2019 The Year of National STEM Improvement Collaborations!

Happy New Year from NCSCE!

As a new year and new semester starts we are reflecting on all the great work that SENCER practitioners and allies accomplished in the past year. 2019 was definitely the Year of Collaboration! The National Center and SENCER are included, with other leading STEM reform organizations, in the following NSF funded initiatives;

Bridging to STEM Excellence (BTSE)

https://serc.carleton.edu/btse/index.html This IUSE-Exploratory grant (Rick Moog, PI) has convened the leadership from POGIL, SENCER, National Geoscience Teachers Association and the Mobile Summer Institutes for Scientific Teaching to create cross-association consulting teams to provide faculty development support at 5 institutions. The SENCER group is Eliza J. Reilly (NCSCE), Davida Smyth (The New School) and Mangala Kothari (LaGuardia Community College). This project has provided a practical opportunity to bring the collective strengths of leading STEM reform efforts to individual campuses to address specific faculty needs as identified by the participating institutions. A bonus is that we all have a much better idea of the approaches, strategies, and strengths of our respective STEM improvement initiatives.

NSITE: Networking STEM Initiatives to Enhance Adoption of Evidence-based Practices (NSITE)


NSITE (Michelle Withers, PI) is a three-year NSF funded Research Coordination Network (RCN-UBE). It has the ultimate goal of improving retention of a large and diverse student population in STEM. To achieve this goal, NSITE has brought together multiple initiatives that approach this problem from unique angles, but historically have worked in parallel rather than as a coordinated effort. NSITE is using a Networked Improvement Community approach to foster communication, coordination, and collaboration among these initiatives to improve our collective efforts in improving retention in STEM. NSITE’s opening meeting in Phoenix, AZ in April 2019 brought together ten prominent STEM reform initiatives, including SENCER, BioQUEST, POGIL, PKal, Summer Institutes, PULSE, POD, and CIRTL.

These collaborations have provided a much-needed opportunity for leaders of the most durable and effective STEM improvement efforts to learn from each other and clarify what they have in common, including overlapping membership and participation, how they complement each other, and what makes them distinctive.

These projects have also generated formal collaborations for SENCER that benefit our constituents and expand our reach, including the creation of a SENCER-QUBES site (https://qubeshub.org/community/groups/sencer/members) and a new partnership between SENCER and the Mobile Summer Institutes to hold workshops at SUNY Binghamton, Geneseo, Farmingdale, Suffolk, Old Westbury funded by SUNY’s IITG program. https://innovate.suny.edu/iitg/view/project-view/entry/728/

Regional News


The Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College held two Professional Development Seminars, “SENCER: Creating and Integrating Science Literacy across the Disciplines.”

In October and November 2019, with the support of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), Dr. Mangala Kothari, Professor in the Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science Department, led two professional development seminars about the integration of SENCER principles into courses beyond STEM disciplines. The seminars were co-designed and co-facilitated by Dr. Michele Piso Manoukian, CTL Associate Director for Scholarship and Publication. Read full Report here!

NCSCE partnered with Stony Brook University on an NSF sponsored conference
“Data Science Across the Undergraduate Curriculum.” Impressive program was opened with a keynote from SENCER Senior Fellow, Jay Labov Read description here.

Southwest: The SENCER Center for Innovation—Southwest Spring 2020 Regional Symposium will take place at Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX on January 31, 2020.  This year’s symposium theme will be: Citizen Science: The Impact on our Communities by Plastics in Our Environment.  This symposium will focus on the global crisis of plastic from multidisciplinary views including the science, environmental, economic, policies, and health related impacts of plastics. This symposium will be held as a Zero Impact event!  TO REGISTER CLICK HERE! https://ncsce.wildapricot.org/event-3650442

Mountain West: Montana Grand Challenge Institute, June 11-14, 2020: Culminating meeting of the Keck funded “Transcending Barriers to Success: Connecting Indigenous and Western Knowledge http://montanagrandchallenge.org/

Long-time SENCER participant, Kentucky Campus Compact, will be sponsoring a forum on an important civic challenge. “Hacking Housing Insecurity: One Movie, Five Ideas, Infinite Conversations” will be held on February 7, 2020 at Mt. St. Josephy University: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hacking-housing-insecurity-virtual-conference-tickets-79537862889
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