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Neag School Researcher Receives NSF, Google Grant to Improve Science Education




Todd Campbell, a professor of science education at the Neag School of Education, is working on two grants focused on increasing the diversity and accessibility of science education in Connecticut and beyond.

The first grant is funded by a $ 1.5 million National Science Foundation grant. This project supports a group of teachers to develop, test, and improve justice-centric educational practices in local schools, while developing and implementing COVID-19 science units through the lens of social justice. ..

The Campbell team for this project includes April Luehmann of the University of Rochester and Dana Scipio of Island Wood, a non-profit environmental education organization in Washington State.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minority communities. Researchers have found that racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are disproportionately likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die.

Meanwhile, the state is challenging the implementation of next-generation scientific standards. These standards focus on integrating concepts between units, rather than teaching them all as separate entities. This standard provides students with relevant knowledge of the core principles of science and engineering by ensuring that content is taught in the context of the application in explaining events and solving problems that occur around the world. Is aimed at.

COVID Connects Us bridges these two contemporary issues by creating a justice-centric science education approach.

This work is based on evidence-based assumptions that students will be motivated if they can apply what they have learned to real-life events and problems. By developing creative solutions to problems that make sense to them, students can also practice critical thinking engineers and other scientists that students use on a daily basis.

This project will serve to make a significant difference in the way science is taught and, by extension, in the way students understand.

Students understand how science is affected by power issues and engage in a fairer form of participation in how science is studied, how it is studied, and who is excluded from research. It is necessary to develop a lens that is critical of what will be done.

This work creates a model of science education that puts justice, students, and culture at the center of practice, known as Justice-Centered Ambitious Science Education (JuST).

The team will work with a network of secondary science teachers in Connecticut, New York, and Washington. Approximately 20 learning communities each implement a deliberate anti-repressive unit of COVID-19 science. This unit will focus not only on the science of the virus itself, but also on the impact of pandemics on social justice.

This project will deepen an evidence-based understanding of how to succeed JuST principles in both teacher and student classrooms.

Campbells’ second project is funded by a $ 80,000 grant from Google Fun to support the learning of math and science teachers. Campbell works with UConn’s colleague Derek Aguiar, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and Megan Staples, an assistant professor of mathematics education.

Data science and artificial intelligence (DS & AI), which are core concepts in the field of computer science, are becoming an increasingly part of the lives of ubiquitous people. DS & AI is used for everything from illness diagnosis to loan decisions to fraud prevention.

However, education on these topics has traditionally been limited to advanced university-level computer science or statistics courses. In addition, only 30% of urban communities, home to the majority of Connecticut blacks and Hispanic youth, teach computer science compared to 77% of suburban communities and 81% of rural communities. Another disparity is that in 2020, only 29% of students who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science test, where students could earn college credits by scoring high on the exam, were women.

Campbell and his collaborators work to democratize computer science education and break down the conservative notion that tackling DS & AI topics requires an advanced background in mathematics or computer science.

Currently, few studies support understanding how to teach computer science topics in secondary school.

The Campbells Group combines computer science education with social issues related to DS & AI. The ultimate goal of this effort is to increase registration, retention and diversity in computer science programs and disciplines.

This group identifies teachers effectively teaching computer science topics and the tools students need to learn them.

Educators use computer science concepts to teach fascinating units that address real-world problems such as the side effects of medicines and the impact of climate change on bird migration.

Incorporating the concept of computer science into the structure of high school science courses throughout the state will help all students learn and level the stadium to work in this increasingly relevant area.

Campbell has a PhD. I have a curriculum and guidance from the University of Iowa. His areas of expertise include science education, secondary education, teacher education, professional development, and formal and informal science learning.




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