MOST RECENT ARTICLES

Brownfield Action: Dissemination of a SENCER Model Curriculum and the Creation of a Collaborative STEM Education Network

Winter 2014 /
Brownfield Action (BA) is a web-based environmental site assessment (ESA) simulation in which students form geotechnical consulting companies and work together to solve problems in environmental forensics. Developed at Barnard College with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, BA has been disseminated to 10 colleges, universities, and high schools, resulting in a collaborative network of educators. The experiences of current users are presented describing how they have incorporated the BA curriculum into their courses, as well as how BA affected teaching and learning. The experiences demonstrate that BA can be used in whole or in part, is applicable to a wide range of student capabilities and has been successfully adapted to a variety of learning goals, from introducing non-science-literate students to basic concepts of environmental science and civic issues of environmental contamination to providing advanced training in ESA and modeling groundwater contamination to future environmental professionals.
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Vanishing Fireflies: A Citizen Science Project Promoting Scientific Inquiry and Environmental Stewardship

Winter 2014 /
Fireflies are a unique part of the natural landscape. Urban development and changes in forestry practices have altered the landscape, causing a decline in firefly distribution and abundance. Assessment of firefly abundance through counts of bioluminescence flashes provides an environmental quality indicator that can be easily observed and quantified by citizen scientists. Researchers at Clemson University, collaborating with resources managers, educators, and teachers from local non-profit organizations and schools, have conducted firefly surveys in the state of South Carolina (SC) since 2010. This community-based project begins with the incorporation of scientific inquiry into service-learning to promote sustainability and ultimately environmental stewardship. This paper describes project activities and summarizes the results and observations of the four-year-old program. Lessons learned from this project can be applied to citizen-science projects in other regions to monitor different organisms such as cicadas, dragonflies, and frogs.
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Staying SMArT: Introduction, Reflection, and Assessment of an Inquiry-based Afterschool Science Program for Elementary School Students

Winter 2014 /
Our public schools need more STEM infusion. Simultaneously, civic engagement in higher education opens a window for colleges to partner with local communities to inject science into affordable afterschool programs. We offer a description, reflection and preliminary assessment of an enrichment program, "SMArTeams" at Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas). Using a pre/post-test design, our study demonstrated that elementary school students exhibited gains in confidence, experimental design, curiosity and science enjoyment in ten weeks.
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An Engineering Perspective on Collaborative Client-Based Service-Learning Projects in an Introductory Environmental Engineering and Science Course

Winter 2014 /
The partnership of client-based course term projects described in this paper is an approach to enhance students' confidence in researching complex environmental issues and to affect their environmental perspective in the process. This paper presents an adaptable model that can be used in multiple different situations. In this two-year longitudinal study, we partnered an introductory environmental engineering and science course of approximately 250 students per year with an introductory marketing course of approximately 70 students per year. The courses partnered on semester-long, collaborative term projects focused on the adoption of sustainable environmental solutions within the community.

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