1. Valerie Butler
  2. BioEYES Baltimore Program Manager
  3. BioEYES
  4. http://www.bioeyes.org
  5. Carnegie Institution for Science
  1. Steven Farber
  2. https://carnegiescience.edu/scientist/steven-farber
  3. Staff Member
  4. BioEYES
  5. http://www.bioeyes.org
  6. Carnegie Institution for Science
  1. Judith Neugebauer
  2. BioEYES Utah Program Manager
  3. BioEYES
  4. http://www.bioeyes.org
  5. University of Utah
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 08:03 p.m.

    Thank you for viewing our video. BioEYES began working directly with teachers in 2002, piloting the experiment in classrooms and aligning the experience with content required by local and/or national standards. We have found that building a relationship from the classroom up (i.e., teachers with the approval of their administrators, then multiple grades within a school, and finally a district-wide roll out) enables the program to prove its feasibility, curriculum alignment, and teacher enthusiasm—all required for sustainability.

    Prior to implementation of Project BioEYES, teachers receive professional development (PD) at our host institutions where they practice the hands-on aspects of the experiment that their students will conduct, and meet with scientists who discuss their research. In years 1–2, teachers co-teach in the classroom with a BioEYES outreach educator. By year three teachers are specially trained to deliver the units independently as “model teachers,” with loaned supplies from BioEYES. This 3-year PD model reduces the program’s cost by half, increases the number of students receiving BioEYES, and frees our outreach educators to work in new schools. The school visits and teacher PD are free to urban, public schools. County schools receive our programs using a discounted fee-for-service model.

    Our data shows that this teacher training model has long-term impacts on teacher innovation in the classroom, teacher competence in science, and teacher confidence to deliver hands-on lessons.

     
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  • Icon for: Sue Doubler

    Sue Doubler

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 12:14 p.m.

    Valerie,

    I’m struck by your dissemination model. Your program is reaching diverse populations--students at multiple grade levels and students in a range of cities in the US and beyond. What is the key to sustaining program quality for over 10 years while continuing to expand your reach? Would love to know more about how other projects can learn from your model. What do you feel are the key factors?  

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:10 p.m.

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for your comments. The key to maintaining the integrity of the weeklong program is to provide professional development AND real-world coaching. First, we offer a 3-5 hour training at our host institutions, followed by a co-teaching and mentoring experience in the classroom while school is in session. Our Outreach Educators work alongside the teachers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, modeling the scientific practices and also coaching them on how to run messy, hands-on science experiments. Teachers also deliver the program themselves on Wednesdays and Thursdays, which helps to build their confidence and competence in running things. On average we spend 9-15 hours a year with teachers, and scaffold their learning over several years. Ongoing support and refresher trainings are always available to our participating teachers as well.

    By their third year of participation a teacher is usually ready to run the program independently. This is critical for our expansion as we can then start working with a new cohort of teachers, thereby building teacher capacity. In a couple of our locations we are targeting specific grade levels exclusively in order to build capacity district-wide.

    I think that having this kind of individualized professional development works well for teachers and I would love to see more state policymakers consider in-classroom coaching something teachers can receive professional development credit for. Not all states do, however.

     
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  • Icon for: Sue Doubler

    Sue Doubler

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 02:08 p.m.

    Valerie,

    One further question related to dissemination. Have you seen differences in how the program works and the support needed at different sites and areas of the country/world? If so, do you make or feel you need to make adjustments to accommodate differences.

    Sue

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 04:27 p.m.

    Hi Sue, In terms of student or teacher participation, we don't see a lot of difference. We're currently only in the U.S. and Australia though (Chile coming next). The curriculum is designed to be adaptable for different learners, so gifted students as well as students with special needs have participated. Because we offer content for multiple levels (2nd-10th grade, generally), we can use whatever is appropriate for our students. Plus there is supplemental content and extensions to use by the teacher as needed (much of it is available on our website, bioeyes.org). No child is a zebrafish expert, so anyone can do it!

    When we are replicating the program elsewhere, however, there are different considerations to take into account. For example, if a teacher wants to have BioEYES in his/her school and is outside of our area that is a different process than if a university wants to start a BioEYES Center.

    Does that answer your question?

     
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  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Senior Science Educator
    May 15, 2017 | 04:38 p.m.

    This is terrific! Your experience with professional development rings true, in particular the three year progress towards independence. Could you tell us how you measured changes in students' attitudes about science? Thanks!

     
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  • Icon for: Steven Farber

    Steven Farber

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 08:45 p.m.

    We had developed an attitude instrument used for almost 15 years with over 100,000 children. You can check out our all our materials and the attitude instrument in our most recent publication  http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id... in the supporting information tab

     
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  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 11:59 a.m.

    I really like the apprenticeship aspect of teachers becoming "model teachers"- have you looked at any teacher learning outcomes? I'm especially interested in how they are learning about the Science & Engineering Practices in the NGSS

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 03:58 p.m.

    Hi Deborah,

    We haven’t analyzed how teachers are learning the NGSS practices. Instead we are in the process of looking at how BioEYES has impacted their long-term teaching practices and attributes, and whether there are differences in learning for students taught by Model Teachers versus those co-taught with BioEYES Outreach Educators. For example, elementary teachers self-reported that:

    • The teaching practices learned from BioEYES have helped them integrate inquiry-based teaching to include the engagement of students as scientists long-term in their classrooms (93% agreed).
    • Collaborative Inquiry and Collaborative Discourse ranked as the highest teaching practices that BioEYES had helped improve in their classrooms (53% agreed).
    • Mimicking science practices through hands-on activities & science experiments were ranked as the second highest teaching practice (43% agreed).
    • They felt more confident about teaching science and in allowing students to investigate and discover scientific phenomenon, replacing teachers’ transfer of information directly to the student (80%)
    • They became innovators in the classroom (73%) by adapting traditional textbook lessons into inquiry-based work using models.
    • Their self-efficacy in teaching and delivering hands-on science improved (66%).

    Our next paper (in process) will expand on this topic!

     

     
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  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 09:23 a.m.

    That's interesting that 'mimicking science practices' was the second highest-- I think many teachers are confused about the new NGSS practices, since they're not familiar with how scientists use these. I see a big advantage of your project being connecting teachers and scientists!

     
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  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 01:52 p.m.

    What is your retention rate with teachers for each year of the 3 years and beyond?  What is the cost of the program for a classroom?

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 05:20 p.m.

    Hi Barbara,

    There is a lot of teacher turnover in some of the areas we work (e.g., the School District of Philadelphia and the Baltimore City Public School District). Nevertheless I believe our retention rate is high. I will have to work up the numbers, but when we look at why teachers don't continue with the program we find that they have retired, are no longer teaching science, or have left the school district/area. One benefit to working directly with the teacher (as opposed to with the principal or school) is that the program can follow the teacher if they go to a new school. In fact, we have many teachers that bring the program with them when they change schools. One school district (Baltimore County Public Schools) had a full-time educator on staff delivering BioEYES to 40 elementary schools a year. Unfortunately that position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

    For 2,000 students/year, the program averages to about $32/student per week. This is comprehensive and includes teacher training, equipment and supplies, BioEYES personnel costs, and travel costs to and from schools. Once a teacher is trained as a Model Teacher it drops to $15/student. However, the program is offered free to targeted areas, namely the urban, public school districts where we operate. It is supplemented by discounted fees to schools and districts outside of our targeted areas.

     
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  • Icon for: Alex Jinks

    Alex Jinks

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2017 | 11:12 a.m.

    I am glad to see the many wonderful projects that are working to broaden access to STEM for all communities.  I found your project particularly engaging, as children love the authenticity of working with living things that they have seen before.  I would consider using place-based learning to make the learning experiences even more meaningful and relevant.  I also appreciate the exposure to biology, something that I think is sometimes left out of the "typical" STEM program.  Giving students an opportunity to work on real-life situations using real tools and equipment (i.e., microscopes) is an excellent way to promote careers in STEM and to help build students identities as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and so on.  One instrument that I discovered recently (and have been talking about since) is the Foldscope, an inexpensive microscope made of paper.  The applications of this technology are outstanding, as the low costs make access much easier.  This instrument would pair well with the project you have going.  I have already pre-ordered mine and cannot wait to get it!  

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 08:02 a.m.

    Hi Alex,

    I would add to Steve's comment below that we integrate place-based learning into this project when we discuss habitats/environments (tropical vs. temperate). Place-based learning is integrated heavily into an environmental project we have called "Your Watershed, Your Backyard." For the latter middle school students conduct field studies in their local watershed and schoolyard. That program also uses zebrafish: students raise them in stream water collected on their field trips in order to study how pollution affects living organisms.

     
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  • Icon for: Steven Farber

    Steven Farber

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 09:53 p.m.

    Hi Alex,

    We agree and have discussed this at length with it's creator (Manu Prakash).  Our hope is to develop a BioEYES unit with the foldscope.

    steve

     
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  • Icon for: J. Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    J. Kemi Ladeji-Osias

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2017 | 09:49 p.m.

    I have enjoyed learning about your project. How do you integrate culturally relevant pedagogy into your curriculum?

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 02:39 p.m.

    Hi Kemi, Great question and I think this is still a work in progress. It is a little tricky in that we are only in the classroom for a week and so don't get to know the students as well as we'd like. This makes it hard to incorporate their experiences and interests into the science experiment we're doing with fish. However, we looked at our curriculum and thought about ways to implement culturally relevant pedagogy. For example, if we're teaching genetics we try and talk about scientists who are coming from diverse backgrounds to bring in different perspectives and provide role models as opposed to simply talking about white, male scientists. We can also talk about how the zebrafish (see Keith Cheng's work at UPenn) were used to identify a gene responsible for about 25-40% of human skin color variation between Africans and Northern Europeans. Africans have the original amino acid (Africa first!) and it mutated to Northern Europeans. With older students that can lead to broader discussions about biology and race.

    We have students work in small groups and as a team. We set high expectations and give them the title of Scientist and greet them as such. I tell them that the tasks they will be doing are the same ones our scientists do in the lab (e.g., pipeting, caring for the fish, mating fish, using a microscope) because I want them to see themselves as scientists. This is not hogwash; our students and scientists do conduct many similar tasks. I also teach my staff and share with other teachers how to stick with a student to help them with their understanding so they feel positive about answering questions instead of feeling like they gave a "wrong" answer. How we respond and interact can carry so many micro-messages that we may not even be aware of so patience and compassion is important in order to create that safe place for students to learn and explore. I have blogged about this topic, though don't claim to be an expert by any means! I'm interested in learning about real-world examples of how to adapt science activities so they are culturally relevant. I have had trouble finding specific examples of science activities taught in this way. I am sure there are more areas we could improve on and I welcome your thoughts.

     
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  • Icon for: Pam Pelletier

    Pam Pelletier

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 04:55 a.m.

    I am impressed with the work that you showcase here. As someone who is responsible for providing science materials to teachers K-8 district-wide, I can see the challenge of provisioning and attending to the fish as something that could impact teacher willingness and capacity to use this program, especially as the scientist-partner is transitioned out and the teacher becomes responsible for doing it all. How do you "encourage" the Mentor Teachers to do this work for any extended period of time?

    Additionally, developing equitable access to these types of opportunities in the urban context is extremely critical. Have you thought about strategies that I could use to develop the capacity in my district (57,000 students), so that, at some point in k-12, every student could have access to this engaging experience?

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 02:54 p.m.

    Hi Pam, I think that the teachers that become Model Teachers have the energy and the drive to begin with and so we really don't need to push them to do it. They want to do it and continue from year to year with it. Some of the teachers that started with the program back in 2002 in Philadelphia are still Model Teachers. When the program was brought to Baltimore in 2007 and piloted, those teachers are still doing the program every year and continue to have us train other teachers at their school as well. I think the content connects to so many other areas in a teacher's curriculum that they refer to it throughout the year and kids continue to make connections to other topics.

    For your latter point, I recommend reaching out to our executive director, Jamie Shuda, who is at the University of Pennsylvania. She can talk to you about how to replicate it on a larger scale. It would require training teachers and/or staff to deliver the program. If you go to the Contact page of our website you'll find her info on the sidebar to the left: http://bioeyes.org/contact.php .

     
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  • Icon for: Katie Rinehart

    Katie Rinehart

    Undergraduate Student
    May 19, 2017 | 11:58 a.m.

    Wow! This is a great program for schools where students may otherwise not get the opportunities to interact with live and unique organisms like these.  Bringing in authentic experiences like these intrigues and engages students and likely results in their desire to learn more about the subject matter.  I wonder if you have implemented similar type projects but with different types of organisms within the schools to broaden the knowledge of these students, or if, at this time, you stick to the fish shown in the video.

     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 03:04 p.m.

    Hi Katie, We have not used other organisms thus far but perhaps we will in the future. There is a lot we can expand upon with zebrafish. For example, there are teachers who use zebrafish every week throughout the entire school year, working on all kinds of experiments! For a sampling, see http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/zeb/6/2 . Zebrafish are versatile, easy to transport, relatively inexpensive, and kids seem to really respond to them. Plus their young are transparent so you can see the cells dividing and forming organs. That means students can work with them without having to harm them. I don't know too many organisms that provide these advantages.

     
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    Teagan Hanlon

    Undergraduate Student
    May 22, 2017 | 12:38 a.m.

    Seeing that you used fish to educate students was so intriguing I could not miss this video. So many classrooms had a pet fish, but rarely do the teacher use them for this educational value. This is a great idea! Do the students also take care of the fish in addition to observing and taking notes on them? This would allow students to see all these educational benefits, and gain some responsibility skills.  Have you done any work with design challenges while students work with the fish? I imagine that the students are gaining extensive knowledge and could use what they are learning to create a new design for a fish tank or a way to few the fish closer. This would allow the students to see what they would need to view the fish closer and lead to more curiosity within the students.  I hope to see this expand to more schools!

     
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  • Icon for: Steven Farber

    Steven Farber

    Co-Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 09:14 a.m.

    Yes, during the week the students do care for the embryos.  The students report that this is their second most favorite thing to do second only to using the microscopes.  We have not done any design challenges that utilize the fish.  There are some technical challenges given that the adult fish are only in the class for two days before returning to the fish facility.  Most of the work involves using small larvae that are only 7 mm.

     
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  • Icon for: Judith Neugebauer

    Judith Neugebauer

    Co-Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 09:59 a.m.

    Hi Teagan, I will second what Steve has said, because of the time constraints it is a bit of a challenge to have the students design a new fish tank or way of looking at the fish. Both the Philly and Utah sites have started a temperature experiment where student can choose to grow their embryos at different temperatures. The students choose the temperatures and then decide how to collect the data to answer their scientific question. This has worked well in 5th, 7th and 10th grades and puts them even more into the scientist role and builds scientific curiosity. 

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 22, 2017 | 06:41 p.m.

    Love the project, the video and the reactions of the students! Your response above makes me wonder about whether you target the same schools so that student encounters with the fish can become more investigation-oriented over time, or if you need to hop from school to school? For example, might a student in 5th grade look at the developmental cycle, and then in 7th grade do the temperature investigation? are there opportunities to see how this experience has shaped student attitudes about science over time, years past their first encounter?

     
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  • Icon for: Judith Neugebauer

    Judith Neugebauer

    Co-Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:55 p.m.

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your comment! We do have a lot of overlap in the students we see and that is our hope to see them more than once during their schooling. Our curriculum is designed to build. The second graders look at life cycle, fifth graders do temperature, 7th do a simple Mendelian genetics experiment and 10th do a test cross (trying to determine the genotype of a normal looking fish). What gets covered at each grade level is complementary and engaging no matter the number of times we have seen a student. On our pre and post assessments have a box that students check if they are already done a BioEYES experiment so that we can compare their responses with those who are seeing BioEYES for the first time. This will hopefully answer the question about how this opportunity shapes the experiences with students over time. 

    Cheers,

    Judith 

     
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  • Icon for: Steven Farber

    Steven Farber

    Co-Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 03:39 p.m.

    It is my hope that we can make BioEYES even more experimental - I want to replicate the challenges and joys we experience in the lab in the classroom

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.