1. Kelly Costner
  2. https://www.winthrop.edu/coe/faculty/costner-kelly.aspx
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators (WISE)
  5. https://www.winthrop.edu/wise/
  6. Winthrop University
  1. Cassandra Bell
  2. https://www.winthrop.edu/cas/faculty/bell-cassandra.aspx
  3. Instructor and Program Coordinator
  4. Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators (WISE)
  5. https://www.winthrop.edu/wise/
  6. Winthrop University
  1. Beth Costner
  2. https://www.winthrop.edu/coe/faculty/costner-beth.aspx
  3. Professor and Associate Dean
  4. Winthrop Initiative for STEM Educators (WISE)
  5. https://www.winthrop.edu/wise/
  6. Winthrop University
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 10, 2021 | 10:44 a.m.

    How exciting.  So reminds me of a GK12 project I once had that had UG and Grad students in middle and high school classrooms.  I love the water focus...what a great opportunity for incorporating Social Jusice elements. 

    I would love to hear more about what the students learned and what the outcomes were for preparing teachers.

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 10, 2021 | 01:51 p.m.

    One of the most significant outcomes of our theme related specifically to teaching is the Project WET (https://www.projectwet.org/) certification the interns receive.  This allows the participants to have access to a significant amount of meaningful classroom ready explorations.  We hear from our alumni (like Bailey in the video) who use these resources in the classroom.  We also have multiple alums who have also completed trainer certification so they can offer PD with the WISE team to spread the word on water topics in STEM classrooms.

  • May 11, 2021 | 10:26 a.m.

    This is such a great project. Thanks for sharing. It was great to hear that it is encouraging participants to become certified teachers. Is participation open to students who are not yet considering teaching as a career? Have you seen any students decide to become a STEM educator as a result of the program?

     
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    Jill Rhoden
  • Icon for: Kelly Costner

    Kelly Costner

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 12:03 p.m.

    The WISE Summer Internship is indeed open to those not yet considering teaching as a career.  Because we have a small group each year (10-12 students), we consider academic performance and faculty recommendations to help in the selection process, but we welcome any STEM major. 

    We do tend to attract those who are already interested in teaching, but have successfully "converted" others through the years!  Taylor Conner, featured in the video, is an example of one of those who was "resisting" the call to become a teacher, but as she states, the summer experience made a real difference in her thinking.  A key, though, is that we establish strong relationships during the intensive 3-week experiences and we keep in touch after that summer.  Doing so gives us the opportunity to have further conversations as the students develop and change their thinking through the years of their undergraduate program, and because we have a graduate-level program for initial licensure (MAT), it's really never too late.

    Another aspect is that among those already interested in teaching, the experience can help solidify that choice.  Some become fans of middle schoolers through our time in classrooms at that level and end up adding that grade band to their primary certification at the high school level.

    Finally, for those who aren't interested in teaching and don't become so, we maintain that part of our intent is to help all of them become more aware of K-12 education and education issues in general, including diversity, the demands of teaching, etc. As a result, we hope they'll become more informed citizens/voters, parents, and advocates.

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 10, 2021 | 01:56 p.m.

    I love that @Patricia Marsteller also noted the social justice aspects that center on a close look at water.  Each summer we incorporate a common read on water that helps to open our participants' eyes to global water issues. Many begin to noticeably consider the individual choices they make and begin to question their communities choices. Yes, many of these are small changes, but small changes by individuals in a larger community can have lasting impacts. I can say personally this has not only impacted the participants but also the leadership.  :)

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 11, 2021 | 12:31 p.m.

    Helping all STEM participants consider the role of STEM education has in the future is a significant goal.  As @Kelly Costner noted we discuss directly how all citizens can play a role in public P12 education.  We have had some not choosing education still engage in service projects related to informal STEM learning experiences through STEM student groups and other research groups on campus.  It is so rewarding to see our Interns using the skills and experiences across the rest of their undergraduate STEM program.

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    Senior Advisor for Education and Communication (Retired)
    May 11, 2021 | 02:47 p.m.

    Thank you for producing and posting this video! It describes a very exciting project. I agree with others who have already posted comments that WET is important in expanding participants' horizons about the subject matter that is the focus of the program as well as its connections to their becoming future teachers. I hope you'll be able to expand on several other questions that occurred to me while I was watching it:

    - I note on the final slide of the video that faculty participant in  the program has expanded from 2-3 educators per year to 8-14. What percentage of STEM faculty at Winthrop are participating? Are they the same people who participate each year? Or do faculty rotate through the program so that the number who have actually participated is larger than suggested by the data on the slide?

    - Patricia Marsteller noted the potential that this program to include perspectives such as social justice. It's also a great opportunity to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of studying topics like water both across and beyond the STEM disciplines. Have you sought input from or have you been able to recruit faculty from the social sciences, arts, and humanities to become involved? And, how much have faculty in the sciences interacted with education faculty in developing and implementing this internship?

    - Related to my second question, I see that Beth Costner is an Associate Dean. Having administration directly involved with such efforts is critically important to their success. Has what has been learned from this internship program helped inform teaching and learning across other parts of the institution? Are there mechanisms in the institution to do so?

    Thank you again for sharing information about this program!

  • Icon for: Kelly Costner

    Kelly Costner

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:35 p.m.

    Thank you for your questions!  We’re happy to explain some of these points that couldn’t possibly fit into our 3min video.

    • That point on the last slide about the number of STEM educators:  It's actually our growth in terms of STEM educators we've produced--the number of certified 9-12 public school teachers graduating from our programs--across the years.  As for STEM faculty members involved:  Each summer we have 5 working with WISE out of 60+ across all the STEM departments, so about 8% of the total STEM faculty.  (There are 2 education faculty members with STEM teaching background involved each year.)  We usually have a consistent crew for 2-3 years at a time, and overall have involved 8 individual STEM faculty across the years we've had WISE in operation.
    • Interdisciplinary nature of WET: The Project WET Educator certification workshop highlights the interdisciplinary features and flexibility of the WET curriculum, and the participating interns have to consider connections to other fields as they work with individual activities during that day--especially when they're doing a practice facilitation of one activity.  And although we haven't engaged humanities, arts, and or social sciences faculty yet...you've now given us that idea as an added feature for the future!
    • Planning the internship: The faculty members in STEM and in education work closely together each year in preparation for the three-week experience through meetings and email exchanges.  That collaboration is especially important in terms of setting up the daily schedule, which has to account for various trips for field work for each content group (such as water sampling), the classroom experience (four full days), and the field explorations for the entire group (wastewater treatment plant, rocky shoals spider lilies at Landsford Canal, etc.).  Our lunch on most days of the internship is done all together in one private room, and includes the faculty, so that gives us the opportunity to stay abreast of each other's work throughout.
    • Institutional Influence: Beth Costner is essential, as the internship was originally her idea, and we find that an administrator is needed for negotiating the special needs of our internship with student housing, dining services, facilities, and the like. And although we don’t have any formal mechanisms for using what we’ve learned from the internship in other aspects of the institution’s work, it does happen anyway:  Project WET (and Project Learning Tree) are making their way into the program for our early childhood and elementary teachers, and WET was incorporated as part of a research/service project in South America in recent years.  Further, our interns become part of an ongoing volunteer group that helps with recruitment events for future STEM and STEM education majors.
     
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    Jill Rhoden
    April Bartnick
  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 11, 2021 | 07:37 p.m.

    I will add to the institutional Influence part as well...The STEM educators involved in this project have been involved in considering how to offer multiple pathways for STEM certification.  So it would be inappropriate to say these changes have occurred because of WISE, I do think it is appropriate to say that our work to recruit new teachers has definitely informed our work in reconsideration of secondary education pathways.  We have also been able to use some foundation fundraising to include a small number of middle STEM majors and those experiences built some bridges for faculty in various programs. Finally, our students have been trailblazers in what is now common practice for secondary majors in all disciplines to expand certification in their discipline to the middle grades.

     
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    April Bartnick
  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 06:59 p.m.

    I love that you have faculty in STEM and education participating.  Wouldn't it be fun to involve students from the arts and humanities to document the project and provide real stories?

     

     
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    Rebecca Bullard-Dillard
  • Icon for: Cassandra Bell

    Cassandra Bell

    Co-Presenter
    Instructor and Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:38 p.m.

    That could be very powerful and help us put the A in STEAM. We actually used students from the art and design department at our institution to help us come up with our WISE logo that appears in the video--which is an abstract design of many math and science symbols. However that was many years ago, and it would be great to get some involvement from the arts again!

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 11, 2021 | 07:41 p.m.

    An aspect of our program that we could not completely feature is the bridge to more extensive research projects as our interns continue their STEM degrees.  UG STEM research experiences are powerful.  When future teachers are involved they have impacts beyond the individual.  Thoughts ideas from others?

  • May 11, 2021 | 09:50 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing information about your project. We are always looking for ways to recruit more of our undergraduates into one of our educator preparation programs. While our Program in Education has strong relationships with faculty members in math and science departments on campus, we do not have collaborative programs/projects with these departments that intentionally provide undergraduates with experiences engaging K-12 students in science/math activities. Your project revealed that we could certainly be doing more in this area. Thank you! Kristen 

  • Icon for: Cassandra Bell

    Cassandra Bell

    Co-Presenter
    Instructor and Program Coordinator
    May 11, 2021 | 10:33 p.m.

    Kristen-I'm glad you found our information useful. We have learned that having STEM faculty involved is very valuable as they are on the lookout for potential candidates in their courses. This helps with not only recruitment to the project but also the teacher education program. The project provides lots of opportunities for STEM and teacher education faculty to interact with each other and the students as there are common book talks, field trips and many meals together during the three weeks. Do you have any ideas how you might incorporate something like this at your institution? I would like to hear your ideas!

  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    Retired Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics
    May 12, 2021 | 11:36 a.m.

    What a great program! Especially important is the connection between STEM faculty and faculty in Education. That bridge is often hard to make -- usually because the two areas do not understand each other and indicate a lack of respect. What specifically did you all do to create the bridge and do you have ways of creating and maintaining those bridges you would recommend to others? Thanks, Judy

     
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    Rebecca Bullard-Dillard
  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 12, 2021 | 02:53 p.m.

    Structurally at our University we have education faculty embedded completely in the STEM Departments and this is helpful.  They teach content courses and this helps them with connections to students and other faculty as well. Our university also has a rich history as a teacher's college so I was surprised at how respected I was when I came.  I had not seen that in the past.  All of these creates a nice foundation, but we have also intentionally involved STEM faculty in the internship research aspects and then pulled them into other activities that allowed for connections and mutual recognition of work.

     
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    Jill Rhoden
    Judith Dilts
  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    Retired Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics
    May 12, 2021 | 06:57 p.m.

    You all are very fortunate. This program is a great way of taking advantage of the respect between the disciplines!

     
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    Beth Costner
  • Icon for: April Bartnick

    April Bartnick

    K-12 Teacher
    May 12, 2021 | 01:14 p.m.

    This is such a cool project involving water! How does a teacher become a Project WET facilitator? Do you know how long it takes and if it costs?

     

  • Icon for: Kelly Costner

    Kelly Costner

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:53 p.m.

    For Project WET, step 1 is to become a WET educator, which means you get a copy of the curriculum and the rights to use all the activities with your own students or with groups for which you do educational programs directly.  That's a one-day workshop.  There may be a cost based on the curriculum (a book), which would be about $30 + anything like lunch or snacks that might be part of the day.

    Step 2 is facilitator training, which means that you can then conduct workshops through which people become a WET educator (as in Step 1 above).  I'm not sure, but I think that would be more than a day.  In SC, we benefited from a collaborative effort among our state coordinators for Projects WET, WILD, and Learning Tree and had a 2.5 day training to become facilitators for all three.

    For both levels, and for the other projects, there are often grants that can greatly reduce or eliminate workshop costs, so it varies.  Check out more info at https://www.projectwet.org/, where you can find upcoming workshops by location and get details on the online trainings that have come about due to the pandemic.

  • Icon for: Toby Baker

    Toby Baker

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 02:32 p.m.

    Thank you! This video was excellent for inspiring people to become teachers! As a co-presenter and special educator, I love that teachers had to teach STEM to the kids! This is a great project for elementary and middle school teachers!

     
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    Beth Costner
  • May 14, 2021 | 09:44 a.m.

    What a great project!

    Water is the perfect theme since it's relevant to everyone.

    Though not related to my team's presentation this year, you're welcome to check out the water resources-focused secondary school curriculum we created. See our article in The American Biology Teacher and associated Lesson Plan Materials

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 14, 2021 | 11:43 a.m.

    What great resources and the PD experience sounds lovely.  I have downloaded your article and added link to our water resources so we have in the future.  Thanks.

  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 14, 2021 | 11:29 a.m.

    By the way I like STEAMS...adds sustainability and is perfect for water based curriculum.  Can you tell us a little more about the curricular materials? I am working with a faculty mentoring group on incorporating social justice issues that are impacted by past redlining and water is one of our topics.

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2021 | 01:58 p.m.

    What a well-rounded and thoughtfully developed internship program! I love it 

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 17, 2021 | 09:14 a.m.

    Thanks, we enjoy working with the students and learning together.

  • Small default profile

    Matt Tree

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2021 | 02:45 p.m.

    This looks like a great program to recruit, develop, and inspire a new generation of STEM-focused teachers. Project WET activities are fact-based, fun and engaging for students...and adults!

  • Icon for: Beth Costner

    Beth Costner

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Associate Dean
    May 17, 2021 | 05:58 p.m.

    There have been many comments on the A in STEAM and Project WET and just realized I am not sure we have made the connection explicitly that Project WET certainly works in all STEM areas but there are a number of connections to disciplines outside of STEM. It is truly interdisciplinary. One of our favorite memories was the Biology faculty member who wrote a lovely poem about water the first summer we hosted the training.  Just want to get that project's website back in the mix in case others missed that earlier.  https://www.projectwet.org/

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