The American Chemical Society (ACS), the SENCER Centers of Innovation Southwest and South, and Bellhaven University welcome you to Jackson, Mississippi and to our symposium with a theme of STEM Education in Mississippi: Issues and Innovations. Throughout a full-day of activities, we will focus on use of innovative and proven pedagogy to reduce barriers to learning, student success, and retention. Presenters include educators and administrators from throughout the country. 

We look forward to seeing you at Belhaven’s Kim Center -- Friday, September 29, 2017! Remember to REGISTER so we know how many meals to prepare!

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Friday, September 29 • 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Establishing Local Partnerships that Actively Engage STEM Students and Instructors in Meaningful and Relevant Educational Experience

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Students and instructors of STEM both benefit when their courses and educational programs are connected to actual real-world problems, issues and opportunities that have local connections. Most textbooks of science and mathematics are written from disconnected and highly generalized global perspectives that are not always obviously applicable to students and faculty that use them as a resource. To overcome this disconnection, instructors can augment STEM courses for general science education and advanced science audiences with resources derived from partnerships that make use of more practical local and regional connections.æBy partnering with informal science educators and other entities connected to local and regional issues (e.g., zoos, parks, museums, businesses, government/non-government organizations) it is possible for instructors to breathe much needed life into their potentially stale course material. These same partnerships also potentially connect educational institutions with non-traditional funding opportunities, help in marketing of their program through news and media, as well as prepare students for job placement through research, internships, and professional networking.

In this presentation, attendees will learn how interdisciplinary general science and advanced discipline-specific STEM courses at Belhaven University have been enhanced through active partnerships with the Jackson Zoological Park, Wildlife Mississippi, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Tara Wildlife. These partnerships connect students and faculty alike with those organizations that have the strongest connections to important local and regional challenges.æ Even students who leave the region after graduation benefit from the experiences through their experiences which provide a template for how to work within local communities.æ Attendees will also learn how to craft agreements with local partners as well as navigate the complexities of engaging students of traditional lecture and laboratory based STEM courses in the "real-world." Specific perspectives and testimonials from local partner representatives will provide attendees with a clear perspective of how to nurture successful mutually beneficial agreements.

avatar for Reid Bishop

Reid Bishop

Associate Professor, Belhaven University
Reid Bishop is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Division Chair of Natural Sciences at Belhaven University. He earned his Bachelor of Science at Mississippi College and his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry. After post-doctoral... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm CDT
Kim Center 103