Science Literacy Program Newsletter

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

1) Gearing up for Fall 2014 term – Science Literacy Program courses
2) UO’s Teaching Effectiveness Program offers training programs for new faculty and graduate teaching fellows – register now for September workshops
3) STEM happenings around campus
4) Science Pub Eugene – Thursday, August 14 7-9pm
5) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Study on Courseware – survey participants needed


1) Gearing up for Fall 2014 term – Science Literacy Program courses

Seven courses affiliated with the Science Literacy Program will be offered during the Fall 2014 term.  The program looks forward to supporting development of science literacy for nearly 900 UO students this term!

ASTR 121 The Solar System
BI 122 Introduction to Human Genetics
BI 132 Introduction to Animal Behavior
CH 111 Introduction to Chemical Principles
J 463/563 Special Topics: Science Reporting
PHYS 152 Physics of Sound and Music
PHYS 171 The Physics of Life

We are still recruiting scholars and fellows for a handful of courses.  Contact us if you’re interested.

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2) UO’s Teaching Effectiveness Program offers training programs for new faculty and graduate teaching fellows – register now for September workshops.

Are you a new UO faculty member or Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF) designing your first class or leading your first discussion section? Get a jumpstart on the year with one of the Teaching Effectiveness Program’s (TEP) teacher trainings September 15-26. The TEP offers a variety of workshops and will help you select the one best suited to your needs. In addition to custom consultation, the TEP is offering the following Teacher Trainings this fall.

• Basic Teaching Skills (Leading a Discussion)
• Basic Teaching Skills (Online and Blended Course Design)
• Teaching for the First Time as the Sole Instructor
• Teaching at the University of Oregon – exclusively for new UO faculty
• Teaching Large Classes
• Teaching in the US for International Graduate Teaching Fellows

Additional information is available on TEP’s Teacher Trainings page and online registration is available.

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3) STEM happenings around campus

This week STEM CORE is hosting local K-12 teachers on campus with faculty and graduate student hosts to deliver access to both the intellect and equipment needed to bring new STEM projects to area schools which serve as a catalyst for young budding scientists and engineers.

Last week the UO’s Scholarships for Oregon Students (SOS) program wrapped up its 4th annual SOS science summer camp for 25 high school students and teachers from from Hermiston and Umatilla High Schools. The SOS science summer camp is part of the program’s internally-funded effort to recruit students from diverse backgrounds to apply for a SOS scholarship to support their first two years at the UO in BioChemistry, Chemistry, or Physics majors. The students worked in a ‘research boot camp’ led by Dean Livelybrooks, participated in a demo show (by Stan Micklavzina and Ben Wright), and then split into groups to do research mini-projects with an undergraduate, graduate student or a post-doc including SLP participants Ruth Siboni Trish Toomey Wiles. Projects focused on research in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physics culminating in a research presentation.

In the past few years, eight of the SOS scholarship recipients have also been awarded Undergraduate SLP Scholar positions to work in SLP science courses.

• Maxwell Dickinson, Physics
• Adrian Fraser, Physics
• Caitlyn Hazlett, Chemistry
• Clayton Kilmer, Physics
• Samantha Mellin, Physics
• Daniel Mulkey, Physics
• Rebecka Tumblin, Physics
• Benedicta Wanjeri, BioChemistry

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4) Science Pub Eugene – Thursday, August 14 7-9pm 

OMSI’s Science Pub Eugene series meets on the second Thursday each month.
In August, see Dr. Scott Fisher’s talk “Astronomy in Oregon: Boldly Going Where Few Astronomers Dare to Tread”

Thursday, August 14  from 7-9pm
Cozmic
199 W 8th Ave., Eugene, OR
View the event details

In September, come see Dr. Eric Corwin’s talk “Jammed Particulate Systems”

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5) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Study on Courseware – survey participants needed

Education Growth Advisors, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is conducting a comprehensive study of the use of digital courseware by post-secondary faculty and institutions. The study is interested in your use and perceptions of the value of digital courseware in higher education. The study takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Click here to participate.

All respondents will receive a copy of the white paper(s) published with the findings of this study later this year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m not sure what you mean by “digital courseware”; do you still want my responses?
A: YES, we want your responses. In this study, we define digital courseware as “curriculum delivered through purpose-built software to support teaching and instruction.” If you’re still not sure, we’ve provided more detailed parameters and examples in the survey.

Q: I don’t have a lot of time to spend on this; how long will it take?
A: We know your time is valuable; most respondents can complete the survey in less than 15 minutes.

Q: Is there a sponsor for the study?
A: Yes, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring this study. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will see only the aggregated results – no individual-level data is shared.

Q: Who is conducting the study?
A: This research is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but is being conducted independently by Education Growth Advisors (www.edgrowthadvisors.com) with the support of the Babson Survey Research Group. Our findings and data will be shared freely with participants and the broader marketplace as a service to inform the communities thinking and activities in this area.

Q: Who will see my responses?
A: We value your privacy. Unless you explicitly provide permission, only researchers at the Babson Survey Research Group have access to individual-level survey responses.

Q: How will my answers be used?
A: The aggregated results will be used to create one or multiple white papers on the adoption and use of digital courseware in postsecondary education in the US. All respondents will receive a copy of each white paper when published later this year.

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