This is a collection of recent articles published in peer-reviewed publications’ written by members of MMSA’s staff or other leaders in STEM education and learning. When possible we have linked to the original online sources.
Karen Peterman, Kayla A. Cranston, Marie Pryor, & Ruth Kermish-Allen
Publisher: International Journal of Science Education
This case study was conducted within the context of a place-based education project that was implemented with primary school students in the USA. The authors and participating teachers created a performance assessment of standards-aligned tasks to examine 6 10-year-old students graph interpretation skills as part of an exploratory research project. Fifty-five students participated in a performance assessment interview at the beginning and end of a place-based investigation. Students proficiency with interpreting different types of graphs matched expectations based on age and the standards-based progression of graphs across primary school grades. The assessment tasks were also effective at detecting pre-post gains in students interpretation of line graphs and dot plots after the place-based project. The results of the case study are discussed in relation to the common challenges associated with performance assessment. Implications are presented in relation to the need for authentic and performance-based instructional and assessment tasks to respond to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Shey Conover, Ruth Kermish-Allen, Robert Snyder
Communities for Rural Education, Stewardship, and Technology (CREST): A Rural Model for Teacher Professional Development is a chapter in Teaching Science and Investigating Environmental Issues with Geospatial Technology: Designing Effective Professional Development for Teachers, published in 2013 by Springer Publishing Company. The chapter examines a model of professional development created with the goals of building greater teacher IT fluency and of increasing student interest in and awareness of STEM fields.
Ruth Kermish-Allen, Karen Peterman, Suzanne MacDonald, Rachel Thompson and Brooks Winner
Publisher: Journal of Sustainability Education
The Energy for ME program, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation, worked across formal and informal K-12 environments to bridge the gap between society, science, and the environment. Energy for ME integrated three experiential education pedagogies (place-based education, inquiry, and project-based learning) in combination with real-world electricity data in order to impact energy consumption within participating communities. Energy for ME schools and communities have saved over $135,000 in homeowner electricity costs, 900,000 lbs of carbon, and 1,000,000 kWh of energy) in electricity costs over the 3 years of the project.
Thomas E. Keller
Publisher: Maine Policy Review, a Publication of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine
Dr. Tom Keller provides an overview of K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy in Maine and the nation, and makes recommendations for several agencies in the state. He argues that although standards and assessment are important, there need to be corresponding changes instructional materials methods and in school culture. Although we do not yet have a fully integrated STEM curriculum, Keller suggests that we are overdue for interdisciplinary work where possible.
Philip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, Andrew W. Shouse, and Michael A. Feder, Editors; Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments; Board on Science Education; Center for Education; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
Learning Science in Informal Environments draws together disparate literatures, synthesizes the state of knowledge, and articulates a common framework for the next generation of research on learning science in informal environments across a life span. Contributors include recognized experts in a range of disciplines–research and evaluation, exhibit designers, program developers, and educators. They also have experience in a range of settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, aquariums, zoos, state parks, and botanical gardens.Learning Science in Informal Environments is an invaluable guide for program and exhibit designers, evaluators, staff of science-rich informal learning institutions and community-based organizations, scientists interested in educational outreach, federal science agency education staff, and K-12 science educators.
Noah Weeth Feinstein, Sue Allen, & Edgar Jenkins
Educational policy increasingly emphasizes knowledge and skills for the pre-professional science pipeline rather than helping students use science in daily life. We synthesize research on public engagement with science to develop a research-based plan for cultivating competent outsiders: nonscientists who can access and make sense of science relevant to their lives. Schools should help students access and interpret the science they need in response to specific practical problems, judge the credibility of scientific claims based on both evidence and institutional cues, and cultivate deep amateur involvement in science.
Publisher: Curator: The Museum Journal
A Review of Progressive Museum Practice: John Dewey and Democracy by George Hein. Curator: The Museum Journal, 57: 387 391. doi: 10.1111/cura.12077
Jo Gates, Fran Rudoff, Tracy Harkins, and Joanne Harriman
Publisher: Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Developing an educational framework that integrates service-learning involves four key elements: leadership and vision; professional development; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and community partnerships. The experiences of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System are instructive for anyone exploring options to increase rich, real-life learning opportunities for all students.
Publisher: National Science Teachers Association
The No Child Left Behind act requires schools to have “qualified teachers” in every classroom by the 2005-2006 school year. This mandate has made professional development a priority. This article defines quality professional development, describes the six categories of professional development, and provides examples of outstanding programs.
There is general agreement among museum professionals and scholars that the key feature of an interactive exhibit (or interactive for short) is reciprocity: as a visitor uses the exhibit, it responds in some way. This distinguishes it from more traditional exhibits that may be read or observed but do not change physically in response to visitors actions. The simplest interactives respond in only very limited ways, such as revealing more information to visitors when a flap is lifted or initiating a mechanical process when a button is pushed. More typically, however, interactive exhibits include mechanical, optical, magnetic, or electrical components that can be moved, connected, and adjusted in a broad variety of ways. Interactives often include some kind of interpretive labels that guide visitors and orient them to the goals of the exhibit; these typically include instructions or challenges, questions or hints, explanations, and a connection to daily life.
J.P. Gutwill & Sue Allen
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Field trips to science museums can provide students with educational experiences, particularly when museum programs emphasize scientific inquiry skill building over content knowledge acquisition. We describe the creation and study of 2 programs designed to significantly enhance students’ inquiry skills at any interactive science museum exhibit without the need for advanced preparation by teachers or chaperones. The programs, called Inquiry Games, utilized educational principles from the learning sciences and from visitor studies of museum field trips. A randomized experimental design compared 2 versions of the games to 2 control conditions. Results indicate that the groups that learned the Inquiry Games significantly outperformed the control groups in the duration and quality of several inquiry skills when using a novel exhibit, with effect sizes ranging from 0.3? to 0.8?. The highest gains came from an Inquiry Game that was structured and collaborative rather than spontaneous and individualized. Students and chaperones in all conditions reported enjoying the experience. These results mirror those found in a previous study in which family groups learned the Inquiry Games.
Meghan Southworth, Jan Mokros, Chad Dorsey, and Randy Smith
Publisher: National Science Teachers Association
GENIQUEST is a cyberlearning computer program that allows students to investigate biological data using a research-based instructional model. In this article, the authors make the case for using cyberlearning to teach students about the rapidly growing fields of genomics and computational biology.
Thomas E. Keller & Greg Pearson
Publisher: International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
Thomas E. Keller & Greg Pearson. (February 2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Standards: Increasing Opportunities for Student Learning. The Technology and Engineering Teacher 71(5), 12-18.
Heidi A. Schweingruber, Helen Quinn, Thomas E. Keller, and Greg Pearson
Publisher: National Academy of Engineering
The framework was developed under the auspices of the NRC Board on Science Education (BOSE) in collaboration with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academies’ Teacher Advisory Council. BOSE focuses on science education for all ages, in school settings and across many venues outside of school such as museums, nature centers, zoos, after-school programs, and community organizations. The Board convenes experts who draw on their professional knowledge and examine research on learning and teaching to make recommendations about how to improve science education.
Tugel, Joyce, & Ingrid Porter
Publisher: Science Scope
Farrin, Lynn, & Jan Mokros
Publisher: Science Scope