I was honored to be invited to speak at this year’s symposium of the Global Food Security Consortium at Iowa State University. The annual event brings together innovators in agricultural education, research, and outreach, all engaged in the grand challenge of feeding 9.6 billion by 2050. In my talk, entitled Cultivating science literacy in the nexus: Multidisciplinary STEM education across food, energy, water, I shared an overarching framework and sampling of current activities associated with the IANR Science Literacy Initiative at UNL. This was an amazing opportunity not only to share exciting work that’s happening at UNL, but to learn about scientific research and community development work being conducted around the globe to address food security issues and contribute to cultivation of sustainable food systems.
On Thursday, March 17th, we had the pleasure to host Dr. Troy Sadler from the University of Missouri at UNL to engage our community in discussions around science literacy and STEM education as part of our ongoing Science Literacy Initiative Seminar Series. Dr. Sadler is Professor of Science Education in the College of Education’s Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum and Director of the ReSTEM (Reimagining & Researching STEM Education) Institute. His invited presentation, entitled, Socio-scientific Issues as a Central Element of Scientific Literacy: Toward a Framework for K-16 Teaching and Learning, was held in Henzlik Hall on UNL’s City Campus. We are deeply appreciative of Dr. Sadler’s time, his willingness to learn about STEM education and discipline-based education research being conducted at UNL, and his incredibly helpful insights and feedback to help advance these efforts.
We are enormously grateful for the generous support recently provided to the Science Literacy Initiative by Farm Credit Services of America. This $100,000 gift will have a significant impact on IANR’s ability to advance the initiative’s goals and objectives with a particular emphasis on K-12 STEM programming. It is wonderful to continue working to build capacity for this initiative with the strong backing of our partners and stakeholders.
UNL’s 2014 ‘Big Ideas’ Seminar series kicks off on February 19 with a 1-day event showcasing science literacy. Breakout sessions beginning at 1:00 will highlight systems thinking around food, energy, and water systems, informal science education, early childhood education, the role of rural family-school partnerships. Dr. Rodger Bybee will give a presentation at 3:00 entitled “Building Science Literacy through Engagement in Community and Environmental Stewardship”. Seminar co-sponsors include IANR; UNL Extension; Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies; College of Education and Human Sciences; and Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools. It will be a fantastic opportunity to engage with state partners and learn more about science literacy.
It’s official, this fall I’ll be transitioning to a new position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Natural Resources (SNR) and Science Literacy Coordinator for the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). I’m super excited to join an amazing group of STEM scholars and begin the next stage of my professional career. Thanks to family, friends, and colleagues who have been so supportive in this process. We’re moving to Lincoln!