College of Education alum and White House Champion of Change award winner Sandra Henderson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon State University alumna Sandra Henderson was recently honored in a White House ceremony for being a champion of citizen science.

sandrahenderson-225x300Henderson is the director for Citizen Science at the National Ecological Observatory Network in Boulder, Colo. She received a doctorate in science education, with a minor in geography, from OSU in 2001.

She was recognized this week by the White House Champions of Change program, which aims to identify and recognize Americans doing extraordinary things.  This year, the program is honoring people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or STEM research.

In 2007, Henderson co-founded Project BudBurst, a national online citizen science campaign where individuals from all walks of life report on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants in their communities. The data are freely available to researchers and educators who can use it to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to local, regional, and national changes in climate.

“Being able to combine my interest in science education with my passion for nature through NEON’s Project BudBurst has been a career highlight,” Henderson said. “It is so inspiring to work with thousands of people across the country to make a difference in our understanding of how plants respond to environmental change. Plants have stories to tell us about changing climates if we only take the time to observe and learn.”

To learn more about Sandra Henderson’s work with NEON’s Project BudBurst, please read this blog post on the Champions of Change website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/25/stories-plants-can-tell-neon-s-project-budburst.

For more information on the White House Champions of Change program, please visit: www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

College of Education faculty member John Falk
falk-headshot_1
John H. Falk, Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Research in Lifelong STEM Learning

The Lifelong STEM Learning Campus-wide Seminar Series and Discussion Forum 2012-2013 continues on Tuesday, June 11th with a seminar led by Dr. John H. Falk entitled “Investigating Lifelong Science Learning.”

The seminar takes place from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. and can viewed in Kidder 202, via Polycom to Cascades Campus Cascade Hall 112, and streaming online at live.oregonstate.edu. 

Seminar Synopsis:
When do people learn science?  Why do people learn science?  Where do people learn science?  In this talk derived from an NSF Distinguished Lecture, Dr. John H. Falk will present a brief overview of the growing understanding of how the public learns science across their lifetime.  Dr. Falk will summarize two recent large-scale research studies. The first study sought to determine the relative contributions to public science understanding made by key sources of science education – schooling, free-choice learning and the workplace.  The second study attempted to better understand the functioning of the infrastructure that supports public science education in the United Kingdom by using community ecology frameworks.  The seminar will conclude with some thoughts and discussion about the implications of these findings for conducting science education research in the future.

College of Education alum and new Mt. Hood Community College president Debra Derr

Debra Derr, Mt. Hood Community College’s next president, plans for a long tenure at the Gresham campus (Oregonian)

Derr started her academic career as a student specialist and counselor at Clackamas Community College in 1980. Mt. Hood hired her in 1987 to coordinate disability services and eventually promoted her to vice president for student development and services. While at Mt. Hood, she earned a doctorate of education from Oregon State University. (see also Portland Tribune)

Photo from the FIESTAS research project

The Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement (CL@SE) announced FIESTAS (Families Involved in Education: Sociocultural Teaching and STEM) as one of two winning research project proposals of the 2013 Faculty Summer Stipends for Engaged Research.

fiestas1Families Involved in Education: Sociocultural Teaching and STEM (FIESTAS)
FIESTAS is a collaboration between OSU’s College of Education, 4H Youth Development, and the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) program. The primary focus of the 4-H STEM program is to enhance the participation and knowledge of STEM related topics of Latino and underrepresented youth in the 3rd to 5th grades. Because of the changing demographics and increasing diversity of the K-12 population, which do not align with preservice teacher (PST) demographics, we believe that engagement with youth in culturally and linguistically contexts is needed. This project transforms the ways that preservice teachers practice STEM and empower youth within community-based and authentic learning contexts.

The present study seeks to understand: (a) How do PSTs position themselves in relation to content, children, and families? (b) How do teacher preparation courses disrupt the commonplace to transform views of teaching and learning? (c) And, how do PSTs engage in praxis in which they apply and enact education concepts in community settings? Data collection and analysis focuses on preservice teachers’ reflections: before and after their participation in Family Math and Science Nights and throughout the term in which they engage with youth in the afterschool 4H program in an ongoing way during the course.

Kathryn Ciechanowski (co-PI), ESOL/Bilingual Programs, College of Education
SueAnn Bottoms (co-PI), Elementary Science Education, College of Education
Ana Lucia Fonseca, Program Lead, 4H STEM afterschool program
Jenny de la Hoz, PhD student in Science Education, College of Education