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Catexpert, STEM Catalyst

Employment: Senior Chemist, Osofineco Chemicals Company Education: Post-Doctoral, Binding Forces of H2O in Calcium Salts Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, (2000) Wellsaid State University B.S., Chemistry, (1996) Lowly State University

Osofineco Chemicals Company specializes in 2000 lb batch quantities of high purity inorganic chemicals for pharmaceuticals, with sales of about $30 MM per year. The company employs about 100 people, 15 of whom are lab technicians, chemists and chemical engineers. Each technical person is familiar with the equipment and production techniques used by the company. Carexpert is Chief Chemist for the company and reports to the Technical Director, a chemical engineer. Three chemists and six lab technicians report to Catexpert.


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Carexpert taught college undergraduate chemistry classes as a graduate student. He now has two high school age children, whom he helps with some of their school work. To become a STEM Catalyst, he took a full-day Short Course from the American Chemical Society and has access to STEM Catalyst Notes, an online, continuously updated website. Catexpert is presently registered as a STEM Catalyst for three STEM Student Projects with the Association of STEM Catalysts and STEM Dynamos for Virginia. The Association provides a database that facilitates connections of its members and schools in the state. It also generates and distributes Student Projects, which it shares with other similar associations. Registration as a STEM Catalyst requires the candidate to complete a prescribed training regimen, a minimum of three years of STEM course work or experience, and signing of an agreement with the Association that certifies the registrant has met all requirements and will comply with the Associations Code of Conduct.


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The Common Scenario: 1. Catexpert receives an email from the Lead Teacher for a proposed Student Project asking if he will serve as the STEM Catalyst. The email includes details about schedule, Lead Teacher background, characteristics of the Student Team and school, etc. 2. After Catexpert and a Lead Teacher enter a mutual agreement to cooperate, a schedule is set for Catexpert to provide a 20-minute introduction to the Student Team for the Student Project. 3. The Student Team conducts a planning process and sends the proposed plan and schedule to Catexpert (after approval by the Lead Teacher). A discussion period is scheduled promptly to provide Catexpert’s comments on the plan and to comment on appropriate information about technical and safety issues. 4. As the Student Project progresses, several contacts between the Student Team and Catexpert occur with consensus by the leaders of the Student Team, Lead Teacher, and Catexpert. 5. The Student Team completes a Final Report for review and comment by Catexpert and the Lead Teacher. Catexpert may spend up to an aggregated total of 5 hours working with one Student Team. Additional time can be provided if the school/teacher is significantly in need of more attention and Catexpert has appropriate training and employer approvals.


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STEM Catalysts evaluate the teams with whom they work as follows:

Using the model of contracted work by the Student Team for the STEM Catalyst, Catexpert, 1 of 3 evaluations may be used: Contract not renewed (fail): Recommendation for contract renewal Recommendation for contract renewal and consideration for more contracts A Student Project will be concluded when: 1. The Student Team attains the project objective(s). 2. Either or both the STEM Catalyst and the Lead Teacher see no likelihood of further progress. 3. The Teaching Team believes little more is to be gained by continuing and terminates the Project. Upon conclusion of a project, the STEM Catalyst completes a report in 10-15 minutes consisting of: Ten questions/statements, designed by the Association of STEM Catalysts and STEM Dynamos for Virginia, to solicit responses ranging from “Very Poor” to “Outstanding” that evaluate features such as technical proficiency, team management, effectiveness of individual contributions to the team, team ability to address new conditions, etc.

Catexpert  
Catexpert