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Engaging new audiences in research by teaching the process of science

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Engaging new audiences in research by teaching the process of science

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  1. Engaging new audiences in research by teaching the process of science Council on Undergraduate Research 2010 National Conference Anne E. Egger, Stanford University Anthony Carpi, John Jay College–CUNY

  2. Who are we? • Who are you? • What is your institution type? • What do you do to attract students to research? • What do you do to prepare students for research?

  3. Non-traditional audience:Freshmen and sophomores • Challenge #1: getting them to even think about studying the Earth sciences • Challenge #2: engaging them in research as freshmen and sophomores without much background knowledge • Two solutions: EarthSci 1 and EarthSci 100

  4. EarthSci 1 Current research in the Earth and environmental sciences Instructor Anne Egger

  5. 53 full-time faculty 4 departments 300+ graduate students

  6. Faculty you’ll meet this quarter • Jonathan Payne, GES • Greg Beroza, Geophysics • Chris Field, EESS(and recent Heinz Award recipient) • Simon Klemperer, Geophysics(and recent Cox Award recipient) • Wendy Mao, GES and SLAC • Kevin Arrigo, EESS • Sally Benson, ERE and Director of GCEP • Jen Wilcox, ERE

  7. Your tasks Listen, ask questions, write a short response every week Attend the Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS) on Thursday, October 22 Consider taking more classes, doing research, and/or majoring/minoring in the Earth sciences

  8. Evaluations • “For a one-unit class, I felt I got a lot out of this class. The lecturers were all very interesting and it was neat to become acquainted with various departments in the earth sciences.” • “It was good to reflect on what interested us to see if that suggested a possible future course.”

  9. EarthSci100 Research Preparation InstructorsAnne Egger & Simon Klemperer

  10. Goals of this course • To introduce you to (or reinforce your knowledge of) the process of scientific research • To prepare you to have a successful summer research experience • To build an active community of undergraduate researchers within the School of Earth Sciences

  11. How we will achieve those goals • Readings and discussion about the research process in general • A series of short assignments about your research submitted through CourseWork • Presentations by each of you about the work you’ll be doing and engagement in the culture of research in the school

  12. Example assignment

  13. Discussion • Strategies for readings scientific journal articles • Strategies for using the literature • Using bibliographic tools like EndNote or RefWorks

  14. Follow-up assignment

  15. No evaluations yet, but… • “I gained a lot from this class; some skills I found particularly helpful were how to read scientific articles and how to interact with my mentor. I definitely feel more prepared for going into the field this summer, and I know what resources I should turn to if I have any questions.”

  16. Non-traditional audience:Urban Hispanic and minority students • John Jay College: • Largest HSI in Northeast • 13,346 undergraduates (Fall 2009) • 46% 1st Generation, 80% financial aid, 58% work • Entirely Commuter College • Within 2 buildings • Single Science Department • 22 faculty, 884 Majors (Fall 2009) • 96.4% Major Attrition, 76% College Attrition-Science (1990’s)

  17. What are our challenges? • What isn’t? • Challenge #1: What is research? • Challenge #2: Why should they do research? • Challenge #3: How does it affect their career options? • Challenge #4: Time, support, training…

  18. PRISM: The Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors

  19. Program Components • Winter Informational Sessions • Freshman Seminars • Sophomore Research Training • Student-Mentor Pairing • Research Symposium • Freshman, Sophomore, Upper Class concurrent sessions & joint lunch • Pathways, Practical Writing Skills • Lab Project, Ethics, Writing • Junior-Senior, FOS402

  20. Research Symposium • Research Poster Session • Outstanding Researcher Award • Keynote Speaker

  21. Supporting materials

  22. Teaching the Process of Science FIPSE Funding 2006 Advisory Panel What is the Process of Science What are key concepts Peer review of materials How do we assess understanding www.visionlearning.com

  23. The Process of ScienceSelected Key Concepts Science is a process of investigation into the natural world and the knowledge generated through that process. Scientific theories are testable explanations supported by multiple lines of evidence. Scientific knowledge evolves with new evidence and perspectives. Science benefits from the creativity, curiosity, diversity, and diligence of individuals. The community of science engages in debate and mitigates human errors. Uncertainty is inherent in nature, but scientists work to minimize and quantify it in data collection and analysis. Scientists value open and honest communication in reporting research. www.visionlearning.com

  24. Modules Topics Theories, Hypotheses, & Laws Scientists & the Scientific Community Scientific Institutions Scientific Ethics The Nature of Scientific Knowledge* Scientific Controversy* Scientific Practice: Research Comparison Description Experimentation Modeling in the Process of Science Research Methods Scientific Communication Scientific Data The Nature of Science Analysis & Interpretation Uncertainty, Error & Confidence Statistics Using Graphs & Visual Data Journals & Articles The Literature Peer Review *In development www.visionlearning.com

  25. Process Modules www.visionlearning.com

  26. Teaching the Process of Science Resources for faculty