As the MoHSES project rapidly draws to a close, we are very pleased to continue publishing project research that reflects our project work over the 5 years of the project. Our latest study, published in the International Journal of Science Education, explores implementation of the revised FOSS Water unit and 3rd-grade students’ model-based reasoning about water over the first two years of the project. The study provides evidence that the ‘modeling-enhanced” version of the curriculum positively impacts student learning, though these effects vary greatly by teacher. How teachers implement the curriculum appears to significantly impact the sophistication of students’ model-based explanations for water-related phenomena.
Zangori, L., Vo, T., Forbes, C.T., & Schwarz, C. (2017). Supporting 3rd-grade students’ model-based explanations about groundwater: A quasi-experimental study of a curricular intervention. In International Journal of Science Education, 39(11), 1421-1442.
In a new video series from CADRE, a network for STEM education researchers funded by the National Science Foundation’s Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) program, I had a chance to share a bit about the importance of scientific modeling in science learning environments. It’s very exciting to be featured as part of a group, including Dan Damelin (The Concord Consortium) and Brian Reiser (Northwestern University), discussing this important topic related to our MoHSES, NE WETS, WELS2, and WELL projects.
What is Scientific Modeling? from CADREK12 on Vimeo.
Today we wrapped up our 18-month Water for Elementary Teachers of Science in Nebraska (NE WETS) project with 2 consecutive days of workshops held at Hastings Middle School. The project provided us to opportunity to work with an amazing group of K-6 teachers from in and around Hastings, NE. Thanks go out to wonderful UNL project team members Tina Vo and Tonya Bernadt, Chad Dumas, Ph.D., HPS Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and the teachers who made the project possible.
Thanks to a fantastic group of elementary teachers for all their hard work in this first summer of the Water for Elementary Teachers of Science (Nebraska WETS) project. We had a great workshop series in June and August of this summer focused on scientific modeling, formative assessment, and water science. The summer component was also offered as graduate course credit (NRES 898 – Teaching and Learning about Water Systems). We appreciate the support of Hastings Public Schools for being a wonderful district partner and allowing us access to amazing facilities at Hastings Middle School.
Congratulations to Dr. Laura Zangori for successfully defending her dissertation study, entitled, “EXPLORING 3RD-GRADE STUDENTS’ MODEL-BASED EXPLANATIONS ABOUT PLANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT”. Laura has worked on both the PIESC3 and MoHSES projects, first at the University of Iowa and later at UNL. It has been a pleasure to work with Laura as both project PI and her advisor. In August, Laura will begin a new position as an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the College of Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
This month the MoHSES team had the wonderful opportunity to work with a fantastic group of 7 3rd-grade teachers who have been involved in the MoHSES project over the past two years. The collaborative workshops were held at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Coralville, Iowa where we spent a few days talking and thinking about supporting elementary students’ use of models to make sense of the water cycle. We are incredibly lucky to be working with such a knowledgeable and engaged group of teachers as partners and co-designers in this exciting project.
Christina Schwarz, MoHSES project Co-PI and Associate Professor of Science Education at Michigan State University, co-facilitated a webinar for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), entitled ‘Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards—Developing and Using Models’, on 9/25/2012. The webinar is part of a series sponsored by NSTA to highlight and begin discussions about the scientific practices articulated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. These practices include developing and using models, the core scientific practice targeted in the MoHSES project. We’re excited for the opportunity to work with Dr. Schwarz and benefit from her expertise!
The Modeling Hydrologic Systems in Elementary Science (MoHSES) project has been funded by the National Science Foundation. More information about the project can be found here. The MoHSES project is an exploratory project supported by a NSF Discovery Research K-12 grant and additional support from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). I am excited to be afforded the opportunity to build upon my past research and begin to investigate students’ learning alongside teachers and teaching.