Representatives from Kentucky colleges and universities and KY-Campus Compact convened at the University of Louisville on March 24, 2018 to establish a KY-SENCER network to advance civically engaged science. The meeting’s goals were to hear presentations from educators who have been incorporating SENCER ideals into their classroom settings, to relate evidence for the value of this approach for students and their communities, and to establish a network across the commonwealth to advance and support SENCER activities.
Organized by SENCER alumni Martin Brock (Eastern KY University) and Marzieh Hatamzadeh of KY-Campus Compact, the daylong meeting featured presentations by NCSCE Executive Director Eliza J. Reilly, and SENCER Fellow Glenn Odenbrett, Director of GLISTEN (Great Lakes Stewardship Through Education Network). Other presenters shared work at Bellarmine University, University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, and KY-Campus Compact, offering an overview of the depth and breadth of civically engaged teaching and learning initiatives already underway, in both STEM and social science.
The meeting concluded with brainstorming and strategic planning around structures and activities that would establish and grow a network of SENCER practitioners throughout the state. Reilly pledged the NCSCE’s support for this initiative and suggested ways that the national SENCER “community of transformation could provide models, dissemination opportunities, research and resources to advance regional activities. In thanking the attendees she noted “meetings like this are an important demonstration of the creativity, dedication, and civic commitment of educators who work tirelessly to make learning real, relevant, and responsible for all students.”