student outcomes? For those NPMs who are alumni of the program, do you have a sense of their reasons or motivations for coming back to serve as NPMs? 

    What an interesting project! I look forward to learning more about it. 

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 02:44 p.m.

    The focus on the local environment seems to have really clicked with these students. I think the sensory aspect of the experiences (getting your feet wet, pouring water into the test box, making a 3-D representation). I'm revealing my bias but this real-world, firsthand, often close to home experiences triggered engagement, curiosity and motivation. Science doesn't always have a great "rep" if students have learned primarily from textbooks but some wet feet after collecting in a local drainage ditch can change the perception. Have you explored whether attitudes developed in the Saturday experience transfer to learning science in the classroom?

    Sally

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 08:54 p.m.

    Hi Sally!

    You're definitely right.  Consistently, the most influential experiences reported by most youth participants tend to be the visceral ones that engage curiosity using multiple senses.

    As for transfer, we have had some testimonies from teachers who have shared that BRIDGES youth take on new, more authoritative roles in their classrooms, even extending beyond STEM classrooms in some cases.  We do not have any real quantitative data on this, but many BRIDGES youth seek to sustain engagement with the program over time, and their enthusiasm has been reported by several teachers.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
    Sally Crissman
  • Icon for: Philip Bell

    Philip Bell

    Professor of Learning Sciences & Human Development
    May 13, 2019 | 04:34 p.m.

    Great project, everyone! We definitely need to better understand how to be creating these identity safe learning-and-action contexts. I was struck by the interdisciplinary breadth and flexibility of the learning environment. How have you seen youth navigate within and across those disciplinary pursuits and interconnect them over time? Was there an initial intentionality to that in the design? Did that get realized? Did students come up with other ways to coordinate them? Thanks again for sharing this work. It is powerful! 

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:37 p.m.

    Hi Phil! Thanks for thinking with us about the project. In terms of the interdisciplinary design: (1) The focus on (socio)environmental problems provides multiple interest hooks and pathways (leveraging ideas from connected learning here). This has played out in tremendously successful ways-- environmental problems EASILY provide context for disciplinary integration; (2) The pedagogical framework, which guides our curriculum development, emphasizes "doing good", "education/advocacy", and "investigation/disciplinary practices", which is another way to integrate the science, engineering, and computing; (3) Our STEM Profile Instrument mentioned above allows youth to have a thinking tool for how their interests and preferences (without "intervention") are, in fact, aligned with solving problems with science and engineering and/or communication and advocacy with computing. In this way, they begin to narrate "ideal" BRIDGES participants in broad, multi-faceted ways and most (all, so far?) narrate themselves and most of their friends as fitting into this celebrated subject position after the Saturday Academies; (4) Interestingly, the STEM profiles (altruist, conservationist, innovator, tinkerer, investigator, designer) are also an excellent way to recruit youth who would not otherwise pursue a "science" or "engineering" out-of-school learning experience.

    So far, we haven't asked about how youth expand the framework and/or integration, but that has my wheels churning a bit. Yesssss! Great question.

    Re: Youth, over time: There isn't quite enough data yet to understand what's happening over time, but we do have a longitudinal identity model that we're using to study the youths' identity work over time. Need to work in ways they improvise and recombine, as you suggest. If you have resources to think through this, let me know. 

     

     
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    Philip Bell
  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:29 p.m.

    Hi Phil,

    Great questions. One way that we are designing to support student connections across disciplinary activities is through the use of technology to "do good" and investigate and solve problems. At our summer camp in June, students will have access to a variety of digital and physical tools in the afternoon to make and sense-make about their disciplinary learning during the morning camp activities. Students will be creating content to populate an interactive app about the state park and also have access to material and tools to make physical objects related to their experience as campers that they can take home with them. Our conjecture is that this time spent making will support students to make connections across disciplinary spaces and also to their lives and experiences as campers.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
    Philip Bell
  • Icon for: Philip Bell

    Philip Bell

    Professor of Learning Sciences & Human Development
    May 13, 2019 | 11:56 p.m.

    Sounds very cool. In our family robotics work we found that engaging families in ArtEngineering design centered on a meaningful story was very engaging and supported family-directed cultural resurgence (i.e., learning / using tech to communicate a story with social gravity to them). It seems like the population of the interactive app about the park based on their experiences might support a similar "story-design" effect (i.e., learning the tech to communicate an object-focused story to the user). Let us all know how it goes! 

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Terrell Morton

    Terrell Morton

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 06:43 p.m.

    Interesting project! I think this is a great and much-needed topic! I am curious to know what has been the teachers' reaction and responses to collaborating with students regarding the power-sharing in co-constructing the learning process? I presume that these students have agency is determining the directions by which their learning and engagement occurs, requiring the teachers and facilitators to be both "ready and able" to handle diversity in thought, idea, and possibilities. In previous experience, relinquishing power tends to be something that a lot of teachers are not used to doing nor comfortable with doing, particularly given any benchmarks or standards that they are required to meet. 

    I am also curious to know how this program addresses issues with equitable access for diverse students? I noticed that you specifically mentioned challenging deficit orientations around student engagement on Saturdays in one of your post. Aside from that perspective, there could be interpretations/questions around class, socioeconomic status and access for diverse groups that come with participating in opportunities hosted outside of the traditional classroom space.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 09:51 p.m.

    Hi Terrell! Great questions!

    (1) Teachers' reactions: I'm hoping one of them will hop on and answer this question. :) Here's my perspective, and Dr. Heredia, who's studying teacher sensemaking, can jump in too. So far, the teachers participated in the Saturday Academies as learners, to get a feel for our pedagogical framework, its benefits and limitations for their own school context, and its applicability to an after-school STEM club they designed this spring. There is a spectrum of responses in terms of roles teachers and youth can and should play in the learning settings. The interesting thing is that their views are ever-changing with new experiences. I expect shifting views, too, as they participate in instructor roles in our Summer Institute. It will be fun to see!

    (2) Diversity: Our pedagogical framework emphasizes "doing good", "youth as educators/advocates", and "disciplinary practices". That broadens the scope of who can be a legitimate "STEM" person. Further, we talk explicitly about being a STEM person in terms that resonate with them-- e.g., altruist, conservationist, designer, innovator, investigator, and tinkerer. This helps with recruitment, and then we follow through on that promise ("this is designed for all kinds of youth") by designing our curriculum so that all kinds of youth feel as though "this is for me." That said, we need to keep working on this, questioning ourselves, our assumptions, and our approaches.

    Building trust with youth, offering opportunities for longer-term involvement and leadership opportunities, celebrating unique contributions, recruiting youth who may not be academically successful in traditional ways, etc. It really helps to have the teachers involved as integral partners because the families trust the teachers. We could not do what we do without the teachers!

  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:16 p.m.

    Teachers are definitely grappling with the tension you described Terrell.

    The teachers are developing and implementing an afterschool program that was designed to extend the work students did in the Saturday Academies. We have been working in the out-of-school space so that teachers would have more agency over how they organized and supported student learning goals. The teachers are recognizing how the students' participation in the Bridges programming connects to their standard curriculum and are leveraging these experiences as a resource to support student learning goals in the classroom. Often out-of-school learning environments are highlighted as an important resource for student learning in STEM. Our conjecture in this project is to understand how teachers might leverage afterschool settings for student STEM learning that is more than afterschool tutoring and test prep.

    The first set of afterschool programs are just wrapping up and we are seeing variation in the amount of agency students had in each of the clubs. This is definitely an interesting question for our research team and one we are considering as we iterate on the design of our PD.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Acacia McKenna

    Acacia McKenna

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 09:47 a.m.

    Real world issues, problems and solutions are key to engaging students in STEM. In working with the middle school students, were you able to gauge the impact of this particular project not only from the student's learning/perception of science/STEM, but also on the local community?

     

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:31 p.m.

    Hi Acacia!

    Great question!  As part of our Saturday Academies, the youth present to community stakeholders about the solutions that they design.  For the group that engaged with issues of stormwater runoff in their schools, they were able to present to their principals and other school and district leaders.  One of the after-school programs that has taken place this Spring partnered with the local city officials to pilot the development of a rain garden that they would then build at the new city hall building.  In terms of transfer beyond their engagement in these kinds of spaces, we have not been collecting formal data there.  However, we anticipate that as youth begin to develop STEM identities, these identities will transfer into other aspects of their lives.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Small default profile

    Wanda Bryant

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2019 | 12:36 p.m.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about how Scratch is used to study biodiversity and the role of engineering design in best management practices.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:34 p.m.

    Hi Wanda!

    We have seen Scratch used in a few different ways by the youth.  We present Scratch as an option, but do not frame it as an expectation.  As such, not all youth engage with Scratch.  Those youth that do use Scratch usually do so in the context of raising awareness of conservation issues.  Some youth create animations using characters to act out scenes that reflect elements of their experiences at BRIDGES.  We have also seen youth use games to engage their peers at school in issues surrounding the school.  Ultimately, we frame Scratch as one of many tools that can be used to accomplish goals defined by the youth.

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 08:58 p.m.

    I agree. I'm intrigued to investigate Scratch to see ways it could be used to study biodiversity.  I know kids love it and that in itself is motivating to them.

     

    How are students feeling about giving up their Saturday for this program?   What is their incentive? 

  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:37 p.m.

    Hi DeLene!

    I posted a response to Wanda above -- let me know if that doesn't answer the Scratch part of your question.

    As for giving up Saturdays, most youth are incredibly enthusiastic.  Charlene (the teacher in the video) also shared with us that youth from her school showed up extra early each Saturday and were disappointed when the Academies were over.  The teachers who are part of BRIDGES have been running after-school STEM clubs at their schools this spring as part of the BRIDGES project, and youth are sharing the same enthusiasm.  After each club ended, youth begged for more.  We have been incredibly fortunate to have such great teachers and youth working with us on this project!

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Mia Dubosarsky

    Mia Dubosarsky

    Researcher
    May 16, 2019 | 10:22 p.m.

    Very interesting and important project!

    Can you elaborate on the work you have done with teachers? 

     

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 06:19 a.m.

    We have three partner schools in three neighboring districts and there are two science teachers at each school that participate in the project. We have scaffolded the teachers experience over the course of the project in order to support them to develop after school clubs based on the BRIDGES pedagogical framework. This happened in PD during the Saturday Academies and a summer planning retreat, so far the teachers have participated in 60 hours of PD over 2 years.

    The teachers chaperoned the students to the university and then participated in PD as their students were engaged with activities during the Saturday Academies. The goal in the first set of PD  was to engage teachers in a variety of activities primarily focused on their learning of the BRIDGES pedagogical framework and design principles. They observed students engaged in activity, engaged in activities with kids, reflected on their observations of students in and out of the programming, and engaged as learners in activities themselves (without students present). During the second set of Saturday Academies, our goal was to support them to develop their after school clubs as an extension of the work in BRIDGES. 

    The teachers have also provided us with important feedback on the design of activities used with students and participated in a summer planning retreat for our upcoming Summer Institute. At the summer camp, the teachers will move into instructor roles and lead science and engineering activities for the youth at the camp.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2019 | 12:46 a.m.

    Throughout this project, what have you learned the "hard way" that you may want to forewarn others about?  We all learn by doing and can improve the next time.  What would you do differently the next time?  

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: David Schouweiler

    David Schouweiler

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 01:03 p.m.

    You are definitely right in saying that we often learn through experience.  One thing we have experienced during this project is the power of adaptability and iteration.  We have had several activities that we have implemented several times, and they get better each time based on what we learn through doing.  In a project like ours, youth often surface ideas for solutions that we are not prepared for, which is great because this shows connections between youths' interests and the problem spaces.  The ability to adapt and think on our feet has proven invaluable throughout the project.

     
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    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2019 | 08:57 a.m.

    Thanks, DaLene, for the question! One lesson we've learned is how much work it is to be as nimble and rigorous as we can with the iterative design of the curriculum and research, as David describes above. It's helped to have some planning retreats where we all get on the same page about our pedagogical framework and design principles, holding those up for critical review and revision from all stakeholders on the leadership team (college faculty/RAs, teachers, community partners). 

    Another lesson: Perhaps because we are in the midst of it now for our summer program, we've learned that recruitment is no joke. Running a STEM program for diverse youth who may not otherwise pursue or get chosen for this kind of activity demands a certain (re)framing of who would be a good participant (for recruiters, youth, and families) and what the experience entails. Youth who wouldn't sign up for a "STEM camp", for example, might sign up for a camp where you get to learn about animals in streams, tinker, or work on building an interactive app. 

     

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.