We’re looking for a few good teachers! In 2012-2013 our GK-12 project will support 9 Graduate Student Fellows who will spend approximately 10 hours per week in one of our KBS K-12 Partnership school districts. Fellow-Teacher partnerships offer graduate students an opportunity to bring leading-edge research practices and findings to K-12 learning settings. Graduate Student Fellows are meant to serve as role models to K-12 students and help stimulate their interest in STEM disciplines. We are currently accepting applications for the role of “Partner Teacher”. Partner Teachers are paired with a Graduate Student Fellow and are responsible for managing project and fellow activities in their district for a given semester or year. The general expectations are that GK-12 Partner Teachers be active participants in the KBS K-12 Partnership, including workshops and institutes, and in research and educational activities associated with […]
The KBS GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project is accepting applications for graduate student fellowships for 2012-13. This graduate training project is funded by grant from the NSF Division of Graduate Education. The NSF GK-12 program is meant to advance the professional development of STEM graduate students while they continue to make good progress on their dissertation research. NSF stipulates that fellows will spend a maximum of 15 hours per week directly involved in GK-12 project activities, with approximately 10 of these hours devoted to activities in K-12 partner districts or at KBS. KBS activities will include a one-day orientation in May, an intensive summer science institute in late June, four one-day school year workshops and Friday fellows meetings associated with a course focused on the professional development of fellows. Stipend support is generous and includes benefits and tuition. The eight NSF […]
A Brief Autumn Update on the BEST Plots Research Project from Tom Getty I want to share some information and my excitement about our progress on the GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project. We have all put in a tremendous amount of work to design and establish the BEST Schoolyard Research Network and to develop lesson plans that capitalize on the inquiry opportunities the network creates. Now the data is beginning to come in. At our next workshop we will begin some quantitative analysis of the early results. Recall that our BEST research network is designed to mimic aspects of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) Sustainability Research Project. Our overarching question is “Can We Grow Our Fuel and Our Flowers and Butterflies Too?” Under this broad umbrella we can address many basic and applied issues in science and ecology. We […]
Fellow Tyler Bassett is spending his year working in the classrooms of two Gull Lake Middle School teachers, Jennifer Boyle and Kim Clancy. Their partnership and work with the BEST plots research network was recently highlighted in an article in the Gull Lake Communicator. Check it out here! The article is on page 8.
In October, Robin Tinghitella, our Project Manager, gave a talk about our GK-12 project at the 2011 National Outreach Scholarship Conference, which took place in East Lansing this year. It was a joint presentation with the Lynn Sametz, Project Manager at UNC Greensboro’s GK-12 program. Both projects just finished their first year of funding. The two shared the goals of the National GK-12 Program, presented details about both GK-12 projects, and shared preliminary findings about the science communication skills of participating graduate students. We look forward to participating in NOSC in the future and to many more presentations about the success of our program. You can view the talk slides here.
It’s official – data collection has begun! Students in 13 SW Michigan school districts are busy learning how to sample plant biomass, insect and plant biodiversity, characterize soil and measure soil chemicals, and survey landscape-level characteristics of their schoolyards as part of the BEST Plots Research Network. Their data will become part of a large database that students and teachers can use to address questions such as: Do plants yield more biomass when they are grown as a mixture of plants (prairie) rather than a monoculture (switchgrass)? Does the soil composition affect plant biomass when we compare across schools? Does fertilization impact species diversity in the mixed prairie plots? Does the amount of pavement near the plots versus forest or grass impact insect biodiversity? Schoolyear workshops will continue at KBS this year to support our GK-12 activities. Our all-day workshops […]
Each year, our GK-12 Project co-leads a Summer Science Institute for the KBS K-12 Partnership teachers. This year the Institute took place from June 20-24th. 10 GK-12 Fellows conceived of, organized, and led (along with their Partner Teachers) concurrent sessions based on either the Fellow’s own research or research that our KBS K-12 Partnership teachers will conduct alongside their students as participants in the BEST (BioEnergy SusTainability) Research Network. The Summer Science Institute is the first opportunity for Fellows and their Partner Teachers to bond through the creation of concurrent sessions which they will lead all Partnership teachers through the following week – it’s a major team-building experience! Fellows new to our program this year designed sessions that bridged their own thesis or dissertation research with Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and took teachers to visit their research sites at […]
On March 31, 2011 more than 500 students and parents attended the fourth annual, district-wide Science Night at Plainwell Middle School. The event was a great success! More than seventy students presented their scientific work in the form of science fair projects, research posters, and artwork. Additionally, twenty-four local and community groups brought science to the fingertips of kids of all ages through informational booth and hands-on activities. Several organizations brought live animals, including The Kalamazoo Nature Center, which brought an American Kestrel, Binder Park Zoo with a red-tailed hawk and box turtle (both Michigan natives), and the DNR Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, which brought a lake sturgeon. Additionally, the Kalamazoo bee club had lives bees on display as they taught kids and parents alike about the importance of bees and the art of bee-keeping. Science topics at the […]
At the 2011 GK-12 Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., three of our current Fellows (Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Melissa Kjelvik, and Leila Desotelle) and two of our Partner Teachers (Connie High and Sandy Breitenbach), shared a presentation called “Preparing Fellows for the Classroom: What works and what doesn’t?” in which they highlighted lessons learned in the first year of our GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project and over the course of an earlier GK-12 Project at Kellogg Biological Station. We also presented a project poster highlighting our BEST Schoolyard Research Network and ways in which we bring Fellow research to K-12 classrooms. Check out our project poster, powerpoint presentation, and a handout prepared by our fellows.
KBS’s K-12 Partnership Workshops have been scheduled for Spring 2011. Teachers from partner districts should plan to join us on March 1, 2011 and April 19, 2011 for all day workshops at Kellogg Biological Station. Please rsvp to Robin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sara (email@example.com) if you plan to attend. In March we will be joined by MSU researcher Louise Mead who will share her experiences in Evolution Education with the group. Louise recently moved to MSU where she is the Education Director for the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action (http://beacon-center.org/). You can find more information about our Spring Professional Development Workshops for partner district teachers at http://www.kbs.msu.edu/education/k-12-partnership/workshops .
KBS K-12 Partnership Students Gain Authentic Research Experiences as Part of “BEST” Schoolyard Research Network
Last fall, students and science teachers working with graduate students at KBS planted the seeds for the “BEST” BioEnergy SusTainability Schoolyard Research Network. The network includes > 300 research plots at 22 schools in 11 districts in six counties in southwest Michigan. The research plots will mimic long-term, collaborative research at the KBS Long Term Ecological Research site and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. KBS faculty, staff, and graduate students are collaborating with teachers on experimental design, research protocols, and curriculum development for the research network. Students planted switchgrass and native prairie seeds on their research plots. Both are crops that researchers at KBS are studying for their potential value as bioenergy crops. Over the next five years, students will make observations and take measurements about the biodiversity, productivity, and soil quality on these plots to answer the question, “Can […]