Dr. Lark Receives New Funding

lark-personnelAmy Lark, Assistant Professor in Applied Science Education, was one of the Michigan Tech faculty members to receive an award exceeding $5,000 from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium for her program “Teacher Training: The Next Generation Science Standards in Theory and Practice”.  Click here to see a full list of recipients.

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico.

As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for approximately 20 years. MSGC funding is administered through MTU’s Pavlis Honors College. For more information, contact Paige Hackney in the Pavlis Honors College, call 7-4371, or visit the MSGC website.

New Publication in K-12 STEM Education

Cover of the International Journal of STEM Education, four circles overlappingDrs. Dare and Ellis of the Teacher Education program in Cognitive and Learning Sciences have published new research in the International Journal of STEM Education. Along with their co-author, Dr. Gillian Roehrig at the University of Minnesota, Drs. Dare and Ellis explore middle school teachers’ experiences in their first-time implementation of integrated STEM curriculum units. This article is publicly available through Open Access.

Dean’s Teaching Showcase: Joshua Ellis

Ellis was mentioned recently in Seely’s article about Cécile Piret (Math). He was, and is, her partner in studying how students learn in Calculus 3 by adding 3-D printers to class exercises. Seely indicates Ellis merits recognition in the Showcase in his own right, saying, “We expect CLS faculty to integrates research on education and learning with his classroom endeavors, but Josh’s approaches merit special attention.”
Ellis began his career as a K-12 teacher in Minneapolis, and knew from the beginning that he was expected to actively consider how a teacher’s decisions affected students. He elaborates, “I asked myself questions every day: How do I know when learning is happening in my classroom? How do my students learn best? What’s my role as the instructor?”
Importantly, he found that the answers to these questions often changed, leading him to adopt a research-like approach. “I sought to identify what helped my students succeed and what inhibited their growth as learners.”
He also entered the STEM Education doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, where faculty embraced this connection between research and educational practice. “I learned how to rigorously analyze teaching through a research lens, and I also learned how to conduct more meaningful research through the teaching lens. I firmly believe that I need both research and teaching to do it.”
This synthesis is embedded in Ellis’ research and classroom instruction at Michigan Tech, where he teaches future K-16 educators. His approach is especially useful when exploring how educational technology can support student learning. This might be best shown by a comment Ellis shared from B.W. Seibert: “Teachers will never be replaced by technology … but teachers who use technology effectively will replace those who do not.”
Ellis considers this perspective “both a warning and an opportunity for education students at Tech eager to use the incredible technological tools of our age to push the boundaries of what we think learning is.” He applies Seibert in his instructional technology course (ED3100) and in his work developing the new foundations of online teaching (ED5101) course. Both courses help educators learn to reach broader audiences, engage diverse participants and empower people of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve more. Students “learn how technology can lower barriers to finding information and more quickly allow students to seek knowledge and understanding.”
This insight explains Ellis’s enthusiasm for 3-D printers as tools that can create solution spaces for mathematics problems. He added that he feels a responsibility to model himself those practices he hopes his students will adopt within their future classrooms. “Educators who engage in these practices are poised to inspire interest, creativity and excellence in their students. I’m incredibly proud of the work that I do as an educational researcher and as an instructor to create these opportunities for our students.”
Seely agrees, and that is why he chose Ellis as this week’s Dean’s Teaching Showcase member. Ellis will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside-the-classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

Transdisciplinary: Working Across the Campus

Michigan Technological University’s transdisciplinary researchers reach across disciplines and institutional boundaries to solve complex problems that are bigger than a single specialized field.

Kelly Steelman, an assistant professor of cognitive & learning sciences, says diversity is good for problem-solving. If you only have a spoon, the only food you’ll want to eat is soup.

“The more tools you have available to your research team, the more likely you are to consider a variety of solutions and not get stuck always trying to use the same approach to every problem… The more perspectives we bring to the table, the better opportunity we have to create innovative and transformative solutions.”

Read the full story on the Michigan Tech News Website.

Students Inducted into the National Honor Society in Psychology

IMG_8054The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences inducted seven new members into Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology: Glory Creed, Elizabeth Kelliher, Abigail Kuehne, Mariah Sherman, Kay Tislar, Samantha Verran, and Kira Warner. The induction ceremony took place at the Harold Meese Center on Sunday, December 3.  The Michigan Tech Chapter of Psi Chi is led by Halie Hart (President) and Caden Sumner (Treasurer) and advised by Dr. Kelly Steelman.

Three Inducted into Academy of Educators

Academy of Educators 201710210008 EditedIn Ceremonies held Oct. 21, Michigan Tech inducted three new members into the University’s Academy of Educators. The inductees included William Bertoldi, Sarah Geborkoff and Yoneé Bryant-Kuiphoff.

William Bertoldi graduated with a BS in Chemistry in 1980, with Secondary Teacher Certification in Chemistry and Mathematics. Bertoldi spent 30 years teaching in Kingsford Middle and High Schools. In 1996 he established a student organization called “Rockets for Schools,” for which he still serves as advisor. The group designs, builds and launches high-powered rockets. They have performed rocket launches at ceremonies nationally and have been featured in three commercials showcasing student work and have appeared on the Science Channel.

Of his induction into the Academy, Bertoldi says “It was a real honor to receive the award from Michigan Tech. It meant a lot to me and things were so very nice at the dinner. Michigan Tech gave me such a great education and was of such great help to me throughout my career.”

Sarah Gerborkoff, a science teacher at Houghton Middle School, earned a BS in Geology in 2000 with Secondary Teacher Certification in Earth Science and Science.

Since 2013 she has served at Houghton Middle School as the Lead Teacher for the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative Project. On three different occasions, she served as the advisor for the Lexus Scholastic Eco Challenge team. Her 2014 team that focused on invasive species and her 2015 team that studies the remediation of stamp sands both won a $10,000 national prize.

Yoneé Bryant-Kuiphoff began her career as a science teacher at Milwood Magnet School in Kalamazo in 1993. She eventually became lead science teacher and assisted with staffing and curriculum for the new magnet school. A 1986 graduate of Cornerstone University, she received a master’s in Applied Science Education from Michigan Tech in 2014.

Since 2008 she has served as the Middle School Director for the Michigan Science Teachers Association. From 2011-14, as a member of the first cohort of the Michigan Teacher Excellence Project, Bryant-Kuiphoff participated in the collaboration of Michigan Tech and urban schools to improve Earth Science instructional practices.

Shari Stockero, director of teacher education, in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences says the newest inductees are certainly due the recognition.

“These individuals have represented our program and Michigan Tech well. Teachers do not often receive the recognition they deserve, so we are honored to be able to present them with this acknowledgement of their contributions to K-12 education.”

The Academy of Educators gives public recognition to Michigan Tech alumni and alumnae who have brought distinction to themselves, Michigan Tech and the Teachers Education program through their participation, commitment, outstanding leadership and/or public service in the field of K-12 education.

On the Road

Dr. Elizabeth Veinott and ACSHF graduate student Katy Roose presented “From Dragon Slayer to Problem Solver: Video Games as a Warm-Up for Problem Solving” at the Digital Media Learning Conference earlier this month. The conference was held at the University of California in Irvine, CA. To learn more about the conference, please visit:  https://dml2017.dmlhub.net/