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.
This month we were lucky to be able to host Eleanor (Elly) Vandegrift as a visiting scholar at UNL. Elly is the Associate Director of the Science Literacy Program (SLP) and a Senior Instructor in Biology at the University of Oregon (UO). The UO SLP is an institutional effort, originally funded by an HHMI grant, to help science faculty transform the classes they offer to non-science majors to foster science literacy. Her trip to UNL was part of the 2015 Science Literacy Initiative Seminar Series, which has been ongoing in May. While on campus, she had the opportunity to engage with the Science Literacy team, give an invited presentation, and facilitate a faculty development workshop on effective undergraduate science instruction. The visit was highly informative and productive, particularly to learn about the SLP at UO, which provides a model for our own postsecondary STEM education efforts in IANR. We look forward to continued discussions with Elly and future collaborations to advance larger-scale science literacy efforts in higher education contexts.
It has been a pleasure to host Mike Barnett as a visiting scholar at UNL over the past few days. Dr. Barnett is Professor of Science Education and Technology in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. As the inaugural participant in the 2015 Science Literacy Initiative Seminar Series, he had an opportunity to give an invited presentation, entitled Seeding the Future: Examining learning about urban ecosystems through learning technologies and community partnerships. Dr. Barnett also engaged with faculty and students from both East and City campuses, contributed to faculty working groups convened in support of the Science Literacy Initiative, and even got to visit Nine-Mile Prairie with Dave Wedin, Doug Golick, and myself. It was wonderful to learn of the great work Dr. Barnett and his team are doing at BC. We all appreciate his willingness to travel to Lincoln immediately after returning from a week-long trip to China.