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2009 Intel ISEF Educator Academy Students as Scientists: from the traditional class to a class based on research Nathalie Valencia, Intel SAS Program Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "2009 Intel ISEF Educator Academy Students as Scientists: from the traditional class to a class based on research Nathalie Valencia, Intel SAS Program Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 2009 Intel ISEF Educator Academy Students as Scientists: from the traditional class to a class based on research Nathalie Valencia, Intel SAS Program Coordinator Mary Helen Bialas, Intel Education Manager Costa Rica May 11 - 15, 2009 Reno, Nevada

2 Objectives of the Shoptalk: Describe the SAS pedagogic approach and its effectiveness. Provide a demonstration of one of the activities of the training: implementing unlinking chained experiences to generate research questions Describe the adaptation process of the training and provide recommendations for adapting materials to new cultures and languages

3 Costa Rica Educational Environment Education system: -Organization: 20 MOE Regional Offices around the country. -Centralized education system; one national curriculum. -Test driven curriculum. Country Population: 4.5 Million; Territory: 51,100 KM2 - Obligatory K- 9th grade education; 10-11th grade for HS completion. - Math and science introduced from K- 6 with general teacher; and general science teachers in 7-9 grades; specialized teachers in HS - Few lab resources. - 2004 National Decree requiring all schools to implement science fairs. - 2008 Launch of First National Engineering Fair

4 Students as Scientists Training Curriculum and Approach

5 Students as Scientists is a 40 hour-teacher training curriculum developed in USA which focuses on integrating science research in the classroom and understanding science fair processes. The Students as Scientists curriculum prepares teachers to implement research as part of a regular science class in order to involve students in a more significant way of learning. SAS guides teachers on how to better prepare their students for the science fair process This 3 day training was localized by CR education experts and launched jointly by Intel with the MOE to extend training opportunities nationwide. After a successful pilot, the training was accredited by the University of Costa Rica and MOE Continuing Education Programs.

6 Teachers will: Design a unit plan that includes a student research project. Learn ways to manage long-term student research. Learn techniques for tutoring students doing research projects. Consider encouraging students to present their research projects at science fairs. General Objectives of the Students as Scientists training:

7 Students as Scientist History 1999+ : The Students as Scientists is a 3 day intensive training course developed by USA specialists with Intel sponsorship and collaboration. 2000 : SAS Field-tested at Rio Rancho, NM and Austin, TX. May ISEF 03: The Rio Rancho teachers presented a Shoptalk at ISEF 03 about their training material. The CR team decided to translate and adapt the material for use in Costa Rica. Jun-Dec 03: Intel CR selected a team of specialists to adapt the material to CR education standards. Members included representatives of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Science Advisor of the Ministry of Education, and 3 educator experts. The team implemented a validation workshop with 30 educators and MOE regional science advisors. Jan- Mar 04: Materials were adjusted to recommendations, and final presentation designs were completed. A second validation with science teachers was implemented. Recognized by the Civil Service Registration as an accredited in-service training for teachers. May ISEF04: CR team commits to expanding the SAS training nationwide at Intel Educators Academy. June 2004: Students a Scientist Program launched by Intel in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology as a 40 hr training program. July 2004 – March05: Master Teachers selected and prepared. Training reaches all 20 Education Regions of the country. April 2005: SAS training curriculum recognized by the University of Costa Rica for in-service training (professional development) credit. December 2005: SAS second edition for participants manual is published. Mar07- July08 The program counts with a team of 72 Master Teacher Trainers from 22 educational regions 2008-2009: SAS is implemented as part of the NSF process in Colombia: Feria Explora

8 OrganizationOrganization SAS training curriculum: Day 1: Designing a Research-based Science Unit Day 2: Managing a Science Research course: Getting started. *CR: Implementing the research process in a science class Day 3: Showcasing Student Research Materials: Instructors manual Participant manual Group activity materials Science Fair videos (NSF & ISEF) and NSF regulations (CR) Additional support: Examples of student projects and daily logs. (CR) Its a wild ride video. (CR) Instructors CD with resources (CR)

9 ImplementationImplementation

10 In order to develop a successful learning process, student motivation is a must! Implementing unlinking chained experiences and reflective discussion promote a successful learning process.


12 Half-fill the plastic cup with water. Add 1 teaspoon of detergent to the water. Place the plastic cup inside the dishpan. Place the straw into the plastic cup and start blowing bubbles for 10 seconds. (The workshop leader will tell you when to start and when to stop). For the next two minutes, individually raise and record observations or questions about the bubbles (even questions that may seem off-the-point or foolish). All about bubbles: Instructions

13 Discuss and agree on one change in the procedure previously performed (3 minutes) Introducing that change, perform again the activity of blowing bubbles. (The workshop leader will let you know when to start and when to stop). For the next two minutes, each team will agree on one simple question. All about bubbles: Instructions

14 Many questions inspire scientific wonder, but not all questions are deemed to be researchable

15 SIMPLE QUESTION Are triangular sails the fastest sails? RESEARCH QUESTION What effect will changing the shape of a sail on a 16-foot sailboat have on the distance the boat travels in one minute?

16 An ideal research question elicits: the key or core idea of a hypothesis ideas for generating data ideas for specific independent and dependent variables Research questions During the next 5 minutes, go back to your teams simple question and re-state it in order to be a research question. Also, state a hypothesis for your research question.

17 Sharing and discussion –One group presents their simple question, the research question and the hypothesis. –The other teams comment and provide suggestions. Research questions

18 Its an activity or experience, through which the teacher may trigger the students interest and curiosity about a phenomenon or a fact. Unlinking chained activities, brainstorming and reflective discussion, allow students to propose their own research questions and hypothesis. What is an activity that unlinks chained experiences ?

19 A method used to guide classroom discussion, during which students are encouraged to state their own explanations of a phenomena without fear of being judged or giving the wrong answer. (Pellegrini & Olson, 2001). What is reflective discussion?

20 Attention is focused on what students know or believe. The teacher accepts all student responses and questions in a neutral manner. The teacher gives no hint that a student is on the right or the wrong track. Instead, to keep the discussion going, the teacher encourages feedback from other students. Characteristics of Reflective Discussion:

21 Basic methodology : When a student proposes an explanation or new question, the teacher tosses this contribution back to the student while adding an appropriate follow-up question or a few short phrases, to stimulate and deepen the students reasoning. Anytime a student uses a scientific term in an explanation, the teacher asks the student to explain its meaning in simple terms. All the explanations are jotted down on the board. To later draw closure to the discussion, the teacher asks students to select what they think are the best explanations. These explanations can become the kernel ideas for research questions and hypothesis. Characteristics of Reflective Discussion

22 Advantages: The students develop a personal interest in an activity. It sparks curiosity, reasoning and learning about specific phenomena or topics. Students engage in an activity without the fear of being judged or of giving the wrong answer. It provides a source of possible research questions. It allows the application of Scientific Method.

23 Students as Scientists Implementation Experiences in Costa Rica Teachers enjoy the training because they act as students. Teachers find science fair research is applicable to classroom work and standard curriculum. Material is applicable for high school and primary school teachers. Flexibility in time-scheduling to cover workshop material.

24 Students as Scientists: Teachers evaluation of the training in Costa Rica

25 Recommendations for adaptation Review the English or Spanish version to determine if it is appropriate for your country. Review if it meets country education standards and your science fair regulations If English is not your countrys official language, select a team of specialists to review translated material for adaptation. Must plan appropriately: textual adaptation process takes several months. Consider timing (pace) and culture. Support material should be localized. Its highly recommended to implement 1 or 2 pilot workshops to obtain teacher feedback before publishing.

26 Contacts: Nathalie Valencia SAS Program Coordinator–Costa Rica Mary Helen Bialas Education Manager, Intel Costa Rica E-mail:

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