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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Community Outreach [clear filter]
Friday, September 29


Ways to Increase Civic Applications of Learning
In this session we will use a SENCER Model Course focused on the natural sciences to teach biology and public policy through civic issues as a guide. Mysteries of Migration is a model course that has undergone revi-sion over many years accommodating both non-majors and majors in the natural sciences.  In consideration of developing or modifying a course you teach, we will briefly consider: how people learn, learning goals, adding appropriate experiential learning to courses and student assessment of courses. This interactive session will address pedagogical approaches used over the years in Mysteries of Migration as a guide for lessons learned. There will be an opportunity to discuss potential modifi-cations you may wish to make to courses you teach. 

avatar for Thomas Wood

Thomas Wood

Associate Professor, George Mason University
Tom Wood is an associate professor at George Mason University where he coordinates conservation studies at the School of Integrative Studies. He has been with the SENCER project since the inception of the program. Presently he serves as Co-Director of the SENCER Center for Innovation-Chesapeake... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Kim Center 100


Dual Posters: Communicating Your Discipline to the Public
Many scientists do important work that could have a profound impact on their own field as well as others, but then struggle to communicate their results. Part of the challenge is that each discipline, and specialty within it, has jargon that is often not understood by the general public or others in complementary fields of research.

By learning to reduce jargon and describe highly complex ideas so that most well-educated people can understand, researchers will be better equipped to share the significance of their work with those in other disciplines, and better able to inform policy makers about their science.

We are early in the process of learning how we learn a discipline, and how learning in one discipline varies from learning in another. Mental skills needed for undergraduate success are not generally explicitly taught. By guiding students through the steps essential to acquiring the needed communication skills, we can guide their metamorphosis from novice to professional scientist.

Dual posters may be an effective way for science students to learn how to e_ectively communicate their research to non-experts. Using a handbook with a step-by-step process for translating an existing scientific "technical" poster into a "public" poster version that is more easily understood by general audiences, student researchers learn how to explain their work in an understandable way while keeping the integrity of their science intact.

Collaborators are sought to work on this concept in a variety of academic institutions and disciplines. We have some basis to say that creating a public version of a technical research poster may be an effective tool, but considering our extremely small sample size, additional data from other institutions is desirable to add credibility to this claim. Results of our pilot study of dual poster effectiveness are included along with questions that focus our future research.

avatar for Cynthia Maguire

Cynthia Maguire

Senior Lecturer, Texas Woman’s University
Cynthia Maguire earned her bachelor of science in medical technology from Central State University in 1976. She later earned two M.S. degrees--biology teaching (2001) and chemistry teaching (2004), both from Texas Woman’s University. She remained at TWU and is now a Senior Lecturer... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 2:45pm - 3:15pm
Kim Center 100


Poster Show at the Mall
One of the challenges scientists face today is sharing their science with the general public. The main difficulty is a communication barrier. Scientists need to be able to talk about their research and findings in terms that the general public can understand. It is important for public stakeholders to have high regard for science and scientists and appreciate the ongoing research. When the public embraces what happens in the research labs, they will support federally funded research.

At Texas Woman's University (TWU), we held an event Pioneer Research at the Mall in Denton to communicate what we do at TWU with the larger community. Through this event, we were able to show people what kind of work and research we do as a way of not only making them aware of our work but to also igniting broader interest in attending TWU. We aimed to improve dialogue between young scientists and the public by having students prepare a more general and non-technical version of their research poster and present it to the Denton community. One result of this event was to show the citizens of our community that they are sup-porting many great students mostly, women and underrepre-sented minorities, in their research. The students in turn learn to engage the public as responsible citizens and eventually making the world a better place. In this presentation, we will discuss details of this event, outcomes and response to the surveyed questions.

avatar for Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan

Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan

Assistant Professor, Texas Woman’s University
Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics at the University of Tehran. She came to the U.S. as a graduate student and earned her Master’s degree in computational Physics at the Bowling Green State University. In 2008, she finished her Ph.D. in Physics... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Kim Center 100