STEM Specialists - Chemistry/Physics

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STEM SPECIALISTS IN THE CLASSROOM BRINGING WORKPLACE EXPERTISE TO SUPPORT STEM TEACHING AND LEARNING

POWERED BY SM

Chemistry and Physics Teachers Speak Out

Maryland Business Roundtable for Education | July 2013


order for the United States to compete “ Insuccessfully on the international stage, we must invest our time, energy and resources to support teachers in the classroom and to inspire students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework and to pursue STEM careers. This is critical to defining our future.

Gloria A. Flach Corporate Vice President and President, Electronic Systems Northrop Grumman Corporation and Chair, Board of Directors Maryland Business Roundtable for Education

TABLE OF CONTENTS

2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

4 BACKGROUND ON STEMnet

Historical Perspective

Program Overview

6 STEMnet TEACHER HUB — SPECIALISTS IN THE CLASSROOM

8 CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS TEACHER FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY FINDINGS 9 STEM Specialists in the Classroom: Presentation Content

11 Content and Scientific Skills and Processes

14 Additional Suggestions from Teachers

15 Past Experiences with Visiting Specialists

16 Evaluation

16 Support from STEM Businesses

17 Technology Access

19 Next Generation Science Standards

21 Chemistry and Physics as Graduation Requirements

23 NEXT STEPS

24 IN A NUTSHELL

25 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Strong proficiency and innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are critical to Maryland’s — and the nation’s — economic future. In order to secure Maryland’s position as a global leader in STEM-based education, research, and economic development, Governor O’Malley called for and approved a STEM Plan for Maryland. The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) co-chaired development of Maryland’s STEM Plan, and is leading the creation of Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network — STEMnet — the Plan’s 7th recommendation that will facilitate achievement of the preceding six recommendations. The first component of STEMnet is a “Hub” for STEM Teachers. A needs assessment was conducted with STEM teachers who identified resources, activities and programs aimed at enhancing their professional practice and improving student learning in STEM. With corporate funding and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) funding through the federal Race To The Top grant — and considerable in-kind corporate expertise — MBRT began

development of the STEMnet Teacher Hub in 2010. The initial program — STEM Specialists in the Classroom — was launched and tested in biology classrooms in three high schools in the fall of 2011. The program was expanded to include algebra in an additional nine schools during the 2012–13 school year. Efforts are now underway to expand the program to all 24 Maryland school districts and to include both chemistry and physics. The goal is to have 150 specialists in 48 schools in the 2013–14 school year.

STEMnet Specialists in the Classroom — Chemistry and Physics

Students will be motivated to engage more fully in science exploration/investigation

This program will utilize an interactive online network that enables chemistry and physics teachers to connect with Maryland’s STEM professionals from federal agencies, industry and higher education. STEM professionals will collaborate with teachers to provide resources, co-teach lessons, and/or offer instructional guidance aimed at establishing real-world application of content required for students to develop a deeper understanding of science.

Students will be more eager to excel in science class and to take more STEM classes

Using focus groups and surveys, MBRT conducted market research to obtain detailed input from 252 teachers from 21 Maryland school districts on all aspects of the Specialists program — from the content and format of presentations made in the classroom; to strategies for identifying, training, scheduling, and evaluating the specialists; to the design and development of the website and databases that will provide the technical infrastructure for STEMnet. Highlights of Teacher Comments Content — Areas of greatest need

STEMnet — Maryland STEM Innovation Network — provides resources, services and tools to high school teachers and students. Five components will be available during the 2013–14 school year: STEM Specialists in the Classroom, STEM Resource Clearinghouse, STEM Career Exploration, STEM Challenges, and STEM Workplace Exposure Opportunities.

Chemistry: Energy, Thermodynamics Physics: Laws of Electricity and Magnetism, Laws of Thermodynamics Scientific Skills: Application of math, abstract concepts, constructing an argument/explanation based on evidence Helpful for teachers/students Share current challenges/problems in industry Provide access to real work products, activities, supplies and equipment Help students learn from mistakes/unexpected results Evaluation/Outcomes Students will have a better understanding of how the science they are learning has real-life application

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Technology Teachers use the Internet to research ideas for lessons, experiments, assignments Teachers have limited access to web-based applications, such as Skype Teachers identify lack of equipment, outdated equipment, and class size as challenges Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) In general, teachers are aware of, somewhat familiar with, and in favor of the NGSS, which were adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education in June 2013. However, teachers have concerns about support and resources needed to implement the new standards, and the uncertainties around assessments. Science Graduation Requirements Most chemistry and physics teachers believe that chemistry (65%) and physics (58.3%) should be a graduation requirement. Those opposed cited a concern that content and rigor would be watered down in order for all students to be successful in those subjects, and that such requirements do not necessarily suit the needs/ strengths of every student. Next Steps As the 2013–14 school year starts, STEM Specialists in the Classroom will be expanded to 48 high schools, two in each of Maryland’s 24 school districts. Other STEMnet components will be launched: STEM Resource Clearinghouse, STEM Challenges, and STEM Workplace Exposure Opportunities. Development will begin on STEM Connections for teachers. Funding is being sought to expand and sustain STEMnet in order to provide services and resources to all Maryland teachers and students.

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BACKGROUND ON STEMnet The United States’ competitive advantage in science and technology — the drivers of innovation — is under threat. Other nations are heavily investing in their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) infrastructure and are positioning themselves to challenge U.S. leadership in these fields. To support a robust, productive, and innovative economy that will keep the U.S. competitive at home and abroad, it is essential not only to transform the way we work, but also the way we educate and prepare future generations of Americans. To address this challenge, business leaders across the nation have joined forces with educators, parents, and policy leaders to support and promote the teaching and learning of STEM for all children. Historical Perspective In 2008, Governor Martin O’Malley charged a broadbased community of Maryland’s education, business and policy leaders to produce a blueprint for action that would position Maryland as a global leader in the development of its workforce and its STEM-based research and economic development infrastructure. In response, the Governor’s STEM Task Force proposed a plan comprised of seven recommendations that address Maryland’s entire STEM system: student preparation for participation in a knowledge-based economy, the training and support of STEM teachers, the development of in-state STEM entrepreneurs, and the expansion of Maryland’s internationally recognized research and development capabilities. The plan was accepted and approved by the Governor in 2009. The last of the seven recommendations proposed an unprecedented mechanism for coordination, resource dissemination, and idea sharing among all of Maryland’s STEM stakeholders — P-12 teachers, students, parents, higher education faculty, business and community leaders, economic development officers, researchers, and policymakers. It called for the creation of a physical and virtual network — STEMnet — that would be available to all stakeholders for the purpose of developing and implementing a sustainable STEM education-workforce-research-economic development strategy for the state. In early 2010, MBRT took the lead in planning and developing STEMnet. With generous funding 4

and technical support from AT&T, Citi, Northrop Grumman, and IBM, development of the platform infrastructure and the initial hub of STEMnet — known as STEMnet Teacher Hub — was begun. In the fall of 2010, additional funding for the development of STEMnet was secured when MSDE received one of the federal government’s coveted Race to the Top (RTTT) Grants; funding for the initial stages of two STEMnet hubs — a Teacher Hub and a Student Hub — was included in Maryland’s proposal. In partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), MBRT developed, tested and launched the first phase and is about to launch the second phase of a “one-stop shop” that offers teachers resources that are aligned with recently adopted and nationally recognized Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, and that support teachers’ efforts to improve student achievement in STEM subjects. STEM Specialists in the Classroom — phase one of the STEMnet Teacher Hub — will offer STEM teachers a well-organized and easy to use means to access the state’s highly qualified science and math communities, to engage them in the day-to-day learning activities in their classrooms, and to bring their enthusiasm for science and math as well as their real-world experiences to students across the state. Over the four-year RTTT funding period, MBRT will design, develop, and test a total of six STEMnet components that will serve both teachers and students.

Program Overview: STEMnet Teacher Hub Believing that any STEM teacher-support program must be built with direct input from STEM teachers themselves, MBRT began the design phase of STEMnet by inviting high school STEM teachers to offer guidance on what information, tools and resources would best support their instructional work and equip their students with the necessary STEM skills and knowledge. Between 2010 and 2013, MBRT conducted five in-depth STEM teacher focus groups and four online surveys to gather information from STEM teachers regarding the resources, activities, and programs that would be most useful to enhance their professional practice. Nearly 100 STEM teachers from across the state participated in the focus groups, and more than 1,000 teachers and administrators took part in the surveys. Based on initial input from teachers, 11 potential components surfaced that address a wide range of support activities for both students and teachers. After prioritization, the top five were included in the online survey for further discussion and consideration. The intent was to “dig deeper” with a larger number of teachers for more ideas, comments, and insights related to these activities. Teachers’ comments and quantitative data reflecting their interest in the following five proposed support activities were collected and analyzed: STEM Specialists in the Classroom STEM Resource Clearinghouse STEM Connections STEM Teacher Lifeline Digital Student Hub After a careful review of the survey ratings and teachers’ comments from the early focus groups, MBRT staff ranked the five support activities, and recommended

that the three top-ranked activities comprise the initial development of STEMnet Teacher Hub: STEM Specialists in the Classroom, which enables teachers to collaborate with hundreds of Maryland’s STEM practitioners from federal/state agencies, industry and higher education to visit their classroom to deliver classroom instruction, provide resources, and inspire and inform their students about real-world STEM work. STEM Resource Clearinghouse, which gives teachers online access to STEM curriculum materials, professional development, instructional support, and more. STEM Connections, which allows teachers to connect with STEM educators at all levels — elementary, middle, high school, college, and postgraduate — and with private sector STEM professionals, to share knowledge and resources. 5


STEMnet TEACHER HUB SPECIALISTS IN THE CLASSROOM MBRT developed, tested and is implementing the STEM Specialists in the Classroom program as the initial component of the STEMnet Teacher Hub. It is supported by an electronic volunteer management system, which contains profiles of STEM Specialists from business, higher education, and government who are trained and available to provide in-classroom instructional support to Maryland’s STEM teachers to: collaborate with teachers to design and implement a lesson that they will co-teach engage students in the real-world application of content draw connections between the work performed by STEM professionals and course content emphasize the importance of 21st century skills — collaboration, communication, and critical thinking

Chemistry and Physics

Technology Infrastructure

STEM Specialists in the Classroom was piloted in the field of biology in two high schools. Sixty biology specialists drawn from Maryland’s extensive and world renowned research, medical, industry, and higher education communities were recruited and trained. In 2012, MBRT expanded the program to include math specialists of equal caliber in algebra classrooms of 12 middle/high schools. The MBRT is now expanding the program once again to include the fields of chemistry and physics. The goal is to have 150 specialists in 48 high schools in all 24 Maryland school districts by June 2014.

MBRT provides the technical platform for STEMnet and maintains its availability, security and privacy. MBRT ensures that content placed on the STEMnet is aligned to metadata structures of the Maryland State Department of Education, as well as emerging national standards (i.e. Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards). Finally, MBRT develops new applications to support the growing online community of STEMparticipants. Teachers, STEM professionals and parents all work with MBRT to design, build and improve functions within the STEMnet. To meet their needs, the STEMnet platform provides the following:

Work has been completed to identify appropriate topics for presentation in chemistry and physics classes and to refine and improve the STEMnet website and database.

single online destination for all program participants, in a secure web-application;

Over the summer MBRT will develop training modules and materials for specialists in chemistry and physics (as well as biology and algebra), identify, recruit, and train a cadre of interested and qualified volunteers, engage science educators in the training of the specialists, and collaborate with the specialists and science teachers on the development of evaluation tools for all aspects of the program.

unique dashboards for various audiences (educators, STEM industry specialists/volunteers, administrators); profile information on STEM Specialists, companies and career fields; information on educator needs and requests aligned to curriculum; a match-making engine, to connect willing educators and STEM Specialists; databases on all users’ training, events, resources, and outcome surveys; an inventory of useful and aligned STEM resources available to teachers;

“ Right now, what is driving

me to teach is the state of the economy, and the state of the minds of our young people. When you compare the U.S. with the rest of the world, our students cannot compete on the same level as other industrialized nations, and that is not acceptable. I want to make sure the next generation is prepared to compete with any other country in the world. ”

a series of STEM Challenge activities, designed to engage students actively in exciting STEM-related work across Maryland; communication channels to inform participants and grow the community; and reporting, surveys, and evaluation metrics to share and provide for continual improvement. To learn more about the technical platform, please visit thestemnet.com

Survey respondent addressing the need to increase STEM opportunities and raise standards for students

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What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

Focus Group and Online Survey of Chemistry and Physics Teachers To further support expansion of STEM Specialists in the Classroom, MBRT conducted on May 2, 2013, a focus group of 40 highly motivated high school chemistry and physics teachers representing 13 school districts. So many teachers wanted to participate that we expanded the focus group to accommodate their desire to contribute. This indicates a high degree of interest among teachers to be heard and to learn how they can be supported.

he feels in encouraging students to achieve in STEM subjects. “Right now, what is driving me to teach is the state of the economy, and the state of the minds of our young people,” he said. “When you compare the U.S. with the rest of the world, our students cannot compete on the same level as other industrialized nations, and that is not acceptable. I want to make sure the next generation is prepared to compete with any other country in the world.”

The focus group held enthusiastic conversations in which teachers provided input on the key program design features for the science component of the STEM Specialists in the Classroom program. The participating teachers had varying levels of classroom experience (from one year to 23), and many were “career-changers” who came to teaching after working in the science industry or in lab settings. There were teachers from rural, suburban, and urban areas.

Focus Group Guiding Questions

What are the top content topics that students find most challenging? What are the biggest challenges you face in getting students to construct an argument or explanation based on the evidence?

As a follow-up to the focus group, MBRT conducted an online survey, which was completed by 252 teachers from 21 Maryland school districts. Of the teachers responding, 56.1% taught chemistry only, 27% taught physics only, and 16.8% taught both subjects.

What content topic or skill/process would you most like science specialists to address using real-world applications?

The survey’s purpose was to determine from the teachers’ point of view how external specialists could support chemistry and/or physics instruction and elicit their feedback on related issues. The survey responses — some of which are included throughout this report — provide valuable insight on what teachers want and need.

Should chemistry and/or physics be a requirement for high school graduation?

Maryland teachers are acutely aware of the need to increase STEM opportunities and raise standards for students. One teacher expressed the sense of urgency

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The focus group participants were asked to weigh in on a number of factors, such as:

Are you familiar with the Next Generation Science Standards?

Teachers were also asked questions about how they use technology in the classroom. For example, whether they have access to resources such as Skype, and which Internet resources they currently consult for instructional support.

STEM SPECIALISTS IN THE CLASSROOM: PRESENTATION CONTENT Real Industry Challenges and Real Industry Materials/Equipment A consistent message expressed throughout the focus group conversations and online survey responses is that teachers want students to encounter the kinds of challenges and use some of the same equipment and materials as real-life scientists. Current Problems Are Motivators. Teachers felt that because much of the science covered in the curriculum has already been investigated or solved, there is lack of excitement about discovery that accompanies scientific study and work. Having an industry specialist visit the classroom to share a current problem in STEM could stimulate student interest. “A lot of the time the science being done can be a little gray, a little boring,” explained a teacher.

“ If we could reach out to companies, for

example, and recruit speakers who could bring a current problem they’re working on, that might demonstrate to students how science is being used in a meaningful way. It might also encourage interest in entrepreneurship.”

Provide Access to Equipment and Materials. One theme that permeated the focus group discussions and survey comments was the need for supplies and equipment. Teachers expressed the need for adequate numbers of computers as well as specific scientific equipment needed to conduct

experiments. Teachers suggested businesses (or local school systems) create a lending system of STEM supplies and equipment. Also, teachers repeatedly mentioned the desire for STEM Specialists to bring hands-on learning activities/experiences, supplies and equipment to the classroom when they visited. One teacher shared an experience where she invited an engineer to her classroom to demonstrate how circuits work. The engineer brought in circuit boards and other supplies for each student to use. The experience was successful and allowed students to learn with equipment to which they would not otherwise have had access. Share Industry Products of Work. Focus group teachers agreed that giving students access to primary resources produced by STEM professionals — i.e. white papers, design documents, lab reports, and other written documents or visuals — would be both motivating and educational. Teachers envisioned using these products in many different ways. For example, students could review documents before a specialist visits the classroom, so that they are familiar with his or her work. Lab reports could show students the importance of accuracy and measurement in experiments. Marketing reports and public relations materials could help students understand the need for STEM literacy among non-scientists who are working in a STEM industry. Recruit Representatives from a Variety of Industries and Positions. Teachers repeatedly emphasized throughout their discussions the need for STEM Specialists in a variety of industries working in a variety of capacities. Traditional visitors to science classrooms are scientists and engineers working in 9


What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

CONTENT AND SCIENTIFIC SKILLS AND PROCESSES

PRESENTATION CONTENT, CONTINUED

STEM industries. Teachers believe these visitors offer important insights to their students. Because students don’t realize the broad array of careers and work opportunities in STEM fields, teachers also would like to invite STEM Specialists who work for companies that are not traditionally considered to represent STEM industries or who work in technical or trades positions. This would appeal to a large population of students, and would demonstrate the depth and breadth of the need for proficiency in science and math.

Help Students Learn from Mistakes and Unexpected Results Teachers expressed difficulty in helping students understand failure analysis. There is a need for students to develop an understanding that scientific inquiry and experiments do not always result in success at first attempt, but are the result of assessing the outcomes and making adjustments. Teachers are eager for STEM Specialists to help students see the value of lab experiments and the learning opportunities presented by mistakes. One teacher said:

“ Help students understand that in

industry, measurements count. When errors are made, scientists have to find out why and how they occurred — lives can count on it.”

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Similarly, some students need to understand that it’s okay to make mistakes in science. Another teacher commented:

“ Some of our super high-flying kids don’t want to risk being wrong. We try to impress on them that many things are learned by making a mistake.” Provide Critique of Student Work While “critiquing student projects” was only rated “somewhat helpful” on the survey, a number of focus group teachers expressed interest in having a STEM Specialist help critique students’ projects or other work.

Chemistry and Physics Content Chemistry teachers were asked “What content areas/topics would be most helpful for a workplace practitioner to address with your students?” Energy and Thermodynamics ranked highest, and Structure of Atoms ranked lowest.

ONLINE SURVEY QUESTION:

What content areas/topics would be most helpful for a workplace practitioner to address with your students?

professions to come in and critique my students’ work. That would be much better and more meaningful for them than just listening to my comments each day.”

PHYSICS TEACHER RESPONSES

CHEMISTRY TEACHER RESPONSES

STRUCTURE OF ATOMS 42.7%

69.3%

LAWS OF MECHANICS

68.6%

PROPERTIES OF COMPOUNDS

“ I’d love outside experts in science

Answering the same question regarding physics topics, physics teachers ranked Laws of Electricity and Magnetism and Laws of Thermodynamics highest, although rankings on all topics were fairly close.

71.9%

THERMODYNAMICS

LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS

73.5%

79.3%

ENERGY

SUBSTANCES AND FORMULAS

MATTER TRANSFORMATION

0%

80.9%

LAWS OF ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM

20%

40%

71.5%

VIBRATIONS AND WAVES

58.5%

66.3%

60%

69.5%

MODERN PHYSICS

80%

100%

Percentage of teachers selecting “very helpful” or “most helpful”

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

Percentage of teachers selecting “very helpful” or “most helpful”

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What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

MARYLAND CORE LEARNING GOALS

CONCEPTS OF CHEMISTRY

CONCEPTS OF PHYSICS

THE STUDENT WILL DEMONSTRATE THE ABILITY

THE STUDENT WILL DEMONSTRATE

TO USE SCIENTIFIC SKILLS AND PROCESSES TO

THE ABILITY TO USE SCIENTIFIC SKILLS

EXPLAIN COMPOSITION AND INTERACTIONS OF

AND PROCESSES TO EXPLAIN AND

MATTER IN THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE.

PREDICT THE OUTCOME OF CERTAIN

Structure of Atoms The student will explain that atoms have structure and this structure serves as the basis for the properties of elements and interactions of matter in the world in which we live.

Properties of Compounds The student will explain how the properties of compounds are related to the arrangement and type of atoms they contain.

Thermodynamics The student will apply the basic concepts of thermodynamics to phases of matter and phase and chemical changes.

Substances and Formulas The student will explain how and why substances are represented by formulas.

Matter Transformation The student will explain that matter undergoes transformations, resulting in products that are different from the reactants.

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INTERACTIONS WHICH OCCUR BETWEEN MATTER AND ENERGY.

SCIENTIFIC SKILLS AND PROCESSES

VALUE OF CURIOSITY, HONESTY, SKEPTICISM The student will explain why curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism are highly regarded in science.

SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS/APPROACHES The student will pose scientific questions and suggest investigative approaches to provide answers to questions.

Laws of Mechanics The student will know and apply the laws of mechanics to explain the behavior of the physical world.

Laws of Electricity and Magnetism The student will know and apply the laws of electricity and magnetism and explain their significant role in nature and technology.

Laws of Thermodynamics The student will recognize and relate the laws of thermodynamics to practical applications.

Vibrations and Waves The student will explain and demonstrate how vibrations and waves provide a model for our understanding of various physical phenomena.

Modern Physics The student will investigate certain topics in modern physics.

FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY FINDINGS:

FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY FINDINGS:

Energy and Thermodynamics ranked highest, and Structure of Atoms ranked lowest, when chemistry teachers were asked what content areas/topics would be most helpful for a workplace practitioner to address with students?

When asked the same question, physics teachers ranked Laws of Electricity and Magnetism and Laws of Thermodynamics highest, although rankings on all topics were fairly close.

SCIENTIFIC METHODS IN INVESTIGATION The student will carry out scientific investigations effectively and employ the instruments, systems of measurement, and materials of science appropriately.

Teachers of both chemistry and physics were asked to identify which scientific practices would be helpful for a STEM Specialist to address in the classroom. The teachers identified all of the practices as being “Very Helpful” for a specialist to address.

VITAL ASPECT OF DATA ANALYSIS The student will demonstrate that data analysis is a vital aspect of the process of scientific inquiry and communication.

COMMUNICATING PROCESSES AND RESULTS The student will use appropriate methods for communicating in writing and orally the processes and results of scientific investigation.

USE OF MATH The student will use mathematical processes.

Focus group participants specifically mentioned that the application of math in chemistry and physics is particularly challenging for students.

INTERDISCIPLINARY CONNECTIONS The student will show that connections exist both within the various fields of science and among science and other disciplines including mathematics, social studies, language arts, fine arts, and technology.

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What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

CONTENT AND SCIENTIFIC SKILLS AND PROCESSES

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FROM TEACHERS

PAST EXPERIENCES WITH VISITING SPECIALISTS

Scientific Skills and Processes

Teachers were invited to make suggestions or cautions for the MBRT to keep in mind as it designs the STEM Specialists program. Teachers suggested the following:

The online survey asked teachers if they had ever had an industry specialist visit their classroom, and if so, to share their experience.

The online survey included a question on scientific practices. Teachers of both chemistry and physics were asked to identify which scientific practices would be helpful for a STEM Specialist to address in the classroom. The teachers identified all of the practices as being “Very Helpful” for a specialist to address. Focus group participants specifically mentioned that the application of math in chemistry and physics is particularly challenging for students.

Keep presentations hands-on. Bring supplies and material not normally found in schools. Ensure presentations are varied according to ability levels. Ensure teachers and specialists meet to plan the learning experience together to make sure it is appropriate, engaging, and worth the use of valuable instructional time. Ensure specialists have good communication skills and are able to meet the time constraints of the classroom/school day.

ONLINE SURVEY QUESTION:

Which scientific practices would be helpful for a STEM Specialist to address in the classroom?

Most teachers (58.2%) have not had the experience, while 41.8% have. Those who have had the experience were asked how they located the practitioner to invite them to their classroom. Most asked a friend (49.4%), or invited an established school partner (47.1%). Fewer called a company and requested a visit (23%) or used a district list of presenters (14.9%). Teachers were invited to comment on their past experiences. Overwhelmingly, teachers found the specialists helpful, but only when he or she was able to engage the students and was comfortable being in a classroom. As one teacher explained,

CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS TEACHER RESPONSES

70.6%

ASKING QUESTIONS AND DEFINING PROBLEMS

81.0%

DEVELOPING AND USING MODELS

60%

80%

20%

0%

The online survey asked teachers: Have you ever had an industry specialist visit your classroom?...

80.5%

OBTAINING, EVALUATING AND COMMUNICATING INFORMATION

40%

YES 41.8%

82.5%

ENGAGING IN ARGUMENT FROM EVIDENCE

Another teacher expressed the excitement her speaker generated:

“ The few times that I have asked an actual

professional into the classroom, the results have been dramatic. Many times when I present an activity, the students are blasé about it. When an outsider initiates an activity, the students are much more engaged.”

ASKED A FRIEND 49.4% INVITED AN ESTABLISHED SCHOOL PARTNER 47.1%

85.5%

CONSTRUCTING EXPLANATIONS AND DESIGNING SOLUTIONS

20%

40%

81.7%

USING MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

0%

NO 58.2%

88.4%

ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING DATA

When practitioners simply come and talk, the kids at times become disengaged. When my kids were forced to interact with the specialist in order to do some sort of project, the experience was far more worthwhile The best experiences are those that are long term connections between practitioners and kids so the kids become invested in working with that person.”

60%

87.1%

PLANNING AND CARRYING OUT INVESTIGATIONS

“ I have had both good and bad experiences.

CALLED A COMPANY AND REQUESTED A VISIT 23% USED A DISTRICT LIST OF PRESENTERS

14.9%

... And if so, respondents were asked how they located the practitioner to invite them to their classroom.

100%

Percentage of teachers selecting “very helpful” or “most helpful”

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What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

EVALUATION

SUPPORT FROM STEM BUSINESSES

TECHNOLOGY ACCESS

Possible Outcomes

The question was asked of focus group teachers: What can STEM businesses do to support science teachers? Overwhelmingly, teachers asked for supplies and equipment, but not necessarily money. One teacher commented:

Teachers were asked to share some of the ways in which they use technology and some of the limitations and challenges they face using technology in the classroom. Below are some of the specific questions asked and comments shared by focus group teachers.

The online survey asked teachers what they thought could be the most valuable outcome of STEM Specialists in the Classroom. Teachers ranked “students will have a better understanding of how science they are learning has real life application” of highest value.

Determining Success Survey respondents were also asked how the MBRT might determine if STEM Specialists in the Classroom is a success. Many teachers suggested the MBRT conduct a survey of the teachers, students, and specialists involved in the program to gauge the program’s success and to obtain feedback for improving the program. ONLINE SURVEY QUESTION:

What do you think could be the most valuable outcome of STEM Specialists in the Classroom?

“ When money is not earmarked, there is a greater chance that it will go to different things, be diverted. Actual supplies, materials, equipment, and computers would be very useful.” The second most popular request of teachers from STEM businesses was activities or lesson plans. For example, creating lessons, units, and activities based on real industry problems and situations.

How, if at all, do you use the Internet to support teaching?

For research to prepare lessons

Videos of experiments that you can’t do in the classroom

Web-based labs

Ideas for student assignments Do you have access to such resources as Skype or Google Hangout?

Very limited access to Skype in the classroom

No one had Google Hangout

S TUDENTS WILL HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF SPECIFIC CONTENT/PRACTICES.

CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS TEACHER RESPONSES 63.4%

Outdated/second-hand PCs and other equipment, and too few

STUDENTS WILL BE MORE EAGER TO EXCEL IN SCIENCE CLASS AND TO TAKE MORE STEM CLASSES.

Class sizes that are too large for each student to have access to technology

Lack of SmartBoards, projectors, access to on-line content (this differed from district to district)

STUDENTS WILL BE MOTIVATED TO ENGAGE MORE FULLY IN SCIENCE EXPLORATION/INVESTIGATION.

Equipment old and hard to maintain

Expendable supplies are typically budgeted, but new equipment is not

STUDENTS WILL HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF HOW SCIENCE THEY ARE LEARNING HAS REAL-LIFE APPLICATION.

89.5%

76.6%

83.9%

What challenges do you face in using technology in the classroom?

S TUDENTS WILL BE INSPIRED TO PURSUE STEM CAREERS.

Which resources do you currently consult for instructional support-what do you use as a “help-line”?

Physics teacher listserv

WikiPhysics

PhysicsClassroom.com

HippoCampus.org

TWUPhysics.org — AP Physics B lectures and demonstrations

phET simulations from the University of Colorado (http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/ category/new)

Lack of Central Resource Repository Teachers expressed some frustration at the overwhelming number of education-related accounts and sites that needed to be checked on a regular basis, and the variety of different sources that had to be accessed for instructional support. They expressed a need to have information condensed — resources, bulletin boards, emails, etc., all in one spot. Some degree of integration is desired for any future online resources created for teachers. Several teachers also requested that any future resources be made available as an app or be smart-phone friendly.

78.1%

0%

16

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

Percentage of teachers selecting “very helpful” or “most helpful”

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What Teachers Want

5.3% of survey

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

respondents have not heard of the NGSS

21.1% of survey

19.0% of survey respondents have analyzed the NGSS

respondents have heard of the NGSS

54.6% of survey respondents have briefly reviewed the NGSS

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS) Maryland is one of a group of states that led the effort to develop internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education. These voluntary, rigorous standards — known as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) — were developed with the intention to identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master in order to be fully prepared for college, careers and citizenship. In April 2013, the final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards was released. The Maryland State Board of Education reviewed the NGSS in April and adopted them in June 2013. Currently, the Maryland Core Learning Goals for Science drive instruction for chemistry and physics. The new science standards — which will be gradually implemented over the next few years — will strengthen science teaching and learning and will include more inquiry-based, hands-on opportunities for students to apply their learning. In order to gauge the awareness and readiness of Maryland’s science teachers for the NGSS, the focus group and survey participants were asked about their familiarity with the NGSS.

Teachers are Aware and Generally Supportive of NGSS Among survey respondents, most (54.6%) have “briefly reviewed” the NGSS, and an additional (19.0%) have actually analyzed the standards. A show of hands among focus group participants revealed most of the teachers were aware of the NGSS. The general attitude in the room was cautious but optimistic about the standards. Resources (time, materials, and equipment) were cited repeatedly as critical to implementing the new standards successfully. As one teacher put it,

“ I like the new standards. I like the whole

idea. I think all of us will agree going this way for our students. What we are concerned about is the support — it needs to be there. We need money and resources to back it. If you want us to make sure our children are ready in STEM, we need money to sustain programs and time to integrate the program into our work.”

The new NGSS science standards — which will be gradually implemented over the next few years — will strengthen science teaching and learning and will include more inquiry-based, hands-on opportunities for students to apply their learning.

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What Teachers Want

FINDINGS OF THE FOCUS GROUP AND ONLINE SURVEY

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE CORE IDEAS OVERVIEW — HIGH SCHOOL

PHYSICAL SCIENCES MATTER AND ITS INTERACTIONS

How can one explain the structure, properties, and interactions of matter? The structure and properties of matter Chemical reactions Nuclear processes

MOTION AND STABILITY: FORCES AND INTERACTIONS

How can one explain and predict interactions between objects and within systems of objects? Forces and motion Types of Interactions

NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)

CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS AS GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

Concerns Regarding the NGSS

Both the focus group and online survey participants were asked if they thought chemistry and/or physics should be required courses for high school graduation. A majority of survey respondents thought the courses should be required — 65% say chemistry should be required, and 58% think physics should be required.

Focus group teachers seemed to like the idea of updated standards, but expressed some concern regarding the perceived emphasis on earth sciences. As teachers of chemistry and physics, they were concerned that their subjects would be pushed aside at the expense of earth science. Another concern centered on testing and how the NGSS would align with the planned PARCC assessments (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) that will eventually replace the Maryland School Assessments (MSA). Specifically, the teachers liked the NGSS emphasis on student-led discovery and open-ended problem solving. However, there was a concern that such an emphasis may not prepare students for a statewide test that might not have the same format as regular classroom instruction. Teachers also felt that an additional emphasis on experiments, projects, hands-on experiences, etc. would require more computers, scientific equipment, and supplies, as well as smaller class sizes to allow for more teacher/student involvement and interaction.

ENERGY

How is energy transferred and conserved? Definitions of energy Conservation of energy and energy transfer Relationship between energy and forces Energy in chemical process and everyday life

WAVES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS IN TECHNOLOGIES FOR INFORMATION TRANSFER

How are waves used to transfer energy and send and store information? Wave properties Electromagnetic radiation Information technologies and instrumentation 20

Next Generation Science Standards encompass K-12 physical sciences, life sciences, and earth sciences, and include content standards, scientific practices, and cross-cutting concepts. To review NGSS, visit www.nextgenscience.org.

Among the focus group teachers, the overwhelming response for requiring both subjects was “Yes.” There were a few dissenters who were concerned that requiring these courses of all students could lead to a watering down of the content and rigor, and that such a requirement does not necessarily suit the needs or strengths of every student. However, most teachers thought they should be required. As one teacher put it,

“ Students too often avoid chemistry

and physics, usually because of the math required, and instead choose a different course to meet the science graduation requirements. But our students really need physics and chemistry to be prepared for college.” Another teacher felt the application of chemistry and physics to non-scientific situations would help all students in their future endeavors, even those not pursuing a career in the sciences. For example, the teacher explained, “Artists need chemistry to understand paint and pigment; musicians use physics to understand acoustics. We need to bring these kinds of applied science connections to the classroom to help engage those students who are taking chemistry and physics but not necessarily going into a STEM career.”

TEACHERS IN FAVOR COMMENTED:

“ Whether students go on to college or

not, they should leave high school with a background that allows them to be scientifically literate.”

“ If people are driving on the same roads

as I am, they should understand physics.”

“ A solid background in science is needed to be knowledgeable and questioning members of society who can make informed decisions.”

“ [Chemistry and physics] are central

sciences and the key to understanding problem solving for the next century.”

TEACHERS OPPOSED COMMENTED:

“ The math of these subjects is beyond the ability of some high school students.” “ Some students will never get or need to use it, so why frustrate them?” “ These subjects are not for everyone.”

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STEMnet TEACHER HUB | SPECIALISTS IN THE CLASSROOM

NEXT STEPS During the 2013–14 school year, STEM Specialists in the Classroom will be expanded to include chemistry and physics, as well as algebra and biology, and the program will be extended to STEM teachers at 48 high schools, two in each of Maryland’s 24 school districts. New funding from the State of Maryland allowed MBRT to accelerate expansion by 24 schools this year. Three new STEMnet components — one for teachers, STEM Resource Clearinghouse; and two for students, STEM Challenges and STEM Workplace Exposure Opportunities — will be launched at the 48 participating schools this school year. And development will begin on STEM Connections for teachers. STEM Specialists in the Classroom and STEM Career Exploration, tested and launched previously, will continue to be provided, expanded, evaluated, and refined. While Race To The Top funding will end in September 2014, funding is being sought from corporations, foundations, and other government sources to expand and sustain STEMnet in order to provide all Maryland teachers and students with access to the much needed services, resources, tools, and connections that will strengthen STEM teaching and learning.

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IN A NUTSHELL MBRT

STEMnet Teacher Hub

MBRT Board of Directors

Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) is a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to improve education and student achievement in Maryland.

Preparing today’s students for college and tomorrow’s jobs is a complex task and a tremendous responsibility that requires the greatest resources we can muster. Teachers cannot do it alone. Students and teachers must have access to — and benefit from — the best information and the brightest minds. These resources exist — in the workplace, in higher education, in government agencies, and in the community. Finding and deploying them is the challenge that STEMnet will meet.

Gloria A. Flach, Chair Northrop Grumman Corporation

With a prestigious Board of corporate executives, more than 3,000 business volunteers, and partnerships in every school district, MBRT works to achieve meaningful, measurable and systemic improvement in schools and student learning. We believe the keys to this improvement are high standards, quality teaching, rigorous assessments and strong accountability. Working at both the policy and grassroots levels, MBRT brings the voice of employers to decision makers, students, educators, parents and others who influence students, to help shape Maryland’s future workforce and strengthen Maryland’s economy.

STEM MBRT believes that widespread competency and strong innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics will ensure Maryland’s — and the nation’s — ability to compete internationally, prosper economically and provide opportunity for its young people.

STEM Innovation Network — STEMnet The Governor’s STEM Task Force developed seven major recommendations to strengthen STEM teaching, learning, research and workforce/economic development. Recommendation 7 — creation of a STEM Innovation Network — is critical in accomplishing all of the Task Force recommendations. MBRT is leading the charge and has committed, leveraged, and solicited resources — human, technical and financial — to create Maryland’s STEM Innovation Network. STEMnet will:

Provide universal access to STEM information, resources, and opportunities in Maryland Establish a virtual environment in which “communities of practice” will emerge to promote new and innovative programs and share critical information Lead to extraordinary results in student preparation for 21st century jobs.

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With funding from a federal Race To The Top grant through the Maryland State Department of Education, along with generous corporate funding and in-kind support from Northrop Grumman, AT&T, IBM and others, MBRT developed the online platform for STEMnet and is building the first two Hubs — a Teacher Hub and a Student Hub — the initial phases of which were launched in the 2012–13 school year. The STEMnet Teacher Hub and Student Hub will:

Provide teacher and student access to Maryland’s rich inventory of STEM resources Deliver programs, services and support to teachers and students

Karen I. Campbell Verizon Kevin M. Hall KPMG Stephanie C. Hill Lockheed Martin Corporation Freeman Hrabowski, III UMBC John C. Inglis National Security Agency William E. Kirwan University System of Maryland Sandra Kurtinitis Community College of Baltimore County

40 chemistry and physics teachers representing: Anne Arundel County Baltimore City Baltimore County Charles County Frederick County Garrett County Howard County Montgomery County Prince George’s County Queen Anne’s County St. Mary’s County Wicomico County Washington County SURVEY PARTICIPANTS:

252 chemistry and physics teachers representing: 21 of 24 Maryland school districts

Kevin J. Manning Stevenson University

SUMMER TEAM OF SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHERS:

Robert S. Marshall Earth Networks, Inc. Ronald R. Peterson Johns Hopkins Health System Regina Schofield Battelle

Translate new knowledge into meaningful results and accelerated solutions

Janet Smith OneMain Financial

Strengthen student learning and interest in STEM.

FOCUS GROUP PARTICIPANTS:

Ellen Lord Textron Systems

Facilitate communication and collaboration among partners, teachers and students

Establish a vibrant human network to support Maryland’s world class teachers and students

Special Thanks to:

John D. Thomas SAIC/Leidos Marsha Trant IBM Corporation David Velazquez Pepco Holdings, Inc. Alan Wilson McCormick & Company, Inc.

6 teachers representing Baltimore County Howard County Washington County MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

For their guidance and support, particularly: Henry Johnson, Assistant State Superintendent for Instruction Judy Jenkins, Director of Curriculum Mary Thurlow, Science Coordinator AND KEY CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS PUBLICATION:

Miriam Tillman, Focus Group Facilitator Lauren Blundin, Writer Doug Cole, Designer, Cole Design Robert W. Madden, Photographer

Chairmen Emeritus Norman R. Augustine Edward F. Mitchell Raymond A. “Chip” Mason James F. Pitts Executive Director June E. Streckfus

Kathleen M. Seay, MBRT Project Director/Editor Northrop Grumman, Printing

The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible.

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Maryland Business Roundtable for Education 5520 Research Park Drive, Suite 150 Baltimore, Maryland 21228 Tel 410-788-0333 www.mbrt.org

mail@mbrt.org

To learn more about STEMnet, visit www.mbrt.org/stem

To volunteer as a STEM Specialist in the Classroom, visit www.thestemnet.com

2013 – 2014 FUNDERS AAI/Textron Systems, Adventist HealthCare, Anne Arundel County Economic Development, AT&T, Bank of America, Battelle, Cassidy Turley, Citi/OneMain Financial, Clark Construction Group LLC, Community College of Baltimore County, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Data Networks, Department of Business & Economic Development, Earth Networks, Inc., Eastern Savings Bank, Frostburg State University, Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, Greater Baltimore Committee, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Harris Corporation, IBM Corporation, Johns Hopkins Health System, Johns Hopkins University, KPMG, Laureate Education, Inc., Legg Mason, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Lord Baltimore Capital Corporation, Loyola University Maryland, M&T Bank Corporation, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Maryland Independent College & University Association, Maryland Public Television, Maryland State Department of Education, McCormick & Company, Inc., NASA, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Pepco Holdings, Inc., PNC Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Regional Management, Inc., Rosemore, Inc., Salisbury University, Space Telescope Science Institute, State of Maryland, Stevenson University, SunTrust Bank, T. Rowe Price Associates, TIME Center, Towson University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University System of Maryland, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. THANKS TO NORTHROP GRUMMAN FOR PRINTING THIS REPORT.

The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. STEMnet is a service mark of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education.


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