Annual Meeting 2013: Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) — Advancing what works in STEM education

The following Annual Meeting sessions are sponsored by Project Kaleidoscope

More information about PKAL activities is available here.


Friday, January 25, 8:45-10:15 am

New Directions in Professional Development for STEM Faculty
Nearly every national report written about improving undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education calls for creating more evidence-based, student-centered learning environments.  STEM faculty members, however, are generally not prepared to teach using these modern approaches, thus revealing a need for faculty development to help transform undergraduate STEM programs to improve student learning and success.   New models of faculty development are emerging, and there is new evidence about what may or may not be effective.  This session will provide a synthesis of current program models and will highlight emerging best practices and research regarding program effectiveness.  Gaps and challenges in offering successful programs will also be discussed. 
Facilitators: Susan Elrod, Professor, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, and Senior Scholar, AAC&U; and Robert C. Hilborn, Associate Executive Officer, American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT); Gili Marbach-Ad, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, and Katerina Thompson, Director of Undergraduate Research and Internship Programs—both of the University of Maryland College Park

Friday, January 25, 10:30-11:45 am

Getting to the Point:  Using Sustainability to Improve Student Learning in STEM
Our planet and its inhabitants are under unprecedented stress, and we need people—citizens, scientists, engineers, and teachers—who not only understand the scientific and societal dimensions of the sustainability challenges we face, but who are equipped to help solve the underlying problems.  Although many campuses have sustainability commitments, they often focus on operations, buildings, and cocurricular activities.  How can faculty and other campus leaders integrate sustainability concepts more fully into introductory courses and general education programs?  Facilitators will share resources that have been developed through PKAL's project—“Sustainability Improves Student Learning in STEM” (SISL).  The FIPSE-funded project’s ultimate aim is to better prepare students for real-world “Big Questions" that relate to societal issues such as energy, water quality, and climate change.  By leveraging the influence of eleven STEM disciplinary societies, the SISL project has engaged six cross-disciplinary teams consisting of over fifty STEM faculty members across the country to develop and disseminate teaching and learning resources related to sustainability. 
Facilitators: Kelly Mack, Executive Director, and Catherine Fry, Project Manager—both of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL); Debra Rowe, President,  US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and Professor of Sustainable Energies and Behavioral Sciences, Oakland Community College;Nat B. Frazer, Professor of Environment and Society, Utah State University and PKAL Fellow

Wednesday, January 23, 2:00-5:00 pm

The following Pre-Meeting Workshop is presented by the Learning Spaces Collaboratory – a PKAL Partner organization

Learning Environments for Creating Interdisciplinary, Global Problem Solvers
This interactive workshop will engage academic leaders with responsibility and opportunity for creating and sustaining 21st century learning environments that prepare undergraduates for leadership in a world in which problems are increasingly complex, transcending both geographic and disciplinary boundaries. The workshop models the iterative, on-campus processes of addressing four critical questions:

  • What core abilities and capacities must undergraduate learners have to become effective 21st century global citizens and interdisciplinary problem-solvers?
  • What learning experiences nurture such learning outcomes and how can they become central to the curriculum?
  • How do physical and virtual learning environments enable such experiences?
  • How can these learning goals, experiences, and spaces be prioritized and planned, developed and evaluated in the context of broader institutional assessment practices?

Facilitators will introduce each question, followed by at-the-table collaborative work, and review of posters prepared by table groups. The final presentation will be the collective identification of best ‘take-home’ ideas for shaping learning environments for creating interdisciplinary, global problem-solvers and for translating into action at the local level. 
Richard F. Vaz, Dean, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute;  Marci Sortor, Provost and Dean of the College and Professor of History, St. Olaf College; Jeanne L. Narum, Principal, PKAL Learning Spaces Collaboratory and Founding Director of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) 

Friday, January 25, 5:30-7:00 pm

PKAL welcomes all who are interested inadvancing "what works" in 21st century STEM education to better serve all students, no matter their background or major.