1. Sharon Lynch
  2. http://gsehd.gwu.edu/faculty/sharon-lynch
  3. Professor
  4. OSPrI: Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)
  5. https://ospri.research.gwu.edu/
  6. George Washington University
  1. Ann House
  2. https://www.sri.com/about/people/ann-house
  3. Senior Researcher
  4. OSPrI: Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)
  5. https://ospri.research.gwu.edu/
  6. SRI International
  1. Rachel Talbert
  2. Graduate Research Assistant
  3. OSPrI: Multiple Instrumental Case Studies of STEM-focused High Schools: Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI)
  4. https://ospri.research.gwu.edu/
  5. George Washington University
Public
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Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 06:13 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video on inclusive STEM education that provides all students with unique opportunities to learn STEM. The Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration (OSPrI) research program studied eight highly successful inclusive STEM high schools across the U.S., and identified the components critical to their effectiveness.

    This video features one of the study schools, the Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences.

    Think about the following questions and share your thoughts:

    1. In what ways is this school an exemplar of inclusive STEM education? What kinds of opportunities are provided to students at this college preparatory Career Technical Education (CTE) inclusive STEM high school? 
    2. Can you identify some school-level characteristics (or critical components) of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences that create unique opportunities for urban students to learn STEM and practice 21st century skills? Do similar school-level characteristics exist in traditional public high schools?  Why or why not?
    3. Listening to student voices, what do students say about how they learn and develop positive STEM identities at this STEM high school? Do such opportunities exist at other public high schools? Why or why not?

    Do you want to know more about this school or other ISHSs? The OSPrI website (ospri. research.gwu.edu) has details about the research design, case studies, and accessible articles about the study schools and the insights of this research for STEM education.     

     
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    Popsy Kanagaratnam

    Graduate Student
    May 19, 2017 | 11:29 a.m.

    This was so great - I had no idea.  I would love to hear more about this when I see you next.  Why do we not share this cool information with staff and doc students?  See you tomorrow.

     
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  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:09 p.m.

    We have C&I Doctoral students working with the project by analyzing interview and classroom observation data. We are trying to bore into exactly what students are saying about the high school that affects their learning, prepares them for college, and creates the close school community.

    So interesting to hear ideas from urban kids about their rationale for attending and what the school brings to them that they would not otherwise get--and its not just agriculture.

     
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  • Icon for: Katherine McNeill

    Katherine McNeill

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 11:03 a.m.

    Wow! This was interesting to watch. I had no idea that there was a farm within the Chicago city limits. The clips of the students were particularly interesting - what a wonderful context for student learning. 

     
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    Rachel Talbert
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 11:19 a.m.

    Thanks for watching, Kate.  

    What has finally struck me was the emphasis on experiential learning, beyond hands-on, beyond professional learning communities, and all the way back to apprenticeships. But, the end outcome here is college prep STEM, which makes it all the more intriguing. 

    This can be generalized far beyond agriculture, I think, and into other areas of CTE/STEM college prep.

     
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    Rachel Talbert
    Katherine McNeill
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 11:33 a.m.

    In these days of trending “farm to table” at restaurants and “buying local” produce at grocery markets, the value of a magnet school focused on agriculture within the limits of a city like Chicago cannot be underestimated. I was especially delighted to see the positive attendance and testing results cited starting on page 79 for female, African-American, Hispanic, low-income and special needs students in this “Opportunity Structures for Preparation and Inspiration” project: Truly extraordinary results (See the In-depth case study on the right-hand navigation bar). Congratulations and thank you for sharing the details of this project!

    Sharon asks some focusing questions above to help visitors get started. We look forward to hearing from you! As you explore this project, what thoughts come to mind for “Creating STEM Opportunities in an Inclusive STEM High School: Career Technical Education and STEM” in your city or region? What could work now that you have these exciting examples at your disposal?

     
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  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 11:36 a.m.

    Wow! Thanks for digging into the case study as well.

     
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    Rachel Talbert
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Breanne Litts

    Breanne Litts

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 02:52 p.m.

    This is a fantastic project! I also was surprised to learn about the agricultural opportunities within the city of Chicago. What struck me is that two-thirds of students don't actually go into ag-related fields. Were they more apt toward STEM fields? I'd be interested to learn more about how sorts of fields students do go into and how this school equipped them for success. This is something I've been trying to think about a lot in my own work: What are makers of success in STEM & computing education and training? Is it that everyone becomes a STEM or computing professional or are there other pathways for success? I'd love to hear folks' thoughts on this one! 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:26 p.m.

    Breanne, You raise the big questions.

    We did not "make" this school, but identified it as worthy of close study, comparing it to 7 other highly successful inclusive STEM high schools. We are writing about school level comparisons using the language of critical components. More recently we focus on the school's impacts on students DURING high school that get them to the place where they can major in STEM or Ag, or quite frankly use a boatload of academic and interpersonal skills for success in college and beyond. It was quite amazing to see these students interact with professionals and other adults outside of school, and it was intentional aspect of an experiential curriculum, during and out of school.  

    Quite a few students whom we met did go on to STEM majors in engineering or medicine.

     

     
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    Rachel Talbert
  • Icon for: Carol O'Donnell

    Carol O'Donnell

    May 15, 2017 | 06:53 p.m.

    Sharon, this was really fascinating. It seems as if some of the school-level characteristics (or critical components) of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences include: hands-on real-world learning; apprenticeships; working in teams; problem solving; communicating their ideas to others; career-focused; problem-identifying. I agree with Kate McNeil. Having grown up in inner city Pittsburgh, I too would have never imagined that students living inside the city would have access to such a great real-world opportunity to learn agricultural skills. Do most or all of the 8 STEM high schools you studied focused on learning by doing?  

     
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    Rachel Talbert
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 07:10 p.m.

    Hey Carol, Great questions.  There were four prominent critical components across schools:

    1. relative autonomy from the local distrcti to experiment with new STEM curriculum and instruction

    2. a strong STEM focused curriculum

    3. qualified and professionalized STEM teaching staff

    4. supports for students underrepresented in STEM. 

    This school, however, was noteworthy in its experiential learning and many out-of-school and in-school opportunities to learn STEM Ag, and to meet STEM Ag professionals from around Chicago and higher ed.  

    Here is a question for you: What does a student learn from working in a group of four that "adopts" the runt of a pig litter, and bottle feeding it for weeks until it can make it on its own? At some point, that piglet is going to be sold, I have to say, as this is an Ag venture.  What do you think? Any transferrable skills there?

     

     

     

     

     

     
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    Carol O'Donnell
    Joni Falk
    Rachel Talbert
  • Icon for: Rachel Talbert

    Rachel Talbert

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 02:32 p.m.

    The experiences that students have here are so rich. It was hard to capture all of it in the video. Students are doing horticulture projects-they even have an enclosed system that grows plants hydroponically using fish waste as fertilizer-they also take care of the tilipia.

     

     
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  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 02:23 p.m.

    Very interesting--really expands the idea of "STEM high schools."  I'm wondering whether this idea is "scalable?"  I'm thinking, in particular, about whether land grant universities have considered the kind of P-20 partnerships that this model suggests?  It would be interesting to invite universities that have land-grant mission, and associated agricultural programs to see what you are doing and take a hint!  Do you know if any of that is happening?

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Talbert

    Rachel Talbert

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 04:17 p.m.

    Nancy, thanks for taking the time to watch the video. Your question is a good one. Chicago Agricultural High School http://www.chicagoagr.org/ has partnerships with quite a few universities where students visit, do research and have internships where they put into practice much of what they learn. It does seem like land grant universities should take a look at this partnership model. Have not heard of any of them that are partnering in this way. 

     
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  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 04:37 p.m.

    Hi Nancy, If I may add, it appears that some states have strong connections with  land grant colleges or even state university systems for CTE pathways or dual credit courses. In other states, the inclusive STEM school must create individual deals with nearby community colleges or universities. 

    Clearly, if opportunities for students underrepresented in STEM is the goal, the more and better the linkages between coursework taken in high school to undergraduate institutiohns the better. 

    Such experiences foster confidence in first generation students and save them tuition dollars, setting them up of undergraduate success in four-year colleges.

     

     

     
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  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 08:59 a.m.

    Rachel and Sharon,  What makes this a particularly intriguing example, as some of the other commentators have already noted, is that it is an ag experience in an urban setting!  In some ways, it's "the exception that proves the rule."    Which, to my mind, strengthens the model, making it a really exciting pathway for students in many different places.

    Thank you for this great project!

     
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  • Icon for: Andrea Gomoll

    Andrea Gomoll

    Researcher
    May 17, 2017 | 08:13 p.m.

    Thank you for this inspiring video! I was struck in particular by the emphasis on project-based and authentic learning experiences. You've done a nice job highlighting examples of the projects and problems that students are working with throughout this discussion.

     

    As someone who does research on collaborative and  problem-based learning in middle and high school settings, I'm curious about the work teachers are doing in this school to design their curricula. Are there co-design practices in place? How are instructors creatively designing classroom experiences to help students see themselves in the wide variety of STEM careers highlighted here?

     

    Great work!

     
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  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 07:58 a.m.

    Hello Andrea,

    Thank you for bringing up aspects of this school that are unique to CTE, such as hands-on, project-based learning (PBL). In the past, vocational education had small projects that got built in "woodshop". At this high school, there is a CTE curriculum behind each of the 6 Ag pathways, informed by courses at the Ag College at the University of Illinois. Teachers attend PD on-campus during the summers. Students earn their first 3 college credits in Ag at the University through their pathway classes. This requires teachers who are certified in in CTE.

     

    The student projects are products that will be sold at the farm store. (There is a Ag Finance Pathway!) Each project must have a business plan. That goat in our video--she is part of a Mayra's business plan. 

    There is also a fully developed college preparatory STEM sequence of courses that is more traditional. Virtually every student graduates with the science core and math core through precalculus. This side of the school is increasingly doing integrated STEM education. For instance, students read Sinclair Lewis for English, toured the stockyards in Chicago and interviewed the Lithuanian Americans who worked there for Social Studies, and discussed the STEM connections in science and mathematics classes. Teachers and students interviewed were highly engaged and eager to talk about what they had learned.

       

     
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    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 19, 2017 | 09:21 a.m.

    Sharon, fascinating video. I love this presentation as I learned a lot from the video and now even more from the discussion and will read the in depth case study that you attached. This last post of yours was very helpful in adding details as to the curriculum and student experience. Love the idea of an agricultural school in a highly urban setting. How are the kids selected for this school? Is there an application process? Do they go to higher ed, or into STEM,  in greater numbers than peers in non-STEM schools. I read the four critical elements of STEM schools that you referenced above. Your last slide says that there are 14. Is that a typo or is there 10 more? If so do you have a link to them? So enjoyed this!!! Love the project based element, and the idea that each project must have a business plan! Such a great way to combine science, math, business, entrepreneurship, career pathways and so much more. Thank you!

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:30 p.m.

    Thanks so much, Joni.  

    This video is the culmination of 6 years of work, so the OSPrI website has a lot of material available including school-level case studies and "day in the life" accounts of students, and articles and papers.  

    BUT IF YOU WANT A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE SCHOOLS' 14 CRITICAL COMPONENTS AND AND HOW THEY AFFECT STUDENTS, CLICK ON THE LOGIC MODEL TAB (https://ospri.research.gwu.edu/logic-model).

    CHSAS is a Chicago Public Schools choice magnet school. There are about 2000 applicants for the 140 freshman slots each year. A Chicago police woman/mother told us that CHSAS   was hands-down the safest school in the city. She felt exactly like she had won the lottery. 

    While this school might not be for everyone, it seems to me that we need many more school alternatives available for more students.

     

     

     

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2017 | 11:40 p.m.

    Great video, great project, really interesting school. I am familiar with it, but thought of it as "the Ag school" and not as an example of a STEM school; which of course it is. It is interesting to see how a non-conventional STEM school captures the components you have identified-and draws attention to the diversity these schools can capture. I plan on checking out the other schools on your project website to see how else my notions of what a STEM school is can be expanded. I was also struck by seeing the state senator in the video--nice to see the engagement of such a large community of stakeholders with that school.

     
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  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 06:05 a.m.

    Thank you Rachael,

    On our website you can also see a short video of Metro Early College High School in Columbus Ohio, for a another inclusive STEM school. There are also two cases of schools that rely entirely on Project/Problem Based Learning, that take a different instructional approach. 

    We are arguing that that these are not different models of ISHSs but variations of a single model, described by a logic model that is on the OSPrI website.

    The distiction is important because IF we want to prepare diverse groups of  students for STEM college majors and careers, THEN it is important to know what effective inclusive schools  have in common.  We also consider the contrasts between ISHSs that  work and the "business as usual" education offered by traditional comprehensive high schools that have not been reaching too many of our kids.

     

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
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    Lotte Lent

    Informal Educator
    May 19, 2017 | 11:07 a.m.

    Great to see!

    The striking thing to me was when the CHSAS principal noted that only 1/3 of students go on to ag careers, which is not a problem, because it still means that EVERYONE got a real world education using real world relationships to science, tech, engineering and math,  plus the opportunity to work in the natural world on some level. I suppose if they also had arts in the curriculum it would be even more well-rounded (perhaps they did but it wasn't highlighted).  Thanks for putting this together. Congrats, Sharon!

     
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    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:02 p.m.

    Thanks for your comments, Lotte.  I see that you are an informal educator. I am coming to see the close connections between informal educators' discussions of learning in STEM and what we saw at this school. It certainly is note entirely a 'free choice" environment, but so many of learning opportunities seem to come from outside of the school, either on school time by design, or out of school time by choice. 

     

     
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    Sylvia Marotta-Walters

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2017 | 12:39 p.m.

    Interesting

     
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    Patricia Tate

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 22, 2017 | 06:59 a.m.

    Sharon - an excellent snapshot of your multi-case study showing one example of what a quality stem-focused high school curriculum looks like from the view of the key participants - administrators, teachers, and students.

    The message I took away from this video is one I hope gets to the state and federal level policy makers about de-emphasizing the focus on achievement tests as the driver of high school curriculum to an emphasis on project-based applications that prepare students for the practical application of their acquired knowledge, skills, and dispositions toward their future career.  A point that is a good one is made in this clip - it  is that students do not need to be able to check A,B, or C on a test as an outcome of their high school achievement; but rather, they need to be prepared to do the work - in practical settings related to their career choice.  Well Done!  An important message here with scientific evidence to support it!  Your Colleague - Pat Tate 

     
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    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 05:53 p.m.

    Thanks Dr. Tate for watching our video. I hope the policy makers take note as well. At the state/local level the school has great support. one of the state reps in the video does a great job explaining hands on learning taking place at the flower show.

     
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    Rebecca Dedmond

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 22, 2017 | 04:02 p.m.

    I hope that we can share this example of CTE and collaborative STEM initiatives with youth, parents, teachers, counselors, legislators.... in every state!  Every year I take my MA in school counseling students to an area Technical School that has similar programs. Most of them are unaware of such offerings until we make that site visit. I commit to help you continue to spread the word about excellent opportunities in which our youth find fulfillment and satisfaction.  Thank you for this amazing example of what is possible. Rebecca Dedmond

     
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    Sharon Lynch
  • Icon for: Laura Smith

    Laura Smith

    May 22, 2017 | 04:10 p.m.

    AWESOME!  As an educator and a farmer, it is wonderful that the city offers this opportunity to students!  One of the speakers talked about students being tested on multiple-choice assessments.  It is so true, in the real world the choices students need to make are not A, B, C, or D.  They are going to need to perform.  Hearing the students talk about their experiences was great too.  You can tell they felt like their community cared about them and they are better prepared for their next step in college and/or career.

     
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    Sharon Lynch
  • Icon for: Sharon Lynch

    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 05:51 p.m.

    Thanks Laura for watching our video-it is a great opportunity for students and get real world experiences. If you look at the critical components of the study on the website https://ospri.research.gwu.edu/logic-model in the middle column some of them connect to transfer of STEM knowledge, secondary success, knowledge of careers related to STEM as well as college knowledge. We saw evidence of each of these components at the school.

     
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    Sharon Lynch

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 04:14 p.m.

    Thank you Rebecca,

    One of the reasons that we made the video is to share this postive example of in inclusive CTE college prep STEM HS with policy makers and stakeholders everywhere.  Please send them here.

    There are more videos and articles on the OSPrI website. This video example of CHSAS will be explanded to include two additionnal short videos featuring two students and what they have to say about their experiences. These should be added to the OSPrI website in the next month or so.

     

    Thanks to NSF for providing the incentive to create the entire set of videos. 

     
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    Dilafruz Williams

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 22, 2017 | 07:12 p.m.

    This video and project brought back such sweet memories of my visit to this school several years ago! As someone who has been interested in school/learning gardens (our video is in the showcase, too), I was intrigued by this school's emphasis on agriculture. You have captured the positive aspects of the school -- its mission, curriculum, instruction -- all speak to meaningful engagement of students. They have a sense of purpose. Students spoke to me even years ago with such conviction. The fact that you are able to highlight the unique sense of purpose is fascinating. I thank you for capturing the story of this amazing place. We need more such opportunities for students!  I do hope that you have plans to follow the students in their careers.

     

     
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