SSI 2019 Program Highlights

JUST A FEW OF THE FEATURED SESSIONS AT THE 2019 SENCER SUMMER INSTITUTE. To register and for more program information click HERE 


Introduction to the Question Formulation Technique: A High-Impact Practice for Student Inquiry (Registration fee: 100.00)

This active learning workshop will provide participants an introduction to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT), a simple, powerful evidence-based strategy used by over 350,000 educators to teach students how to ask their own questions. The QFT helps to advance teaching and learning goals across all disciplines through cultivating collaborative, student-centered learning. Participants will learn how to facilitate the strategy and will have the opportunity to plan on how to best integrate the QFT into their instruction to support ongoing work.  The workshop will cover:
• Analysis and unpacking of how and why the QFT works
• Review of higher education examples across subject areas
• Hands-on work on the art and science of the QFT
• Practice in Question Focus design
• Development of a QFT lesson using a planning tool for teaching, priority-setting, and other collaborative processes.

The workshop will be capped at 25. Please add to your SSI registration.

Facilitator: The Right Question Institute’s (RQI) Director of Strategy for the Education Program, Andrew P. Minigan, will facilitate the learning experience. Andrew is currently a Co-P.I. on a National Science Foundation funded grant exploring how the QFT supports doctoral students’ ability to develop research questions, and from 2015-2018 he led RQI’s Million Classrooms Campaign (supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation).


Muti-Session Symposium on Assessment Strategies for Science and Civic Engagement featuring:

  • Linden Higgins, Education for Critical Thinking, LLC (Chair)
  • Matt Fisher, Professor of Chemistry, St. Vincent’s College; Co-Editor, Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal; SENCER Senior Fellow and recipient William E. Bennett Award; Carnegie SoTL Scholar; Fellow, American Chemical Society.
  • Davida Smyth, Associate Professor Biology, The New School; SENCER Senior Leadership Fellow.
  • Catherine Duckett, Associate Dean, School of Science, Monmouth University.
  • Yao Hill, Assessment Specialist, University of Hawaii-Manoa; Evaluator, NCSCE’s Transcending Barriers to Success: Connecting Indigenous and Western Knowledge



Workshop-Learn Through the Universe: An Introductory Experience

Mercedes Talley

For the last two years, Learn Through the Universe (LTTU) has been developing a website that

presents a new approach to understanding scale based on the human experience of oneself and others in space and time. It makes clear the physical structure of the universe while focusing on how humankind perceives and interacts with the beings and things that compose it

The approach has learners construct true-to-scale two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of the universe at powers of ten, starting with the scale of oneself, and proceeding down into the subatomic realm and out to the edge of the universe. The models are used to study relevant topics in the traditional disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, as well as in applied disciplines such as health, business and engineering. The author/designer will use existing SENCER model courses to demonstrate how LTTU can be used to add an exploration of scale to any problem-based course or module.



Partnership Power: Creating Collaborative Community Connections

Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO, Cleveland Public Library.

Felton Thomas, Jr. was appointed Director of the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) in January 2009.  Since then, he has positioned CPL as a community deficit fighter and launched initiatives aimed at addressing community needs in the areas of technology, education, and economic development. During Felton’s tenure, CPL has maintained its “Five Star” status and been named a “Top Innovator” by the Urban Libraries Council for its use of technology and data to inform decision making.  Felton also has guided CPL through the worst recession in decades by actively seeking input from the community, and then reducing CPL’s budget by millions while still providing superior service and keeping all neighborhood branches open. Under Felton, the Library has battled the digital divide, illiteracy, unemployment, and other community deficits with innovative programming and action at all branches.



Education and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Provost’s Scholar for Diversity and Innovation, Stony Brook University, will offer the final plenary session on this important topic that is central to our common efforts to prepare students for the future.

David Ferguson is a Distinguished Service Professor of Technology and Society and Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Stony Brook University. He has been a leader in New York State and in the nation on education projects, ranging from pre-college through graduate education, with funding as PI or co-PI on grants totaling more than $30 million. He has also served on several national panels on STEM education, including a standing panel on the NSF’s Applications of Advanced Technologies.

In 1992, Professor Ferguson received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a New York State and national leader in programs to enhance the participation of underrepresented minority students in undergraduate and graduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology programs. Dr. Ferguson was a member of the executive committee of the NSF- supported Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE). From 1998 until 2002, Dr. Ferguson was the founding director of Stony Brook’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal

Accepting submissions for its Summer Issue – DEADLINE EXTENDED! May 10, 2019

The mission of Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal is to explore constructive connections between science education and civic engagement that will enhance both experiences for our students. In the 21st century, mathematical and scientific reasoning is an essential element for full participation in a democratic society. Contributions to this journal will focus on using unsolved, complex civic issues as a framework to develop students’ understanding of the role of scientific knowledge in personal and public decision making, along with examining how such knowledge is embedded in a broader social and political context. Since many pressing issues are not constrained by national borders, we encourage perspectives that are international or global in scope. In addition to examining what students learn, we will also explore how this learning takes place and how it can be evaluated, documented, and strengthened.

Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International Journal is published by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE). Hosted by Stony Brook University, NCSCE’s mission is to inspire, support, and disseminate campus-based science education reform strategies that strengthen learning and build civic accountability among students in colleges and universities. The Center will serve as a national resource for the improvement of undergraduate science education and will provide a platform enabling faculty and administrators to broaden the impact of their innovations and reforms beyond their campuses.

The Journal solicits submissions for publication as articles in several different categories. Detailed descriptions of the various types of articles published as well as detailed submission guidelines can be found at All submissions go through “single blind” peer review.

The journal accepts submissions on a rolling basis. However, manuscripts that authors hope to see published in the Summer 2019 issue should be submitted by May 3 to ensure full consideration.

Spring Meetings, Member Publications

Upcoming Meetings: 

Regional Meeting: SCI-Mid-Atlantic Spring 2019 Meeting
The SENCER Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting is being hosted by the New School with the exciting theme ofSTEM, Humanities and Social Justice.Proposals for posters, workshops, presentations are all welcome, particularly those from non-STEM disciplines and we shall be highlighting some of the exciting work being done at the New School. Deadline for submissions is Feb 8th.Please save the date – April 5th!! Please RSVP here

SCI-Midwest Spring 2019 Meeting
SCI Midwest will be hosting a meeting at Roosevelt University, Schaumberg Campus
Date: April 5, 2019
Title:Innovation and Collaboration in STEM Education
For program information and registration go to:


Hold the Date!  August 1-4, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Early Registration will launch next week!

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Member News, Regional Meetings, Resources, and Opportunities

News from SCI-Southwest

Democracy, Civic Engagement and Student Learning

On Friday, February 1, the SENCER Center of Innovation Southwest (SCI-SW) and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) hosted the Fourth Annual SCI-SW SENCER Regional Symposium in the Ann Stuart Science Complex. The theme of this year’s symposium aimed to link student learning, civic engagement and democracy. It brought speakers and experts in different disciplines from around the US and TWU to discuss together our roles in helping students develop a sense of civic virtue so they can build a thriving democracy for themselves and future generations. You can read the full report of the program here.

Valuesbased training for successful academic leadership at your institution

In October 2018, the organization founded by SENCER leaders Amy Shachter and Karen Oates, Success 4 Higher Education (S4HE), teamed with the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement to present the first Values‐Based Academic Leadership Institute hosted at Broward College. Thirty‐eight campus leaders from institutions across the United States, as well as one international campus, spent two days developing conceptual and practical foundations for their work as leaders. A report on this meeting was published in Dean and Provost (Vol 20, Issue 5) January 2019 Read it here:

Read More for Upcoming Meetings, New Resources, and Call for Submissions!

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Values-Based Academic Leadership Institute Held at Broward College

This October 5-6 the new venture Success 4 Higher Education ( teamed with the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement ( to present the first Values-Based Academic Leadership Institute at Broward College. 38 campus leaders from institutions across the United States, as well as one international campus, spent two days developing conceptual and practical foundations for their important work as academic leaders. Continue reading