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CINSAM 2011-2012 Annual Report

CINSAM

NKU Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics

2011-2012 Annual Report


table of contents credits

1

letter from the director

2

CINSAM staff

4

vision, mission and goals

6

CINSAM impact

7

summer camps

8

alliances

10

science fair

15

faculty spotlights

16

student spotlights

18

integrative natural science course

20

CINSAM funded research

22

southern outreach

26

elementary science days

28

river cities project

29

project SOAR

30

project FORCE

31

CINSAM scholarships

32

thank you

33


credits *

editors Madhura Kulkarni, Ph.D. Kristi Haik, Ph.D.

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graphic design Rebecca Schneider Beth Russell, ‘12

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copy editor Madhura Kulkarni, Ph.D.

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photography Timothy D. Sofranko Beth Russell, ‘12 Rebecca Schneider Madhura Kulkarni, Ph.D.

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contributors Madhura Kulkarni, Ph.D. Kristi Haik, Ph.D. Beth Russell, ‘12

Address: CINSAM 519 Founders Hall Northern Kentucky University Nunn Drive Highland Heights, KY 41099 URL: http://cinsam.nku.edu Phone: (859) 572-5381 Fax: (859) 572-6179 © 2013 Northern Kentucky University, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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letter from the director

Dear Friends, I am excited to share with you the highlights from the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) 2011-2012 fiscal year as we expanded our efforts to improve P-16 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by advancing and integrating teaching, learning, and scholarship in the STEM disciplines in Kentucky. Furthermore, I’d like to say goodbye to our departing personnel, Drs. Dan Curtin and C. Dale Elifrits. We thank outgoing Interim Director, Dr. Dan Curtin for his service, commitment and leadership over the past 3 years. Dr. Curtin will be enjoying his sabbatical and return to teaching in 2012-2013. CINSAM will also miss Dr. Dale Elifrits as he takes positions in the Department of Physics and Geology as Director of Pre-Engineering and Visiting Professor of Geology in July 2012. Dr. Elifrits served CINSAM with steadfast dedication for 10 years as Interim Director before Dr. Curtin and as Director of Pre-Engineering. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Curtin, former CINSAM Director Dr. Phil Schmidt, and I conducted a strategic planning process with CINSAM stakeholders and updated our vision and mission statements and goals. (see page 6) Since its inception in 1999 as a Program of Distinction in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, CINSAM has seen tremendous growth. Specifically, • We have awarded 51 scholarships to NKU students! • In 2011, more than 200 students conducted undergraduate research in the CINSAM departments, compared to 30 in 1999. • CINSAM has invested $430,000 in grants for faculty and student research projects since 2008. Since then, CINSAM-funded faculty have brought in over $3.7million in external grants for work related to those projects!

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• In 2011, CINSAM and its partner academic departments had over 35,000 contacts with P-12 students and over 2,000 P-12 teachers.

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT


In this report you will read about these and other successes of our programs, including our summer camps, Alliances, and the South Counties and River Cities Projects. You will also read about the people who make CINSAM a success, from students and faculty to our outstanding CINSAM staff. Finally, CINSAM would like to thank its corporate supporters Toyota USA Foundation, Ashland Inc. Foundation, and the Procter & Gamble Company. These partnerships enable us to extend our programs into the greater Cincinnati and rural Kentucky areas engaging more and more students and teachers across the region. We look forward to building on these relationships and welcome new partners as we grow.

CINSAM works with five STEM departments in the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Informatics as well as the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education & Human Services.

Dean Samuel J. Zachary College of Arts & Sciences

Sincerely,

Kristi L. Haik, Ph.D. Interim Director Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Dean Kevin Kirby College of Informatics

Dean Mark Wasicsko College of Education & Human Services

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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CINSAM staff

Dan Curtin, Ph.D.

Interim Director 2011

C. Dale Elifrits, Ph.D.

Director of Pre-Engineering and Outreach

Reeda Hart, ‘76

Outreach Specialist

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CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

Kristi L. Haik, Ph.D.

Betty Stephens

Charles Bowen

Thomas Brackman

Interim Director 2012

Network Lab Manager

Debbie Bowles

Outreach Specialist

Outreach Coordinator

STEM Recruiting Director

Linda West

Mathematics Outreach Specialist


Dan Curtin, Ph.D. Interim Director 2011 Kristi Haik, Ph.D. Interim Director 2012 Betty Stephens Outreach Coordinator C. Dale Elifrits, Ph.D. Director of Pre-Engineering and Outreach (Retired 2012) Charles Bowen Network Lab Manager Thomas Brackman STEM Recruiting Director Reeda Hart, ‘76 Outreach Specialist Debbie Bowles Outreach Specialist Linda West Mathematics Outreach Specialist

CINSAM welcomes new staff for the 2012-2013 year:

Cyndi Gump Academic Specialist

Madhura Kulkarni, Ph.D. Interim Assistant Director

Student Workers: Meghan White Justin Feldmann Daniel Wilcox Kyle Greely

Billy Russell, ‘12 Network Laboratory Manager Beth Russell, ‘12 Academic Specialist

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vision, mission and goals vision To facilitate NKU becoming a nationally recognized leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and scholarship.

mission To improve P-16 STEM education by advancing and integrating teaching, learning and scholarship in the STEM disciplines.

goals 1) Facilitate the recruitment, retention and graduation of STEM students. 2) Promote faculty scholarship and undergraduate research in STEM disciplines. 3) Enhance the teaching of science and mathematics at P-16 levels.

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CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT


CINSAM impact ACADEMIC YEAR 2011-2012 EVENTS/ACTIVITIES

NKU Faculty & Staff

NKU Students

P-12 Teachers

Alliances

43

48

1006

Science & Engineering Fair of NKY

26

19

Elementary Science Days

13

90

Southern Counties Project River Cities Project

220 21

460

2

153

4486

1

42

741 116

Summer Camps (July 2011-June 2012)

21

10

3

Teacher Workshops (Summer 2012)

1

2

12

Presentations at Teacher Conferences

7

Teaching at NKU (by full-time CINSAM staff)

3

322

CINSAM Research Grant

11

25

CINSAM Scholarships Other

P-12 Students

200

11 10

2

31

1645

CINSAM’s reach extends throughout northern Kentucky and beyond with great impact. In 2011-2012, our programs served a grand total of almost

10,000 university faculty,

undergraduates, P-12 teachers, and P-12 students across the region, with most participants involved in activities that result in repeated and long-term benefits.

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summer camps java computer game programming camp Richard Fox’s Java Computer Game Programming Camp offered middle and high school students a chance to explore the exciting world of computer game programming in the high-tech Griffin Hall Media Lab. Students created sophisticated games ranging from Who Wants to be a Millionaire to Star Wars Chess to Pokémon Adventure. Students were so excited about their projects that many spent hours outside of the computer lab on their games; one even Skyped in from a Florida vacation to help his teammates complete their program!

fun with math camp Linda West’s week long Fun with Math Camp led middle school

students through an exciting examination of mathematics in the real world. Students discovered the central roles of algebra, geometry, measurement, statistics and number sense in every day phenomena using fun, hands on activities. Students left with an appreciation of how important mathematics is in their lives.

aeronautics camp Students take flight in Bill Schneider’s Aeronautics camp. These young men and women (grades 6-10) learn about the math and science behind flight and navigation. Then they apply what they’ve learned and learn how to fly! Students reproduce real flight conditions using flight simulator

software. Schneider says, “It’s fairly intense, but the kids really feel like they’ve accomplished something when they’re able to take off, fly, and land.” Most students also participate in an optional field trip to tour Lunken Airport’s facilities on a fourth day. By the end of the camp, students are well positioned for starting ground school, then flight school, and earning their pilot’s licenses!

engineering camp Dr. Morteza Sadat-Hosseiny and Bill Schneider introduced high school students to the ideas and practices of engineering and engineering technology. Students “learned by doing”, designing with AutoCAD and solving collision-related problems (among other things) with the guidance of NKU faculty in

accelerated “Taking classes on a college

campus gives my daughter an experience unable to be received anywhere else.

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CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

I have been so impressed with these “camps. My son has come home filled with excitement about each science he explored that day. He hasn’t gotten that from school.


physics and pre-engineering. They undertook projects to build towers out of paper that maximized tower weightbearing capacity, while minimizing costs and time; teams were on a budget and were required to “purchase” their own materials (from camp leaders) and keep their own books as an exercise in project management. Campers also took field trips to two local engineering firms, where they took tours of the facilities, talked to practicing engineers about their work, and constructed their own projects using the firms’ materials, data, and directives.

middle school STEM camp

who made this program so enjoyable for my child. Thank you for helping him fit into the program.

Her half-day camp had 6th through 8th graders busy learning about topics ranging from ecology to physics to nutrition through a variety of hands-on laboratory and field activities—all under the expert guidance of several NKU STEM faculty. Students experienced outof-this-world adventures in astronomy at Haile Digital Planetarium and earthly explorations of the rocks under their feet, right behind Herrmann Science Center.

fun with science camp

Dr. Bethany Bowling aimed to get middle school students excited about science and

you “Thank to everyone

encourage them to build a foundation necessary for academic and professional pursuits in the sciences.

Dr. Miriam Kannan ran an exciting camp geared specifically toward English

language learners (ELL). This camp, co-sponsored by the English Language Learning Foundation, Inc., exposed students to a variety of fun activities in science, ranging from a microscopic Microbe Safari to the explosive Magic of Chemistry. Students also ventured out on exciting field trips to learn about laboratory research at Proctor & Gamble, regional zoology at Grassy Creek, and the Ohio River system on a Queen City Riverboat ride. Students were treated with a trip to the NKU swimming pool, where they got another chance to get to know their fellow campers and build a community of science learners.

son loved camp! This camp curriculum was “ My taught in a way that built upon his interest. He was so excited to be challenged in a way that was fun, with an encouraging scientist motivating him.

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alliances CINSAM night and the alliances CINSAM held its annual gathering of Alliance members, CINSAM Night, on October 4, 2011. Under the direction of Betty Stephens, this event brought together teachers from around NKU’s nine county service area, NKU faculty and staff, and outside experts in STEM education. The evening began with a welcome by Dr. Sam Zachary, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Dan Curtin, Associate Dean and Interim Director of CINSAM. A keynote address by Brandon Hargis of NASA’s Langley Research Center followed. Hargis spoke about the myriad resources on STEM learning that NASA offers teachers, and pointed Alliance members toward lesson plans, curriculum, videos, and other materials available on the internet. CINSAM also presented Dr. Bethany Bowling (Department of Biological Sciences) with a “Rookie of the Year” award while members enjoyed a sit down dinner. The evening ended with a variety of professional development sessions organized by Alliance leaders. As it does every year, 2011’s CINSAM Night kicked off a year of PD activities planned by teachers with the help of NKU faculty. Each Alliance was helmed by at least one teacher and one NKU faculty member, and composed of teachers from all around northern Kentucky. The two leaders of each Alliance designed PD activities to suit the needs of Alliance member and presented these PDs at CINSAM Night and over the course of the year. The next few pages describe the array of creative, innovative and instructional PDs our Alliances came up with. 10

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

chemistry alliance The Chemistry Alliance was led by NKU’s Dr. Brad Sieve, Campbell County High School’s Linda Weber, and Simon Kenton High School’s Shelli Stinson. They met at CINSAM Night with 30 members to plan the rest of their activities for the year. The Alliance met three for programs entitled “Share-a-Thon,” “Make and Take,” and “Stoichiometry.” These events were attended by 10 to 20 alliance members each. At the Share-a-Thon, each person brought a favorite demonstration, laboratory activity, or classroom activity to share. At the Make and Take, the alliance provided the materials and instructions for building or assembling several devices or demonstrations to be used in the classroom. At the Stoichiometry meeting, members shared resources and demonstrated ideas for teaching about stoichiometry. Sieve and Weber offered several labs, demonstrations and worksheets. Members tried out each activity at each meeting.


early childhood alliance

earth and space science alliance

The Early Childhood Alliance was led by NKU’s Drs. Jaesook Gilbert and Helene Harte, Rebecca Wilson of Kenton County Schools, and Shelley Engram of Shelly’s Little Preschool. They and 45 members met at CINSAM Night and planned the rest of the year’s events.

The Earth and Space Science Alliance was led by Sarah Christensen, NKU Geology professor, and David Myers from Sharp Middle School in Pendleton County. They held a full session on CINSAM night to plan for the years’ activities with approximately 50 teachers.

Laura Wathen from the Division of Program Standards presented Kentucky Core Academic Standards. She shared updates and information regarding Mathematics alignments and the Science Framework, and what the changes in K-12 learning standards mean for the early childhood field.

The teachers played an interactive game that demonstrated the water cycle. They also learned how the same game was adapted to teach energy transformations. This Alliance jointly held a workshop at Discover Park in Boone County in October.

In December the Alliance met for a program, “Approaches to Teaching Science,” presented by Tony Lawson and Karen Venetian from the Cincinnati Museum Center: Union Terminal. Participants learned about three approaches to implementing science lessons in the classroom that illustrate the benefits of using an inquirybased approach. The last meeting of the year was held in April for a program entitled, “Exploring cheap, easy and fun ways to implement Math in your classroom,” presented by Clyde Wilkins, a Preschool teacher at Scott County Schools. Participants explored ways to embed mathematics topics that are effective, inexpensive, and fun. Participants shared, brainstormed, and created materials/ tools used in a mathematics center. Participants also re-examined their current efforts to enhance the development of children’s mathematical understanding.

At another meeting of the Alliance, teachers undertook a journey through the rock cycle as they interacted with stations that showed the various stages in the cycle, and the processes that cause rock to progress from one stage to another. Members also participated in a stream table activity that demonstrates the connections between the water cycle and the rock cycle, specifically water’s role in weathering, erosion, and deposition.

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alliances environmental science alliance The Environmental Science Alliance, led by Dr. Steve Kerlin of NKU’s Department of Education and Julie Whitis of Simon Kenton High School, planned its activities for the year at CINSAM Night. The first one, in October, was a joint workshop of the Environmental Science and Earth & Space Science Alliances at Discover Park, Boone County. This alliance also met at the Cincinnati Museum Center in November for a tour and program. In February, the Alliance planned an event jointly with the Biology Alliance at the Newport Aquarium. About 35 people participated in the event, which was partly supported by the WAVE Foundation. Ten Alliance members (the maximum allowed) participated in a program at the Cincinnati Zoo in March as a part of a teacher professional development program. Also in March, the Alliance worked in the St. Anne Wetlands to study and remove invasive species, and to learn about invasive species and environmental stewardship. Six members participated from this Alliance event along with others from the Center for Applied Ecology and the Biology Alliance.

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elementary math and science alliance The Elementary Mathematics and Science Alliance was led by NKU’s Jonathon Thomas and Katy Murray from River Ridge Elementary school in Kenton County. The alliance met at CINSAM Night, and 60 participants explored mathematical progressions in the area of numerical structures as well as tools and settings that support growth along these progressions. In October, Alliance members learned about strategies and tools that support mathematics “right to intervention” (RTI) work in the area of whole number and arithmetic operations. They also conducted a short intervention workshop. The alliance also met in November to explore content goals in both science and mathematics in a hands-on, inquiry based workshop focused on integrated instructional approaches. Twenty-six Alliance members visited the NKU Planetarium in their last meeting in May. The Elementary Mathematics and Science Alliance also brought back (by popular demand) the “Integrating Math and Science” workshop. It was held in February 2 and attended by 24 second through fifth grade teachers. It was devised to show how teachers could achieve their content goals in both science and mathematics in a hands-on, inquiry-based format. At the end, Alliance leaders provided participants with a free compact disk of lesson plans and classroom materials.


middle school science alliance The Middle School Science Alliance was led by NKU Engineering professor, Dr. Seyed Allameh and Lila Brindley from Bracken County Middle School. This alliance met at CINSAM Night to plan for the year. At another meeting, they undertook a journey through the rock cycle as they interacted with stations that showed the various stages in the cycle, and the processes that cause rock to move from one stage to another. The teachers also worked with studentsized stream tables, which demonstrate the connections between the water cycle and the rock cycle, specifically water’s role in weathering, erosion, and deposition.

physics alliance The Physics Alliance was led by NKU Physics Department Chair, Dr. John Filaseta and David Ledden. They met at CINSAM Night for two sessions. Twenty-four middle and high school teachers attended the two sessions about energy conservation. Eight high school teachers attended an evening session on geometric optics in November. In March, the Alliance hosted a program on the forms and transformations of energy. Eight middle school teachers and one high school teacher attended. The Alliance also held an evening program in April. In this program, seven middle school and high school teachers participated in activities demonstrating the physics of simple machines, such as levers and inclined planes.

My video microscopy setup has made the microcosm study exciting and much easier to accomplish since the entire class can see what is going on. I don’t know how I ever survived without it!

was a very “ This valuable session. I

learned a lot of new ideas for embedding Math in everyday activities. Thanks!

I always leave a training with new knowledge and ideas my students are interested in. CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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alliances biology alliance

mathematics alliance The Mathematics Alliance was led by NKU’s Drs. Mike Waters, Gina Foletta, and Beth Noblitt, as well as Nadia Osterbrock from Dixie Heights High School in Kenton County. This alliance met at CINSAM Night and worked on mathematics concepts such as ratio and proportion, and calculating r-squared. Thirty-five teachers attended. In February, the Alliance held a workshop on Kentucky Common Core Standards for Mathematics Assessment. Robin Hill, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Mathematics Consultant, focused the workshop on secondary mathematics assessment. Middle grades mathematics teachers, especially those teaching algebra, found this workshop particularly valuable. Approximately 42 teachers attended. In March, the Alliance held a meeting titled “Curricula and the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics, Middle Grades Curricula,” and presented by Dr. Linda Sheffield, NKU Regents Professor Emeritus. In this session, 31 teachers learned about the Kentucky Core mathematics content standards for grades six through eight and discussed their implementation using the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. Thirty-five teachers attended this Alliance’s last program in April, titled “Amazing Mathematical Race” at Dixie Heights High School.

The Biology Alliance was led by Dr. Chris Curran from NKU and Karen Caffins from Ryle High School in Boone County, Kentucky. The Biology Alliance met on CINSAM Night to plan its year’s events and explore needs of biology teachers. They met again at the Newport Aquarium in February for an exciting, behind-the-scenes training on how to keep aquaria in the classroom. Aquarium staff also helped teachers develop lesson plans based on various exhibits. This activity was so popular that forty educators participated and more were wait-listed. This event was partially supported by the WAVE Foundation. The Biology Alliance joined with the Environmental Science Alliance to host “It’s Alive” at the St. Anne’s Wetlands Research and Education Center. About 15 participants helped clear trails as they learned about wetland ecosystems and invasive species. The program also included a training by Rob and Ray Kues on how to keep live animals ranging from invertebrates to mammals in the classroom.

How has your involvement with a CINSAM Alliance helped your students? 0

Improved student learning Improved student engagement

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CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

Improved student interest

1

2

3

4

5

5 = A lot 4 = Somewhat 3 = A little 2 = Very little 1 = No effect


science fair

SEFNK, the Science and Engineering Fair of Northern Kentucky, is a not-for-profit organization that partners with CINSAM to host an annual regional science fair. The 2012 fair was held at Northern Kentucky University on February 23, 2012. Charlie Bowen, CINSAM’s Network Laboratory Manager, served as SEFNK’s Executive Director, in charge of the fair. In addition to hosting the event, CINSAM worked with local educators to assist with their schools’ science fairs. CINSAM also recruited many local science and engineering faculty and professionals to work as judges and volunteers. The 2012 SEFNK event exhibited 238 student projects, including 29 from the high school division, a new record high for participation. The grand prize winner attended the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. SEFNK continues to provide 4th through 12th grade students in 22 counties of Kentucky the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of scientific and engineering methods and to pursue their interests in these fields.

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faculty spotlights dr. wei hao Dr. Wei Hao is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Northern Kentucky University. Dr. Hao’s research involves utilizing cloud computing and artificial neural network technologies to propose a new power management system, Cloud-based Power Management (CPM) for mobile phones. He employed four undergraduate research students on his project, who have presented their findings at the Celebration of Student Research and Creativity and Interdisciplinary Summer Research Celebration. During the 2012-2013 year, Dr. Hao will be running CINSAM’s week-long Mobile Technology Workshop and will be a CINSAM Alliance leader, coordinating K-12 Professional Development in the field of computer science.

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dr. bethany bowling Dr. Bethany Vice Bowling, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, has been a dedicated CINSAM partner for over 5 years. Since 2008, she has conducted a middle school science camp every summer, engaging students in hands-on activities in a variety of scientific disciplines. She has also received CINSAM funding for research in the area of genetics education, including funding for undergraduate research assistants. This work resulted in additional funding from the American Society of Human Genetics for further research. Dr. Bowling began the Northern Kentucky Girls in Science Program at schools in Northern Kentucky when she first arrived at NKU. An estimated 100 middle school girls have been to one or more of their sessions, and 6 teachers have also participated. She also leads Project FORCE: Focus of Occupations, Recruiting, Community, and Engagement, an NSF-STEP grant-funded project. Project FORCE initiatives support recruitment and retention in the STEM disciplines at NKU. “The outreach and recruitment activities allow me to interact with the northern Kentucky community, and this community is actually where I grew up,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to be able to give back to the K-12 students and teachers and increase the preparation of students in the area of science.” CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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student spotlights ari fitter Ari Fitter is a mathematics and statistics double major at NKU. He became involved in the STEM program when he first visited NKU and met Drs. Wilkinson, Agard, and Nolan. They shared Ari’s love of sports and statistics, which inspired his project on the Super Bowl Squares Game. He created “Super Bowl Squares: A Different Approach” over the summer and presented his project at the Summer Research Celebration, the STEM Showcase, and the Miami Sports Statistics Conference. “Completing my project over the summer seemed to be a daunting task when I first realized all the work it would take,” he said. “Dr. Nolan and Dr. Agard, however, encouraged me and had faith in me, and I was able to complete my project. The fact that I was able to complete my project showed me that if at first a task seems insurmountable, with hard work, I can complete my tasks and achieve my goals.” As a sophomore, Ari is looking forward to accomplishing even more in the STEM Program. “My recognition for this project has shown me that I really am not just a number at NKU like I might be at a larger university,” he said.

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I really am not just a number at NKU like I might be at a larger university.

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT


I’m very proud of myself for trying something different and slightly more challenging that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own.

shaleika gray Shaleika Gray worked as an undergraduate research assistant for biology professor Dr. Kristi Haik during the summer of 2012. Their research focused on improving the ability to pass drugs through the blood brain barrier to treat neurological diseases and injuries. They tested the cytotoxicity of one potential drug delivery vehicle: PBCA nanoparticles coated with Tween 80. They presented their findings at the 2012 Celebration of Student Research and Creativity. Shaleika is a member of the SOAR Program, a scholarship program that awards academicallytalented STEM scholars. She volunteered for NKU recruitment in STEM fields, giving tours of the science facilities, talking with potential NKU students, and answering their questions. “Entering the lab as a freshman was amazing yet overwhelming; I wasn’t sure if I could handle it at first,” she said. “Now I’m capable of saying that I’m very proud of myself for trying something different and slightly more challenging that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own. I improved many skills needed for the lab and in the real world such as teamwork, writing skills, problem-solving, and communication skills. This experience has helped me grow as a person, learn to step out of my comfort zone, and push myself even when I want to give up.”

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integrative natural science course course description In fall 2011 and spring 2012, CINSAM offered nine sections of Integrative Natural Science and Honors Integrative Natural Science (SCI 110 and SCI 110H), two three-credit courses designed to engage students from all majors— and especially those who major in Education—in their own learning process by using laboratory and inquiry-based course design.

Integrative Natural Science’s Fantastic Professors Thomas Brackman (course coordinator)

Students learned important principles of biology, chemistry, physics, earth science and mathematics and the connections among disciplines; they also practiced the scientific method in order to uncover these principles via their own discovery process, just as professional scientists do. Further, students learned about mathematics as the language of science, employing mathematical models and statistics to describe relationships and patterns in the data they analyze. The course was designed to promote NKU and CINSAM’s learner-focused classroom environment and was therefore conducted in a “studio” style—with professors circulating in the room as students conducted their own “hands-on” and “minds-on” studies—rather than the traditional lecturer-focused classroom style. This environment not only fostered greater interest in and ownership of the students’ learning, but also trained pre-service teachers in creating the sort of learning environment for their own future students that is favored by an increasingly robust body of research. As such, this course started with identification and explanation of Student Learning Targets.

student learning targets Students will: ∙  learn how scientific investigative and discovery activity is conducted and

will engage in designing and conducting experiments

∙  understand major scientific ideas – many of which they will

experimentally discover

∙  learn how scientific discovery crosses disciplinary borders ∙  have an increased awareness of current scientific issues and the

importance of scientific literacy to understanding and resolving issues ∙  use mathematics and mathematical relationships to analyze data and

solve problems using their data and/or other information 20

CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

Dr. Dale Elifrits Dr. Vern Hicks Dr. Kenneth Oswald William Schneider Francis Sheehy

*

By the end of the semester, SCI 110 students are so well trained in inquiry and scientific methods that they teach the class themselves! Really. Students in small groups are required to figure out the workings of natural processes using any resources available to them and to devise their own lessons to teach others about the topic. As the saying goes, teaching is the best way to learn, and SCI 110 students are well trained to become life-long learners and teachers of science.


*

By the end of the semester, he had collected data from game cameras on his property and used mathematical correlation to establish a relationship between deer location and phases of the moon that would help him in his hunting endeavors!

Hunting for deer with science and math

One SCI 110 student, an avid hunter, was very anxious about taking a class science and math; he didn’t understand what they had to do with his life and had had trouble with these subjects in high school. But the experience of inquiry and discovery in SCI 110 helped him realize, not only how science and math impact his every-day life, but also how he could use them as tools to achieve his own goals.

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The chicken and the egg How do you find the volume of an egg? A chick? What about density? Instead of just discussing the theory behind the needed measurements and calculations,

SCI 110 instructor, Bill Schneider, brought chicks and eggs into class to let students answer these questions themselves. Students applied the methods that scientists use to determine volume and density, and explored the limitations of various techniques. The opportunity students had to handle these cute creatures, along with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they had to practice, made for an unforgettable and rewarding lesson!

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CINSAM offered nine sections of SCI 110 and one section of SCI 110H in the 2011-2012 academic year. Twenty students were permitted in each section— in order to allow for the hands-on activities at the core of coursework—and all but one (which enrolled 17 students) was filled to capacity. CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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CINSAM funded research Dr. Richard Durtche

Dr. Richard Boyce

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences

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Measurement of the mechanisms of digestion in tadpoles along the developing gastrointestinal tract

Dr. Richard Durtche—along with his students, Katherine Bachman, Kelsey Carnahan, and Sarah Cross—studied mechanisms of tadpole digestion in their developing guts. In order to improve methods for this type of study, they designed, built and tested microelectrodes used for measuring pH and dissolved oxygen in tadpole gastrointestinal tracts. Their microelectrodes performed well in testing and allowed the researchers to measure the variables in a Green frog (Lithobates clamitans) tadpole’s gut. They found two regions with low pH and low dissolved oxygen, one in the stomach and the other in the colon region suggesting anaerobic fermentation in the hind gut and providing evidence of a functional digestive system at this developmental stage of the Green frog.

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Assessment of water usage in invasive Amur honeysuckle and native spicebush and pawpaw

NKU undergraduate, Molly Brown, and her advisor, Dr. Richard Boyce studied four local bushes: the invasive Amur honeysuckle (Loncera maackii) and the native bushes spicebush (Lindera benzoin), papaw (Asimina) and privet (Ligustrum sp.). Brown and Boyce compared the physiological processes of the invasive vs. the native plants to try to understand factors that contribute to the Amur honeysuckle’s success in this area. Although all species showed similar patterns in photosynthesis and transpiration (transfer of water from leaves to the atmosphere) rates, the researchers obtained some intriguing results to follow up on, especially those relating to water use by the invasive vs. native plants.


Dr. Mark Bardgett Dr. Patrick Schultheis

Dr. Janet Bertog

Department of Biological Sciences

Department of Physics and Geology

*

The effects of early-life risperidone on forebrain neurotrophin expression during adulthood

Risperidone is a drug that is growing in popularity as a treatment for behavioral disorders in children. Unfortunately, little is known about the long term effects of risperidone use on brain development and related gene expression. NKU students, Matt Gannon, Molly Griffith, and Rachel Stevens, along with Drs. Mark Bardgett and Patrick Schultheis, took on a project to begin to elucidate the effects of risperidone on developing brains. They studied changes in the prefrontal cortex (an area targeted by risperidone) brains of rats exposed to the drug early in life and found some alteration in the expression of certain genes and associated protein levels. The lab group continues to study how risperidone affects brain development.

*

Preliminary investigations of the marine geology and paleontology in western Kansas

As dinosaurs roamed the earth in the late Cretaceous period, a shallow sea covered the western interior of North America and teemed with marine reptiles and other vertebrates. An unexplained period of rapid evolution and extinction also occurred, although its exact timing is unknown. Dr. Janet Bertog of the Physics and Geology Department, along with students Evan Draper and Desiree Nichols, studied the geology of western Kansas to help elucidate a timeline for this period. In particular, she examined rare earth elements to determine sources of minerals in the soil, tying layers in the rock profile to known volcanic eruptions. Dr. Bertog found evidence of two volcanic sources in her samples and continues to research samples from western Kansas for finer detail on timing of mineral deposition events. CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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CINSAM funded research Dr. Matthew Zacate

Dr. Hongmei Wang

Department of Physics and Geology

Department of Computer Science

*

*

Measuring atomic movement in metal alloys

In the summer of 2011, NKU physics majors James Castle and Alex Leduc spent about one week at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. There, they helped NKU physics professor Matthew Zacate with experiments aimed at measuring how fast radioactive atoms move in ordered metal alloys.

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Knowledge elicitation study on collaborative dialogues used to handle uncertainties

Dr. Hongmei Wang and her students in the Department of Computer Science, Ava Gailliot, Douglas Hyden, and Ryan Lietzenmayer, studied how humans use collaborative dialogue strategies interact to address uncertainty issues while using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to refine voice-enabled GIS user interfaces.

These kinds of experiments lead to a better fundamental understanding of the mechanisms underlying diffusion – the long range movement of atoms – in solids, which affects materials processing and selection.

They paired expert GIS users with non-experts in completing GIS tasks. The researchers observed the process and interviewed participants afterwards to determine strategies for overcoming uncertainties in requests.

This work was part of an ongoing collaboration with researchers from Washington State University in cooperation with researchers from the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany.

Dr. Wang and her colleagues plan to use the resulting collaborative dialogue strategies and lessons in GIS expert’s reasoning processes to improve intelligent voice-enabled GIS to handle uncertainty problems in speech-directed GIS operations.

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Dr. Lili Ma Dr. Stefan Paula

Dr. Maureen Doyle Dr. James Walden

Department of Chemistry

Department of Computer Science

*

*

New aromatase inhibitors as antibreast cancer drug candidate

Password Vault, an app to improve Android security

Dr. Lili Ma, Dr. Stefan Paula, and their students Kevin Bonfield, Erica Amato, Tony Bankemper, Hannah Agard, Jeffrey Steller, James M. Keeler, David Roy, and Adam McCallum, conducted research on chemical reactions involved in estrogen biosynthesis with promise for novel breast cancer treatments.

As mobile device applications become more and more widespread and integrated into everyday life, they also become bigger sources of security vulnerabilities. Hackers can access personal information, passwords, and application data with a few simple commands.

Aromatase inhibitors (AI) block the rate-limiting step in estrogen synthesis, so AIs may be used to fight hormonedependent breast cancer. This NKU group demonstrated that isoflavanones can be used as AIs and synthesized these compounds using a relatively straightforward process from readily available materials.

Dr. James Walden and Dr. Maureen Doyle, along with students Brian Leibreich, Tony Ng, and Josh Newkirk, developed an application called Password Vault, designed to demonstrate these vulnerabilities in Android platform apps so that mobile computing can be made more secure.

Their work made progress toward development of new medicines for a widespread disease and was published in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry.

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southern counties outreach project For the eighth year, CINSAM’s Southern Counties Outreach Project continued to bring Outreach Specialists Reeda Hart and Debbie Bowles to seven school districts in the southern counties of NKU’s nine-county service region:

teachers say I am a better teacher because of the CINSAM experiences.

—Augusta Independent Schools —St. Augustine School —Bracken County Schools —Pendleton County Schools —Williamstown Independent Schools —Grant County Schools —Gallatin County Schools

I love what [Outreach Specialists] do and so do my students.

Reeda Hart designs each lesson with the intent of promoting the highest quality of pedagogy, STEM content, and, ultimately, student learning in mind.

I feel that if standards change these interactions will be even more valuable.

The CINSAM demonstration lessons have been very beneficial. My science methods classes in college were not as educational as they have been.

Resulting lessons include: 1) Diffusion and the Incredible Growing Gummi Bear 2) Integrating Science and Math through the Rock Cycle 3) Cell Factory 4) Egyptian Origami Birds: Genetics and Mutations

Great resources... Love the Key Drive with Formative assessments. Amazing connection to math content using science concepts! I have never seen my students off-task when Mrs. Hart is in my room.

Hart and Bowles worked with teachers in grades four through eight exploring best practices in teaching science, increasing content knowledge, and reflecting on their own teaching practices. The project involved the following components:

*

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Modeling science lessons in teachers’ classrooms

Over the year, Hart and Bowles modeled best practices twice in each 5th, 6th, and 8th grade classroom and three times in each 4th and 7th grade classroom. Student and teacher feedback evidences great enthusiasm for this program. CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

*

Professional development (PD)

Reeda Hart also presented PD sessions that were based on district needs, as defined by district personnel. Subjects ranged from integrating mathematics and literacy to effectively keeping science notebooks.

*

Electronic resources

Teachers were always given a flash drive of resources, including lesson plans following the 5 E Inquiry Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate), hands-on labs, and Power Points that address science content.


Teachers rated the quality of each of the following: 1

3

2

4

5

6

Advance communication to coordinate topics and schedules Responsiveness to requests for professional development

6 = Excellent 5 = Very good 4 = Good 3 = Adequate 2 = Marginal 1 = Poor

Timely distribution of materials to teachers Professional developer’s participation in discussions of student learning Communication and support after the visit

During the 2011-2012 school year, the Southern Outreach Program completed approximately 10,000 contacts with students and 865 contacts with teachers. This is a powerful impact on these small, rural school systems, as well as the region. In a study of participating teachers, 98% reported that involvement in the project improved their students’ learning, engagement and interest in science.

100% believe that CINSAM

professional development promotes development of outstanding teachers of science and mathematics at secondary, middle school and elementary levels “reasonably well” or extremely well”.

95% believe the same of the

program’s ability to “prepare students for the modern workforce where they will be required to solve complex problems in science and technology from an interdisciplinary perspective” and to “educate a citizenry with a refined sense of inquiry and analysis that embodies integration of knowledge.”

How did your involvement in this project help students? 1

2

3

4

5

Improved student learning

Improved student engagement

Improved student interest

5 = A lot 4 = Somewhat 3 = A little 2 = Very little 1 = No effect

What Was New? The Guided Sustainability Project! CINSAM personnel recognized the need for greater sustainability and reach for the project and thus created the Guided Sustainability Project. Through this evolution of the Southern Outreach Program, Outreach Specialist modeled lessons in classrooms to several teachers at a time using a “fishbowl” technique. Following the lesson, Hart and Bowles were made available to participating teachers for a PD session, including discussion of the best practices employed. These teachers were then employed to transmit their training to the other teachers in their grade levels. By partnering with CINSAM through this program, schools and teachers took greater responsibility for their own advancement in science education. Notably, all of our partner districts in the Southern Counties participated. As with all CINSAM professional development models, the subjects of all lessons and PDs were determined by the requesting school. CINSAM ANNUAL REPORT

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elementary science days CINSAM hosted two Elementary Science Days at NKU for local fourth graders, their teachers and chaperones. Students participated in hands-on and inquiry-based activities in the all day events. Elementary education pre-service teachers from the College of Education, Health and Human Services presented mini-sessions for small groups and faculty presented hour-long programs. Subjects included:

* * * * * * * *

Structure and transformation of matter Motion and forces Earth and the Universe Planetarium shows (e.g. “Sun, Earth, Moon”) Unity and diversity in biology Biological change

Energy transformations

—a northern KY teacher

Interdependence

Through the Elementary Science Days program, CINSAM reached

*

273 students

from Campbell County schools (public and parochial) in the fall and

187 students

from Campbell County, Southgate Independent, and Ludlow Independent Schools. 28

CINSAM is an excellent resource that gets students motivated about learning. I’ve been involved with classroom visits, Science Days, and other PD. All have been excellent.

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river cities initiative The River Cities Initiative took cues from the Southern Counties Project to service smaller school districts along the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky; this initiative, however, focused on mathematics rather than science education. The school districts involved in this initiative were Newport, Bellevue, Silver Grove, Ludlow, Dayton, and Phillip Sharp. Teachers and administrators from these districts assessed their needs and identified the student populations that would be best served by involvement with CINSAM’s program. Then, Linda West, a specialist in mathematics education, provided the requested services, including “fishbowl”type modeling, professional development for teachers, and intervention for students in need of it. West encouraged teachers to employ the types of hands-on and inquirybased lessons promoted in the Southern Counties Project. These lessons were, however focused on mathematics and included the following topics and activities:

* * * * * *

Transformations Algebraic Thinking TinkerPlots Flatland 3-D M-A-T-H Cube Activity Menu Math

*

Improved assessment scores from participating districts supported the idea that this project contributed to improved mathematics teaching and learning. Unfortunately, funding limitations required project termination after the 2011-2012 school year.

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project SOAR Northern Kentucky University (NKU) is currently a recipient of a National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (S-STEM) grant. Project SOAR: Scholarships, Opportunities, Achievements & Results seeks to recruit, retain, educate, and graduate academically talented students – SOAR Scholars – who will enter the workforce or graduate school in a STEM field. This program is led by Dr. Gail Mackin, Associate Professor of Mathematics. She is assisted by Dr. Heather Bullen and Dr. Diana McGill (Chemistry) and Dr. Kristi Haik (Biological Sciences and CINSAM). We are entering year 4 of the program and currently have 4 cohorts of SOAR Scholars on campus, with our 5th and cohort arriving in August 2013. All Scholars receive scholarships for 4 years.

*

Published and presented results include:

*

Higher freshmen retention rates for SOAR Scholars (82%) than their STEM peers (69%); freshmen year retention rates have improved from 2009 cohort (79% remain) to 2010 cohort (85% remain) to 2011 cohort (91%).

*

Increased number of underrepresented SOAR Scholars each year

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(7, 10, 11 15, Scholars per year, respectively), with an

increase in the diversity of our cohort this year to include students of African American, Hispanic, and native Hawaiian Islander descent.

*

Higher incoming GPA of Scholars (3.2, 3.4, 3 .8, 3.6 respectively) and higher number of scholars each year* (19, 20, 21 Scholars per year, respectively). We proposed 19 per year. *We had 19 in 2012 since we were awarded NSF S-STEM grant late in summer.

*

Significant participation of at least 33% of each cohort living in the STEM living community each year. *16% in 2012 again due to date of S-Stem award.

*

Increased SOAR Scholar (39%) participation in summer research when compared to other STEM students (<10%) following their freshman year.

*

Improved performance reviews (i.e., every 4 weeks

*

Projected 4-year graduation rate for SOAR 2009 is 53%; compared to 8% of their peers.

· Haik, K. L.; Bullen, H. A. 2011. A Risky Proposition? Undergraduate Research with Low-Income, First-Generation, Underrepresented STEM Students. Vignette CUR Quarterly 2011, Spring. · Mackin, G.; Bullen, H. A.; Haik, K. L. 2012. Project SOAR: Scholarships, Opportunities, Achievements & Results. Improving retention and performance for low-income, high-achieving STEM students. Joint Mathematical Meetings; Boston, MA, 2012.

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SOAR ACHIEVEMENTS INCLUDE:

instead of once a semester) so students have time to implement any changes needed to improve success in their classes.

Portions of this material are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE1154290 and DUE-0806915.


FORCE ACHIEVEMENTS INCLUDE:

*

Established a STEM-wide recruiting strategy that includes an “NKU STEM” table with faculty and undergraduate representatives in all on-campus and several external recruiting events.

* * *

Developed a system for identifying and contacting students interested in STEM majors

*

Employee STEM Ambassadors: Representative upperclassmen from each STEM department who organize, execute, and recruit for STEM-related events discussed above and hold weekly peer learning sessions for identified risk-point courses. Voluntary review sessions for STEM students occur weekly (3 for each discipline), with two Ambassador(s) from each department at each session. STEMwide sessions occur one weekday evening and involve a common space for all STEM students to gather and study.

Created a STEM Showcase recruitment event for prospective students and their parents during the fall semester. Strengthened the STEM community at NKU through a variety of academic and social events, as well as through social networking.

*

Developed a new Undergraduate Research Program focusing on funding first- and second-year students: 30 students funded on 28 projects in summer and fall 2011, 30 students funded on 26 projects in the summer of 2012.

*

Presented results from this award:

• Doyle, M.; Human, R. 2011. Northern Kentucky University Recruitment/Retention Activities. NCWIT Summit on Women and IT; New York, NY, 2011.

project FORCE NKU is also a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant entitled Project FORCE (Focus on Occupations, Recruiting, Community, and Engagement). This grant is an NSF STEP Type 1A project that proposes to build a coordinated effort across the STEM departments at NKU: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics & Statistics, and Physics & Geology. The project is led by an interdisciplinary team including Dr. Bethany Bowling (Biological Sciences), Dr. Heather Bullen (Chemistry), Dr. Maureen Doyle (Computer Science), Dr. Brooke Buckley (Mathematics & Statistics), and Dr. John Filaseta (Physics & Geology). The program has two overarching goals: 1) Increase the retention rate of first time freshmen STEM majors from under 30% to at least 60%. 2) Increase the number of undergraduates (freshmen and transfer students) who complete a bachelor’s degree in STEM by 50%. While the FORCE program is only in its 3rd year, NKU STEM programs are on target to exceed the original goal to increase degrees conferred by 50% and major steps have been taken to improve recruitment and retention of STEM students. These steps are in addition to the recruitment efforts developed by Project SOAR.

• Murphy, T. J.; Holden, L. 2011. A Learning Community Partnering Pre-Calculus with Introduction to STEM Degrees and Careers. Mathematical Association of America’s Annual MathFest; Lexington, KY, 2011. • Bowling, B.V., TJ Murphy, H.A. Bullen, M. Doyle, J. Filaseta, J. Mercer, and J. Taylor, “The implementation of multiple strategies for recruiting and retaining students in the STEM disciplines at Northern Kentucky University”, Third Annual University of Kentucky STEM Education Symposium, Lexington, KY February 3, 2012. Portions of this material are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-STEP-096928.

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CINSAM scholarships CINSAM awards scholarships to students of outstanding academic merit and ambitions in the STEM fields. CINSAM and faculty from cooperating departments select students based on overall academic performance, strong showing in mathematics and the sciences, and plans to continue in these fields. Scholarships help pay for tuition and books for these excellent students. During the 2011-2012 school year, CINSAM funded 11 CINSAM Scholars in all three CINSAM colleges and with majors including:

* * * * * * * 32

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Biological Sciences Chemistry Computer Science Mathematics Mathematics Education Physics Teacher Education


thank you

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CINSAM Annual Report 2011-2012