SLP Newsletter Spring 2014 – Week 8

In this week’s newsletter we have the following announcements:

1) SLP Teaching Journal Club – reading for week 8
2) UO Science Library scheduled to be remodeled starting in January 2015
3) Physics Colloquium about demonstrations and flipped classes – Thursday 5/22
4) New journal article on the effectiveness of active learning
5) Former Graduate SLP Fellow is runner-up in Three Minute Thesis State Championship
6) May STEM CORE meeting illustrates strong STEM focus in Lane County
7) Summer Work Opportunity – Science Summer Camps
8) Health Professions Program – How should I spend my summer?
9) Associate Director – Brown University Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning
10) Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology Education Research – University of Colorado
11) Fall Case Study Teaching in Science Conference, September 19-20, 2014 in Buffalo, NY
12) Executive Director – Colorado State University Institute for Learning and Teaching


1) Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club: reading for week 8    

This week we are pleased to welcome Kelly Miller, graduate student in Eric Mazur’s group at Harvard University, who will lead us through a couple of demos and talk about her research around how demos can be used to support student learning.

To see some of Kelly’s work please read:
Miller, K. 2013. Use Demonstrations to Teach, Not Just Entertain. Physics Teacher 51:570-571. Available from: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aapt/journal/tpt/51/9/10.1119/1.4830081

Please read and be ready to discuss this paper which was the inspiration for the work she will be discussing:
Roth, W-M, CM McRobbie, KB Lucas, S. Boutonne. 1997. Why may students fail to learn from demonstrations? A social perspective on learning physics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 34(5): 509-533. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/%28SICI%291098-2736%28199705%2934:5%3C509::AID-TEA6%3E3.0.CO;2-U/abstract

As always, we will have two sessions to choose from:

  • Thursday 9:00am in LISB 317 facilitated by Julie Mueller, TEP
  • Friday 2:00pm in LISB 317 facilitated by Elly Vandegrift, SLP

We hope to see you there!
Elly and Julie

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2) UO Science Library scheduled to be remodeled starting in January 2015

The UO Science Library will undergo a drastic transformation starting in January. All are welcome to attend an informal presentation by the architects in the Willamette Atrium on Thursday, May 22nd 12:15-1:00pm. The new space has been named the Allan Price Science Commons and Research Library and the project is a major remodel of the existing subterranean space including two new classrooms, departmental study rooms, and a visualization lab. There will be an addition at the plaza level that establishes a new entry and library presence—and it will contain a coffee bar/café!

For more information about the design criteria, goals, schematics, and exterior pictures, click here.

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3) Physics Colloquium about demonstrations and flipped classes – Thursday 5/22

Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 4:00 – 5:00
Location: Willamette Hall Room 100
Title: “Physics Education Research and Practice; From Lecture Demonstrations to the Flipped Classroom”
Speaker: Kelly Miller of Harvard University

This talk will discuss both recent research on the efficacy of physics lecture demonstrations as well as the implementation of a “flipped class” in the context of introductory physics curricula. Research has shown that roughly one out of every five observations of a demonstration is inconsistent with the actual outcome. Furthermore, correct observation of a lecture demonstration appears to be related to how well a student understands the underlying physics concept before being shown the demo. These findings, as well as the role of prediction-making in demonstration pedagogy will be discussed in more detail.

Recent trends towards flipped classrooms raise interesting questions regarding the teaching of physics to large introductory classes. The implementation and logistics of Applied Physics 50, a new flipped, ‘studio style’ physics class at Harvard, will be discussed. This course combines best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop team and problem solving skills as well as a solid conceptual understanding of physics.

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4) New journal article on the effectiveness of active learning

A University of Washington team has just published a meta-analysis on effectiveness of active learning across all undergraduate STEM courses. The response to this paper has been overwhelming. We wanted to make sure you have a chance to read it as well.

From Mary Pat Wenderoth, Ph.D. UW Biology Education Research Group (BERG):

Colleagues.
I know some of you have seen this already but those of you who have not– we just published in PNAS a meta-analysis on effectiveness of active learning across all undergraduate STEM courses. We reviewed 642 studies, 225 made it into the study. Studies were from 1942-2009.
Bottom line:

  • fail rate with active learning is 21.8%, fail rate with lecture is 33.8% – that is an increase of 55%!
  • grades in active learning classes increase by half a standard deviation, which in our courses equals half a grade ( B- to a B)

The evidence for evidence-based teaching practices (i.e. scientific teaching) is now beyond a reasonable doubt.

Carl Weiman will have a commentary on the paper in next week’s PNAS.

You might also want to add your voice to the REDDIT stream that is happening ( link below)
Scott & Mary Pat & Sarah E. & Hannah J.

Paper is below
here is link to PNAS: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/08/1319030111
Freeman et al. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319030111

links to stories about the paper:

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5) Former Graduate SLP Fellow is runner-up in Three Minute Thesis State Championship

Ruth Siboni, a UO doctoral student in Biology, was the runner-up in the state-wide competition with her presentation “Alleviating the Molecular Symptoms of Myotonic Dystrophy.” Ruth is also a two-time Graduate SLP Fellowship recipient and worked on the course BI/CH 140 – Science, Policy, and Biology by first helping to develop the new course in Fall 2013 and then helping teach in Winter 2014.

Andrew Fowler, a computer science and engineering student from Oregon Health and Science University took first place with his presentation “Efficient Typing with a Brain Computer Interface.”

The People’s Choice award went to Grace Aaraj, master’s student in Architecture at UO, for her presentation “We are all Refugees: Architecture in Crisis and Peace in Service of Refugees and their Host Communities.”

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6) May STEM CORE meeting illustrates strong STEM focus in Lane County

We had a very full STEM CORE meeting last week. The meeting kicked-off with an update on all of the ongoing and upcoming STEM related projects in Lane County. With so many to keep track of, STEM Core’s Bryan Rebar sent around a follow-up

STEM CORE has a student position open for STEM CORE Student Assistant. This is a paid position with fantastic educational and networking opportunities. Applications are due by Monday 5/26 and can be delivered electronically or in-person to:

Dr. Bryan Rebar
Associate Director, STEM CORE
Willamette Hall 144
brebar@uoregon.edu

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7) Summer Work Opportunity – Science Summer Camps

If you plan on being around for summer and want to do some fun SCIENCE! with kids, the Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence (SPICE) is looking for instructors for our summer camps. We still need to recruit 4 lead instructors (paid) and a whole bunch of volunteers. Please email if you’re interested. Hours are flexible for volunteers. Also, we give letters of recommendation! Camps run July 8th-18th with lots of prep work before hand and buttoning up afterwards. Plus, being a SPICE instructor is super fun!

The goal of the SPICE program is to encourage more girls and underrepresented minorities to pursue science and education careers. We do this through fun, hands on science camps designed to build strong science identities and self-efficacy. SPICE camp is a chance for girls to try on the role of scientist in a no-stakes environment with fun relatable role models.

Available positions

  • Lead Instructor - Discovery Camp (160 hours @ $10/hour) – 2 instructors needed
    This is our oldest camp and the most flexible. We have a whole bunch of tried and true activities from ballistics, to soft landers, biology days and much, much more. Our veteran lead instructor is retiring, but she is available to meet with the new instructors and impart her wisdom. Camp description below.
  • Lead Instructor - Engineering and Computer Science Camp (160 hours @ $10/hour) – 2 instructors needed
    Much of the heaving lifting in terms of curriculum development has been worked out by our physics grad volunteers. We need a couple of super organized instructors who aren’t afraid of a little (easy) programming to keep the camp on track and manage the construction of some pretty awesome pinball machines. Camp description below.
  • Volunteer Instructors – Assist the camp leaders, lead an activity, play games, hang out with cool science crazy kiddos. We have lots of flexible options. If you have a cool activity that fits one of our camp theme’s and would like to try it out with our campers this is your chance!

Camp Descriptions

  • More than Meets the Eye: Science Discovery Camp
    Rising 6th Graders
    Learn about physics, chemistry and biology while exploring the UO campus. Explore ballistics on our live “Angry Avian’s” projectile range, make bubbles with super cold fluids, and make your own hot air balloons. Then take everything that you’ve learned and apply it to the amazing science race at the end of camp.
  • Science Mystery: Forensic Investigation
    Rising 7th Graders
    Make your own footprint casts and bit impressions. Learn how to interrogate witnesses. Dig up mysterious fossils. Then work with your team to uncover the mystery at the end of camp. Deduce who the culprit is and arrest your suspect at the final presentation!
  • Engineering Made Fun: Physics and Computer Science
    Rising 8th Graders
    Learn how to program using Arduino Uno boards. Build devices with your own hands and put them all together to make a working pinball machine. Campers will have the opportunity to present their creations at the Lane County Fair in August!

Find out more about SPICE here: http://oco.uoregon.edu/spice

To Apply: Send a letter of interest and a resume to Brandy Todd, 541 346-4313,

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8) Health Professions Program – How should I spend my summer?

The Health Professions Program Newsletter has some suggestions for how students could spend their summer term.

The newsletter includes information on a number of events both on and off-campus. See the full newsletter online.

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9) Associate Director – Brown University Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

The Sheridan Center supports Brown University’s long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and learning through our broad range of programs, services, activities and resources for the Brown teaching community.  The Center seeks a dynamic and creative Associate Director with expertise in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to work with faculty, postdocs and graduate students in the Life and Physical Sciences at Brown to facilitate their professional development in teaching and learning. The newly expanded Center will include a Laboratory for Educational Innovation to enhance online and digital pedagogies at Brown.

To learn more about the Sheridan Center at Brown, please visit:  http://www.brown.edu/about/administration/sheridan-center/

The Associate Director’s responsibilities include: coordinating and overseeing Sheridan Teaching Certificate Programs (I and III); providing individual consultations for faculty, postdocs and graduate students in the STEM disciplines; developing and managing professional development programs in teaching and learning; coordinating workshops to explore the effective use of instructional technology in the classroom; and collaborating with departments and other administrative offices across the university to support professional development in teaching and learning at Brown.

For more information and to applyplease visit Brown University’s career opportunities website at:  https://careers.brown.edu/ and reference Job# 112383.

Brown University is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/Disability/Veteran

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10) Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology Education Research – University of Colorado

University of Colorado Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology Education Research. The Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU), invites applicants for a postdoctoral fellow (officially termed a research associate at CU Boulder) in biology education research to work with Dr. Jennifer Knight. Specific responsibilities will focus on the use of concept assessments, including developing and orchestrating a national survey of concept assessments use, and studying how faculty make changes to courses and curriculum based on concept assessment results. The successful candidate will be part of a multi-institution team of researchers that are supported by the National Science Foundation’s Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) Program (“Navigating from Vision to Change with Bio-MAPS”).

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in molecular/cell biology, biology, or biology education, have a strong research record, and have demonstrated experience in discipline-based education research. Preference will be given to applicants who have education research experience, skills in statistical and model-based analysis and have evidence of collaborating well as part of a team.

This position is a full-time, twelve-month appointment, with start date preferred by September 1, 2014. The salary for this appointment will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Applicants should submit an application at https://www.jobsatcu.com/postings/81217 including a CV, a statement of specific research interests and/or experience with DBER, up to 2 relevant publications, and three contacts who can write letters of reference.

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. Applications from women and under-represented minorities are encouraged.

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11) Fall Case Study Teaching in Science Conference, September 19-20, 2014 in Buffalo, NY

Join us for our annual Fall Case Study Teaching in Science Conference, September 19-20, 2014, in Buffalo, NY, sponsored by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.

Our conference offers sessions for both the beginner and advanced case study teacher and is formatted for college and high school teachers. In addition to our distinguished group of session teachers, we have brought in a noted scholar to address the general conference, Maryellen Weimer, Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning, Pennsylvania State University, and Editor of the Teaching Professor publication, who will present on “Discussion: Improving the Talk About Cases.” Workshop sessions this year will cover teaching with cases in a “flipped” classroom, assessing students’ case work, a POGIL approach to case studies, incorporating virtual cell animations into case studies, and much more! See below for a full listing of the conference sessions and other information.

Our conference is led by Dr. Clyde (Kipp) Herreid, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. The conference is open to anyone interested in science education, including high school teachers and international teachers. It also includes a poster session and we would be pleased if you submitted a proposal by September 1, 2014.

Additional information and online registration for this two-day Case Study Teaching in Science Conference is available at the conference website

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12) Executive Director – Colorado State University Institute for Learning and Teaching

Colorado State University seeks a leader to serve as the Executive Director of the Institute for Learning and Teaching. The successful candidate will be eligible to join the faculty of Colorado State University as a tenured professor or associate professor.

The Executive Director leads the Institute in its efforts to enhance learning and teaching across the university through a distinctive range of initiatives that combine direct academic support services to students, course design, research on pedagogy and learning, professional development for faculty and graduate students, and scholarly inquiry into learning and teaching. The Executive Director manages day-to-day activities across the Institute’s programs and provides strategic vision for existing and new initiatives.

The successful candidate will be dedicated to developing high-quality approaches to enhancing learning and teaching and will be able to work effectively with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the larger community of university stakeholders. For additional information and online application go to: http://www.studentaffairsjobs.colostate.edu/

The Institute, housed in the Office of the Provost, works closely with the colleges and departments, the Office of Student Affairs, and the university’s distance education program, for which it provides course development services. The Institute currently has roughly 30 staff and is expected to grow in the coming years.