Our team is excited to announce grant support for the Water Education Leaders for Secondary Science (WELS2) project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Through funding from USDA-NIFA and the NE Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, we will develop, implement, and evaluate a 15-month sustained professional development program for middle and secondary STEM teachers in the state of Nebraska focused on teaching and learning about water resources. This project is grounded in a partnership involving the UNL School of Natural Resources, Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, UNL water scientists, the Groundwater Foundation, and six Nebraska school districts. More information about the project can be found here and here.
Thanks to Troy Sadler, Laura Zangori, and the rest of the team with the ReSTEM Institute in the University of Missouri College of Education for a engaging and productive couple of days of collaboration with Jenny Dauer and myself. It was a great conversation around socio-scientific issues, science-informed decision-making, and science literacy in a range of K-16 contexts and across an array of unique projects. I look forward to working with ReSTEM as the external evaluation team on the Fostering Undergraduate Students’ Disciplinary Learning and Water Literacy (WELL) project, funded by an NSF IUSE grant (DUE-1609598), and the SCIL/AECN/NRES 109: Water in Society course over the next 3 years.
Some nice press from the UNL news on our newly-funded, 3-year NSF IUSE project – Fostering Undergraduate Students’ Disciplinary Learning and Water Literacy (WELL; DUE-1609598) – which focuses on design-based research around the new SCIL/AECN/NRES 109: Water in Society course at UNL.
The funding will support the development of a new “Water in Society” undergraduate course. Water in Society will be an interdisciplinary course, drawing from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, hydrological sciences and social and decision sciences.
“Our hope is that all UNL students, whether they’re studying to be a scientist, teacher or lawyer will have the background to make educated decisions when it comes to their food, and the Water in Society course can support that goal,” said Forbes.
I am very excited to lead a newly-funded, 3-year NSF IUSE Engaged Student Learning: Exploration project (DUE-1609598) focused on the iterative design, implementation, and study of a new, interdisciplinary course for non-majors – SCIL/AECN/NRES 109: Water in Society – at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The Fostering Undergraduate Students’ Disciplinary Learning and Water Literacy (WELL) project presents an outstanding opportunity to iteratively develop and study an innovative undergraduate STEM learning experience through design- and discipline-based education research. We are lucky to have an amazing, interdisciplinary team on board for this project, including faculty associated with UNL’s Water for Food Global Institute and two graduate students. The new course will be an integral part of a newly-established undergraduate minor – Food, Energy, & Water in Society – in CASNR, as well as a key component of a growing suite of undergraduate experiences associated with the IANR Science Literacy Initiative.
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.
Here’s a very accessible and nicely-done article that weighs the pros and cons of various approaches to agricultural production. The author emphasizes the importance of tradeoffs in assessing the impact of growing certain commodities using conventional or organic methods, including not only the use of synthetic fertilizers, but also water use, transportation, and consumer demand. Some interesting information about avocados.
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.
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.