Collaborative Research on Evaluating, Advancing, and Transforming Education in STEM

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The National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $50,000 (#1644470) to Loyola Marymount University supporting the LMU CREATE-STEM group under the direction of Anna Bargagliotti, Dorothea Herreiner and Jeff Phillips.

The Breaking the Boundaries in STEM Education Conference will bring together scholars in discipline-based education research (DBER) and in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to create a hub in Southern California that will enable these researchers to learn from and collaborate with each other. The project will expand on successful efforts undertaken by the LMU CREATE-STEM group.

This conference will be precedent-setting and will offer a model that has the potential to be scalable. Two main research questions guide the overall scope of the conference: (1) What are the common threads across disciplines to approach the teaching and learning of quantitative skills that are relevant in STEM? (2) What are the challenges and barriers that need to be overcome in order to foster collaboration across disciplines to impact the teaching and learning of quantitative skills relevant in STEM? The inaugural conference will be organized around three themes: equity, problem solving, and computational thinking. The project will result in a conference proceedings and relevant peer-reviewed archival publications.

Details of the conference will be forthcoming. For those researchers and faculty interested in participating, please subscribe to our email list.

CREATE-STEM is an interdisciplinary LMU group of faculty aimed at advancing and promoting STEM education activities on the LMU campus and in the greater community of Southern California. The group is interested in a wide variety of STEM education activities that pertain to undergraduate STEM education, K-12 student learning, and teacher preparation.

Goals of the group include:
  1. provide support to faculty undertaking research in STEM education,
  2. provide a forum for interested parties to discuss STEM education issues,
  3. provide coordination and organization to STEM education initiatives,
  4. improve communication among interested parties working in STEM education,
  5. promote interdisciplinary work in STEM education,
  6. connect interested parties with funding resources, and
  7. provide connections between faculty and the greater community on all STEM education related issues.

Together, the group has secured more than $10.5M of funding (NSF, Boeing, Dept. of Ed IES, Leonetti/O'Connell Family Foundation, 100Kin10 and many more) and has over 20 partnerships with either local school districts or industry. Overall, members' results have culminated in more than 50 publications, 350 workshops for K-12 teachers, 80 presentations having impact on approximately 450 teachers, 50,000 K-12 students, 1,300 undergraduate students, and 20 faculty members.

The group also maintains a monthly seminar series that is well attended by LMU faculty, district administrators, high school teachers, doctoral students from the school of education, and faculty members from other area universities. In addition to the monthly seminar, CREATE-STEM faculty members meet twice a semester for business meetings during which ongoing projects, collaborations, vision goals, and upcoming funding opportunities are discussed.

The strength of CREATE-STEM is the diversity of the faculty- Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Health and Human Science, Physics, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Economics, Psychology and Specialized Programs in Urban Education. While they bring different perspectives, all share a common goal of advancing STEM education on the LMU campus as well as in the greater Los Angeles area.