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).


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