NSF STEM Grant Proposal Working Area

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This is a wiki space set up for those interested in collaborating on an SST-wide NSF STEM Grant

Idea Summary for 4-6 meeting

meeting notes
A Place for the Concept Ideas. (we don't necessarily have to do concept papers).

See also the Talk:NSF_STEM_Grant_Proposal_Working_Area Talk page related to this page.

I like the video and student mentoring ideas. Thinking on the recruitment of students- should we utilize existing relationships with GPS to identify high schools which would have substantial number of students who would fit the demographics required by the program and target some portion of our recruiting there? Might help with the problem we will have advertising a new program at a new school. BTW- the students who fit the demographic/need requirements of this program may not have access to web enabled cell phones. IF that is an essential feature of the proposal, we need to figure out how to provide that resource. [Deb]

Mai Yin, I liked your paying it forward idea of mentoring/ambassadors! would you flesh out your concept a bit more? [Candace]

One idea is to have the students make a collection of short STEM tutorial videos. They would create brief videos on various topics, such as the Quadratic Formula. There would need to be a large amount of faculty involvement from various disciplines in order to mentor the students on the making of the videos. The students would have to work together since they would be managing a website or database of these videos together and filming each other. The students would benefit from making videos, watching videos, and commenting on videos. The students would benefit through learning CONTENT, working on COMMUNICATION SKILLS, and using of TECHNOLOGY. These skills would make them highly marketable after school and the videos could even be used in job applications (or grad school applications) as proof of teaching or communication skills and content knowledge. [Jenny Sinclair]

The student ambassador/mentoring role will also contribute to inter- and intra-cohort cohesion. In addition to a couple of social events EACH semester, perhaps a blog, twitter, facebook (or Wiki) could be set up where students can write about their experiences, good and bad, and discuss ideas. Even if students are split into more discipline-specific cohorts they will have experiences/issues and problems that are the same regardless of discipline. New cohorts could interact with older cohorts through a blog or twitter as well as through social and academic events. (Clay)

Following on Jenny's idea, a tutorial video could be made for using Excel to make graphs and do simple statistics. I have written guides for using Excel but students don't use them, so I will be making video guides/tutorials, but it would be a good experience for the STEM students to do as well. Maybe students would watch a student-composed video more than one composed by a faculty. STEM students can never make too many (electronically-generated) graphs. (Clay)

I have an idea for a component of the students’ experience that would work with many different themes. I was thinking that we could start a group of 20 students as a cohort in the summer. Over the summer, we could combine academics and social activities. The academics would include math, IT, and English preparation where the overall goal is for all 20 of the students to share a common Fall schedule of perhaps Pre-calc, English 1101, Chem 1211, and a history or political science. I believe these courses are required of all STEM Majors (not sure about Chem for Math majors). This would require getting the students prepared to exempt college algebra, test out of student success English and possibly test out of ITEC 1101 (not sure if this would be advantageous or not). After the first semester, the schedule might need to differ slightly due to different majors, but the group dynamic would most likely survive to some extent. The social activities would help build a group bond between the students and involved faculty. A culture of mutual assistance can also be encouraged and developed here where a student good in math helps others with math and then perhaps gets help from others when writing an English essay. I ran a similar program while in the Navy for my students who were not quite ready to begin nuclear power school. We also included topics on study skills, test taking, how to read and learn from science and math texts, etc. This program was shown to improve overall retention in the pipeline. Some of these other topics might show up in GGC 1000, but maybe if we had a research component like the environmental theme that was mentioned, the GGC 100 could also be taken that first term and the time could be used for faculty to present reach ideas and the student can select a topic to start with during the second semester. (Scott Thompson)

I really liked Diane's idea of an over-arching environmental theme. What about "GGC Green Team Scholars"? I also like that we could link that particular theme to a service learning component which will address environmental issues. (What about the Gwinnett Great Days of Service? We can choose a service activity that goes along with the "green" theme.) This would also be a great way to build relationships between the scholars. We could have the scholars do a project (have each scholar choose one project from a list focused on each discipline) each semester (or year) with an environmental theme. We could also have a specific "Green Team Tweet" at the Twitter to showcase projects of the scholars. This theme could also fit with Mai Yin's idea of using cell phone technology to deliver study guides and practice materials. I'd say that's pretty green (only because many of them already have smart phones). (Alvina Atkinson)

I have liked all the ideas presented. I especially liked Scott's idea to have some summer activity. It was mentioned that a previous problem with receiving this grant was that we already have the Hope Scholarship, but summer classes and other summer activities would justify a need for extra funding for students. [Jenny Sinclair]

I liked Diane's idea regarding the environmental theme in that it offers a chance for interdisciplinary study (biology, environmental science, mathematics and information technology). Jenny's suggestion regarding the videos and Clay's regarding Facebook would offer a good approach. How about something like this? The students have laptops and video equipment to collect data in the field. The computer equipment would help them to conduct statistical analysis while in the field. The video equipment could help them capture their work while in the field. These videos could be posted to Facebook, Twitter or Wiki that could serve as a testimonial of the exciting fields of science and mathematics (video that shows these fields are not about learning boring formulas or definitions but applying these ideas to solving real problems). [Marty Thomas]

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