Transforming STEM: From Global Agenda to Classroom Success

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Zoellner Arts Center, Baker Hall

Speakers included Dr. Alexander Wiseman (Lehigh) who presented an international perspective as well spoke to the international rankings and how that affects US policies.  Dr. Sharon Lynch (George Washington University) addressed STEM at the national policy level and also how STEM is working in high schools across the US and what those schools do have in common to support success. Dr. Christine Cunningham (Museum of Science, Boston)  spoke about STEM in elementary schools and how engineering is the 'missing link' in the STEM implementation. Dr. Alec Bodzin (Lehigh) brought it home to the regional level and talked about his group's research and its implementation and what Lehigh is doing to address the STEM initiative in our local community. Dr. Thomas Hammond (Lehigh) served as the moderator.

The lecture provided teachers, administrators, and parents with information to support STEM initiatives, at school and home.


Dr. Alec M. Bodzin is Associate Professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Technology program and is a core faculty member of the Lehigh Environmental Initiative.  He joined the Lehigh faculty in 1999.  He received his Ph.D. in Science Education from North Carolina State University as a National Science Foundation Fellow in Instructional Technology in Science Education. Dr. Bodzin is the Primary Investigator of Environmental Literacy and Inquiry (ELI), an inquiry-based middle school curriculum that uses geospatial technologies including GIS and Google Earth to investigate environmental issues in the areas of energy, climate change, and land use change. Dr. Bodzin's research interests involve the design of Web-based inquiry learning environments, learning with spatial thinking tools including GIS, Google Earth and remotely sensed images, the design and implementation of inquiry-based environmental science curriculum, visual instructional technologies, and the use of instructional technologies to promote learning. He has published over forty articles in peer-reviewed science, technology, and environmental education journals. Dr. Bodzin is currently the Primary Investigator for a National Science Foundation Discovery Research K-12 grant in which his group has developed a novel geospatial curriculum design model and new Web GIS learning materials designed to enhance learning about tectonics concepts for urban middle school students.  Dr. Bodzin teaches science methods, environmental education, and curriculum and instructional design courses at Lehigh University.

Dr. Christine Cunningham is a Vice President at the Museum of Science, Boston where she oversees curricular materials development, teacher professional development, and research and evaluation efforts related to K-16 engineering and science learning and teaching. Her projects focus on making engineering and science more relevant, understandable, and accessible to everyone, especially marginalized populations such as women, underrepresented minorities, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and people with disabilities. She is particularly interested in the ways that the teaching and learning of engineering and science can change to include and benefit from a more diverse population. Dr. Cunningham’s projects span the elementary to college educational continuum. Principal among these is Engineering is Elementary (EiE), a program she founded in 2003. EiE has created a research-driven, standards-based, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. EiE also helps elementary educators enhance their understanding of engineering concepts and pedagogy through professional development workshops and resources. A related research and assessment effort is studying how children and their educators engage with, learn, and teach engineering concepts and skills. To date, over 2.7 million children and 33,000 educators have used EiE. As the Director of EiE, Christine is responsible for the vision, strategy, and funding for the project. Christine attended Yale College, where she received her Bachelors and Masters in biology and Cornell University, whether she received a PhD in Science Education. 

Dr. Thomas C. Hammond has been named a Frank Hook Assistant Professor. As a social studies educator in the Teaching, Learning, and Technology program in the College of Education, his teaching and research address the integration of technology into social studies classroom instruction. His current projects focus on the use of geospatial tools such as Google Earth and geographic information systems to teach history, geography, and economics. Working with local teachers and districts, Hammond and his students develop and evaluate curricular materials to improve student learning outcomes. Prior to Lehigh, Hammond taught social studies for ten years, moving among schools in the United States, Haiti, and Saudi Arabia. He is an editor for "Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education" and is on the board of the "Journal of Research on Technology in Education". Hammond received a B.A. (cum laude) in History and International Studies from Yale College, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Sharon Lynch’s work focuses on the intersection of equity and excellence in science education, perhaps best shown by her book, Equity and Science Education Reform (2000). She continues her work in that area has and a new forthcoming chapter on that topic. She is increasingly interested in policy issues and science education, and in bringing more of these ideas to her professional communities. She was on the Executive Board of the National Association for Research in Science Education (NARST) where she was Chair of the International Committee. She has also worked diligently on NARST committees to forward science education policy research, and was the co-chair of Strand 15 on science education policy. She is also a member of External Policy and Relations Committee, helping to bring national leaders in science education policy to annual conference through special panels and symposia. Lynch has received external funding to advance her research agenda from NSF, USDOE, and private foundations. She was PI for the NSF-managed IERI SCALE-uP research program which continues to be noted for its pioneering work in helping to understand and measure fidelity of implementation in science curriculum materials. From 2008 to 2010, Lynch worked as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings. In September 2010, she returned from that rotation in the federal government to GWU. Dr. Lynch has collaborated with Dr. Taymans (Special Education) and Dr. Marotta (counseling) on research on pre-service counselors’ and teachers’ perceptions of adopted children and their families. The research collaboration currently focuses on validating the survey used for the research.

Dr. Alexander W. Wiseman has more than 17 years of professional experience working with government education departments, university-based teacher education programs, community-based professional development for teachers and as a classroom teacher in both the U.S. and East Asia. Dr. Wiseman is currently Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education in the College of Education at Lehigh University. Prior to joining Lehigh he worked as Assistant Professor of Teacher Education and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in the School of Education at The University of Tulsa. Dr. Wiseman’s school teaching experience includes working as an English teacher at Aztec High School (New Mexico, USA) and with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) in Kameoka, Japan. At Lehigh University, Dr. Wiseman has had the opportunity to work with disadvantaged communities in South Africa through Lehigh’s South Africa Education Development Initiative (SAEDI) and with educational planners and policymakers in Saudi Arabia through the King Abudullah bin Abdulaziz Public Education Development Project (Tatweer) and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education. Dr. Wiseman conducts educational research using large international datasets on math and science education, information and communication technology (ICT), teacher preparation, professional development and curriculum as well as school principal’s instructional leadership activity, and is the author of many research-to-practice articles and books. He speaks internationally and presents extensively on the areas of international testing, teacher preparation and professional development, strategic planning, system assessment and reform, education policy, change management, equitable educational access for girls and boys, institutional capacity building, school-to-work transition and civic education. Dr. Wiseman holds a dual-degree PhD in Comparative & International Education and Educational Theory & Policy from Pennsylvania State University, a MA in International Comparative Education from Stanford University, a MA in Education (and Teacher Certification) from The University of Tulsa, and a BA in Letters from the University of Oklahoma.

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Tamara Bartolet
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