1. Beth Schlemper
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12
  4. https://www.facebook.com/AdvancingGTT9to12/
  5. University of Toledo
  1. Kevin Czajkowski
  2. https://www.utoledo.edu/llss/geography/facultystaff/deptfaculty/czajkowski.html
  3. Professor
  4. Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12
  5. https://www.facebook.com/AdvancingGTT9to12/
  6. The University of Toledo
  1. Sujata Shetty
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12
  4. https://www.facebook.com/AdvancingGTT9to12/
  5. University of Toledo
  1. Victoria Stewart
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Advancing Geospatial Thinking and Technologies in Grades 9-12
  4. https://www.facebook.com/AdvancingGTT9to12/
  5. University of Toledo
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Beth Schlemper

    Beth Schlemper

    Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 06:20 p.m.

    Thank you for viewing our video on designing interdisciplinary STEM curriculum for impact. We are in the third year of a NSF ITEST project. We have developed six curriculum modules that have been piloted and evaluated by our teacher advisors on the following topics: parks & community gardens, green space, youth employment, crime, housing, and viewsheds. I am happy to share the modules. The following design criteria are integrated into this 3-minute video: 

     

    • Reveal what students know and understand: Pre- and then frequent opportunities for student discourse, thinking aloud and writing about what they think they know and how they know it to engage schemata and address possible misconceptions
    • Reveal what students want to know and why: Regular opportunity to engage in disciplinary discourse and reflection by students on the value, purpose, or interest in what they are doing, what questions they have, who might be interested in their work, and why that work is important
    • Engage students authentically with careers: Through case studies, applications of skills to careers, and interactions with professionals to promote connections between skills, content, and careers
    • Integrate learning progressions for key concepts and skills:  Activities are tied to appropriate disciplinary standards that include target content and skills and are introduced in increasingly complex ways
    • Employ a multi-disciplinary approach:  Students address real-world content with a multi-disciplinary perspective
    • Require geo-spatial tools:  The use of geospatial data, tools, and technology are integral to the activities
    • Support student research and problem solving:  Student centered inquiry, where they identify, research, and suggest solutions to problems of interest to them
  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Senior Advisor
    May 15, 2017 | 01:50 p.m.

    This is a great project that I reviewed last year.  What would you consider to be the most important findings so far?  Are there some standout ways that students have grown in knowledge, skills, and dispositions?  Impacted some policies or activiites in their communiy?  Are you planning to scale up?  It's so important for young people to be engaged in noticing and being advocates for change in their communities.  

  • Icon for: Beth Schlemper

    Beth Schlemper

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 09:16 p.m.

    Thanks so much for your great questions! I will try to answer some of them here, and my co-presenters can add their perspectives also. Of the 17 students who participated in the summer 2016 workshop, 14 of them completed a transformative experience questionnaire (pre and post), which was designed to capture their knowledge of, and experiences with geospatial technology as they interacted with their neighborhood. Students were asked to rank each statement in the TEQ with the scale: 1 (Strongly Disagree), 2 (Disagree), 3 (Agree), and 4 (Strongly Agree). For the statement, “Outside of class I think about how geospatial technologies help me to understand the neighborhood,” their responses seemed to indicate an increase in awareness of how geospatial technologies could help them understand their neighborhood (“Agree” increased from 14% in the pre-test to 64% of responses in the post=test; and “Strongly Agree” increased from 7% to 14%). They also reported more positive feelings about their neighborhood at the end of both workshops (2015 & 2016), but many also retained mixed feelings (recognizing that while they neighborhood has challenges, it also has potential). We also asked students what two things they would always remember from the workshop, and what skills did they learn. Ranking high for both of these questions was geospatial skills (e.g. GIS, GPS, maps, and fieldwork), but second was general skills (e.g. data collection and analysis) and working in groups were mentioned by many of the students also.

    Finally, yes, we would like to scale up by revising the six curriculum modules based on feedback from our teacher advisors who just recently finished piloting them, creating three to four additional modules, choosing the best outlet/s (such as on-line, open source for teachers), and eventually teacher training (if we can secure additional funding). We have a lot to do in the 4th year of this project, including dissemination of the research findings!

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 12:08 a.m.

    Looks like through these videos you've already been successfully disseminating your project already, so congratulations on that! I loved the way you incorporated so much student voice in the video, and the concept of learning and using a technical skill to understand and improve a community. I noted the one student saying he wanted to join the town council.

    I was impressed by the number of collaborators involved with your project. How did you gain their participation, and what advice would you give other grantees on starting their own community partnerships? 

  • Icon for: Beth Schlemper

    Beth Schlemper

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:38 p.m.

    Thank you, Heidi!  It's been a very rewarding project so far. Great question about community partnerships. I'm actually working on a paper related to that topic . . . and I've been trying to put together a timeline of when it all started. Some of the relationships are from our department's extensive alumni network (we have a lot of them who stay in the community and work for local government, nonprofits, and industry). Of course, the partnerships began even before we applied for funding. One very important connection was made early on with United Way and the Schools as Community Hubs initiative. I attended meetings at United Way, and made several connections through this effort also. Working with the public schools was challenging the first year, but the second year we were able to incorporate two high school teachers as consultants, who helped us recruit student participants and facilitate the workshop. One of them, Meighan (who is in the video) is now a member of our teacher advisory committee. What's great about that is she teaches language arts and is very enthusiastic about the project.

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 10:52 p.m.

    Thanks for your response! I'm curious about your initial motivation for the project. What got you interested in using geo-spatial technologies to promote community citizenship? 

  • Icon for: Jennifer Yurof

    Jennifer Yurof

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 10:24 a.m.

    Like Heidi, I, too, enjoyed hearing so much student voice in your video. Empowering students to have a voice in their communities is certainly a life skill and I love that your project does just that. How did you select the students to participate? I also appreciate the objective to engage students authenticity with careers. Do you have plans to bring in more guest speakers from the community?

  • Icon for: Beth Schlemper

    Beth Schlemper

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:57 p.m.

    Thanks, Jennifer! It was really difficult to stick to the 3-minute limit on the video. The original version was 7 minutes long! We worked with a high school that was part of the Schools as Community Hubs initiative. The first year we tried to work with the Hub Director at the High School to recruit students for the summer workshop, which ended up not working out well because she left the position about a month before our workshop and the Vice-Principal (who had been working with us) was retiring. As a result, we considered the first year to be a pilot with fewer students than we had originally planned. The second year we visited the school before spring break to advertise and try to recruit students during lunch. The new Hub director was very helpful and the two high school teachers who we were able to support as consultants were very helpful in recruiting students. We doubled the number of participants as a result. The topics for our curriculum modules as well as many of the related activities came from these workshops. Recently, our teacher advisors evaluated and piloted the modules in their classes (reaching more students). Once we have incorporated their suggestions, we plan to disseminate the curriculum modules (but haven't decided the best outlet/s yet).

     
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    Steven Rogg, Ph.D.
    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 10:42 p.m.

    One thing education initiatives do is cause us to become adaptable! It's so common for champion school administrators to leave, leaving us to readjust expectations. Smart that you brought on the two teacher consultants, thereby helping to keep the momentum going! 

  • May 17, 2017 | 12:29 a.m.

    This is a great video, thank you for sharing this work! It seems like you have developed curriculum that taps into students' goals for their own communities. Have you thought about how to measure the shift in students' developing views about their role in the community, or their identity as scientists in the community?

  • Icon for: Sujata Shetty

    Sujata Shetty

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 10:48 a.m.

    Libby, thank you!  The students selected their topics, so yes, the curriculum we followed during the workshops was directly related to their goals for the community.  In terms of the shifts in students' views of their roles in the community, we are not quite measuring  changes in the conventional sense, but we are analyzing data from a couple of sources to explore in more detail, shifts in perception.  Sketch maps comprise one such source.  Each student completed two sets of sketch maps, once at the beginning of the workshop and once at the end.  The analysis of these sketch maps is helping us understand their changing perceptions of the neighborhood.  We also conducted individual interviews with students at the conclusion of a workshop, using open-ended questions.  Through this data, we are understanding, among other things, students' views on the new skills they have gained that contribute to their identities as scientists/researchers  in the community.  We are also learning from their answers what they see as their roles in the future of their community.

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • May 17, 2017 | 12:17 p.m.

    Hi Sujata,


    Thank you for your response. Have you written any of the data up? Id love to read more about your interview protocol and the language students are using to describe the skills the perceive as valuable in being an active researcher in their community.

    Best

    Libby

  • Icon for: Steven Rogg

    Steven Rogg

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 08:57 p.m.

    I'm impressed with your design criteria and also how the place-based and PBL foster collaborations across disciplines.  Can you talk about how you gather collaborators and stakeholders around the project and keep them engaged? Also, I'd love to hear something about how the intent and architecture of the modules. Your work is very relevant to our own, and I appreciate the advancements you are making!

  • Icon for: Heidi Larson

    Heidi Larson

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 10:44 p.m.

    I'm wondering if you know of another video, out of James Madison University, which studies the "effects of spatial education embedded in a science class...on the core spatial abilities and STEM-relevant spatial thinking of high school students." They study the effects on the brain as well, and are wondering now how little exposure can create the same positive effects. Take a look (if you're interested): http://stemforall2017.videohall.com/presentatio...

  • Icon for: Sujata Shetty

    Sujata Shetty

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 10:45 a.m.

    Hi Libby, We have a few articles in the publication pipeline and are in the process of writing others, including on students' changing perceptions of the neighborhood.   Look for  them to be out soon!

     
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    Heidi Larson
  • Icon for: Sujata Shetty

    Sujata Shetty

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 12:35 p.m.

     

    Thank you, Steven.  While the intent and architecture of the modules draw from research and best practices, our evaluator, Hilarie Davis, and our teacher advisory group have been valuable partners.  The teacher advisory group is diverse - we have teachers from urban and suburban schools, public and private schools, teaching science, social studies and language arts, and one of our members is a science support teacher for the school district.  We brought these teachers together a few times a year, and leaned on them to give us insights on a wide range of curriculum-based questions.  We fine-tuned the modules we first implemented in the workshops and developed a few new ones which our teachers then piloted in their classrooms, giving us lots of useful feedback.  We were pleased that at our most recent meeting, the teachers said that they felt that their contributions were valued and that they could see their suggestions incorporated in our work. (They said they learned a lot as well!)

     

    Gathering collaborators and stakeholders has been a long process, starting some  years before the project got off the ground.  Over that time, there has been some turnover in leadership in the school system, the school, and the United Way Schools as Hubs presence in the school, so it has not been without challenges!  In our second year, we were able to get two teachers from the high school where we did the workshops to help recruit students and run the workshop.   Their familiarity with the students certainly played a role in making them more engaged.  One of them is now a member of our teacher advisory group.

     
    2
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    Heidi Larson
    Steven Rogg, Ph.D.
  • Icon for: Sujata Shetty

    Sujata Shetty

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 12:36 p.m.

    Heidi,  thank you for pointing out the project at James Madison University.  Their work bolsters the case for spatializing STEMM fields.  While we are not studying effects on the brain as they are, our effort is similar in that we are incorporating a spatial dimension to  science, though we include social studies and, in the future, maybe even language arts/humanities education.  One of the teachers in the video  talked about exposing students to careers in geospatial  technology.  This career component is central to work, with a particular focus on groups currently under-represented in the field.  Thanks so much for bringing the project to our attention!

     
    1
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    Heidi Larson
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